Why I Am Grace

I should probably  explain the whole Will & Grace 2.0 thing. It started in November, but Grace started in 1985. Since I am at a library computer, I can more easily type. (And update the blog. Geez, how many uncategorized posts are now categorized! So much easier than from my cell.)

In 1985, my parents made me move to Norway, disrupting my college education, unearthing more of Gunn’s (“Mom”) need to control every fucking thing, including Dad, and generally screwing up our lives and depleting Dad’s pension and making sure they would never be able to afford much of anything again. We were there for 6 months. Bought a house, bought a Volvo, but they couldn’t work. Gunn, who was never a registered nurse, didn’t look for work. Dad couldn’t work. because Gunn had made sure his Merchant Sea Captain’s license became invalid (threw out the renewals sent to Dad by the Norwegian Merchant Marine). Only I could get a job as a Grocery Clerk asking customers what this thing they were buying was called in Norwegian. The customers thought I was adorable. A 20-year old from California with a Northern Norwegian accent in Southern Norway. Several of the dear elderly folk offered me “tips”.  It was a good gig.

I wanted to go to college, and Dad wanted to for me too, but the University was 1 1/2 hours away by train and Gunn thought that was “too far”. The real issue was, they had researched nothing, I would have had to transfer from a US College or University, or I would have to learn to write in Norwegian and apply since I had no “native” school records. Oops! Not accepetable to Gunn. I was smart. I could write. Never having had a reading or writing lesson in Norwegain, how would I become so extraordinarily adept in a few weeks?  By osmosis? No, I was smart!  Get a grip, bitch. And I couldn’t live in Oslo. I had to remain in Tønsberg, where they bought a house. Control of me and my every movement was so important to her.

Dad made the decision to return to Califonia since he could do nothing there with his education and experience, and I couldn’t move on with my life because of her interference and control, but we had to visit her family up North first. And this is where I learned Grace and became it.

Gunn’s parents, my grandparents, were good Christian folk. Kinda Baptist by American standards, but with a rich and deep ethhic about how you should be and act. I had no issues with it, but Gunn did. She was chastised by her father several times in my presence over the years. Let’s just say, I knew of no one that ever wore leather pants to church, but she would until Granpa said no. She wouldn’t embarrass the family by doing THAT. I was dressed as a version of Alice in Wonderland which he thought was so appropriate. They had so much respect for Dad.

Grandma told me, when I was visiting there at 17, not to listen to Gunn. Listen to Dad. He was better at being  a good parent. She didn’t “know” her daughter anymore, but she realized that I took after Dad and that was good. Imagine! Your grandmother saying you have more sense than her daughter! Inside, I was smiling like a Cheshire cat. I knew that already.

But in the fall of 1985 – the last time I would be in that beautiful place that had become the home of my heart – my cousin ViviAnn and I were walking along the shore and I told her this place had been touched by the Grace of God. This was a place of beauty that He had created for us to be in awe of, which I was. This spot humbled me and the thought of it still does. That is when I became Grace and chose to live my life that way. I have never deviated from that one true belief and why I choose to take care of Gunn in the last years of her life. I can’t forgive her for ALL she did, but He can. Taking care of her is what He wanted me to do, and I did with love and mercy, though her family is willing to disparage me for it. Like they did any-thing at all except bitch and tell me what to do.

So, that’s when Grace started, but it wasn’t until November 2018 that I became Gracie to my beloved Will. My fabulously gay friend, and thus Will & Grace 2.0 came into being, as many people started calling me Grace due to Will (and I hated being called Wendy, because Venka is so damn hard). He’s my best friend, my trophy husband, my support, my strength and often my voice. And he has my heart, as he has mine. He’s just about my everything. Well. except that one thing.  Ahem.

More about Will later. At least you know part of the back story. Will’s is far more interesting, and a very sad tale of greed, deceit, death and an unscrupulous brother.  But, damn, he had a PRESENCE. Poor Gary. He shoudn’t have fucked over big brother. Again. But Will isn’t alone anymore. He has me.

Nothing Like Beating Someone When They’re Already Down

I have a GoFundMe campaign and I have been truthful and honest. Just like I am here. I have nothing to hide, unlike Gunn, my adopted mother. She would be ashamed of me now that I am disabled. That is the way she was. A stroke was something you could overcome, if you had the proper strength. She was convinced Dad could “overcome” his stroke with no help, no therapy. It was mind over facts of life, and doctor’s lied to make money and keep you feeble or incapacitated because it benefitted them.

Her basis of “truth” was so farfetched I often asked her what color the sky was in her world, as she didn’t live in ours. She refused for the hospice workers to give Dad morphine for his pain. Refused to let the hospice workers massage his limbs that were atrophying due to lack of movement. Made him get up with little help to use the bathroom, as he wouldn’t like to wear a diaper. She didn’t ever suffer a stroke. Seeing Dad in pain and so frustrated due to being unable to speak; listening to her constant yelling to get better and not be “that way” was an emotional battle neither of us could tolerate.

Dad and I communicated with our eyes. I never had to tell at him. I spoke slowly and in a calm tone. I had adjusted my speech so he could hear me when I was a teen. He had a constant ringing in his ears from WWII. Hearing aides couldn’t help him. High pitched voices were hard for him to understand. I came to realize that, so I adapted. Gunn never did.

She did little to make his life easier in anything. Just what made her happy and satisfied and she lied about everything else. She took him away from me earlier than he should have died.

Enough about Gunn. She ruined our lives, kept us from doing what we wanted, but she’s dead and gone now and good riddance. She can challenge God or the Devil for ownership rights. She will loose, but she will try! It has to be the “right way”, whatever that is in her mind.

Back to me…..because this is my blog.

I was “chastised” by a donor on my GoFundMe page for blaming others, for not selling my stuff in storage, I have money for cigarettes and liquor, I’ve received $4100 but I’m poor? And she donated $5 to tell me off. “You have TWO storage lockers? Sell YOUR stuff. You want to burn our candle at both ends.” Etc, and so on. As if $4100 goes that far over months and I have car insurance to pay and my cell phone and gas for doctor’s appointments and a Motel room when I can afford it.

It gets eaten up and I’m living in the car. When I get a place, I should have nothing but buy as I can afford to? My bed in storage has less than a year’s use. It’s been in storage longer than I slept on it, and the one I had before I had been sleeping on that through 2 marriages and it’s useful life. A dining room table that my parent’s bought in Norway in 1985 and is in really good, pristine shape, that I couldn’t sell for any more than $300 and it’s solid Teak! That area she lived in was notoriously cheap. Why selling from there was so impossible. I sold what I could and gave away a bunch. The local charities knew me well.

Sell now from a storage “locker”? How? It’s not like a garage sale. I can’t “place it on display” and invite people to observe and pick. And it’s not something I can physically do either. That stroke thing and the unstableness and the left side weakness.

There was also a comment about my purchasing cigarettes and alcohol. I have had the equivalent of 4 beers and 1 bottle of wine in the LAST YEAR. Cigarettes? Yeah, that’s my addiction and help’s me get through the day with my anxiety issues. I smoke because I am constantly anxious. It’s worse since I’m homeless. Hey, I’m not doing meth or drinking myself into a stupor! Maybe I should. At least I’ll be using the money as it’s thought to be.

I should have a place to live. Yeah, get a place with $4100. It’s not like I got that in one fell swoop. Is there any where other than Motel 6 you can stay for $4100 for more than a month? It’s usually a six month thing and you have to pass a credit check, have “reserves” and show you can pay it.

I am awaiting my Award letter from Social Security. It takes 2 months now. It used to be 3! I still have nothing for more months. What am I supposed to do? Sit in the car and not move or go to the doctor’s, starve but be thankful to be alive?

I dare any of you to abandon your home and comforts, walk way from your job and live in your car for 1 month with a laundry basket of clothes, a cooler with some non-perishable food and your cell phone. Go to a town your passingly familiar with and be homeless. Don’t know what services are available. Go to churches and ask for help. See how long you last. Hope you’re not disabled. God will look after you if you pray. Jesus loves you! He died for you! He may have died for me, but I’m dying out here with Jesus’ love to keep me warm!

I am a Christian, but sorry, He has too many people to take care of already. He can overlook one soul if another is dying by their own hand and He needs to step in because that person hasn’t done what they were intended to do. It could happen more than you think. God’s a busy dude! Think how much time He spends on prayers for sports teams, concerts, women or men in trouble with their significant other, kids who are walking into parental angst over something they did. We pray for everything, like God is the that drive through attendant at In’n Out Burger. “I’ll have a Double-Double with a side of Blessing. No pickles. And a Diet Coke.”

And, pray Jesus, Christoher can avoid the tackles and make that first down! No head injuries for my little boy! Thank you Jesus!

Maybe he shouldn’t be playing that sport until they change the conduct of play? Flag football was great when played it, as the quarterback. I still got tackled and that’s why I can’t play guitar. My pinky was broken so often, I can’t hold a C chord. My football career was over!

Dad wanted me to play soccer before it was the rage here. Um, no? All that running and barely scores a point? Ah hell no! Do that foreigner thing and be even more ostracized. I had plenty, thank you.

Back to homeless with stuff. I haven’t met a homeless person without a storage unit or stashing their belongings in someone’s garage or something. They spend money on that. You can’t carry everything with you. If you can, you haven’t done much in life, have you. If you lived in Tornado Alley, all your things, even your dogs, were blown away! But you found the dogs the next day and you moved to the Pacific Northwest where Tornadoes don’t happen. My friends story. They survived with the trauma.

Losing your home, everything you own, your pets, memories from childhood, from your children or parents, even just pictures, is hard and feels like slowly dying. You have an insurable disease. You know you are going to die, you just don’t know when. When you have lost enough and it doesn’t matter. You get to watch it being purchased by someone’s else at auction and there is nothing you can do. What happens to your Father’s ashes? That needlework you had framed and gave it to him again 50 years after it was placed in a streamer trunk? The joy on his face. Something you will never forget! And all you can do is cry now and beg him for forgiveness because you never meant to disappoint him.

Who gives a crap about Gunn. She wanted me to become a registered nurse. Not a doctor! Only men could do that! No, a registered nurse, so I could take care of her as she got older. Like I didn’t?! Cook her food, that she would eat, Clean her house to her specifications weekly. Do her laundry per her specifications and not include my own. Don’t pay the water district or electric company since they were trying to cheat her. Make sure I paid the mortgage even though I wasn’t working since she got me fired because she was more important than they were.

But I’m complaining about everyone else to solicit sympathy. No, I’m stating my reality. What to switch? I would have loved to have been married to someone who was even slightly dedicated and worthy of praise that he would accept. Even hunger for promotions and seeking a better life. Someone who loved me and wanted children. Who took his health seriously and went to doctor’s appointments to take care of issues or problems. Not wait 30 years to deal with his inability to pee like a normal man. Is sterile from a childhood accident with a girls bike. Allowing me to take the “pill” throughout our marriage so I wouldn’t get pregnant when we couldn’t afford it. As if you can ever plan to “afford” a child. Or taking the stance on adoption “you never know what you will get” since they are some times “defective”, you uncaring little cretin of a man. I was adopted! Thank God they didn’t get a defect! Even better, you didn’t marry one!

Putz. Thank God I divorced your selfish, unsympathetic, uncommunicative ass. When did you ever think of anyone outside your “chanting”. SGI and Buddhism as a whole teaches a different life than you’re living. My conversion would do nothing for your Practice. No brownie point’s for you. It’s not the way it works. I didn’t convert because I saw nothing that convinced me your religion was better. Worshipping nothing, chanting to a scroll, getting together with others to chant for world peace. Maybe the last one, but it requires conversion? Nah, I don’t think so. Your Mom explained it better than you ever did, and she was raised Methodist! You don’t have to give up one religion for another. You can be both, if you can handle it. It’s the actions you take. Jesus may have studied Buddhism during those years of wandering. Much of what He teaches would appear Buddhist. You should read more about religions. Educate yourself on the topics you DON’T know about.

Wow, this is a rambling post. Sorry.

I am so frustrated by people making assumptions. Knowing more than me and have never taken a step in my shoes. Have I complained much. Yes, I guess I have, but it wasn’t for nothing. I have seen how others have lived throughout my decade’s on this earth and I have envied their lives. A mother’s love without criticism. I knew that from my Mother-in-law. I truly loved her. She was like a mother to me. Or my friends’ Mom’s. Like Becki’s or Chris’ or Liz’s. They each had their good points. I had a good Dad. I had one good parent. And I am thankful for that.

But to criticize me for having to beg for money since I don’t fit into their little box for what I am supposed to be? I am not going to be shamed by that because “she” hasn’t lived my life or what I have been through. Sorry it’s not in your cup of tea really, it is mine. Honestly, I couldn’t give a flying fuck over what she thinks, but to state I spend money on those necessities needed for an apartment someday and I spend money on alcohol and cigarettes? Give me a fucking break. I’m not a user. I’m not on drugs other than those prescribed by a doctor to keep me ALIVE. It’s hard enough just taking that bunch DAILY and over a dozen. I spend money on Depends and laundry. I overflow the Depends often enough since some restrooms are a hike to get to at night. And I don’t enjoy smelling like urine. Sorry. I am homeless but I don’t have to smell like a stereotypical homeless woman. The stares are bad enough.

After seeing a post on Facebook, it is believed I received a $4100 donation. I didn’t. I am retiring my previous campaign and added a donation and commented that it was a transfer. Not actual cash for the future. Trying to update on a cell phone isn’t working obviously correctly. I did that to credit many who have donated but wanted to remain anonymous. Bit me in the ass.

That’s enough for now. Too many awful things to process for me. I just need enough to survive. This is posted on the Internet. My campaign is public. This post will be linked to Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and LinkedIn. And that $4100 was the amount previously donated to my other campaign. It’s gone. It has been used. My repetitiveness is due to my brain injury. That’s what I deal with every minute of every day. I’m sorry if that frustrates you. Imagine how it is for me.

http://www.gofundme.com/life4wng20

Trials and Tribulations

Trying to take care of things, but living out of a car is hard. Especially when there are two of you and a dog, and the human Male has ADHD and a short fuse. A loud fuse. He was spoiled by his mom throughout his life and lives that reality. Facing the daily truth is too hard for him since it is his brother’s doing. But Gary isn’t dealing with it. I am. Someone has to, because Will shouldn’t die like this. His mom would never want that. I respect Dorothy’s memory too much for that.

Paperwork is “misplaced”. Keeping track is hard, especially when he moves stuff and the car is “messy”. I try to keep it clean, but he shoves trash in nooks and crannies to be “throw out” later because his back hurts so much. I keep a trash bag and place trash in there and he stuffs that into a clear cranny and it is overlooked until the smell starts. Yuck. Cleaning the car is a weekly chore I go through and he fusses he’s tired.

It’s like being married without any sex. That’s why he’s a trophy husband. He makes up for it 95% of the time. That 5% is a challenge due to my disability, which he doesn’t really understand part of the time. He doesn’t understand I can’t control the emotional outbursts. They can improve with therapy, but my neurologist doesn’t know how to refer me with MediCal.

That meeting was so depressing yesterday. My deficits are no doubt permanent. If I have another stroke, go to Valley Care/ Stanford Medical, otherwise good luck. No further follow-up, until I have another stroke. Gee thanks. That’s what I wanted to hear. UCSF was more upbeat than him, but they didn’t send him the notes from the last meeting, so he had nothing to review or reference.

It seems I have to make sure everyone gets the information they need as it happens. No one talks to anyone else, or faxes the documentation to the referring doctor. I’ll follow up with my new PCP. She is on top of referrals and medication, more so than the last one. I got my optometry referral already. I see the doctor next Friday!

I talked to Social Security today and updated my address. The appeal decision can take 2-3 months, more than likely 2. They are improving! Until that has been typed into the system, nothing moves forward. 2 months!? I can’t handle this, especially since Contra Costa screwed up so bad. I have too much to pay out when I receive the Award, whenever that is and if they don’t question something or they want something else. I just know other’s who have had issues and it doesn’t help my paranoia.

What I need to take care of in the next month:

– My car registration that was due 12/8/2018

– My main storage unit that they have offered to let my pay half if I get it moved out within 3 days of paying IN CASH approx. $1500 and not including a truck or helpers to load to a truck(s)

– Paying my 2nd storage unit because it’s behind as I didn’t have the funds when it was due. Cell phone and car insurance has to be paid and there wasn’t enough left over for that since the $320 a month for General Assistance goes to gas for the car too. And we have to go to the doctor’s and move around or be sited for loitering.

– A motel room for 1 night a week for a shower and to sleep flat. Will needs it nightly, but 1 night a week is ok for me. My back readjusts and I’m ok for a week. He needs his back surgery and a referral to an oncologist.

-My car fixed. I “beached” Cutty (Dad’s 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass) on a median in the dark and in the rain and it has happened before to others, including a car that a tow truck helped an hour before me. My alignment is so off, I had to have 2 tires replaced and the back strut is “peeing” (must be replaced). I have no money for that. I used what I had from a small inheritance I received for the tires so I could drive and that’s all gone now. Kevin, my new mechanic of choice, said the strut would be another $250, not counting the alignment or whatever else is wrong with Cutty as she creaks more than she ever did. There is more damage that we don’t know about.

That is just some of it, but the most pressing. A home would be nice, but not in the horizon with all the issues having to do with project specific paper work and no award letter stating I am receiving SSI. I have nothing and no hope for the future, because if my appeal is denied, I can appeal again and I will give up. I can’t go through this again sleeping in the car. And there is no help with Homeless Services. That is just a joke. I can’t get my car registration paid without getting an updated bill from the DMV as if they would pay it then. I have given them a bill, a printout, with dates to pay by and they blew right past those. I can’t trust or depend on CityServe.

Please help if you can or share. I need help because the services for a person like me (disabled and not an Addict or with a record) aren’t there. I am able to be “well”, supposedly. No, I’m not and either is Will. We can wait, if we don’t die first.

http://www.gofundme.com/life4wng20

Homelessness – the True Crisis in Our Communities – Ongoing series

The “border” crisis is a Trumplandian myth. Our real crisis in our country is homelessness.

If it is to be believed, in 2017 HUD stated there were 500,000 homeless people. Half a million. Last Thursday, I heard a worker from Alameda County state there were 300,000 people just in this County. No doubt she meant 30,000, but still. In this County. Alameda has twice as many people as San Francisco City & County and their homeless crisis is worse. Here’s a link https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/alamedacountycalifornia,sanfranciscocountycalifornia/PST045217

It is troubling and considering who the Head of HUD is, I doubt it is anywhere near correct or actual or TRUTHFUL.

Consider the town where you live. Do you see homeless individuals? I know you will see individuals who are “chasing the dragon” since we have an opioid epidemic in this country. Immigrants are not the crisis. Our “native” population of citizens are. And if not opioids, meth or other elicit drugs.

I will tell you about Sue, a 66 year old woman who is homeless. She has a housing voucher, a precious commodity in this County. I know another woman who has had a voucher for 2 years and is still homeless but not disabled like Sue is. Sue has rheumatoid arthritis and is scheduled to have spinal surgery in 2 months. Sue is wearing a neck brace as the arteritis has become so disabling she is risking becoming paralyzed without the neck support.

She is homeless and living in her car. Just like Will and I. And as a disabled woman on Social Security Disability she isn’t receiving help to get housing. She has a voucher! Like that is security at night when she’s sleeping in a car.

When she has surgery in the next few months, she will be in a convalescent home for up to six months, but where will she go after that? One night a week, a woman she met at Walmart let’s her sleep at her home and can bathe. One night a week. Imagine if this were you? How long would you do that?

This lovely lady, a former park ranger at Yosemite, is vivacious, intelligent and mentally sound. She was given a shelter bed at Sojourner House (I was called about that women’s shelter, no follow up after I gave permission for a background check) and she lasted 3 days before returning to sleeping in the car. Why? The chaos inside Sojourner House with the addicts and psychologically challenged who ran the place instead of staff. And that is a huge issue, the addicts, users and mentally ill are a huge issue for those who are “normal” but disabled.

Sue and I agree. There needs to be a separation of “services” within the homeless community. Neither of us are stating those people don’t need help, but those that are disabled and have difficulty managing their health should have priority over an addict who makes the choice every time they use. A clear decision. Sue and I don’t make a choice about “being sick” or disabled. That is what life has given us. What our Maker has chosen for us. Respect us as humans without choice. Loose dogs are treated better. They get taken to the pound. We just get harassed and told to move along.

I have the ability to write. I was once a public speaker, something I can’t do anymore due to the stroke damage. I am slow and my speech is laboured in the delivery. I have to think of the words to say as often I fail to remember or mispronounce or slaughter them. That is difficult for me as I was the queen of enunciation and articulation. And rapid fire comebacks. Oh, how I miss that! I could shut Will up with a brief and cutting remark. He is long winded, shall we say. He commands the audience – 1 person or a room full. I love him to death but my ears and mind get tired. So tired.

As I have written, homelessness is a crisis in this country. I would ask you to see this video from KOMO News, Seattle is Dying. A tragic but informative documentary on a beautiful City I have visited often, but not since 2012 and boy has it changed! Here is the link https://youtu.be/bpAi70WWBlw

Learn. Educate yourself. Be aware. It could be you or a loved one who faces this event.

And, of course, our GoFundMe for the beginning of change

http://www.gofundme.con/life4wng20

Homelessness – an Ongoing Tale

I am homeless. I am writing this on my cellphone. I do have one modern technological luxury. Thank God.

I sleep in my car with my friend Will and our dog Andy. It’s tight and uncomfortable, but there is no other choice. A bus bench maybe. The ground. We had a cold hard floor in the Livermore Homeless Refuge and a thin yoga mat. You try it. That sucks.

Will has spinal stenosis. A bad back that requires surgery. Sleeping as he does now or on the floor or ground is painful and difficult. I have had a stroke and am disabled and suffering from incontinence. I have done the “walk of shame” from my car into Safeway or Walmart because I didn’t make it before I overflowed my Depends undergarment before I could reach the restroom. I am 53 and have no children. My “rig wasn’t wrecked” by childbirth. Just damage to my central nervous system when I had vascular lacunar strokes.

In that sense, I have no one to blame but me. My body failed me and I failed my body by not taking better care of it. I have diabetes and high blood pressure and I smoke. I did when taking care of “mom” and she threw out my meds as I was an “addict”. That is a long and ridiculous story of a narcissist who thought she was above everyone else and killed my father and tried to kill me over prescription drugs that she didn’t feel were necessary in her opinion.

I will write a book about my life with her. It will make Mommy Dearest read like a cute fable. Gunn had nothing on Joan Crawford other than insanity and an ego.

Back to me. I will document here what Will and I are going through, what we are experiencing, what organizations are giving us service’s and how we are progressing medically, psychologically and emotionally.

Each is it’s own world and combined is simply a wait at death’s door.

In Alameda County, San Francisco Bay Area, there are 1.69M inhabitants. An annual census, to be released this summer, will show 17% of its population is homeless and that figure will be low as it was a visual count done by volunteers. I was to be one of the “paid” participants. At some time, I will recall how that initial meeting went, which was a joke. You can spot homeless people with cars from the urine puddles. Really Mr-not-in-my-backyard-jerk? Puddles!? The maligning the homeless go through is atrocious and, as one of the homeless, completely offensive. I do not urinate outside my vehicle. I did once and fell over and almost broke my glasses and sustained road rash that lasted for days, along with humiliation. My balance is unstable. I fell. I am disabled and just needed to do a human bodily function as there were no rest rooms nearby that were open or available. I don’t have a penis with which to aim and write my name. Or a Gatorade bottle.

Will and I unfortunately discussed this at great length. Ggggggrrrrrreeeaaatttt length. I do not want to discuss peni or male bodily functions ever again except for brief medical processes that discussion can be complete in 30 minutes or less. This may be beyond Will’s capabilities. (Love you Trophy Hubby)

It has been 13 days since we bathed. There are no location’s for the homeless community to bath that is handicapped equipped without someone screaming for you to hurry up as soon as you enter the area. Forget about even turning on the water, if it’s working. The cement floor is slippery and very cold concrete with 0 handholds or ability to sit. But they are “trying”. As a disabled woman, no you are not. Two separate locations maybe twice a week if you can get on the list and if they call you without someone else jumping ahead of you. I would rather stink than deal with that chaos since I have a TBI with cognitive impairment. I emotionally break down when my brain overloads and get banned from one location for “making a scene and being disorderly”. I am disabled police officer. Go away as I told you. You’re upsetting people.

It is wrong. It is against God’s Word and lessons. And that is what I will write here. How we fail to treat our brethren with love and respect.

Stay tuned. I will not proselytize. Just write of real life occurences.