Posted in crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, emergency, empath life, grief, life, poetry, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, storage, urgent, writing

5/26/18: Abyss

Yeah, #crowdfunding. I want to get storage caught up before end of May. I’ve been catching up on nearly everything else and now need to get this sorted.

ABYSS
Surface spit-shined.
Years of talking ensured that.
What is underneath lurks.
It has been dormant far too long.

The subconscious is the hostage.
This has been normal far too long.
Deep underneath the surface
Pain lurks in the darkness.

What is under there?
I know not what hides.
Memories of fear and pain.
Memories I have tried to forget.

Where is the key?
There must be a key.
I cannot break the surface.
It is only starting to heal.

It lies in wait.
Holding my breath.
The hostage cries for help.
I must explore The Abyss.

~A

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Posted in activism, anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, depression, disability, domestic abuse, gender, health, history, life, medical, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, society

1/20/18: March For Me

March for me.
I survived.
But still I live
In fear of
Repercussions.

March for me.
I am disabled
And cannot walk far.

March for me.
I am anxious in crowds.
And my voice wavers.

March for me.
I have C-PTSD.
I cannot stand being
Touched by men.

March for me.
For walking is too much
For me to handle.

March for me.
For I cannot
March
For myself.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, community, depression, disability, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, life, peace, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, semicolon, society

12/31: Into the Unknown

Yes, I could dwell on all the ugly in my life the past 12 months. Eviction, losing JoJo right after the eviction started, dealing with PTSD/C-PTSD.

Trying to see the positive is difficult when I’m still in the midst of all of it. But I have friends, and a family member or two, who have listened and stood by, helping when and how they could.

This has been a shitty year, even leaving out all the political and social messes. I still feel very lost. But 2018 is a new year. I won’t wish for improvements, but simply to work on moving forward the best I can. Whatever life throws at me will be taken into consideration and worked with. I think I can survive whatever comes at me now.

I appreciate my friends. I appreciate the fact that, despite the physical pain and the emotional turmoil of C-PTSD/PTSD, I still wake up each morning. I have a goofy cat who loves me. 

I don’t consider myself to be strong or brave. I don’t… really. I just wake up each day and see what I have ahead. I adapt. I learn. I grow. 

And in my being public about my life, my hope is that someone else will see my words and know that they are not alone. 

I wish everyone a good 2018. Whatever it throws at you, take it and work with it.

~A 

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, history, life, poetry, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, storage

I12/27: Echoes and Tears #ptsd #cyberstalking #cptsd #metoo #poetry

Past flashes
Pain and agony
Echoes of who
I
Was upon a time.

Fog settles
Behind and ahead
Mind is fuzzy
No
End in sight.

Self withdrawn
Physical and mental
Life at a standstill
Foe
Hunting eternally

Past blurred
No end to the fear
Looking over my shoulder
Life
Stalled in motion

Fear grips me
Held in an invisible
Grip from life
Alone
Is all I feel.

Darkness surrounds me
The fog gives way
Only echoes of my past
Remind
Me of what I should be.

~A

(I’m running out of time to get December storage paid. I have about 1/3 [$100] but I need to pay by the 30th.)

Posted in birthdays, community, creativity, depression, dreams, faith, friends, health, individuality, life, medical, Personal, semicolon

10/2: Birthday Post

So, today was/is my birthday. I have never been ashamed of my age. I celebrate each birthday. The main reason is simply because I’ve had far too many episodes in my life where I almost didn’t make it to the next day.

Today, I turned 45.

I also turned 9.

Nine years ago, I was in the hospital fighting this nasty infection called Cellulitis. It’s essentially a Staph infection (there are many types) that comes in through a primary infected wound (in my case, my left ear piercing decided that, after 20 years, it really didn’t like nickel or some other metal) and settles just under the skin. For me, it settled at the base of my neck on my right side

I was sent to the hospital on September 26th with a white blood cell count that was somewhere hovering around the moon. After tests, pre-dawn blood draws, massive doses of the antibiotic Vancomycin, a mild case of pneumonia, and a bunch of things… I was discharged mid-afternoon on October 2nd… my birthday. My 36th birthday to be exact.

So, to grasp how bad shit was, there are three stages of Cellulitis:

  1. redness and swelling in and around the affected area, pain and stiffness, fever in many cases.
  2. if there are lymph nodes in the area, they absorb some of the infection and swell up. the fever tends to peak and then break (I hit 103.2 or so, then 24 hours later, no fever). My lymph nodes were the size of ping-pong balls when I walked into the ER on the 26th. They shouldn’t get that big. Really.
  3. From the lymph nodes, the infection starts to spread, called ‘going septic.’ I could feel it going up my neck to my brain and across to my heart. If it had hit either, I would not be alive today.

I was in 3rd stage.

There. Is. No. Fourth. Stage.

Unless, as I like to joke, you count a body bag as a stage.

So, I almost fucking died. Not an experience I’d like to ever repeat. Until I’m old and grey. I never want Cellulitis again… ever. It is NOT a fun experience.

As I was deemed well enough to leave the hospital on my actual birthday, I celebrate not only the number of years since I showed up on this planet, but the number of years since I had a second chance.

I keep asking for gift certificates to the LEGO store, but no one ever does it… LEGO and IKEA.

But for that one year… I got the gift of a second chance. I’m doing my best to not waste it.

One lesson I learned from that experience is this:

No matter how cliche it seems, you really never know how long you have. You may not wake up tomorrow. So stop hesitating. Go back to school for that degree you’ve always wanted. Save up for that “bucket list” vacation. Make shit happen. Want to learn to paint? DO IT! Volunteer with an animal rescue? Do it. What else? The way I see it is that as long as it isn’t illegal, so way out of the boundaries of morality, or has a surefire risk of death, go for it. Step out of your comfort zone and “learn to fly!” If you’re fortunate to make it to “old age,” the goal is to be able to sit in your rocking chair and look back at your life and have as few regrets as possible. Instead of “I wish I had done ________” you can say, “I did this and it was an incredible experience.”

~A

Posted in anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, poetry, semicolon, storage, urgent, writing

9/8: Stand Still

(#crowdfunding as usual. I wasn’t intending to post a poem, but the words and the image in my mind wouldn’t go away. This is how I feel right now. Unedited. Unsure.)

Brace myself.
The wind may come
Unexpectedly.
Knocking me down.
Frozen.
Stuck.
I cannot turn around.
Things to do but nothing
Propels me
Forward.
One path blocked.
I look down another seemingly
Open path.
So many hurdles
Hidden.
The fog keeps them a secret.
Another path.
Alas, too steep to climb.
Another washed out.
Where do I go?
I stand still.
Unsure of my path.
At a
Standstill.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, cats, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, semicolon, storage, urgent, writing

8/22: Wishes and Goals and #crowdfunding

(Crowdfunding plea… time is running out… and now onto your irregularly scheduled post)

If you had asked me a year ago where I would be right now, I’d tell you I’d be on my way to Germany, or already there settling in for a stint working on a second graduate degree. Not homeless, staying at a friend’s place, short one cat, trying to save my belongings in storage.

I wouldn’t believe you if you told me that’s where I’d be right now. But here I am. My degree is on hold, waiting for my appeal to eliminate the tuition and fees owed from Spring term when I dropped out due to the eviction and other stressors. The eviction, losing JoJo, the constant frustration of job hunting and trying to find funds for storage and basic supplies like cat food and litter (I’ve now created a separate Amazon wishlist for Portia’s supplies)… it’s all taken a massive toll on me.

I do sometimes feel like I’m screaming into a void… asking for help… applying for jobs… trying to do pretty much anything. It does feel like there’s no one out there listening. I wish I could get confirmation that people are hearing me… seeing me… and trying their best to help. Very few people on FB are sharing the campaign… which is frustrating at best.

Now my goal is for Fall of 2018 for Germany. But there are so many other little things… well, little compared to moving to Germany, that is.

  • Being able to go to #GeekGirlCon in Seattle again (and having enough funds to buy stuff and have fun)
  • Having a decent job where I can then have money in savings as well as being able to pay debts and move into a new place of my very own. I appreciate my friends for putting me up… but I really do need my own space…
  • Take a few road trips that I’ve been putting off due to a lack of funds and car.
    • John Day Fossil Beds and the Painted Hills…
    • Crater Lake
    • CA Redwoods (not just passing through)

Those are a few things. I’ve also been itching to go to Alpenfest out in NE Oregon… also have enough money together to get my passport and apply for my second citizenship for Switzerland… yes, I’m eligible due to a straight paternal line dating back to the early 1600’s (as well as one lady was able to track)

I also wanted to get my next book out, get the anthology going, write more, art more, etc…

But eviction stopped me in my tracks.

It stopped me from functioning. From living. From finishing school. It dragged me deeper into the abyss of depression. My anxiety is worse. My C-PTSD is a royal bitch… to where I cringe even touching someone on the train.

I’m doing better for now… but that abyss still has a pretty good hold on me. I’m taking Celexa… but even that only gets me so far. I need to make improvements. Will they solve everything? No. But they will help.

The frustration of needing more cat food and litter and Bast Only Knows, a covered litter box for Portia (she’s trying to dig into the earth’s core, I swear… and litter goes everywhere). If it were possible to keep things more local for her supplies by someone buying a Mud Bay gift card or something… they just opened another one this past weekend and it’s a couple of MAX stops away. I know a lot of folks hate Amazon. Her food is cheaper at MB than on Amazon. I’m not kidding.

I’m sitting here in a quiet house, petsitting the house feline (she really does like me… even lets me pet her head, which she rarely lets anyone do… she was abused early on before they adopted her), as well as having Portia around… just wish they’d get along.

Here’s her Amazon wishlist... in case anyone feels up to helping… although storage also still needs help. I can’t risk losing everything I own.

I’m just… well, if you’ve ever been anywhere near the kind of situation I’m in this year, you might understand how I feel. Everything is up in the air. The loss of any control of my life is maddening.

Some friends call me brave… I’m just mucking through life… barely holding on. I may smile or even laugh at things… but inside, I’m screaming.

~A

Posted in faith, family, friends, grief, life, music, Personal, semicolon

7/27: The Dance

“I could have missed the pain… but I’d’ve had to miss the dance.” ~Garth Brooks’ The Dance.

Sums up so much. I always felt the song was more than just about a romance. And I was right. I see it right now as a good summation of my life to this point. We live our lives not knowing where it will take us.

We experience joy.

We experience pain.

We lose people we love… and people we wish we could talk to one last time. We get caught up in existing. Then, one day, we find regret. I’ve always sworn I wouldn’t regret what I’ve done in my life (only a few of the people I’ve done those things with). But as I inch ever closer to my 45th birthday, I do see some regrets. One biggie is not dropping everything in the world to see my dad sooner… before he died the day after I last talked to him. I was so damn caught up in helping at a local convention and then, as I was sitting there, enjoying an evening with friends, my dad passed away 600 miles away. I should have gone down there sooner.

But I live with that regret.

The lesson from that is to never, ever take anything for granted. Not a single person in your life. Not a moment to stop and admire the clouds in the sky… the green of the leaves on a tree… a flower blooming early. Stop what you’re doing, take a step back. Look around you.

Funny how Brooks’ song comes back around (via an article and video where a cancer survivor went to his concert) into my life. I got into listening to country music in the 90’s. I remember listening to this song back then. Oh, how life gives new perspective on a song you loved in your youth.

I don’t regret my experiences. I don’t regret the pain. That pain taught me to appreciate my life… good and bad. To take each day and live.

~A

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, depression, friends, grief, homeless, life, Personal, semicolon, storage, transitions

7/27: More shamelessness and reflection…

I’m edging closer to having what’s needed for storage, but due to late fees, I need a bit over 300… I’m at about 230 right now (ran out of food stamps and needed a few things… and a few cans of cat food for Portia… which food stamps don’t cover). If I can get the rest of it together, I can run down there tomorrow and pay it up (two different cards, etc). I really don’t want it snowballing into next month. Then it gets out of control.

As for reflection… I’ve had a rough couple of days with frustration levels and pain and … well, you know. I saw my therapist today. I read her the venting text and then we talked about it and how it sums everything up. She also noted that no matter how shitty things get, I find humor.

This comes from years of dealing with abuse and such that I had to find things to keep me going. As my mother later started to wither from her Alzheimer’s, I got my dad into the same mindset. Find the humor in the situation. Whenever and wherever possible. If you can’t find it in the messy situation, find something else that makes you smile or feel good to balance out the mess. We had many bad moments with her disease… as is the way with Alzheimer’s, but we had amusing things to look back on, such as the Marshmallow Incident and how she lost her license (thankfully no one got hurt). I have some OLD blog posts from before I started this one that I may dig up and schedule on here so that they’re here as well.

So, yeah, I do my best to balance the shittiness of how things have been this year. And whether it’s listening to music, or watching Portia be an absolute dork of a cat, or laughing at some memory… it all works. I love telling stories. I get animated when I really get into it.

No matter how bad things get… remember to live and laugh.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, community, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, health, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, semicolon, storage

7/26: …..

I honestly wasn’t sure what people would think of last night’s post. A lot of my frustration comes from being essentially unemployed for two years (I started doing TaskRabbit about a year and a half ago and get some gigs, but not steady enough and definitely not enough income to survive on) and then the eviction earlier this year. My current situation is … well… sometimes good, and sometimes that temptation to snap becomes pretty damn strong. I’m not good with living with other people. I’ve known this for a long time, but I don’t really have much of a choice at this exact moment. The goal is to get steady work and then hopefully be making enough to get my own place again.

Having my own place means that Portia (the floofybutt I live with) can follow me to the kitchen, the bathroom, etc… she loves being close to humans. Because she and the resident feline don’t get along super perfectly (I personally think they’ll be fine and give each other space), she has to stay in my room with baby gates up. Also, little space to stash foodstuffs. There are other issues, but I won’t go into them.

Sometimes waiting for therapy isn’t enough. I have an appt tomorrow, but one of the issues is that it’s through the county mental health system and the therapists are scheduled so heavily, the wait between can be anywhere from 3-6 weeks.

If I had the chance to truly run. I’d get my passport, pack up as much as possible, get Portia’s vet records updated, and haul my ass to Germany or Switzerland (where my gr-grandparents are from and where I’m eligible for a second citizenship) or somewhere in Europe and find a place to stay, then get work and a work visa, and settle in for a while. But I’d need a sizable chunk of savings to get my ass over there and stay without a job for a bit. Something I don’t have… or I wouldn’t be so damn worried about paying my storage rent every month. $280 a month to keep all my worldly possessions safe. There are some things I’m selling off, but I need to pay it up so I have access.

I just picked up a short-term TR gig that’ll be ongoing for a little while, even though the rate I set for it isn’t really great. It’ll help.

I’m living at the bottom of the bottom. The only thing lower is the streets. And I wouldn’t do that with a cat. Besides, Portia is one of the few things in my life that’s keeping me grounded and reasonably sane. Waking up to a 14 pound Maine Coon mix purring on my chest is a good reminder to keep going.

Thank you to the person who commented on last night’s venting… and to the person who sent a donation… I’m just that much closer to having July storage handled… then I just have to tackle August… *thud*

Well, I’m getting the ‘stare’ from Portia… not like she’s starving or anything… there is kibble in her bowl. She’s just on a kick right now that she wants wet food… which reminds me, I need to pick up some small cans today. Damn. There goes more of the storage money. Maybe I can find some on sale.

I have PT today (I’m bad, I haven’t been doing my exercises this week, but I’ve also been down with a massive amount of pain). I’ve also discovered what may be a new food allergy… one I’m rather unhappy about. Walnuts. I LOVE walnuts, dammit. But when I need my inhalers after eating some… yeah, not such a good thing. It isn’t really bad anaphylactic shock, but my breathing gets difficult.

Oh yeah… the stare… I guess I should refresh her water… yes, she does drink it.

~A