Posted in birthdays, chronic pain, depression, disability, family, friends, grief, health, life, medical, music, Personal, Science Fiction and Fantasy, society, writing

11/27: Dad, #NaNoWriMo, and Life

So, today is my dad’s birthday. If he had lived, he’d be 91. I had all these ideas for honoring him today, things I was going to do on the anniversary of his passing, but then decided to do them today. Namely, I was going to go to Ace Hardware and the music store to get some sheet music. Those things primarily because going to Ace was a tradition when I was a kid. I followed my dad everywhere. Especially when working on the house and getting supplies for working on it.

The music store because he was so excited when I said I wanted to save up for a piano. He really wanted me to get back to my music. He died before he saw me get my piano, but getting some sheet music would be fitting.

But coming out of Safeway, my knee gave out and is still hurting an hour or so later, so I need to do as little walking as possible the rest of the day. I figure the honoring will be in doing the two tasks I have that are finishing items the clients couldn’t do. And writing. No matter what we talked about, he always asked about my writing. If I had stalled, he always told me to never give up, to never stop writing because I was too good at it.

This year, for NaNoWriMo, I’m struggling. Maybe it’s from the stress of my current life situation, but it’s been difficult. I can still do it, but it’s going to take a lot of work the next few days. Right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks downtown with a couple more hours to kill before I head to my other task today. Oh, and a knee that’s swearing at me for existing. I need a gym membership but can’t afford it. I know there isn’t much they can do for my knee. I need to strengthen my leg muscles, especially my thighs where the muscles/tendons connect to my kneecaps.

But enough medical/health crap…

Back to writing and general stuff…

~A

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Posted in activism, anxiety, community, depression, faith, family, friends, grief, homeless, housing, life, poetry, society, urgent, writing

11/18: Feeling Broken

Something happened today.
Something that ripped me to pieces.
I want to believe there are humans
Who understand what being
HUMAN
Is like.
What being
HOMELESS
Is like.
My day was okay.
Except one brief moment.
That formed a black cloud
Over my head.
My soul is soaked through.
My heart and mind
Need to be wrung out.
The cloud weighed me down.
I wonder now.
Who among us
Has compassion?
A safe place for a woman and her cat?
When the world buckles underneath you,
Who do you turn to when it makes you fall?
When the help you need the most is not the help family can give you?
Where do you go?
When you scream for help, but there is
None to be found.
~A.
November 2017

Posted in activism, bigotry, bugaboos, community, faith, homeless, life, society

11/7: Humans aren’t always Humane

Humans are strange critters. Granted, the homeless man probably shouldn’t have been begging ON the MAX, but nevertheless, he was. This woman across from me though… she had this air about her that screamed “I’m a churchgoing conservative” … I know the type all too well. He stopped and asked her. Her response?
“What are you asking ME for?”
Here’s what I take issue with: You can (and should) be polite to all people, no matter where they are in life. Many of us are one or two paychecks away from being where this man is… hell, where -I- am. Homeless. Not enough people realize this is very much their reality as well. We are all made of the same starstuff. Her response could have been much better. Even a simple, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash” is enough. I rarely have cash on me, and when I do, it’s usually for something specific. If I do have ‘spare’ cash, I will give it. Because I know what it feels like to ask for help.
I imagine that woman on the train today has never had to ask for help. I pity her more than the homeless man. If she is a churchgoing “Christian,” I don’t think Jesus would be too pleased with her behavior. His teachings were few, but enough to get the general idea.
Love, not hate. 
Not a difficult concept, really. But it doesn’t seem to get through to enough people. I’m not going to get all preachy or anything right now. I just wonder about people like that woman today. If she were in his shoes, even for a while, maybe… just maybe, she would come out the other end of that experience a better Christian. For those who consider themselves people of faith, especially Christians, how would your God react if they saw you treating someone this way?
~A
Posted in activism, bugaboos, disability, faith, life, nanowrimo, Personal, society, writing

11/4: Writing and Respect

I hit 2500 words last night and then had another task today, which took up a chunk of my afternoon. So I’ll write this evening and then tomorrow.

On my way home on the bus, I noticed things. The more I’m on public transit, the more I see both good and bad behaviors. One dude wearing a camo jacket and had camo on his backpack (and a trucker hat… with a trucking company name on it) sat across from me and was entirely too guilty of “manspreading.” And I really wish he hadn’t. There was a hole in the crotch of his filthy jeans… not big enough to know what color his undies were, but noticeable. Which is bad enough.

Then two examples of people wanting to get on the bus not waiting for people to get off the bus. The first time was when I arrived at my destination and these two kids just got on and even after I said ‘Excuse me,” loud enough, still stood there like they had zero clue. It wasn’t until the adult in the group (mom or aunt, I presume) who was still outside on the sidewalk spoke up and told them to get off the bus and let me get off. Because of being disabled and having my wheeled crate with me, the front door is best.

Then, on the way home, two ‘kids’ in their early 20’s or so didn’t bother waiting for an elderly woman to get off the bus. The only difference was that no one, not even the driver, told them to wait. Most drivers will hold up their hand and tell boarding riders to wait because someone was exiting. This driver was younger and female and had a new setup with a plexi-glass barrier up (that can unlatch and swing open for her to get up) for her protection. Maybe she’s fairly new, or she is concerned about getting any riders upset, but she said nothing. These two just pushed past the older woman.

This brings me to a bugaboo I have: lack of respect. I’ve seen, and dealt with a lot more of this on public transit recently. I use a cane and I still am expected to ask for a seat in the priority seating area for elderly and disabled riders. None of us should have to ask. The signs are actually pretty damn obvious. A couple days ago, a fellow disabled rider had to tell a woman who purposely turned away to ignore that someone else with a cane (me) needed the seat she was in. The older woman said I needed the seat. She reluctantly moved. We chatted and she said she recently watched as someone requested that an able-bodied person move so the disabled person could sit in the area designated for us, and the guy sitting there refused to move. Another guy, who was disabled, told the reluctant guy that he was required to move for people like us. He still refused. I can’t remember what she said ultimately happened, but man…

We. Should. NOT. Have. To. Ask.

It’s called respect. Try it sometime.

Sadly, I’ve seen a decline in it in recent months, even in the last few years. I do my best to respect others. But it’s a two-way street, ladies and gents and everyone else. If you want my respect, you gotta earn it. You are NOT entitled to it. Shit, you aren’t entitled to anything other than being able to breathe… and equal rights. I don’t give a shit who you are, where you’re from, what you do for a living, etc. If you treat others like shit, expect that in return. You are owed nothing. Want respect? Be worthy of respect.

I believe that every person who makes it to adulthood has earned a basic amount of respect… say 5 points. You can lose some of those points by being an absolute asshole to people… or you do massively evil things. But I believe we all start adulthood with those 5 points. You want more? Earn them. Do good deeds, be kind to those who maybe aren’t as lucky as you are. Respect those around you, even simply by being polite and kind to them. Let them off the damn bus before you board. It isn’t difficult to do. It just takes a few extra seconds and a little patience.

Practice kindness and respect. You’ll earn them tenfold in return.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, depression, disability, eviction, faith, friends, gender, health, history, individuality, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/16: Wake Up Tomorrow #metoo

TW/CW: Talk of suicide, sexual assault, C-PTSD, etc…

I’ve talked about all of these things in spades over the lifespan of this blog. With the #metoo tag flying around on FB and Twitter the last two days, I felt like expanding on mine.

Now, I have (at some point) ticked off all the times I was sexually assaulted.

  • At 17, by a 22 y.o. acquaintance.
  • At 19, by a blind date. Tried to force me to perform oral on him, pushing my head down. I broke free and threatened to call the police.
  • At 19, by a guy I met at a Twelfth Night event… friends invited him to our Rocky Horror outing later that evening. While he had been in costume, he was mostly a gentleman (save for trying to un-lace my bodice in public)
  • At 21/22. After 6 weeks in an increasingly abusive relationship, I started to pull away from him, which he noticed. He spent the next 2 and a half months raping and assaulting me (using various areas of my body to ‘get his rocks off’) all against my will. I cried, I begged, I said no every damn time, but even making me bleed repeatedly didn’t matter to him. This happened 2-3 times a week… on a good week.

Those are the major, or most distinctive, events. Getting catcalled, being told by some older guy in Chicago (as we passed each other in the crosswalk) that “damn, you got some bigguns!” … no matter what I’m wearing, what my body language is saying (usually “don’t fucking get near me, asshole”), what I’m doing, I’ve had hands brush against my butt, breasts, etc… hands that should stay up near my shoulders wandering down… at a club one night (partly why I fucking HATE clubs) getting dragged out onto the dance floor and made to dance with some stranger, who kept putting his hand on my thigh and slipping it up to my hip under my skirt (which wasn’t that fucking long to begin with). I was 18, I think. It was an “Under 21” club.

Do I need to go on? I think I’ve made my point.

This shit happens every damn day to women of all skin colors, sexualities, cis or trans… you name it. Fuck, I got catcalled just a month or so ago… wearing all baggy grungy clothes heading to the MAX stop (I think I was going to an appt or something). Me with my mohawk and baggy clothes and beat up sneakers and a cane… getting catcalled.


I’ve also, as I think I’ve said in previous posts, had many phases or short contemplations of suicide. High school, a period in my 30’s when my asshole doctor decided to put me on Prozac, which made me want to slit my fucking wrists so badly, it outdid the suicidal ideations of my high school years. That shit fucked me up so badly.

In the past couple of years, I’ve had shorter bursts of contemplating it. Usually when I’ve been in full panic mode over possible eviction as well as earlier this year with the eviction itself. I lost count how many times I sat on my bed or my couch … or in the bathtub … thinking of why the fuck I should keep living? Then I got either of the girls, Portia or JoJo when she was still alive, just coming up to me and purring and either nudging me or tapping my arm or leg with a paw.


Life isn’t easy. I’m dealing with C-PTSD, my asshole ex cyberstalking me like I’m his damn “internet chew toy” … being homeless in a tentative situation that needs to come to an end, but my means to get back into my own place again are virtually non-existent. Trying to finish grad school, find decent work, organize my stuff in storage, handle medical and dental appts, go on tasks to make some income, and remember to take my meds and eat decently. Some of those, especially the later things I listed, are basic, normal-ish things I can handle… working all the big stuff around them is the hardest part. With chronic fatigue and pain, getting up at a decent hour that isn’t close to noon, but earlier in the day, is not always easy to do.


So, you may wonder what the subject heading of this post means… here’s my lesson and philosophy behind it:

Look back up at all the shit I’ve been through. Add verbal and emotional abuse by some family, used and abused by people I thought were friends, etc… I’ve dealt with a lot.

Wake Up Tomorrow

I adopted this years ago during a bad run… I think it was later in high school. Say you had one of THE shittiest days you can remember in recent months. Everything went wrong and in some seemingly catastrophic way, or at least that’s how it feels. You may already be battling a period of depression or severe pain. You contemplate ending things. You’re absolutely SURE tomorrow is going to also suck and you can’t imagine things getting better any time soon.

So you think about it.

But you can’t guarantee tomorrow will suck. Shit, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. Maybe it’ll suck, maybe it’ll be awesome, but you won’t know unless you wake up tomorrow. And the days following it. You can’t know for sure that it’ll be horrendously awful. Unless you wake up tomorrow. Go to sleep, get some rest, cry if you need to (man, I’m surprised the tear stains aren’t permanent on my face by now), and wake up tomorrow. Sounds simple, I know. Take each and every day as it comes.

Will that work for everyone dealing with shit? No. I know it works for me. I’ve had friends and a few strangers, in the past 24 hours or so, call me brave. I’ve done therapy off and on since I was 16. I understand so much about my past, but I don’t really know how I’m getting through it… except for one thing:

I wake up every day.

I’ve had close calls, due to medical stuff, not attempts on my part, and they’ve taught me this: Not everyone gets the chance to wake up the next day. No one knows when they’re going to die. The fact that, despite pain and all kinds of other things, I wake up every day and am able to feed my floofy monster kitty, that my heart is still pumping blood, my lungs are still taking in oxygen, my legs work… mostly. I have those days when my legs/back/feet/hips/knees/etc just rebel and go, “nope!! what was that about going somewhere today? yeah… not happening, bitch.”

Life isn’t easy. But I figure that as long as I keep waking up every day, I have a fighting chance to make things better. Never know unless you wake up.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, domestic abuse, empath life, health, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/12: Social Anxiety and C-PTSD

I’m gonna try putting this into actual words rather than just swirling around in my head. Hopefully, it’ll make sense.


Despite medications and such, I feel disconnected. Maybe it’s partly because of being jobless and homeless, but I don’t feel like I’m part of anything. Despite (slowly) working on finishing school and trying to find work and having lots of friends… I just don’t feel it.

My social anxiety is ramping up even worse, probably because the C-PTSD is so not helping matters. I want to have my own place and just stay there. Not go anywhere unless I really have to.

The C-PTSD is from recurring sexual assault during a relationship over 20 years ago. I thought I’d moved past that part of it with therapy and could handle things again, but since a massive trigger nearly a year ago, I now know otherwise.

[This section came from an f-locked post on FB… with edits.]
**This person don’t know what happened. What he triggered. I know, in some way, I should explain it to him, but I can’t. Mind you, he did nothing inherently wrong
. I do NOT blame him. I have believed I had my shit regarding the sexual assaults from 24 years ago handled. Bast knows I’ve had tons of therapy dealing with it. But one touch -as friends- that wasn’t even super-intimate set me down a path I’m still fighting with today. It was something that reminded me of what my ex used to do. There was no ill intention on this friend’s part. 
And I’m not getting any better. Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m crying, trying not to go into a full panic attack.

When you see what I’ve been through since last November, it makes sense that I feel my life is spiraling out of control, no matter how much I may seem -on any given day- to be doing better. It isn’t just the C-PTSD… it’s anxiety, it’s stress, it’s not knowing when shit will get better.**

More and more, I’m hesitant about going out, being on public transit. While many are hesitant about it for reasons such as the potential of being attacked, my reasons are different.

  • strong perfume/cologne/body spray causes headaches
  • loud noises/talking makes me cringe
  • and lastly: I can’t handle sitting next to someone and us ending up touching (usually hips or such)… especially if they’re male.

I’ve had so many moments in recent months while out on transit where I feel the urge to lash out at people. I want to snap at the person sitting next to me to MOVE… or the person talking too loudly to STFU. I have no interest in violence, but

Since last year, I now ask male friends and other men I come across, to ask for permission to hug me. Even women, although I’m better with them. No surprise that the ex in question is male.

I don’t know how to deal with all of this. I figured after 24 years and tons of therapy, I’d be better, but I can’t help pulling away from people in the physical realm (as opposed to online) because of what I’m dealing with.


One of the hardest things about this is that I need work. Which means being on transit, being in an office setting around others, having to negotiate physical space while trying to sort out this anxiety and C-PTSD.

I had a job yesterday assembling some cabinets… was supposed to continue, but my back and other joints decided against it. There really is no amount of pain medication that can help. Trust me on this. I can do physical jobs here and there, but not hours on end. And my body still pays for even those small tasks.


I wish I knew how to fix this part of me. Still fighting an anxiety attack… but calming down a bit… the C-PTSD and related things severely affect all the other things in my life. I hate it.

I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away.

~A

Posted in activism, bigotry, community, family, history, life, politics, society

9/25: Silence

This part of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence struck me as powerful at this point in time. While many younger people may know Disturbed’s version better (which is the one I’m listening to on repeat on iTunes), I know both, hence referring to as S&G’s song.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

You may already be onto what I’m referring to.

The NFL and others in silent protest.

It started with Kaep a year ago. I’m a die-hard Niner’s Girl, but I’m still pissed off at the owner for releasing one damn good player because of some controversy. Controversy over Kaep doing something GOOD. (He needs his damn job back.)

Here’s the thing that I know a bunch of (fellow white) people aren’t grasping about the whole protest: It isn’t about the flag or the anthem. It isn’t insulting to servicemen and women. They fought for our right to protest.

So, what was Kaep protesting? And what many others in the NFL and other sports are now doing?

The extreme violence and senseless deaths of PoC, namely black men and children.. sometimes women. And all, or nearly all, by police officers. You know, the people who swear to -serve and protect the community- … and yet they kill PoC. What far too many of them are using as their defense is that they feared for their lives or they thought the 8 year old had a real gun. Or any other number of really lame excuses.

My opinion of officers being afraid -so afraid that they shoot a child who clearly has a toy, or an adult PoC running away from them- that they shoot to kill, not maim is that if they’re so damn afraid of getting hurt by a child with a toy gun or someone running from them, then they do NOT belong on any police force.

I want to look at the training practices between US police departments and other countries. This will take some time. But I have a distinct feeling I already know the answer: police in the US do not get enough well-rounded training.

So, back to Kaep and all the other players who took a knee this past weekend. While there have been a few here and there, it wasn’t until 45 (and if you don’t know who 45 is, get out from under your rock) publicly insulted Kaep, his mother, and every person who has supported Kaep’s mission. Don’t you dare insult these men. Men and women vastly better than you (45) fought and some even died for the rights stated in the Constitution. And men much better than you (45 again) are taking a knee in silent protest against the senseless and needless deaths of PoC in this country at the hands of police.

There are some who are angry at Kaep and the others for their silent protests. But these are the same people who get pissed off when protesters stand in the streets… when they hold legal, permitted rallies and hold signs… You want them to not be so loud, but when they do a silent protest, you still get angry. Why?

Could it be that you are racist and refuse to admit it? Quite likely. You want them to not speak up at all. To be subservient and quiet and do as they’re told… right? Admit it.

I know people like you. I was raised by a person like you. I chose to do the opposite. I chose to fight for equality. For true civil rights for everyone. No special treatment, just equal treatment.

If their protests make you uncomfortable, then they’re making their point. And your uncomfortability over being stuck in traffic, or watching football players kneel instead of stand for the anthem, is a tiny price to pay compared to the blood of black children and adults being spilled in the streets for nothing more than racist fear. If you are uncomfortable with these protests, then you need to check yourself in the mirror. A racist will be looking back at you in your reflection.

My father served this country. His brothers, his father and uncles as well. My mother’s brothers-in-law served as well. I have cousins and friends who have served. If my dad were alive today, I think he would be proud of Kaep.

All voices need to be heard. Even the silent ones.

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

Kaep and others are talking… will you listen?

~A

Posted in bugaboos, community, creativity, dreams, faith, feminism, gender, health, life, Personal, poetry, society, tattoo

9/22: When I am Old…

I’ll be turning 45 in a little over a week, and I read an article earlier today about older beautiful women which prompted me to make the status in the image above on FB.

When I am old
I will dye my hair purple.
But probably only the mohawk. 
I'll be proud to be grey.
When I grow old
I will say 
FUCK!
As loud as I damn well 
Please.
Growing old is 
NOT
For wimps.
I am not a wimp
Therefore,
I WILL grow old. 
I will wear bright colors.
And mismatched socks.
And no matter what
I'll still say SHIT a lot.
I will be the old lady
With the NERF gun pointed
At the kids crossing my yard.
But have cookies and soda for them
When they return to apologize.
They say to grow old gracefully.
I will grow old
However I damn well please.
Likely raising Hell 
My dress flapping in the breeze. 
I will be the one
Others gossip about.
Without a care in the world
Refusing to bow out.
With my purple mohawk 
And greying sides,
Wrinkled tattoos and
Still watching the tides.
I'll eat what I want
And do as I please.
For no one can take
My freedom from me.

~APA 2017

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, cats, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/20: Laugh While You Can… At What You Can #crowdfunding still

I’ve learned one thing: Find something to laugh about, even during the darkest times.

So, in my last post, I mentioned Portia was sitting next to me… shortly after that went up, I made the mistake of shifting my body and thus my jar of grape flavored water (that was sitting solidly on my pillow, mind you, no jiggling) tipped and spilled all 24 ounces of water onto my narrow bed, going all the way to the mattress. Yup, I’m one of THOSE people… the ones who just can’t seem to get shit going right.

I guess I needed to flip the poor mattress anyway. Everything else went into the basement for laundry. Tonight. I have nothing else to sleep on or under. And this room gets a smidge chilly in the ev- well anytime really… but worse at night. There’s a reason I’m wearing layers of warm clothes even during a heatwave… this room is cold.

Yes, I’m frustrated with myself for it. I spaced on the fact that the water was still there. But I’m also laughing at myself over it. I have to. It’s a survival mechanism. I taught it to my dad while we were dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s… and I use it to deal with the super-shitty year I’ve had. Being homeless sucks… no matter how your situation is, whether you have friends to stay with like me, or you have a tent or are in a long term shelter… it sucks. The tension, feeling of not knowing how or when you’re going to finally land on your feet… it’s hell. And when you have a dependent, whether it’s a child or a pet, it gets even harder.

I hold onto the things of my life, my past, and my hopeful future… much of which is in storage. It’s all I have left. Hence why I’m trying to save it.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, asexuality, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

8/28: Self, Creating, and Survival (#crowdfunding background)

(Share and share and share! #crowdfunding #urgent)

I am this one person. Yes, I blog, I write, I create things, but I am only one person. Our society is set up for a form a codependency. Okay, it’s called marriage/partnership/etc. But being Aro-Ace, I’m not interested in a relationship with anyone other than the platonic one with my cat. But she can’t help pay the bills and eventual rent. So I have to do it all for myself.

Maybe ‘codependency’ is too strong of a word. Although in some relationships, it really does play out that way. If one can’t work a FT job, the other is usually able to pick up the slack. They work with each other. One cooks, the other does dishes. And so on… they work with each other to get things done.

But I am this one person. I am in no shape to be in a relationship with someone… anyone. I also choose to be childfree. Yeah, I’m ‘one of them non-breeders’ … pfft!

So I don’t have someone I can say, “hey, hun, can you fix dinner tonight?” I have to do that by myself. And the dishes. And the laundry. The grocery shopping. The bill-paying. The income-making.

I learned long ago to be self-sufficient… albeit not so good about that with money. But I challenge myself in all other areas. Give me the tools, supplies, and an idea, and I can build something modest from scratch (I’m still damn proud of the TV stand I made with plywood and steel pipe with casters. It may not have been pretty, but I still loved it). Hell, I have the tools. Just need the supplies. I’m stubborn as all hell when my mind is made up on something (leaving two salesmen at two car dealerships in my wake). If something needs to be done, I do it. Whether it’s a “girl thing” or not.

But being resolutely independent has its drawbacks. When I hit rock bottom like this year with being homeless, yeah… not having a really close support network SUCKS. Yes, I have friends and two siblings, but one of those I only speak to if I have to and the other can’t do a whole lot as they have a lot of financial responsibility of their own.

I’ve been in survival mode for so long due to only getting crappy jobs that don’t pay well, so I’m barely able to get by. I don’t really know what it feels like to be financially stable. Not on my own at least. Finances are my one downfall. Always have been. I’m good at all these other things. I know how to handle things if I had the income, but I’ve never really had it, at least for very long. One job back in Chicago, I made 30K salary. But that didn’t last long as I didn’t fit very well into my boss’ view of women who work with him (sexist, chauvinistic pig. He was an Ayn Rand fan… which is all you really need to know about him).

I am independent to my very core. Feeling helpless like I have been this year is painful. So I try to adapt. Create. Write. Hence my poetry and the painting project I’m slowly working on. I should probably get back to working on the series.

I am doing what I can, but for society, it isn’t enough. But I’m not giving up. Just don’t expect me to conform in any way to what society expects me to be. Yeah… that bullshit ain’t gonna happen.

Well, the modem/internet keeps fucking with me, so I’m calling it a night before that thing gets tossed into the street… well, it isn’t mine but still…

~A