Yet new experiences

As I think I’ve mentioned, I’m living is subsidized housing. This is also a first for me.

One of my neighbors is a man fighting stage 3 cancer (not sure what kind) and actually succeeding. One of my upstairs neighbors is a woman with a teenage daughter who actually owns a house out in the country, I have no idea how she qualifies for subsidized housing.

This story is about my upstairs neighbor.
Yesterday, she came banging on my door to ask me a grammar question. I asked, with interest, what test she was studying for (go neighbor!). Turns out it was her 15 year old daughter’s homework that was due that day but hadn’t even been started yet. Worse yet, it was the practice exam for one of the state tests. She was doing the work for her daughter, and then going to take it to the school to her so she could turn it in.

Needless to say, this not only blew my mind it confused me greatly. I’m still confused.

I told her that it was likely her daughter would flunk the real exam if she hadn’t studied for it. Mom told me that it was okay because last year she’d passed it on her 3rd try. And she seemed proud of that. More confusion on my part.

Later that evening neighbor mom was telling me how she had applied as a teacher at the new learning center for the complex. The learning center is a daycare, tutoring center, and community center for the apartment complex.

I’m really really confused.

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sleeping well.

So it will be two weeks that I’ve been here at my friend’s place come this evening.

I’m now sleeping well. I’ve had a couple nightmares start but I woke up and was able to go back to sleep. The first week I woke up every 50 minutes or so, like you do when you’re sleeping in open areas with people and traffic and police roaming around. Now I’m waking up maybe once or twice in the middle of the night and it’s not always nightmares (sometimes I have to go pee).

But while I’m still tired in the middle of the day, I think my body is just tired overall and will need some time to recuperate, when I wake up I’m awake and not tired at all!

This is totally new ground for me.
A bit scary, but very exciting too.

Cravings

I’ve been here at my friend’s place a week now. Wow..

Anyway, I’m starting to eat a bit healthier now that I have easy access to a bathroom at any time of the day or night. Lots of fiber, lots of veggies and fruits, and even meat.

But yesterday day late and today I’d been craving something. I couldn’t figure out what though.

Tonight, guy friend brought home a juicer. He then made fresh juiced uhmm… juice? for all of us.

The first one was beets, spinach, apples. OMG! Craving fixed, stopped in it’s tracks. Oh that was good! I dunno what vitamin it was that my body wanted but that was amazing.

Ah.. a quick google shows that beet roots contain a lot of electrolytes, magnesium, potassium, as well as iron and vitamin B. Maybe I was needing electrolytes.

So tonight I go to bed without any food cravings.

“I want…”

Apparently, though I don’t think you’d see it in this blog, I supposedly have a difficult time asking for help.

I dunno… sometimes I do!

Anyway.. while we were discussing what my dreams were for the future, on the assumption that all of my claims would be approved, I mentioned I wanted to get back out on the water.

I used to row, scull, sit backwards in a really long really skinny boat and row backwards. 🙂

The male of the couple I’m staying with I first met while rowing. He’s freakin’ good. I’m moderately good for a civilian but I’m not at the level he is as an athlete.

Anyway, he said, “so when do you want to go rowing?”

Well I stared at him for a minute or so, then started to explain that I couldn’t go row because you have to be a member of the club and I don’t have the money to be a member at this time, and probably some time to come, if ever again.

But he said, “so we’ll go rowing.”
So! Either he’ll get permission for me to come out (as a prior member of the club) or maybe pay for a “rowing card” which has a certain number of uses allowed.

Woot!

I miss rowing being out in the middle of the river/lake (it’s a dammed river), sculling along. It’s peaceful yet challenging all at the same time.

Another Daryl Update

So on my last visit back to see the guys I mentioned that the county website still didn’t have any charges listed for Daryl.

Then Steve told me that someone had called the jail for them directly and found out.

He’s in for “assault on a security guard” which is a 3rd class felony and carries a 2-10 year sentence.

This sucks, because.. Daryl is a very peaceful man. But when he drinks liquor, while he’s still not violent he talks to the voices (or memories? ) in his head, loudly.
So, while everyone in the group (who was there at the scene) swears up and down that he didn’t lay a finger on the security guard, who’s going to believe the homeless men over the security guard?
And.. furthermore, if he was threatening the voices in his head, and the security guard didn’t know him, or maybe did know but didn’t like him, then he could be jailed for verbally assaulting a security guard even though he wasn’t even talking to the guard.

The other bummer is that Daryl goes to this other place, when he comes back, he doesn’t have any memory whatsoever of what he might have done. I can sympathize with that since I have the same issue.

So he’s in jail for 2-10 years for something he probably didn’t do but has no memory of to even be able to defend himself.

😦

Triathlon possibility

Someone, who happens to read this blog and live in my town, asked me if I’d do a triathlon (a rookie tri, not even a full sprint distance) at the start of May.
After my initial reason for saying “no”, and then his offer to pay the entrance fee, I said if he’d do it then I’d do it.

Now I’m terribly out of shape and weigh far too much (part of that is the many meds I take, part is feeding Keegan and myself on $200 a month, and part because I haven’t been seriously exercising regularly).

But.. I could struggle through it I think.

So I’m waiting for an answer about whether he’s going to do it or not….

waiting….

still waiting…

twiddling thumbs…

falling asleep…

grandma’s birthday

Today is my grandma’s birthday. She’s 94. I haven’t seen her since I started living in my truck.
For whatever reason, the last several weeks I was visiting grandma, she’d start sobbing when I came in and said hello. I don’t know if she felt I was safe to sob around, that I wouldn’t scold her for it, or if I reminded her of my absent mother. But serious sobbing and “why is god mad at me” dialogues. I couldn’t handle it with all that I was facing. So I stopped going.
Life has been rough enough while in my truck that I couldn’t even think about going without feeling a panic attack start.

Today though, I’ve been some place safe for 3 days and I’ve slept a bit more through the night each night.

One of my aunts is having a birthday gathering for my grandma. A finger foods milling about gathering. I’m going to show up for a bit, 30-40 minutes. I don’t want to go. I don’t want to face their disdain and smirks and condemnations. I’m already edgy and nervous just thinking about going. But my one aunt and my grandma, they will be worth it to go see. (I keep telling myself this).

Daryl Update..

Nil. Nada. Zip. 😦

The county has a website where you can look up the person in question and find out what the charges are, what the bond is, and what the sentence was.

Daryl’s charges are still blank.

Last time I talked to Dave about this he said that it was likely because Daryl was taken to the psych ward rather than charged and sentenced.

I don’t know what this means really with respect to how long he’ll be there, if he’ll be “competent” to stand trial after some point, if the time he’s spent in the psych ward will be counted towards whatever his sentence may be, or even if he’s actually in the psych ward.

Dave said that if that’s where he’s at it’s more of a detox situation and then some therapy/evaluation to see if he’s dangerous or not.

I don’t know if I should hope that he gets out or not. I don’t know what’s best for him or what he himself would consider best.
So far I’ve limited myself to hoping that he’s okay, not in pain mentally or physically, and not too upset about where ever he is at the moment.

Talk therapy?

If talk therapy worked I’d be “cured”.

Each organization I deal with needs to know (or thinks they need to know) all the horrors of my past. In detail. With explanations.

So each week, lately, I’ve been telling a whole new group of people that I don’t know (but who of course will keep everything confidential and will never ever lose any paperwork or records, but that’s not really the point anyway) all the terrible sordidness that was the first half of my life. (not terribly sordid truthfully but to hear their gasps and sniffles I should be selling to the enquirer or the star or something)

I’ve got to say that constantly being forced to describe years of trauma over and over is not helpful for ones mental state.
And the tears and pitying looks are actually offensive.

Let’s take all the bad things that are shameful and pass them out to as many people as possible! Let’s tell everyone!
That way everyone can look at you with pity and sorrowful expressions and can make themselves feel oh so much better because they have such an overflowing of compassion for the poor little dear.

Fuck people (not you readers!), is the concept of moving on no longer taught in counselor school? (I mean counselors as therapists, not lawyers).

But you know what?
This evening I had a visit from the wife/mother of the Christmas family. And you know what? We had a good time, I did anyway, I think she did too. Did we talk about how terrible life was? No, I mean there was no denying that I’m living in my truck but so what. We talked about regular stuff, funny stuff her kids do. Funny stuff WE do. Society. Siblings. Lots of rambling stuff. Religion vs belief. Her work. Possibilities for my work. Grandparents and pets. How we’re alike, how we’re different.

And I feel the best emotionally that I’ve felt in days.

Therapists.. Case workers.. Well-meaning community organizers.. Take note.

Just lost my prime parking spot

Well, last night crazy woman Linda was joined by the traveling trash heap couple, the 2nd reason I’d been looking for someplace new.
Traveling Trash Heap Couple also have a very unfriendly large chow mix dog, beautiful, but very aggressive.

The reasons I didn’t want to be around them were several. They let their dog run loose with no corralling, they would pull in beside me (right beside me) like they did last night and crowd me making me privy to their headlights and noise, they dump their trash all over the place and it’s like living in a trash dump.

The security guard for the shopping center just came by and told me I was no longer allowed to be here.

I am going to assume, perhaps wrongly but I’ll do so anyway, that I can still park here during the day because I frequent the grocery store and the McDonald’s regularly. I go to the grocery store every day.

But I’ll have to keep driving in the evenings.

I’ve been searching desperately for a place where I could park for a few days at a time so I wouldn’t be using so much gas, but I haven’t been able to find anyplace.

That place I checked out the past couple of days would have been excellent except that the guy up there was starting to give me the heebie jeebies.

Ponderings

I mentioned on Sunday that the christmas family came by and handed out goodies.

After chatting with the men I got to chat with the wife and daughter a bit more (and got to show off my new chemistry textbook to the young daughter child, she was suitably impressed and I was happy) while the husband went into the grocery store.

She mentioned that she’d asked Dave what he wanted and/or needed and that Dave had said (my paraphrasing) “give Rachel what she needs, she can go somewhere, she needs to get out of here”.
I was, and still am, unable to describe what this meant to me. Homeless people aren’t known for being generous, though they frequently share within their own group. But still, Dave is, I guess… If one were to have a mentor for living on the fringes, Dave is my mentor. He never laughs AT me, well.. maybe he does but I can’t tell because usually I’m laughing too. Let’s say that I’ve never been hurt by his laughter or felt less than because of it. Dave clues me in to the codes that I don’t know, explains things that happen that I can’t figure out on my own, and shows me how to deal with the people that come by, both the helpful and the non-helpful.

But this has brought up again in my mind, what happens to people that don’t find a good group to be a part of. And how long can a person live on the fringes before they slip into the brush completely?

I know how easy it would be to drop out completely. If I didn’t love school and learning so much I would already be gone. It’s only school that requires me to stay presentable, stay sociable, stay connected with people in the “real” world.
And its only you people that have given me the financial means to stay connected.

What happens to be people that have the misfortune to start out downtown? Or don’t have access to computers and libraries or the knowledge of how to use them? What happens to the ones that get abused by other homeless instead of mentored? And the ones that have everything stolen from them instead of given?

I know my days get dark sometimes, and I know that I have times that I need to hide until I can face the everything that is the world, but I do know, even during the times I can’t believe it, that I have been, and continue to be, very fortunate.

Laundry done

Got my laundry washed and dried. Didn’t cost as much as I feared because the attendant didn’t make me buy a card. You have to put a minimum amount on the card and I wouldn’t have been able to use all of it.

I finished my homework problem set while I was there too but still have 2/3 of the reading to do.

Then I went back and hung out with the guys.

The older couple in the little Toyota tracker (or whatever it is) showed up again. The man is quite garrulous while the woman occasionally mutters something under her breath. Both of them seem to be slightly off-kilter. Coming from me that might mean something.
They’re definitely of the swear at the world in every breath persuasion.
I don’t much like being around them.
The woman started feeding Keegan something that had been around for a few days and had already made one of the men sick. I told keegan to leave it and the woman looked hurt and offended. She wasn’t feeding it to her dog. Idiot. This was the first time I’d let Keegan free while they were around, I won’t do so again.

Daryl, who’s still in jail, may end up staying in jail for some time. I noted earlier that he only had one unlisted charge against him but he had a bail of $15,000. The rest of the group said he must be charged with a felony of some sort; probably running his mouth and saying something stupid according to the men. But until they list what the charge is no one can guess how long he might be in for.

Just met the first person I actually dislike.

The first homeless person in my area that is.
I’ve heard of him around and about but this is the first time I’ve met him.

I don’t know why, just that icky feeling you get.
I didn’t like how he interacted with Keegan though on the surface there was nothing anyone else would have seen.
I didn’t like how he came up uninvited and started trying to look into my camper.
He just gave me the creeps.
But I’m sure he was good to his mother.

Whoa!

I mentioned that the one of the women who is in the area has been hanging around the past two days. I’ve met her before but she’s been so drunk she didn’t remember me. She doesn’t remember me now but she does remember that someone new is there.

So anyway, I dropped by to check out the filing of the police report for the Christmas gunplay.
Both S (male) and L (female) were there. Going at it tongs and hammers.
Egads. The volume was escalating and the vitriol was mounting.
I took off again. Way too much activity there for my fragile senses.

Then L (female) followed me and kept repeating her side of the issue. I wasn’t interested, in either side. I haven’t seen squabblers like that since I was a kid, which is testament to how well I usually avoid that kind of thing. I had to be rather concrete in my speech to get across that I was going “that way” because I had some stuff I needed to take care of, “alone”. Very alone.

I saw Dave later and asked him what the deal was with the other two. He said they had once been a couple, in the general sense. I guess that makes sense.

But when the two of them show up in the same place I won’t be there!

Def: Wetbrain

Wetbrain: the mind/brain of a person, sometimes refers to the person as a whole, who has become so saturated with alcohol that s/he can no longer communicate at all.

Examples..
1. She has wetbrain.
2. She’s a wetbrain.

No longer communicate, from what I’ve observed, means that the person may be able to articulate, possibly, but that the phrases don’t apply to the conversation.
I’m not sure if it’s because the person is time delayed and responding to a previous long finished conversation (possibly from days past) or if the person is talking to their own reality (which is not currently connected with the dominant reality) or if the person has some sort of aphasia.

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