Posted in creativity, crowdfunding, dreams, emergency, eviction, friends, grad school, life, Personal, storage, transitions, urgent

9/21: post 1: 12 hours before auction #crowdfunding 

Just for safety sake, let’s go with 11am as the deadline. Could things change? Maybe. I’m trying to BEAT the auction, not bid in it. 

What it will cost: $1025+ lock purchase

What I have: $609(as I was typing this, a donation came in. I now have 709)

What it would coat to replace what is replaceable: at least $15,000, bare minimum. 

After this save, I have school funds coming in that can cover the next few months. It just isn’t going to show in time for this week. I just need a little more help. I’m not perfect. I screw up a lot of things. See you when dawn breaks. Maybe a miracle will happen while I’m trying to sleep.

~A

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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 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, bugaboos, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, eviction, friends, homeless, job hunting, life, music, Personal, poverty line, storage, transitions, urgent

7/24: Being Shameless Again

Storage, urgh. Life in general, urgh.

Still struggling with just over $100 left for this month’s storage rent. I am resisting begging, but if people wanted to throw money my way in the next couple of days, I wouldn’t turn it down… PP is the only (and preferred) method. You don’t need a PP account, just a credit/debit card. I’m switching back to a Biz Acct with them to hide my legal name… I have my reasons (cyberstalking asshole ex-boyfriend who is the cause of my C-PTSD). So if you wish to help, this will be the method. There should be a PP button over there shortly.

On to “Life in General” 

I’ve now been homeless for almost 5 months. It feels like an eternity. Trying to keep my belongings safe in storage. Living “in between” where I don’t have things like a full normal refrigerator to myself, living by others’ rules (and a few quirks, but I don’t delve into that), and not really having a “home” where I can be completely myself… walking around and even cooking in my underwear (seriously), dancing and listening to music loud enough to drown out the world (but not so loud to piss others off), where I can have my piano out, put the toilet lid down…. generally be ME. Live by my own rules.

The transitional aspect of my life right now is frustrating. When my own bank technically doesn’t accept PO Boxes as home addresses, but it’s technically ALL I have of my own. When I’m sleeping on a rollaway bed that’s likely almost as old as I am, and there’s really no room for the cat, unless I curl up on my side and she gets the foot of the bed.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m grateful to the friends who’ve let me stay here this long (most of the time since handing in the keys March 2nd). I don’t really have anywhere else to go.

Living in a constant state of instability.

I’m grateful I’m not out on the street. I just really need to get my own place again. Soon.

~A

 

Posted in anxiety, community, cosplay, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, homeless, life, Personal, poverty line, society, storage, transitions, urgent

5/7: Getting close #crowdfunding

I’ll write something else later. Right now, I need a miracle. I have a week and a half to raise the funds to save my storage and the vast majority of my belongings. If you were in my shoes, and all the stuff that you love and cherish were about to be auctioned off, much* of which never to be seen again by you, what would you do? How would you deal with this? Yes, some things are replaceable, but most of what’s in there is not.

As I struggle to find work I’m able to do, I see my belongings slipping away and my heart is breaking because there are memories attached to those things… mostly good memories. So, how would you handle a situation like this?

My intentions before the eviction were to go through and start downsizing the amount of things I have… things I no longer need, etc. Half my books were sold off over a year ago. To help pay rent. I’ve also weeded out and donated a fair chunk of normal clothing (as opposed to costumes). I want to continue to downsize, but on MY terms, not wiped clean due to an auction.

I am job hunting. Going to doctor appts and VocRehab (which had to be rescheduled as my case worker there was sick), trying to stay sane in all of this. But I can’t do this alone. I need others, you out there, to share posts or the YouCaring campaign. Donate if you can, either via PP or the campaign, but most of all share. That simple action is free for you and takes only a minute or two (if you want to write something up about it). 

2017-02-25-16-17-03
This is the storage unit before it was completely filled up. As it is right now, you can’t see any floor and most of it is up above my 5’2″ head.

Thank you for reading this far…

~Amanda

*I have been told that personal documents, etc, would be returned to me. Things like birth certificates, etc.

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, homeless, life, Personal, society, storage, transitions

5/5: And now for something completely diff- oh F it. #crowdfunding

The usual updates: Life sucks, I’m broke, I still need a lot more $$ to save my stuff from auction, and being an Empath is really sucking hard right now.  #crowdfunding

Why, you may ask? Just like with any day where something negative happens, yesterday and today have hit me hard. Yes, I’m also pissed off about the House fucking with my medical insurance. The problem for me as an Empath who can’t fucking block worth shit, is that I end up in Overload and Shutdown because I feel -everyone elses’ anxiety and anger- on top of my own. Watching my FB feed yesterday fucked me up. I was also angry, but holy Bast, the freaking out and anger of everyone I know was just too much. When I finally DID snap…. this was one of my posts:

<I’ve seen a few people bitch and whine the “government needs to stay out of healthcare.”
So, those who say this apparently think that only wealthy people should have healthcare. Fuck. You. It’s the insurance companies who need to get the fuck out. They’re the ones who deny coverage. They’re the ones who jack up rates and screw people over.
Single payer. Medicaid for all. And no, not Medicare. Wanna know how many days they paid for a convalescent home for my mother in her last fucking days of life? 7. SEVEN G**DAMN DAYS. Dad had to rush the process of getting MediCal (in CA) to cover remaining days. She needed round-the-clock care at that point. She lasted a few more days, but what if it had been WEEKS? I’ve had better coverage under Medicaid than my parents did under Medicare. Better than I had under Aetna while at PSU with my student insurance. So fuck private insurance companies. And fuck Medicare.>

And then later in the evening, I’d had enough and was worn down, resulting in this post:

<This has been a weird emotional day as an Empath. I don’t know how many more politically manic days of this administration I can take. I have my own personal hell to sort out, and it gets buried under angry and anxious posts about the shithole our political arena is.
I am trying to survive and not lose my belongings. I’m trying not to panic about all the other stuff. Mentally and emotionally, I can’t handle all of it. Yet, as an Empath, I care about all of it too much. I can’t turn that off.
I need to get through my own rough patch, with help from friends and strangers alike. Any help will do. Share blog posts or the campaign. Anything. Encourage others to also share.>

Some kinds of stress, I can handle quite well. Give me a deadline for something creative and I am ALL over it. About 90% of the time. If it’s writing, definitely. Sewing, I have to set my own or I screw up. Other things, it depends.

I ended up in the ER one specific day because I was slammed with sharp pain during an anxiety attack… what had happened at that exact time? The attacks in Paris. Coincidence? Maybe, but it sure as hell didn’t feel like one.

My own mess of a life is hard enough. I wish I could say I can disconnect from society, but my life is connected to computers for writing, job hunting, and lots of other things… I also don’t have a vehicle to go and disconnect with. Trust me, if I did, I’d be all over the state with my cameras and sleeping in said vehicle on road trips.

Social media is how I survive right now. My anxiety means I have a hard time with being out and about. And SM is also what helps with my survival via crowdfunding and this blog. Yes, I speak my mind, I swear a LOT, I ask for help way too much, but this is where I am. I am dependent on others even though I’d prefer not to be. Job hunting and such is a frustrating process. Most jobs I apply to, I don’t even get looked at, let alone an interview. Even if I’d be perfect for the job. But even if I landed a job tomorrow, I won’t get paid in time to save my storage unit and the vast majority of my belongings in it. My father’s “coffin flag” (WWII Vet, he was cremated) is in there, my furniture, clothes, costumes, all of it… is in there.

Trying to find the balance between healthy solitude and being “social” isn’t easy. But I remain social because I need to be right now.

~Amanda

Posted in chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, homeless, Personal, society, storage, transitions

4/22: Chatty Dragon wants to chat but…

So, I said sometime yesterday that I would write up a post about my sexuality and all that stuff… and then didn’t last night. I was a bit out of it and loopy from pain meds. The best I can guess at this point is that the migraines and tooth pain are all secondary to TMJ pain. I’ll address this theory with the dentist (well, dental student. Hey, I have a challenging mouth, may as well give them something difficult before they graduate).

I will still write it, but when I can focus and sort out the thoughts to make a clear and cohesive post.

I’m still trying to raise funds to salvage my storage unit with all (well, roughly 98%) my stuff including my furniture and such. Yes, still homeless and jobless…. I was close on that one job, but came in 2nd place… I haven’t heard a thing from the others I’ve applied to. That, I think, is one of the most frustrating parts. Not hearing anything. Not a form email, nothing. But I keep going. There are, as I’ve stated, many types of jobs I can’t do because of injuries and such.

But I keep going, even when I’d rather bury myself under the blankets and ignore the world.

~Dragon

Posted in community, depression, music, Personal, semicolon, transitions

4/19: Music Within

I started this draft a couple of hours ago… with just the date in the Title. Then I stopped. I couldn’t really decide on what to say. Earlier today I found out I did not get the job I was damn near a shoe-in for. I came in 2nd. I was so close. After so many months of job hunting, sending in resumes and cover letters to jobs ranging from basic to “yeah, not even close to qualified but what the hell.” Mostly never even hearing back at that stage. To get an interview is great. It just didn’t fit together perfectly.

So I’ve spent much of the day sulking, figuring it out, etc… then I sat down and was going to write this blog… and nothing came. I changed spots in the room I’m staying in (not very many available) and zoned out for a bit. I decided to play some music from my barely usable smartphone. That got me to going through my ‘faves’ playlist on YouTube. Only a little music, actually, but video clips that I enjoy rewatching.

Now I can write what didn’t come before.

No matter where I am in my life, music has been there to shore me up, get me through whatever it was. In high school, it saved me from the cliff’s edge of suicide more times than I can count. Listening to it, playing it, singing it, dancing to it. Music has kept me alive. So here I am, frustrated that I was so close to a decent job…

For the record, no, I’m not suicidal. Contemplative at this point… but I have no interest in ending my life. I know… I believe… there is a job locally that suits my needs (decent pay, decent hours, no standing, little-to-no phone use) and where I suit the needs of the company. It just keeps eluding me.

One of the songs in my faves list is As It Seems by Lily Kershaw. Those of you who watch Criminal Minds know it from when JJ and Will get married. It isn’t an official video or anything… but the song resonates with me. Tonight, it gave me a glimmer of hope… that yes, it’ll be okay. Somehow, I’ll get things back on track.

To me, music is like oxygen… I need it to keep me going. It is as much a part of me as breathing or drinking water. Others may not understand the love affair I have with music. That’s okay. They don’t have to.

Music is part of my soul. It grounds me when nothing else can touch me. It has healed me, made me laugh, made me cry. It has given me closure when there was no other way. It is part of me, part of my journey.

~Amanda (yes, still need help with storage… my piano and all my music is in there)

Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, grad school, life, Personal, poverty line, student life, transitions

4/18: Perspective & #crowdfunding

Still desperately #crowdfunding. I need to round up a total of roughly $700 for two months of late storage rent and late fees and the auction fee…

Yes, I’m more stressed and pissy, but there are multiple factors right now. And most of them, I can’t really talk about. Do I come off as needy or clingy? Maybe. I don’t know, honestly. I do know that I’ve been doing the best I can to not completely snap. Last night’s post is the closest I’ve come. I hate asking for help, but I haven’t been able to bounce back up financially and job-wise as I had expected and hoped I would. So yes, I ask.

I am eternally grateful for all the help from various people. I’ve never really been good at all the social graces and stuff.  I may not always say thank you right away… but most of the time I do remember.

Our “Western” society is one of independence and not building strong selfless communities. We’re failures if we can’t “go it alone.” While I’m stubbornly independent myself in many ways, finances have always been a problem for me. I’ve repeatedly done what the commenter told me to do, “just find whatever job comes along that can cover the basics.”

The problem here is that Portland rents are skyrocketing and in order to afford a market rate unit close to reliable public transit (I don’t really trust the buses that much), I would need a salary of a bare minimum of 40K/year. For a studio. I don’t do well living with other people (I’ve known this a long time now). As an Empath, I have a hard enough time shutting it all out (I can’t block well) when I live alone… living with others is extremely difficult. I never have the chance to calm my thoughts and clear all the emotional muck.

I physically can’t do many jobs listed out there that are, in the commenter’s words, “plentiful.” Standing for longer than half an hour is painful. Sitting for long periods is uncomfortable. I cannot sacrifice my health and well being for a meager paycheck that won’t cover basic living expenses.

I know my limits (I know me better than you know me). I have for years now. They’ve changed over time. My old and newer injuries are catching up with me. Such is life. I shouldn’t have to justify my limits to a stranger. And yet, I have. Repeatedly.

I’ll likely do at least one post tomorrow… I’m already late to turn in this paper, but appointments and such have pulled me away. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to work on it more. Hopefully even get it done.

Good night, stay safe, don’t do anything Dragon wouldn’t do (that list is rather small, though), and spread the word… I feel I’m really close to the start of the next chapter of my life… I just need a little more patience and assistance so that I don’t lose what I have.

Thank you…

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, dreams, faith, grad school, homeless, peace, society, transitions

4/18: Morning Edition 

I’m not always a nice person. I own my mistakes and learn from them the best I can. I refuse to apologize for last night’s post. I will say this: I was in an excruciating amount of pain by that point of the evening. A few other things got to me as well. 

In my job hunting all these months, I’ve revamped my resume and base cover letter more times than I’d care to recall. And still few bites. I tried for temp work with a few agencies with no luck. I’ve tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. Some of it was my resume and cover letter, but we’ve also had a massive influx of people moving here. That certainly hasn’t helped. I’m not trying for executive jobs. Just something that pays better than minimum wage. I don’t have much family to turn to. I also don’t do well in a communal household. I’ve had too many hellish roommate experiences. 

I’m also not giving up on a degree I’m almost done with. I would have nothing to show for the loans I’ve accrued. 

Life has thrown quite a few curveballs at me over the years. This one is the toughest so far. But I’ll get through it. Hopefully with a bit of help from friends who won’t judge me. I need to just get my stuff out from under the auction umbrella. 

Community is supposed to band together and help where needed. I don’t see as much of that anymore. Too much fear and greed and hate. It is not our place to judge one another. We’re here to listen and learn from each other. To build community, not tear it down. 

~Amanda