Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, history, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Observation on Religion

Quick observation that could lose people:

When one notices that Muslims (the majority, not the tiny fraction that are extremists) behave more Christ-like than many who think themselves Christians, one has to wonder what happened (such as the prosperity gospel crap) to pull “Christians” away from the core lessons Jesus taught.

Where is the “love one another?”

Where is the practice of caring for those less fortunate?

I see Imams opening up their Mosques to those in need during natural disasters and such. Giving total strangers shelter, food, and clothing when they have lost so much. I read articles on Muslim medical professionals running a clinic in Texas, helping the poor in their community at no charge.

They don’t ask for you to convert. They just give and show the love of a benevolent God (aka Allah, which is Arabic for God. It is not only used by Muslims, but by any who speak Arabic and have a belief system).

Where are the mega-churches with all their money? Why do we not hear about them opening their doors and helping others, no questions asked, no money asked for, no expectations of conversion? Those who do go out and feed the homeless (either in a park or coming to our shelters and feeding us homeless) and are associated with a church are few and far between.

Jesus taught us love.

What happened?

~A

(Featured image from this site.)

(Yes, still desperately crowdfunding. If anyone knows of an organization that can help on short notice, as auction is on Thursday the 12th, let me know. Or reach out to them and see if they can help. A pdf of the most recent letter is in an earlier post from a day or two ago.)

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Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, history, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, peace, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Change and #crowdfunding

Post 4 of ? I think?

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PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


POETRY TIME!!

The Cycle of Change

History becomes the future.
The present is the past.
When do we stop repeating the cycle?

When do we evolve?
Learn to be better?
Stop killing our future?

To hate for the sake of
Hating.
Instead of loving for the sake of being?

How do we grow?
When we refuse to learn.
Even from ourselves.

When we stop the cycle,
We learn.
We grow.

We evolve
We do better than our ancestors
Filled with hate and fear.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Stun Gun vs Taser (& #crowdfunding)

Post 3 of ? today.

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Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


So, I don’t hide much of anything in my life. While I’m not big on guns themselves, I felt I needed something while out and about on transit due to my PTSD and my close calls with bad reactions to men being assholes.

I bought a stun gun.

Then, of course, I moved into the shelter where I can’t have any weapons in my room. It gets checked in when I come in and checked out when I go out. If I stop at the desk and ask for it.

Then I hear “she wants her taser” which isn’t quite accurate. A stun gun and a taser are very different. Yes, they both emit an electrical charge, but in a different way. Tasers are what you find police carrying. Those can be placed against the person’s body OR shoot the prongs on wires and transmit the charge that way, from a distance.

A stun gun can’t shoot the prongs. It is only a close-body weapon. If some jackass decides to harass me and gets up close, even after me telling him to leave me alone, he has to be close enough for me to reach out with it and press the button.

Mine has a safety measure. I don’t know if they all have this. Mine is also a flashlight and the toggle switch has three settings: off, flashlight, stun. So, to stun someone, I have to push that toggle all the way forward and then press the small button on the opposite side of the handle from the toggle. Only then does it stun someone.

Does it hurt? I would imagine so, but I’m not gonna try it on myself.

I know, saying ‘taser’ is so much easier, but it isn’t accurate.

This is all I can afford before I can get a service dog. I’d prefer the dog, honestly, but for now, the stun gun will have to do. And maybe an extendable baton at some point…. and… yeah, I think those are all that will be legal for me to carry.

 

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, domestic abuse, emergency, eviction, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Stigma of Homelessness & #crowdfunding

2 of ? blogs for today.

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Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


If you were to look at me on the street or train or bus, you would never grasp that I’m one of thousands of homeless people here in the United States. Many are working poor, many have mental illnesses of varying types and degrees, some are certainly addicts.

And there are those like me who hit a very bad run of luck and haven’t been able to bounce back easily.

I was evicted from my apartment a bit over a year ago. Since then, I’ve stayed with friends, but needed to get into a different setting that was more helpful. So here I am in a women’s transitional housing shelter with my cat.

Okay, so I do kind of fall under the mental illness category too, with my PTSD and depression. But those inhibit my ability to function like everyone else, not take it away completely like some other illnesses.

But I’m clean cut, take regular showers and do my laundry, take care of myself and my cat, and otherwise function, so I’m not as obvious as others might be.

Anyone reading this could become homeless like me. It takes losing a job or hours cut back and no savings or 401k to help float you for a while. It takes losing key members of your support system. One misstep in this society and you can very easily become one of us.

It reminds me of a homeless woman I knew back in Chicago. She was awesome. Well educated, wildly intelligent. I think she had been a professor or something. We could stand outside the mini-mart and chat about politics, philosophy, religion, world views and culture for hours.

And yet, she was homeless.

I never asked about what happened, but I suspect it was similar to my own. Things going okay and then one day, BOOM! everything is turned upside down. Maybe escaping an abusive situation. Maybe a messy divorce. Maybe lost a job.

There are thousands of us out there. In this situation. We don’t appear stereotypically homeless. But we are.

And if our economy keeps going the way it is under a certain “president,” there will be more.

But here’s the thing: we aren’t all freaks and addicts and thieves. Many of us are clean, friendly people who just need a little help getting back up on our feet. I don’t panhandle, at least out on the street. I just ask for help online. I’ve gotten to the point over the years where I’m not comfortable talking to people in person. I certainly can’t beg face to face.

Since I don’t look homeless, I’m able to overhear conversations on the train between people who look down on the homeless person who is asking for help, or is on the train and sleeping because they couldn’t get sleep the night before. Maybe they smell because they were one who fell between the cracks of even the homeless society and can’t get help. Maybe he’s a vet the VA has long forgotten about.

Do you take the time to learn their stories? There were two women here in my building who are homeless vets themselves. Has the VA helped much? A little here and there, but not enough.

What about the family living in a tent under that overpass? Where is the help for them? There are few places here that help whole families. The shelters we do have here in Portland are for men or women, sometimes with pets, few places for families with kids. And usually those are for mothers with their kids, not whole families.

And some, like me, have belongings they’re trying to save. It kills me that I may lose my dad’s coffin flag and the “parting gift” of the piano I was able to get with estate money because he so badly wanted to see me get back into my music. My costumes, music, books. Things I’ve made or have been made for me.

Housing prices are out of control. We have to try finding work where we are, as we can’t afford to move. And even if we do find work, it isn’t always enough to afford a place to live.

While far too many are dismissive of us, look down on us, I ask that you remember one thing: We are human, and you aren’t too far removed from where we are in life.

~A

Posted in animal advocacy, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

4/9/18: Observations of humans and their pets [and #crowdfunding]

As I try to write on other things, trying to save my storage unit is still top priority. Running out of time before auction. I’m trying not to panic, but I’m screaming internally.

As a cat slave, I can observe how people are with their dogs. As well as others with cats. I spoil my cats rotten (although right now I only have Portia).

One important thing many people don’t get: our pets can sense our emotions. They’re naturally empathic. Now I’m speaking mostly on cats and dogs. I look at two dog people living on my floor here at the shelter right now. One is stressed and frustrated about finding work, let alone housing. Her two dogs are manic and ill-behaved. They sense her upheaval and anxiety. The other has a dog whose breed is known for being very active, and while he is a goofy, bouncy dog, she has trained him to be calm and attentive. Her demeanor contributes to that. She’s calm and thus her dog is calm. The first lady, she’s stressed and anxious and the dogs can feel that and are also anxious.

Cats are the same way. They can tell when their human is stressed. Portia does this. She’s been on my chest or very close to me the last several days because I’ve been more anxious about storage and everything else in general. She was this way during the initial eviction a year ago and then whenever I was stressed about certain situations since then. She has picked up JoJo’s job of Emotional Support Animal.

Some people dismiss cats in this respect because they’re “aloof” which I disagree with. Maybe you just aren’t the human they’ve bonded with. Maybe you treated them poorly early on. They do remember. They don’t hold grudges, but they remember stuff. I hear too many people say their cat is pissed off at them so the cat peed on the bed as revenge.

First, the cat is peeing in the wrong place for any number of reasons. They have health issues, had a bad experience at or near the litterbox so they won’t go near it, or any number of things. Jack, my boy I had for almost 8 years, got Urinary Tract Infections and had issues with the box. I eventually got him back to using it.

But I digress. Felines can be and many times are a wonderful purring part of our lives as we deal with crap in our lives. Had a bad day? I have plenty of those. Comes with being homeless and having PTSD. No matter what happens “out there” I can come home to my room in the shelter and sit down next to her. I’ll lean over and wrap my arms around her and bury my face in her fur for a little bit. Sometimes, I’m still so wound up, she comes to me. She will sit there and put her paw on my leg or arm, tapping gently. Like a “hey, I’m here.” I can then lean over and hug her. She also curls up on my chest if I’m laying down. All 14 pounds of her.

JoJo and Jack were also this way. Love a cat and you get love in spades in return.

Dogs are the same. Show love and you get love in return.

Just remember that they can always tell if something is off. They know.

~A

4/7: long day, no big post. Still #urgent #crowdfunding

I have much of tomorrow off, so blog madness will possibly hit. I so desperately need the funds to save my stuff in storage. I had a task today, so my brain was on that. And swearing at bus drivers, obtaining more kleenex, and flipping off drivers who intentionally drove through standing water at the bus stop to hit us waiting at it. Assholes.

I’m trying to be patient. To be positive. But some days… not an easy task.

More tomorrow. I have a half-assed poem sitting, but not sure if it’s ready. Maybe something else will pop into my head…

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, C-PTSD, community, convention, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, dreams, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, PTSD, Science Fiction and Fantasy, storage, urgent

4/6/18: Geeky Beggar #geek #starwars #geeklife #crowdfunding #urgent #cosplay #cosplayer #Jedi

I’ve never hidden my true geekiness. From music to books to movies to well, a lot of things. So now I’m putting the call out to my fellow geeks. I need help. I’m a freaky geeky weirdo of all trades. I’ve done what is now called #cosplay since I was a kid, really getting into it in my 20’s. Star Wars, Star Trek, some period stuff, creating my own characters, and eventually dabbling in #steampunk.

I still have all my costumes. But they’re stuck in storage along with enough brown fabric to outfit a small force of Jedi.

A bit of my geekiness over the years:

A storage unit that is going up for auction on 4/12, next Thursday.

I owe just under $1400 as of a letter I received via email earlier today.

I’m technically unemployed, although I do tasks through Taskrabbit, but most months have borne little income. I’m homeless and all my worldly possessions are in that storage unit.

To lose everything in that storage unit would be akin to losing my identity. Losing myself.

Any help, sharing and donating being the two things that can be done.

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, PTSD, sexual assault, storage, urgent

4/5/18: Storage #crowdfunding #urgent also #ICantReadMinds

Auction: 4/12/18.

Amount Owed: $1370.

If anyone knows of people with a large reach who can help, please ping them.

Honestly, I thought it would be more (closer to 1500-1600), but that’s how much. I have a bit under $100 as funds from previous months have gone to supplies and food. Long story. My income has been nominal. I’m reconnecting and getting back on track with Voc Rehab and my disability hearing is in June, but that isn’t soon enough to save storage.

Any help, sharing, broadcasting, anything.


Yesterday’s incident on the MAX is on my mind. One thing most any of us sexual assault survivors will tell you is that we do not know your intentions. My PTSD puts me on very high alert around men. My history puts me on high alert.

Yesterday, I was on the train in the center-facing priority seating. An old man pushing his wheelchair boarded after me. I moved to a read-facing seat and put the seats where I had been up so he could sit on his wheelchair there. He sat next to me, squishing me against the wall, and parked his chair blocking me in.

Heart rate goes up. Panic sets in.

I say I have claustrophobia and need to change seats.

“Well, claustrophobia ain’t ever killed anyone.”

Now I’m pissed and need to move. He finally, slowly, moved his wheelchair over so I could get out. I eventually got to the other side of rear-facing seats. A woman in an electric wheelchair was over there but there was enough room for me to sit.

Amidst a constant rambling from him came this:

“In all my 7? years, I’ve never hurt a woman and never will.”

And he continued on about other things.

Here’s the issue: I don’t know him or most other men on this planet. I don’t know if you’re a serial rapist or a truly good person, or anything in between.

I. Do. Not. Know.

I cannot read your mind or anyone elses’. Nor can any other woman or person in general. You can say you don’t hurt women until the cows come home and back out to pasture the next damn morning. We do not know your intentions. We can’t tell.

For us survivors, we have been lied to, abused, raped, manipulated and a whole host of other things by men or whomever our attackers were. Why should we take some stranger at his/her word that they would not hurt us? We can’t.

That is why I am in hypervigilant mode when out and about. While fear is present, my anger and hypervigilance is predominant. I’m on alert whenever men get too close. Boxing me in sets me off. I had to get out of where this man yesterday put me. I was on high alert because I cannot know the intentions of the man.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, empath life, eviction, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/3/18: Rambling Doubts

(Yes, still urgently #crowdfunding to save storage by the 12th. I have until 4/12 to come up with the money. It’ll be more than the $1200 that was my total last month. Add another 305 or so to that and we get to $1500. Pimp my blog out to whomever you can think of who might be willing to share. I don’t have the guts to ping famous people.)

I question my role in society. I have no interest in “fitting in” yet I want and need work that can sustain my life. I don’t need lots of fancy things. Books, music, reasonably decent tech. I don’t need cable.  Just decent wifi. I do like a few fancy things. A new pair of Docs or that antiquarian book I’ve been lusting after for over a decade… but for the most part, I like the little things that make me smile.

I still feel incomplete. This is not the “I need someone to complete me” type of incomplete. I feel like part of me has been ripped away and I don’t know where it went. I don’t fear my past, but I am hypervigilant about people in the present. Because of my PTSD, because I can’t stand touch from men. I make male friends and acquaintances ask permission before hugging me. Men on transit sitting next to me or standing too close make me tense up and my anxiety and heart rate both rise.

Right now, I want to run. I want to get my passport and run. Save all my stuff in storage and then pack my bags and run with my cat in tow. Live in a space in Germany or France or stay in a small house in my great-grandfather’s home village in Switzerland for a while. Get away from things that I feel are holding me back. Reconnect with my family history and experience life away from so much of our U.S. mentality.

But money is needed for any of that, and I can’t even get storage caught up or pay for my passport. Let alone running away.

I am stuck. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it to others, but this is where I am. I have tried getting work in fields where others around me say “you could easily get work in this field.” Yet, no interviews, not even email rejections. I am adrift in a society that doesn’t value the weirdos like me. The ones who have multiple abilities.

I wonder at times if there is anywhere in any society on this planet that appreciates weirdos like me.

I’ve never felt as if I belonged in our society. I’m out of place. But do I fit anywhere? I wish I knew. I’m currently limited by my physical disabilities and my PTSD and its side effects. How do I land a job where I’ll have time on transit around people who will likely make my anxiety skyrocket? Then there’s the thought of a remote job… and then we have my ADD and… SQUIRREL!!!

You get the idea.

I also feel like I’m trying to explain who I am and what I need to the world and no one is listening to each word. Like back when my dad would tell my sister something about me and she’d only here “Amanda…. Wants this….” and then I’d get an email berating me for trying to get dad to buy it for me, which I wasn’t. As if my own words don’t count. My experiences don’t count. That my life, somehow, doesn’t count. I know it does. But that feeling of invisibility returns hardcore.

~A

 

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, health, life, medical, PTSD, storage, urgent

3/29/18: Broken Record, Part Deux (and #crowdfunding)

#crowdfunding: Time is running out on saving storage before April rent gets tacked on. Any and all help will do. I’ve had a bad run of little to no income. My income isn’t steady by any means, but it’s been well below a level where I could support paying storage. So, here I am, begging again before I lose everything.

On to the other broken record.

When I wrote that yesterday, I had something in mind to say but never really got around to saying it.

I’ve essentially been disabled, due to my back, over half my life. Trust me, it sucks. What I find both frustrating and intriguing at the same time is that, despite me using a cane 95% of the time, many people don’t consider me disabled. As if the only way a person could be considered physically disabled is if they’re permanently in a wheelchair. Or some such inanity. Between chronic pain and fatigue and my PTSD, and other things that just come and go as they please (cluster[fuck] headaches being one of the more annoying ones), I am technically disabled. Now, my hearing for disability is in June, so whether I’m “legally” disabled will be determined then. Most everyone I know says I should have gone on SSDI years ago, but for too many years, I felt I could handle it. I could push it down and go on with my life while it occasionally acts up.

But my body has determined otherwise. I do know that losing weight and getting back in shape will help to some degree, but I can’t afford a gym membership to anywhere within reason. If it were to take me longer to get there just in one direction on public transit than it would take for me to work out, it isn’t worth it to me.

So one may ask why would someone who is disabled -especially physically- bother with working out?

After walking with my cane for the past year on a very regular basis, I can tell you that strengthening arms, legs, back, and other muscles will go a long way toward battling muscle fatigue when doing daily tasks. It won’t make the chronic pain go away. My nerve damage is for life. I know that and have long come to terms with it. But the muscles around those nerves need to support me in my daily living. If I can’t stand longer than 10 minutes to do dishes, I need to strengthen the muscles that begin to hurt at the 10 minute mark. It isn’t my muscles that are damaged. It’s the nerves, and the discs that have damaged those nerves in years past. Strengthening the muscles in my back will go a long way toward keeping the discs in place if I fall more.

And knowing me, I WILL fall more. Yeesh! I’m a klutz.

If I can keep the muscles strong, the damage in future falls and other incidents won’t be as brutal as the damage from the last two falls. Or even the one at 17. Through dance and weightlifting, I was able to get the slipped discs back in place within five years. It isn’t easy.

But I shouldn’t have to PROVE I’m disabled to the general population. I have my cane. I don’t get why people question it. Just because my cane isn’t some utilitarian piece? Whatever. Yes, I have a “fancy” cane. And? I paid good money for that fucker, I’m gonna use it!

Anyway… gonna go meander off to do… something. My wifi sucks here at the shelter, so I’m limited.

~A