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 

Posted in cats, community, crowdfunding, eviction, faith, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, society, transitions

4/14: Landing Zones & #crowdfunding 

Places to land.

​So, there’s one possible next landing spot (in case it’s needed), but with at least one party there having allergies to felines… bringing a Fluff Monster such as Portia into said residence may not be ideal. So, I’m looking at having other options. Please talk to friends in the PDX area (preferably Oregon side, and not too far out there). No dogs, friendly felines okay. I’d prefer a spare/guest room. 

I’d prefer to not uproot again before moving into our (Portia and myself) own space again. But for reasons I won’t discuss publicly, I may have to. This is a “maybe/maybe not” thing right now. 

If I get this job, I’m looking at a month from now at the minimum. The only way (I can think of) to speed it up is have my initial costs raised via crowdfunding or a charity. 

If you’re the praying type, pray that I get this job and that it pays really well. 

And yes, I still urgently need to continue raising funds for storage. Please help me get caught up and get the $600-700 needed to get back in. If I get this job, I’m going to need the rest of my clothes! PP or YouCaring are fine, but for expediency, PP is way better. 

Every bit helps. I’ve been battling combo migraine/tension headaches the last couple of days, including right now. I’m pretty much useless at the moment… and I need to write a paper due Monday. 

So, I’m asking locals or folks with local trustworthy friends to see if there’s a bit of space for me and my dorky old cat. Just temporarily. Can help around the residence. 

And asking for help to save storage. Nearly everything I own is in there.

~Amanda 

Posted in chronic pain, crowdfunding, homeless, Personal, student life, transitions

3/13: #crowdfunding and babbling

I have a post in my head, expanding on the Anger one from Tuesday… but right now is not the time for it. I still need help spreading the word to keep my stuff from auction. Any and all help is appreciated. I have some stuff around the house I’m staying in to take care of, but then I’ll be back to write that one up.

There are other things I’d love to talk about but can’t publicly right now.

I also have to tackle school stuff.

It’s amusing… one thing that always gets asked in interviews is about balancing tasks/projects. I get asked for examples of how I’ve handled things like that. Most of my experience with it is from personal situations. Like right now. I have to get some stuff done around the house here… then I’m also helping a friend with a time-sensitive thing, and my own paper due Monday (I had an incomplete last term, so I need to do the last two papers for it this term to pass), and a few other things need to get done as well. Not to mention getting funds together for storage.

All of this with a bad knee and a headache.

No, I don’t have superpowers. Anything but.

It’s a lot like when I’ve been staff on a local convention in November. I have planning for that, plus NaNoWriMo, plus school/work. And then keeping household stuff caught up. Usually when I wake up on December 1st, I look back at November and try to figure out how the hell I survived. I just did. I may not know exactly HOW I’m doing it, but I still do it.

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, life, Personal, society, transitions

4/12: #crowdfunding to save my stuff from auction

Now the urgency has stepped up. My storage unit has been set for auction May 18th. The longer this goes, the more fees get added on. If April 15th comes and goes without payment, then the auction fee ($70) gets added on. Then I’m looking at closer to needing $700. When you look at the money raised in the YouCaring campaign, most of that ($450) has been used. I need to ping the person who said they’d send me $150, which will help, but I’m nowhere close to what’s needed. So I need folks to share, spread the word, do what you can.

Thanks,

~Amanda

Posted in creativity, crowdfunding, depression, family, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, society, transitions

4/9: Life On Hold (the hold music sucks) & #crowdfunding

(yes, still need help catching up on storage… #crowdfunding)

One of the hardest things about all of this upheaval is that many of my things I wanted to complete right now are all on hold. I did get back to the job hunting, but school had to stop. All the little things I normally do at home have stopped. Watching my normal shows, cooking for myself regularly (and having a full fridge to myself). Being able to make something on a whim because all my craft and sewing stuff is in storage (save for a couple spools of thread, one or two needles and a rubber thimble… I never use thimbles, oddly enough, but there’s that compulsion of “well, I may need one with a particular project”). There is a machine here, but I don’t have my stuff. Everything is locked away in storage, inaccessible.

I’m also slowly losing my chance at saving all that stuff, including my furniture, etc. Hence the crowdfunding need.

But aside from my belongings, the feeling of displacement. Of feeling like I’m not home. The longing to have a place of my own again, with some of my stuff that brings me comfort and inspires my creativity.

I am also learning how others live. How they cook. Handle household chores. Go about dealing with stuff. As a writer, these little things intrigue me. Growing up, certain things were done and many others weren’t. My mother used the vacuum cleaner roughly once a year. Maybe twice if someone was coming over. Granted, the carpet was dark brown, so it wasn’t like dirt was going to show. I think my dad told me once why they chose that color.

We had three small kids who were active. We wanted to hide the dirt.”

I think he was partly joking, but with my dad, it was hard to tell. But we were active kids. out splashing in the rain, playing in the mud and dirt. Grass stains galore. Splinters in places that adults wonder how that happened, but shrugged it off and removed them anyway. Swinging from trees and racing each other on our bicycles was the norm. But chores were something we rarely had. Tidy up our rooms, yes. But dusting and scrubbing and vacuuming… almost never. To that end, there were dust bunnies the size of Holsteins, and Bast only knows what might have been in the carpet. But we did learn some important things: don’t wear clean clothes if you’re going under the house in the dirt crawlspace; watch your head in the attic space because the roofing nails are sticking out and you could get hurt; be home by dark, or at least call; if Blackie (the cat) gets inside, check the stash of travel blankets in the master bedroom closet. I’m sure there are plenty of others.

Chores were things I taught myself. I do vacuum more than my mother did. Dishes are still my downfall, but I’m learning. Dusting…. well, I’m getting there. Smudges on walls bother me more. One thing I got from my mother was a love of cooking and baking. As her Alzheimer’s got worse, dad picked up the cooking. He even figured out canning, which my mother did a lot of with all of our fruit trees in the yard. Okay, some of his seals were perfect, but he was doing his best. For a man in his 80’s, learning any new skills is pretty damn awesome. His adventures in grocery shopping and cooking were amusing too. The day he discovered spaghetti squash. He was like a kid again, amazed at how it comes out. I miss him. And out phone calls.

One thing, of many, this experience has taught me is that it’s never too late to learn or start over. My life is still on hold, but the hold time can still be a little productive.

~Amanda