Posted in creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, faith, homeless, insomnia, life, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

6/24: The Sky (#poetry)

(Still #crowdfunding as well. Time is running out as auction is at noon 6/28)

*******

I want to look at the sky.
Not some cinderblock wall.
Remind me I’m alive.
That I have dreams and goals.
That I wake each morning
And have another day
To plan, live, breathe.
I wake each morning
And see the sky.

Beckoning.
A dream lost in
Time.
In space.
Small steps.
Where is the niche?
I must fit somewhere.
Do I belong
To the sky?

Or am I ever meant to belong
Anywhere?
The sky
She calls.
Imagine.
Dream.
Plan.
But don’t forget
To
Wake each morning
And see the sky.

~A

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Posted in activism, anxiety, asexuality, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, eviction, family, homeless, homelessness, LGBTQIA Pride, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

6/24/18: #PTSD, #Bullying, #Asexual #Pride, and #crowdfunding

Being here in the shelter sets my PTSD off in ways it doesn’t in my usual ways. Loud voices, doors slamming. Most of my triggers are related more to men and crowds, so being on transit during commute times is hell for me. But being in a building with all women with behaviors I haven’t seen since high school and raging estrogen flares… I’m reminded of how rare friendships with women are for me. I get along with some here, but many are wired in a way that makes my PTSD bubble to the surface.

I pull away from people in general when this hits. Add pain to the mix and I get snippy and my sarcasm level goes up.

I think I’ve done enough back and forth with doctors at the clinic. I made the semi-crack that I should call the patient advocate office. Then I decided that maybe I will. I don’t know if any good will come of it. I’ve had both my GP and the doctor filling in for her (she’s on a personal leave) reject the idea of getting anything more than x-rays. The pain that’s been most prevalent lately has been soft tissue damage from the fall down the stairs (well, bouncing) 5 1/2 years ago. I had my knees up with my feet against one wall to try to stop my descent as I bounced down the stairs. Soft tissue damage doesn’t show on x-rays.

Back to the shelter here. We had some bullying here several weeks back. I defended the person who was being bullied and was thus made a target as well. So, two days ago, one of the bullies was gossiping to a newer resident about the stuff from weeks ago, as well as subtle snark toward another. I walked past them in the hallway. I brushed it off, hoping it was a one-off moment.

Later that evening, I heard another resident pulling the same gossip crap, bashing the woman from weeks ago, to the same recipient. I hesitated a moment, but then turned back around and reported both incidents to the RA’s here.

Yesterday morning, I heard that same recipient tell the first gossip that they didn’t want to hear anything more. My guess is that she was told to not participate in it. Here, gossip is frowned upon and against the “good neighbor” policy.

Fast forward a few hours. One of the RA’s knocks on my door and says there are some residents who have complained that the litterbox smells. All the way down the hall. I use the Tidycats Breeze system for her. While the pellets are overdue for a change, her box isn’t that bad. I think the cat food smells worse. She’s mostly eating wet food right now due to needing meds. I’ve since heard from one other resident that no, she can’t smell it. Some of the dogs have issues of their own and have a habit of peeing on their dog beds. And their doors were open while mine wasn’t for the vast majority of the day (save for opening it to go to and from the bathroom).

I put two and two together and realized it’s the bullies getting their hackles back up. They don’t like being called out for their bad behavior. I’ll keep calling them on it. Bullying and gossip have no place in a respectable society. Yes, I know, I’m talking about a homeless shelter, but it applies. If you want to be respected, you have to work on respecting others.


One of the other situations here is one person who has this negative energy and has some kind of burning desire to be the center of attention. An Energy Vampire. She has triggered my PTSD in ways I didn’t think of. I grew up with a similar person. Always trying to outdo me in “how bad my day was” and other things. Always negative. This person is even worse. She has managed, within two weeks, to alienate or piss off almost everyone on our floor. That’s skill, man… not a GOOD skill, but a skill. Oof.


PRIDE!!

So, I’ve always been open about my sexuality. I am Aromantic Asexual. That basically means I don’t experience any romantic or sexual attraction.

Once more for those in the back:

Aromantic Asexual: I don’t experience romantic or sexual attraction.

It has nothing to do with the act of sex, the libido, etc. Just attraction.

Now, I’m also a sexual assault survivor, so the act of sex is kind of ‘meh’ to me. Some Aces (asexuals) enjoy sex with their partners, some have libidos, some don’t want any kind of touch… the array of possibilities is endless with us.

Do I find some men attractive? Yup. *cough*Tom Hiddleston*cough* … but it’s more of an aesthetic attraction. Oh, and several of the men Verillas uses for their models… oof. Very good looking men. Oh, and I want most of the stuff they offer for women.

For more information on Asexuality, go here: AVEN Wiki.

I’m not ashamed or afraid of representing who and what I am. If not for my PTSD and anxiety, I’d have gone to Pride here last weekend. Because of my PTSD, I have a difficult time with any kind of touch (the Energy Vampire mentioned above touched my shoulder and I had a hard time staying calm while I explained that I cannot handle touch and that not everyone wants that and she needs to ask permission before ANY touch).


I’ve been looking at dog breeds as potential ideas for a service dog. I’ve gone from Dobermans and Rotties to Tervurens and Groenedael’s. Saw a Terv weeks ago here and just fell in love. We shall see…


It’s been a rough week. And now I’m down to a bit under four days to raise what I need for storage. I have about $300 coming in from two tasks last week, but I still need help getting at least half of $1300 before noon on Thursday the 28th. I really should get more than half, but I know that might be difficult.

Any and all help via PayPal is immensely appreciated.

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, observations, storage, urgent

6/13/18: Humans All (and #crowdfunding)

Still looking for help for storage. Auction is 6/28, so I do have a bit more of a cushion than I thought. Precedent has been that auction is mid-month, so I was going by that. So far, work this month has been sparse. Any help you can give… whether it’s donating or even just sharing. Everything helps.


I’ve posted in the past about being homeless and being human and all that. The recent story about the jogger (asshole) in Oakland who took a local homeless man’s belongings and tossed them into Lake Merritt. The jogger has been arrested for taking the phone of a guy who spotted him the next day. Hopefully more charges will be filed against him for what he did to the homeless man’s belongings.

This reminded me of recent discussions on our local NextDoor for my old neighborhood. Some people were vehemently complaining about the homeless population while others were doing what they could to calm them down and help them see reason. In one of of these threads, I outed myself as being a former neighbor who is now living in a shelter due to an eviction.

This is the thing: no matter whether we live in a tent, a shelter, a house, apartment, or a high-rise condo, we are ALL human beings who will end up in the proverbial pine box (some will choose burial, others cremation, even others various other methods that have emerged). Where we live and how much we do or don’t have won’t matter in the long run.

If you have all the trappings of success, they could vanish next week. If your belongings fit in a storage unit or a shopping cart, you could have a windfall next month and things could improve.

Or it could all end in an instant without any change.

None of us truly know where our lives will take us. Only where we’ve been. We can have all the grand plans and ideas written down somewhere, but it’s all a matter of chance, with some choice tossed in. I learned long ago to not plan too far ahead. The rug got pulled out from under me and plans changed frequently.

I changed as well. Every instance in my life that made me change direction in some way changed me. I am nowhere near the person I was 25 years ago. Hell, 10 years ago. I’m not the same as I was last week. I learn as I live. Each day holds at least one lesson. Sometimes one I have to keep learning (don’t get me started on foodstuffs).

But back to the topic in general.

No matter where we stand in society, we are all the same. Yes, there are differences. Education, disabilities, income, housed/unhoused, skin color, eye color, career choices, etc… we are each unique in our humanity. But strip away those differences and our human-ness is a common link.

I think some -far too many- tend to forget this. Like the people in my old neighborhood bashing homeless people. The differences are merely on the surface of who we are. They forget that they could easily end up homeless like me in an instant (well, maybe longer, but given a tragic incident and draining of savings and loss of job… you get the idea).

No one is perfect. No one is above another. Money doesn’t make one superior, despite what that person may think of themselves.

I may expand more on this as I go… for now, this is my observation.

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

Phases…

I know I don’t post every day. I try to but then I hit a wall of “everything at once” coupled with fatigue, and I stop.

I also need to work on my archives blog.

Fatigue is a bitch. As is C-PTSD.

I do the best I can on any given day. It never seems enough to keep up with what I do have going. Yes, I feel like a failure, especially when I can’t get caught up on storage. When I ask for help again and again.

I’ll update the pinned post in the morning.

Thank you to every person out there who has shared, donated, helped in some way. I do appreciate everything you all do to keep me from losing my stuff and my mind.

~A

Posted in artsy stuff, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, homeless, homelessness, life, peace, poetry, storage, urgent, writing

6/12/18: The Skies (#poetry & #crowdfunding)

(Yes, still gonna tack on the plea for help with storage.)

POETRY!!!!

They plead.
The skies do.
Look.
Be more.
Where you are
Is not
Where you are
Meant
To be.
Dream.
Plan.
Open them.
Your eyes are supposed
To see.
Be more than what
Is in the
Mirror.
Explore who you
Are
And who you
Are meant
To be.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

6/12/18: Things… and #crowdfunding

Among other things, I am back to needing help with storage. I did okay last month, but various little things absorbed what I made and this month has been slower so far. I believe auction is at the end of this week, so the 15th. I owe just under $1300 and if I can get as much of that as possible (at least half) before auction, I should be okay.


I had my hearing for disability this morning. It went well, despite my lack of voice. I think that almost helped when it came to the idea of doing clerical work. I can’t answer phones when my voice may randomly cut out without warning. Vocal Cord Dysfunction is what it’s called, and lots of things trigger it such as fumes from bleach or mold and mildew. Without going into too much detail, my lawyer said he feels the judge sensed I was credible in my various issues that keep me from many jobs. Can I work? Yes, but there are so many restrictions that my field of possibilities is narrow. All of it put together reaffirms what I’ve been telling people all along: give me an office with tech and research topics to dig through and I’m a happy person. No customers, no phone switchboard/multiline phones, etc.

I also did the one bonehead thing I never thought people actually did. When I was sworn in, I raised my left hand when she said to raise my right. Let’s just say if I have to do that again, I’ll have plenty of coffee beforehand. Never go to a hearing uncaffeinated.


I have all kinds of “I wish people would stop…” or “I can’t fucking believe this happened…” rants, but I think I’ll do those another time.

I’ve had my share of frustrations lately. Who hasn’t? Living in a homeless shelter, I hear it all. Some of it I wish I didn’t. We have one day where everyone is all cool, and then the next people are sniping at each other over little nothings. It’s a women’s shelter with 60 residents as well as staff. I hear about health issues, dealing with parole officers, craving things, family members getting into trouble, you name it. I’m here because I couldn’t get a damn job in time before I was evicted. No alcohol or drug issues. No parole. But here I am.


I need to get back to cleaning up my room. Need to organize the crap out of everything. I’ve gotten two warnings now that my room was unprepared/possibly over what I’m allowed. I need to get back into storage ASAP so I can secure things and not get more warnings.

Halp?

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

6/5/18: #crowdfunding and Common Courtesy

Crowdfunding: Okay…  CROWDFUNDING! Yeah, I know. Didn’t we JUST do this two months ago? Yes… yes we did. And I saved it from auction by paying just over half with the help of several people. I’ve had some jobs/tasks and made some money, but it all went to a variety of other things, such as catching up on crap I needed. I have a couple hundred coming in from a task late last week, but a small part of that will be going to getting business cards printed to help BOOST my visibility for tasks. While TR does have a deal with MOO, it’s still vastly overpriced for my tastes.

My storage will be coming up on the auction block again this month. I need to raise as much as possible ASAP.

Promo: If you need affordable printing done, use GotPrint. They’re super affordable and produce very nice work. Well, as nice as you give them. I design my own stuff, so I make sure images are clear, etc. You can also use their templates, etc, but I like doing my own thing.

Common Courtesy: One of my bugaboos. It’s Tourist Season here in Portland. This is something that bugs me year round, no matter who it is. Common Courtesy is lacking. And where do I see it the worst?

Public Transit.

Also, elevators.

LET PEOPLE GET OFF BEFORE YOU BOARD!!!!!

(also)

GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY SO PEOPLE CAN GET OFF THE TRAIN/BUS/ELEVATOR!!!!

OMG, you have no idea how much this pisses me off. I use a cane and may be switching to a walker before long (canes aren’t as great for back issues. Knees, legs, etc yeah, but I end up torquing my low back and putting stress on my back in odd ways). Most of the time, I have to wait until the bus or train comes to a stop before I even get up to move to the door.

With the bus, most of the drivers for Trimet are really good about putting their arm out and letting people know someone is getting off via the front door. Trains and streetcar (and elevators) are a whole other ballgame. Yesterday, I was getting off the streetcar to go catch the bus to get home (yes, still at the shelter) and I had my small wheeled shopping cart full. About 7 or 8 people crowded around the door I was trying to get out of. I was so close to mimicking Andre the Giant from Princess Bride: “Everybody MOOOVE!!”

I didn’t, but it was tempting.

Here’s the thing: It’s much easier to stand aside and let people get off first before you get on. Earlier yesterday, I was getting off the elevator here and another woman crowded the door so I was barely able to squeeze by her trying to get off as she wanted to get on the elevator.

Part of it is my anxiety and C-PTSD. I have a hard time with people crowding around me. GAH! I’m much like a caged animal when I’m in a crowd. I may just shut down and internalize it or I may snap and say things that make people question my sanity.

Hell, I question my OWN sanity on a daily basis.

I guess I have more to say, but this computer is draining the battery like nobody’s business, so I’m gonna wrap it up for now.

~A

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

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, disability, domestic abuse, emergency, eviction, faith, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, sexual assault, society, storage, transitions, urgent

5/23/18: Facing the Past (and #crowdfunding)

Yes, crowdfunding. What funds I have made this month have gone to catching up on other smaller things and groceries after my food stamps ran out. Because it sucks being on food stamps when you have Celiacs. Everything is more expensive. Also being in a shelter where you have limits on how much you can have in the fridge/freezer/cabinet makes food costs go up as you can’t really do family packs of chicken thighs and such. So, help getting storage settled before the end of May is ideal. Auction would be next month, in June… and that’ll come up really quickly if I’m not careful.

So… facing the past. I met with my therapist yesterday and chatted with one of the mentors here at the shelter today. Both women have pointed out something that is related, but a bit different.

My therapist has figured out that my life pretty much went upside down and sideways when my dad passed away in 2014.

The mentor today said that every time we’ve talked, I bring up one thing: the repeated sexual assault back in 1994.

Two major events in my adult life. Two events I swore up and down I’ve dealt with via therapy and such.

While I’ve dealt with the shit on the surface, I’m realizing now that the rest of the proverbial iceberg is slowly emerging and I don’t know how to deal with it. The frustrating part is that I can type or write out stories dealing with it, or poetry, or even essays. *cough*blog posts*cough*

But speaking? I struggle with the words.

The mentor today is going to find the titles of some books and see if she can find some groups for me to go to that can help. She also mentioned that the situation of being homeless in and of itself is traumatic. But I’ve been in some form of survival mode since 1994, never letting myself really live. Really work my ass off at succeeding.

At what? I’m not sure.

Sadly, I have limited sessions for therapy. After this coming week, we may be spacing them out more. Which is fine, but it still kind of sucks.

I have a very long road ahead of me. Be patient with me. I have a lot to unpack. A lot of work to do.

~A