Posted in anxiety, depression, dragon, family, friends, grad school, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD

6/26: Angry, tired Dragon

(I’m mostly venting… so if you don’t want to read my venting, it’s okay. I started this on FB, but it was getting long. )

At this point, at least for right now, if there’s something political that harms a large percentage of people in some way… then I’m likely mad about it. I can’t fucking keep up. The Supreme Court is failing us, the “president” is one of the biggest fuckups we have done to ourselves as a nation, congress has too many blind greedy assholes, and hate crimes abound because the perpetrators figure with 45 in office, they can get away with pretty much anything. So yeah.
But I’m done right at this exact moment. I can’t put energy into fighting this cesspool our society is turning into right now. I have too much of my own shit to deal with.
It’s fucking tempting to start a GFM or something for getting the fuck out of Dodge for a few years… raise funds to get my passport, plane ticket and such for Portia and I, and leave. Right now, that’s where my head is. Finishing my degree is on hold until I can come up with the funds to pay off the school. So that’s fucked.
Other than having many good friends here, I don’t have anything tying me to PDX. the US in general, my brother is still cool… there’s extended family… but I never see any of them anymore because I live at least 600 miles away from them and have been too fucking broke to visit. They’re all busy with their own younger branches of their families. Our branch? None of us have married and unless we adopt, no kids. 
So where is all of this coming from, you may wonder. Especially since I posted earlier about the very thing I’m trying to get away from: posting on politics and striving for peace.
Well, I have a few books next to my bed. A couple of overdue library books, a textbook from the class I fucked up on, and Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People’s History. I was going to refer to one piece in there for the papers I didn’t finish for the class I didn’t finish… yeah. So my head is in this weird place all of a sudden.
I want to finish, but I don’t have the 4500+ to pay off the school. I know I got myself into this mess. Spring term fell apart due to the eviction stress filling up my headspace.
I can’t put my finger on why I can’t seem to get myself together. Exhaustion and PTSD screwed me up last Fall term. Then I had a chance to redeem myself on the class from that term that I took an incomplete on… and then the eviction took over Spring term.
I started grad school totally on track, getting good grades, etc… and then over the past year, I’ve been slowly unraveling. Stress, no job, frustration with things in general, have all played a role in my downward spiral with school. I’m super close to finishing, but the money thing from withdrawing in Spring has messed things up. By the time I came up for air after the eviction, the term was nearly over. The whole thing is a jumbled blur.
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Well, I have a bit of a nutty week ahead. Tomorrow will be a very long day, then a couple of things Wednesday, possibly something Thursday and then GearCon all weekend. I’m on staff… A week from now I’ll likely be so dead-tired I won’t be able to function for a day or two. We’ll see how things go.
I’m working on rounding up as much as possible of the $280 needed for storage. I have a little under half right now… but two more TR gigs this week will help… and still trying to sell off a pair of speakers and the two bookcases. I may need a little help, as my tasks didn’t really start getting going until mid-June. We’ll see how things are after Wednesday.
Let the wild week begin!
~Dragon
Posted in activism, domestic abuse, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault

6/7: No really does mean NO

To add a bit to yesterday’s first post about being an Ace Tomboy. One other reason I tend to steer clear of dating these days is the seeming uptick in violence toward women who turn down a date or sex.

This morning, I found yet another example of this. A woman shot -by an ex-con no less- NINE TIMES before he emptied his clip. With another gun or a reload, he then committed suicide.

All because she said no.

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” –Margaret Atwood

While the woman and her friend are recovering and the bastard is dead, this is not some one-off thing. Girls getting hurt or killed because they didn’t want to go to prom with that particular boy. Being stalked, harassed, doxxed online… you name it. Male fragility is at at an all time high. Little respect is given to women as more and more guys are taught that they should get what they want, when they want it, and ‘no’ means ‘yes’ and …. well, you get the idea.

I survived one domestic abuse relationship. I have no interest in another.

I keep myself out of the dating pool. I have plenty of reasons to do so.

Well, off to get my mohawk cleaned up!

~Amanda

Posted in asexuality, bigotry, community, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, PTSD, sexuality

6/6: Being an Asexual Tomboy in a Femme World

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always preferred doing things like “helping” my dad with carpentry stuff, pretending to be a knight hunting for dragons in the overgrown lot next to our house, climbing trees, etc. I also had plenty of dolls and a playhouse all my own up on the hill. I dressed up as Peter Pan around 4th grade or so, and even today, I’m more comfortable on my own in a hardware store than a dress shop. I do wear skirts and dresses from time to time. But my hair is short (more like in a mohawk, but ‘details, details’) and I rarely wear makeup and do “girly” things. Although, when I want to, I can clean up pretty damn well.

This all comes up because of a conversation about an article a friend posted on FB about this girl who wasn’t allowed to join a girls sports team because her hair was short. She didn’t look “girly” enough. I can tell you that if she were my kid, I’d raise all kinds of Hell with that decision. The conversation on my friend’s post turned ugly pretty damn quick with a couple of people who say they’re Trans Allies, but from their words, they most definitely are NOT. Now, I’m not trans. For the most part, I am perfectly fine with being cis-female (although I’d love it if they ripped out my damn uterus and other parts… I have to be on hormonal BC because of severe hormone-induced headaches that can last upwards of two solid weeks). But I respect my friends who are transitioning or have transitioned.

I’m more like the girl in the article. Throughout most of my childhood and teen years, I had short hair in some form. Rarely did it go past my chin, let alone my shoulders. It’s thin and fine and does better short. Hair does not define a person’s gender. Never has, never will. At least it shouldn’t. Right now, in my 40’s, I have this mohawk. I don’t spike it or anything, but I love how it is. If people can’t see past my hair and understand I’m really quite female, then they’re the idiots. I almost feel sorry for them. My hair doesn’t define me, I define it.

So, then the thought cam to me this morning after catching up on the comments on said friend’s post: Men see long hair as feminine and when women have longer hair, they’re seemingly more dateable. Now, my sexuality is really what dictates whether I want to date or not. Currently, I’m in a “get the fuck away from me” phase. Partly due to my C-PTSD, and partly because I have yet to meet a single man roughly my age that I’m even romantically attracted to. There are other factors there. Such as understanding my sexuality to its fullest and that it means you aren’t getting sex on the first date. Seriously… how old -mentally- are some of these guys… 15?

The amusing thing is that when a man has long hair (which, when done well, is pretty damn sexy), HE isn’t considered more feminine… he JUST has longer hair. So I see double standards. Maybe I just don’t hear comments about masculinity and long hair.

I have short hair. I’m not homosexual. I’m not heterosexual either. And nothing else “in between” … I’m asexual, and currently more aromantic as well. I’m just not interested in any of it… but my hair has nothing to do with my sexuality.

Really. It doesn’t.

I’m just me. Hell, even my sexuality doesn’t fully define me. It helps, yes, but it isn’t my lone defining trait. That list is really long.

I define me. I define what and who I am. Nothing and no one else does that for me.

I probably have more to say on this, but this will do for now.

~Amanda

Posted in adoption, anxiety, cats, depression, empath life, family, Personal, PTSD, storage

6/4: Crash Day with Portia

Originally today was going to be spent at my storage unit selling off the bed frame to a friend and then organizing and trying to reclaim some space in the back half of the unit. My mattress is resting on edge on my beloved coffee table (that I’ve had since I was about 18 and needs refinishing one day). All of that blocks my views of the rest of the space behind it. On Thursday last week, I managed to get to where I was sitting on my taller chest of drawers (I tend to call them dressers, even though that’s inaccurate, but yanno, it’s easier) and noticed that the space behind the mattress is not being utilized to its full ability (think vertical). So my goal is twofold: find a way to store the garment bags of costumes so they don’t “avalanche” while being stored flat, and then clear a better path to that area and organize it better.

One goal, when I have the funds (which I’m looking at costing more than I originally thought at around $60-$80, depending on the diameter of the chosen pipe) to make a steel pipe garment rack. I’ve had purchased racks from Target and IKEA and they cannot withstand the weight of the costumes. Eventually, I’ll get some plywood and make a platform on casters and put the steel pipe rack on wheels, but that part can wait. I need three 6′ pre-threaded pipes, four 12″ pieces, two elbow joints and two T joints. Yes, I know my way around a hardware store… maybe a little too well.

Honestly, if I could work retail again, I’d love to work at Ace Hardware. The people there understand thinking outside the box and have always helped me suss out how to work around problems with creative things (the guys at Pearl Ace still remember my dragon puppet head from 2009).

So, today was going to be spent at storage, but after Thursday afternoon in there, then two days of moving books and stuff around at the yard sale here, I was tired. When my friend who is buying the bed frame said he wasn’t feeling well today, I decided I’ll just stay home. Tomorrow, I tackle storage. So, about today…


The rest of this is part of a status I wrote earlier about Portia… the parts in Italics are the original post.

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First Position. She normally sprawls on my chest if I’m in bed, but not today. 

Although the bond with Portia isn’t as strong as mine was with JoJo, she is still bonded. Note in this picture that while it isn’t obvious, she’s napping on my left hip/pelvis. The side that has been problematic for a couple weeks now. Earlier she was roughly in the same spot, purring and grooming herself.

I adopted Portia October 30th, 2010, a few weeks after I had to put Jack to sleep due to Acute Renal Failure. His quality of life was extremely poor, so it was best to let him go. I tried making JoJo an only cat, but that didn’t last long. She became “Super Cling Kitty” within a week. I found Portia through Petfinder at Cat Adoption Team.

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Second position. Still in the same place on my left hip and leg, but this time taking my hand as hostage.

I know some people who think “she’s JUST a cat,” but I know better. Having been a petsitter, volunteer at shelters and rescues, and a lifelong cat person, I know behavior and a lot of health stuff. As an Empath, I connect with cats and dogs. Cats can, if you let them, be amazing therapy animals. Both girls were there for me last November as I dealt with the 2 year anniversary of my dad’s death as well as his 90th birthday and on top of that, a massive trigger of my C-PTSD. Portia and JoJo got me through it. Three months later, we lost JoJo, oddly to an illness similar to what my dad died from. Portia has picked up where her big sis left off, being there for me in her own quirky way.

She’s adjusting to being an only cat better than JoJo did. Granted, we’ve also been in this transition and technically homeless since early March. I think she wants a buddy, as she tries to get along with the resident cat, although that girl isn’t too keen on Portia. Hence my reference to baby gates on occasion. I have to keep them up to keep her contained.

It’s been 4 months as of yesterday that we lost JoJo. My father died of heart failure and then JoJo with Congestive Heart Failure. Two of my closest companions gone from similar issues.

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Third Position. Belleh Floof! A fair amount of the time, she actually likes belly scritches. Jack was the same way. 

Portia has picked up on things. She makes me laugh, does things like in these images today to help comfort me and be a bit of therapy. She’s feisty but sweet. Hates being groomed, but loves attention and treats. She gets underfoot a LOT and loves wet food. She’s a total dork of a cat, but she keeps me grounded and sane. For me, if not for the cats in my life and music to help push the emotional pain out, I don’t think I’d survive my life right now.

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This is from a few days ago. She was partially on my lap and licking my nose and chin.

Cats are amazing creatures in so many ways. Far too many people see them as aloof, cold animals, but those of us who have shared our lives with them? We know better. There is power in those paws. The whiskers. Those knowing eyes. The power of absolute love.

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, bigotry, depression, empath life, homeless, life, peace, Personal, politics, PTSD

6/3: Anger and Burnout

There is this part of me that wants to speak up… to bring up points on others’ threads that the vast majority of “terrorist” attacks here in the US have been perpetuated by white male assholes…. that no, 45 isn’t doing shit to keep us safe… when in reality, he’s encouraging that white male hate, bigotry and violence.
This part of me wants to scream at his supporters and those who are in-between and in denial about his bullshit to just fucking wake up and see that he’s screwing over them as well as the whole damn planet. He is the laughingstock of the political world except to those Repubs who are either blindly following him or knowingly using his idiocy to their advantage. I want to shake them. I want them to wake up and try to understand how this all works.
But I’m tired. I have my own shit to deal with in my life. I struggle to find work. I have lost more in the last five years, than in the previous ten combined. Both parents, my beloved soulmate kitty, my apartment, and a fair bit of my sanity (or so it feels). I’ve developed social anxiety and delved into a depression I can’t shake. 
I have more days than I’d care to admit where I just want to curl up in a ball and shut the whole world out. But I can’t. I have to stay connected. Job hunting, keeping up on storage, doing stuff here where I’m staying. Trying to muster the energy to keep going.
One might think that at my age, I should have my shit together and know where I fit into society, but I don’t. I see and feel stuff around me and feel even more at odds with where I fit and what’s going on in society.
I want to speak up more, but it drains me. I don’t like arguing with people. I’ve had enough of that in my life before now. I crave peace. Not just for myself, but for all. Is it wrong to wish for that? Is it wrong to want the hate and violence to stop? It keeps going in this vicious cycle. One side attacks the other, then retaliation… and it keeps going around in circles. When does it end? Breaking that circle has to happen… and soon. Nothing will be left to save if we keep letting it go around again and again.
I have my moments…. I want to save the world… or even a part of it… and then I realize I’m one person. I can’t do it all. I have to take care of me and my cat first. But sometimes being an Empath can suck. I want to reach out and help others so much. I just want there to be less pain, less anger.
Less violence.
~Amanda
Posted in anxiety, depression, empath life, faith, life, Personal, poetry, PTSD, semicolon

5/21: Wake Up Tomorrow 

Think.
Be positive.
No.
Platitudes
Do.
Not.
Help.
Breathe.
Try.
Can’t win
If you don’t try.
I can’t.
Believe.
In what?
A higher power?
I am a mere speck
Of sand.
A guinea pig
Of failed Celestial
Experiments.
God’s Chew Toy.
Believe.
Why?
Because.
In what?
Try yourself.
I am myself.
I don’t need to try
Being me.
But do you believe in you?
I’m not sure anymore.
Then start with one thing.
Okay, two things.
Breathe.
And
Wake up tomorrow.
Can you do those?
Yes.

Posted in anxiety, depression, history, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault

5/17: Trigger Warnings

TW: sexual assault/rape mentioned below
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I keep forgetting that the paypal.me link shows my legal surname. This *may* be partly why people don’t follow through. 
Here’s the thing: for those who don’t know, I’m a survivor of sexual assault from three men (I only realized the other two ‘counted’ recently) and the one who raped me repeatedly (my asshole ex-bf) has also done a fair job of cyberstalking me since 1998. He is the main reason I have C-PTSD. Why I insist others -especially men- ask for hugs or any touch right now. It puts me on edge. I know the SOB is still doing name searches on me. Even this year. I’ve done my damnedest to wipe my legal name from the internet as much as possible.
But there it is on my PPme page when you click on it. Now, the only way to find that is if you have the link to begin with. I would love to see if they’d let me use an alias. It used to be a business account, but I downgraded it once I found out I could also keep my debit card on a personal account (seriously, I highly recommend getting one if you do a lot with PP). Back when I got the card, it was only for business accounts. I couldn’t have a checking account for a while, so PP was my only “bank.”
One disadvantage I realize with using aliases online is that as I apply for social media jobs, etc, no one can find examples. Catch-22 situation. Do I market a blog, etc that is linked to my full legal name and risk him tracking me down? One possibility is using one I’ve started to set up for my Archives stuff, but it’s a .com blog on here, so no address or such attached. I do need to start writing on that one… desperately. My portfolio website has my first name and last initial.
Honestly, I’m tired of hiding, but I also don’t want him harassing me online anymore. There isn’t much law enforcement can do unless he physically tries something. He’s 600 miles away. All I want is for him to leave me alone. No more searches, messages, anything. Just walk away.
I doubt that will happen until one of us is dead and gone. Until then, I’m stuck. Sick of hiding but hesitant about stepping out there and having my name out there for him to find.
Maybe I’ll do some asking around.
~Amanda
Posted in activism, anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, empath life, faith, life, patreon, Personal, PTSD

5/12: It’s Alive!!

Another short musing.

For years now, I have heard “poetry is dead…” 

I’m no Poet Laureate or anything, but the fact that I have friends who regularly get their horror/suspense poetry accepted to genre mags, and that -this week alone- the pages/posts that consistently get the most hits are the poetry posts… 

Those who say poetry is dead can go suck it! Between poetry and my fiction, writing in general has been very therapeutic for me. It helped me process my mother’s Alzheimer’s and eventual death. Dealing with my PTSD (and the assholes who did enough damage for me to develop it). With my dad passing away suddenly. With my own brushes with death, my suicidal ideations…etc… writing has helped me process a LOT of shit. As well as general observational pieces. 
Poetry is powerful. And in the right “hands,” it can rock worlds. Just look to Maya Angelou. She made words soar.

Poetry is alive and can be used for great things in times of upheaval.

~Amanda (still in pain, but not as bad as 2 hours ago)