Facebook love, not FB but my peeps

Listen up FB people. This is more about you and what you have meant to me. My beloved people.

First and most recently, though we go back a few years, Tammy L., an angel and may I saw my guardian angel. You gave me information and a path to follow towards my goal of independence.  The Oaks is a beautiful complex, one where I could be safe and happy with my own pile of useful crap. Thank you. Thank you so much. I know now what I need to do. The calls have been made to get me to that goal. It’s sure hell of a lot better than a shelter in Richmond. I’m the wrong color and I drive an old car, but it doesn’t look like it. Dad would be proud but a gang would see a white woman driving that? She gotta have money. I lived in Oakland. I know what to expect and I don’t have “protection” anymore from one of the head’s of one of the rings through a family association. West Oakland was a rough area then, especially if you were white. I learned that through my friend JJ. Beautiful Creole woman from Louisiana, hell of a good Southern Cook, who gave me appreciation for how the other half lived in the Flats.  Who gave me the appreciation and the lesson we are all human beings first, regardless of the skin color we are born with. I loved her as much as I love you. Good people have been blessings in my life that I will never forget or fail to appreciate.

Melissa H. – Flicka! My Bakersfield bomb, in attitude only. You have been there for me through good and bad, and with your family, a Godsend on more than one occasion. Pack you knives in your hair and have my back during month-end or moving boxes (and storage units and all packing troubles and attitudes). You are one of my Bestie’s regardless of anything or anyone. You have kept doing your thing, even when I failed to appreciate it as much as I should have. And then there is the mixologist extraordinaire Tim, or your workhorse of a son Nic, even your little doppelganger Tori (she is, that mouth!). For all they have done over the last few years – you have my gratitude always and I will have your back whenever and however you need me. Parts of my brain are dead, but not the parts who remember what you have been for me.

To my other friends who encouraged and helped me, were there to remind me I wasn’t forgotten -thank you each and every one of you. I may of had a stroke, but I didn’t become different, I didn’t change, I didn’t stop being a good person thinking of others always before what was best, or desirable, for me.

But there is someone else I need to give kudos to. My friend, my mentor, my salvation – Diana CaXXX or ChXX or whatever last name you are using. You are still Diana, even with a brain injury, even after everything you have been through. You have taught me so much, again, how to be a personal success. How to not let defeat stop me. You are still a New Yorker, it’s easy to remember you drove a Taxi while in College stored a piece under the seat for your protection, how tough you still are. Everything you have done, I wouldn’t know how to cope with life if it weren’t for you. Though we are more equal than in our past lives, I will never fail you again and I feel like I did. Nothing you can say can change that, That’s just me. I regret I wasn’t there for you when I could have been. I won’t let that happen again if I have the ability to prevent it. You saved me.

Those years at Pac Bell, even that “experience” with AllRadio (if only we hadn’t had such “difficult” partners to work with), through all the experiences and jobs, you were and are my mentor. Everything I learn from you has brought me success, even just living now. You have filled me with joy, with strength, with indelible ink written to my soul. You are awesome in every way. And that trouble within your lung? You’ve got this, and you are not alone. I am not going any where, just a few miles further away. Still got the ride and I travel. xoxox

That’s it for now, but I had to say what these folks have meant to me, especially the last 2 years. I have to appreciate those who recognized. by word and deed, their actions to keep me in balance. I’m not forgetting the other’s. You know who you are and thank you every single one.

Lost and alone

I am alone in this world. I have friends close by and very far away, but I have little family. I was adopted and they were Norwegian. From Norway, where their family still is, comfortable in their homes and their lives, but only a very few give me any thought. That has been made abundantly clear.

I am here in the Unitrd States, where I was born and my biological parents were born. They were still children when I was conceived. They were in High School and they weren’t Seniors. My mother was 15 when I was born. My grandmother encouraged her to give me up for adoption a few months after my birth, probably for the best.

I have had a good life. My adopted Dad was the best, even though he married a narcissist. She ruined a lot over the years, even denying him a well paid career as a Ship’s Captain. They argued often, but I never heard him complain or blame her. I wasn’t aware until I was 20 that she was a consummate liar and conniving bitch. I knew I waas adopted, because her lies were that bad, but I didn’t fully comprehend how far back her lies went, or the depth. She made sure Dad wouldn’t be a father to his own biological son. I didn’t know about him until I was 51, both my parents were dead and a cousin found me on Facebook. Mom’s family just dismissed it, just like she had. He had a different mother, her predecessors. Dad’s 2nd wife. That was the other shock. Dad had been married 3 times.

So much to process for me. Alone.

I was with my ex-husband for 30 years. We were married for 15 yeas by the time the divorce was final. I paid for the wedding so why not pay for the divorce? I tried, even though my former best friend thinks I didn’t. We tried therapy, j\his choice, and that was a sex therapist and couple counselor. My ex lacked empathy. Real, actual intimacy. Empathy plays a huge role in that, and he couldn’t. He could show empathy for the loss in someone else’s life, but not in his intimate sphere. He couldn’t show any towards me if there was something else, like work or his Buddhist practice.

There was a day, a few months after my Dad died, that he was donating time on a sgift at the Community Center and he assured me he would be home right after. He would be home between 1-3 pm. I asked him if he was sure, he wouldn’t take an hour or two to chat with others? No, he would come home right away. Promise. My car was dead in the driveway, so we had only his car. I would be stuck at home until he was back. I had errands to run, a sewing machine to pick up after servicing, and they had specific hours including being closed on Sundays. He got home after 4, they closed at 4 and were 1/2 an hour away. I was pissed. He hadn’t used his cell phone to call me. He saw someone he knew and hadn’t seen for a while and time got away from him. Again.

He made at offhand comment, once, that my boobs were drooping. I wasn’t a young woman by then. I was in my late 30’s and I never had “big boobs”. I wore a B cup and was self conscious over their size. I made an offhand comment, once, that he his chest was nearly concave, probably because he was so thin and did exercise to keep “thin”. He lamenmted constantly his waist kept expanding. Like 29″ x 34″on a 5’10” frame was so sexy for a man hitting 40 who wouldn’t eat meet because they were mammals. I had a B12 deficiency and using monthly injections so I woudln’t have seizures because my brain was deprived of a needed nutrient, and I was diabetic and hypertensive. I just needed to exercise and I would be fine is his eyes.

We were driving home after grocery shopping one day, and I asked him where I was on his priority list. I was 3, maybe 4. His Faith was first, work was second and then me. Not in the Buddhist list of priorities. Another time we were talking, the fact I hadn’t converted reflected badly on him. What? He knew what I beleived in. Had known before we started dating. Now, more than a decade plus later, it was my fault that his hours of chanting didn’t make his world perfect? Maybe I had read enough about his choice of Buddhist faith that I knew the basics and pretty much was “that”, that I knew I supported him and did enough Buddhist practice to know he was a Buddhist by perceived actions only. There is a difference, kind of like an agnostic and a Christian. It is how you treat every human, not just those that you think are worthy.

I wanted children. He knew that. It wasn’t the right time for years. We didn’t have enough money, we didn’t live in the right house, and then I was too old. We found out when we were in our early 40’s he couldn’t produce sperm. He could ejaculate, but it was without sperm. He had taken a hard hit on the bar of a girls’ bike as a child. That caused a stricture on his urethra blocking their escape. That stricture had been a problem for years when he urinated, but he had been to the doctor and they couldn’t find anything. I told him, “Take the doctor with you to the bathroom and SHOW HIM.’ That did the trick. He eventually had to have surgery so his bladder wouldn’t explode. And that sperm thing was identified. Sex didn’t feel the same for him, what sex we had that didn’t involve pornos – on his own or actually including me. Damn, the amount of crap I had to delete he got through Napster. That shit kills networks if you don’t monitor, which he didn’t. That was my job, and cooking, and laundry, and making sure all the bills got paid and being the primary wage-earner. So many hats I had.

After his surgery, I proposed adoption. No, we couldn’t risk it. You never know what you will get. What? I was adopted you heartless bastard! I didn’t say that. I was too hurt, too devastated.

I brought it up in counseling.  I cried, because it still hurt so much. He stared at a spot above the therapist’s head. He had to ask my ex to hand me the tissue that were next to him. He did so soundlessly  and without emotion. The therapist asked him how he felt hearing this from me? I can’t remember what K said, but it was along what I had heard over the years. He was a loser with no marketable skills, etc. That loser mentality, the Martyr, was his constant go to.

What he wanted from the therapist was a quick fix. A pill or hypnotherapy. I spoke to the therapist separately on the last time I went to him. He said I had given him more insight to K than K had said himself or had shown interest or awareness to improve. He told me I was his crutch as much as Buddhism. There was nothing I could do if he didn’t want to change or be aware of his failings. He said, which he hardly ever did, to divorce K.  To do that for me, because I wasn’t on his radar. Nothing would change if I stayed, and if I left he would just go on and see to his own needs. Just like he had before he met me.

My Mom had Alzheimer’s. When she fell and pulled out her hip implant, he blamed her for her lack of understanding. For causing him not to get a full nights sleep because he had to take me to the airport. When my Dad was dying back in 2001, he never went with me on those drives to So. California. He saw dad at Christmas before the strokes, never during the weeks of hospice when I went every other weekend. He complaned about the hours I worked, but as a Contractor, of I didn’t work I didn’t get paid. That was a theme for us, repeated when Mom got sick or did something or had a carcinoma tumor that had to be removed on an emergency basis.  She was needy and difficult. She was old and I was her only family. Excuse me for caring, Mr. 180lbs of Dead Weight. No empathy. No compassion. No humanness.

There was one night where I had had a night-terror and my knee collapsed due to stepping on the dog and me forehead connected with a dresser and I was bleeding all over the place and freaking out. He did take me to the ER. They wouldn’t let him in the room because he might have been the cause. I told them,”It was me. Only me. “I sleep walk on rare occasion and the dog was in the way. I fucked myself up!” As if he could. I got 14 stitches and a brace for my leg and was sent home. I was warned I’d have two shiners, probably. A few hours later, he got up to go to work. I indeed did walk up with two black eyes swollen shut. He arrived before Noon, but those few hours put him out of race for perfect attendance and he lost a free vacation day. My fault, because he took me to the hospital. IT was 3 days before I could return to work. My Boss told me to stay home until I didn’t look like a war casualty anymore. I can back after the weekend looking the walking wounded. That happened before we were married. Should have seen the writing on the wall like graffiti on a train car.

I have been alone for years, but I found the strength to move one, move beyond it. That was usually through work. But I don’t know what to do now, because this brain injury has locked out the access to what I did. I have to relearn it. And I am screwed. I am running out of time.

I am technically homeless.  I am housesitting, but that ends next weekend. I have no money to move, but I have too much to qualify for help through the County. I will die if I have to live in my car. My health is in a delicate balance that could go south very quickly.

I have retinopthy. That became a forefront issue again this morning. A vein in my right eye failed or exploded this morning, causing visual obstruction in the field of vision in my right eye. Nothing will correct it overnight or in a few days. Just monthly injections for months. I just concluded nearly a year of injections for my left eye. It’s hard to explain what it’s like. If I close my eye, I can see the outline of an animal face. The sketch. When I open my eye, it a pattern of swirls and lots of pinprick debris. It’s messy, but I can see through it. I’m not blind. Yet.

And I have to find a job dealing with this now. What else, God? How much more before you’re done testing me? How much more do you think I can take? I’m done. I can’t take anymore. I am defeated. I have no pride. no ego, nothing. There is nothing left. No one’s listening.

I have a GoFundMe page. I linked it here in posts frp=om the last two days. I had a stroke, but I didn’t loose my home in a fire. I am struggling with a brain injury, but I don’t have a family member with a life threatening emergency. I am alive and I grieve for all those who died due to violence. I am alive but failing. I didn’t get the care I needed for over a year, but I have it now so I’m fine? I am not and I have no idea when I will be. People just exect me to be because I can write. That hasn’t been lost, it just took a while to come back. I need a chance to come back.

 

Despair

This the word that has become my world these last few months. Overwhelming despair as I face a life sentence ending with the death penalty. It would be welcome at this point because a normal life isn’t something I have any hope for.

Had I known a year ago what I know now, it may have been different, but lack of social and government education isn’t an excuse. You need health and money for that, and I have neither. I am alone and running out of resources.

So often I hear “I’m sorry”, “call this number”, “maybe they can help”. It’s more closed doors or more paperwork and endless wait-and-see. My stroke shouldn’t be a death sentence. I’m 52 and I have no family here in the US. No close family, just a few friends and the knowledge of biological sisters.

I’ve cried so much the last few days. Praying to God’s for help and guidance and His help, pleading to my Dad for strength and the hope he’s looking after me. It’s probably pointless, but I still continue to hope.

I need help and I don’t know where else to turn. Dad’s family still cares, even though we have been intentionally estranged for decades, thanks to Mom. I am hoping to see them again someday, but that looks unlikely. Without hope, what do any of us have to live.

https://www.gofundme.com/wants-to-live

 

Homelessness

Homelessness is a curable illness in our society. It isn’t just mental illness. It isn’t just drug issues.  It is poverty. It is life out of control. It is due to the fact that now every person can make enough to survive. And how most people don’t take the time to listen, because “we” have busy lives or “we” can’t do anything about “their” problems. They’ll figure it out. Someone else will help.

But there is homelessness. I know. That is what I am facing. What a dear friend faced for years and I didn’t know. The guilt I still feel overwhelms me fairly often, because she is still my mentor. My dear friend, and I could have helped her. I could have given a place to stay. It would have been tight and sometimes uncomfortable, because my ex-husband was “helpful” when it was convenient and he could get Buddhist points. He had empathy problems. One of the reasons he’s an “ex”. Good guy only goes so far in the real world.

I have an anoxic brain injury. Should I expect to be homeless? I did nothing wrong. I was just living life, trying to be a friend, a business partner, trying to start my life over again. Then we participated in a Christmas Faire in Sonora to showcase our business and the day after we got back from that successful show, I had a stroke. Drove myself to the hospital, because ambulances are expensive. I was in the hospital for 3 days. I don’t recall much of what the doctor said, other then I had had a stroke. My life ended that day.

And I came to realize that people don’t understand stroke. Especially when you’re 51 and you have one. And the overwhelming loneliness of having to do it alone with little help. The County doesn’t help, especially if you have a little money in the bank. They don’t care that is all you have and when it runs out, you have nothing. If you have no money, they may help you,but if you own a car you could sell it for money. I could be a hooker too, but that illegal. Besides, I would be lousy at it. Probably raped or killed and never making a dime.

That is the face of homelessness. Desperation while still clinging to life. There was a vet I saw at a freeway off-ramp in Banning. Little more than a truck stop on the wa to Palm Springs, but Mom called it home. When I would go to my storage unit (my stuff in Mom’s house? It wouldn’t fit in HER house.), I would see him. I stopped and talked to him a few times, gave him what money I had. I heard his story. He lost the lower half of his left leg to an IED in Afghanistan. He lived with his disabled sister. He was begging for money on the off-ramp because their prescription drugs were costly. His sister needed a helper because he couldn’t do everything he needed.   His brother-in-law had left. She had two kids in High School. They were trying to keep a roof over their head. He was having a hard time finding stead work as an amputee. A lot of places said they would help, but their insurance costs, etc. I could get work 45 minutes away, not something he could do. His sister’s car was a stick and he hadn’t been able to master the clutch. They were a paycheck away from being homeless.

The local Boy Scouts did food drives on a regular basis to help the local food bank. I donated bags of healthy groceries. Everyone deserves a hot meal once a  day, especially kids. Mom often scoffed at my generosity. “You need it more than they do. They have to learn to take care of themselves!” I didn’t learn compassion or charity from her. She was a selfish bitch. Couldn’t even spare a $1 if someone was begging outside of Carl’s Jr. “They’ll just use it for drugs!” Not always the case, but she was always right. She wasn’t always that way. She changed when I was a teenager. Everyone was out to get her then.

I took care of her the last few years of her life and she physically abused me and accused me of horrible things like stealing her house and her money. She put me through hell for decades, but I took care of her because I promised Dad. Had I known the depth of her lies and deceit, she deserved to die alone. I gave her so much, so much time and money, so much more than most kids do for their parents. Everything was never enough. There was always something more I could do, in her mind. I was her property, never a daughter. Just her possession.

There are many reasons for homelessness, but in our society we have to make it that person’s fault. They are at fault, Period. They did it to themselves. They don’t want to “get better”. What if they want to? What help do you get then? Nothing that I can see. So many programs with their lists to qualify for services. Fill out this packet and if you qualify, we’ll send you a letter. Drive to the next place. Fill out another packet and are you trying to qualify for another program? If you qualify and don’t get approved for that program, we’ll send you a letter on the next steps to get you registered. Stop. Rinse. Repeat. It’s endless. And if you have money in a bank account, even $100, you won’t qualify. And no one listens. Just a form where they give you a number. It’s human prison without the lock up every night.

This isn’t everyone’s experience, but it happens. Too often. When I have a 5 year old asking me for money with Daddy just a few feet away doing the same thing, why should I have any hope? I want to change things, bring more awareness to this plight, the difficulty in taking care of the elderly as an adult child. I want to write a couple books outlining my experiences dealing with her end of life and what ma become my end of life. I want to live. but it’s getting too hard. I am so scared. I just cry now. That is something I have done alone for nearly 20 years. I’ve gotten good at it. I can do it noiselessly.

https://www.gofundme.com/wants-to-live

 

 

 

Struggling

I wish I could be upbeat, but I have nothing to be upbeat about. My life is in the toilet. I’m looking up at rock bottom.

I have the opportunity to rent an apartment, if everything works out. I am nearly broke. The house sitting gig ends on May 20th, and I have no where to go. No place to sleep. No where to eat. No where for anything. That is pretty depressing.

The legal firm representing me for my Social Security claim has processed a additional claim for Social Security Disability which I will have a greater success in securing. Hopefully. My medical care has been dismal. At least until January when I finally met someone who actually heard me.

I am really praying and hoping this happens. I am so tired of not having a place to live that is mine. It’s been 5 long years. I even miss that rat infested hellhole old house I lived in with Kevin, and we lived there for 20 years. Just having my things around me, memories, my comfort items like my couch and the dining room table that I shared meals with Dad – many good and happy memories. And my needlework that took decades to build, to create. I miss doing that work. I hope to do it again, if I ever have a place to love again.

My creativity has left me. I have no desire to create something new when my future is unknown. Well, not completely. It’s very dark right now with no hint of daylight. That is depressing in of itself.

I will include a link again, just in case. I need all the help I can get. There are still things I need to secure like electricity, water, garbage, bring my auto insurance current. Little things. I’m poor. I’m doing what I can by the skin of my teeth.

https://www.gofundme.com/wants-to-live

 

Starting Again

I am starting this site again. It’s mine, after all.

I got ahead of myself last year. Before I fully accepted my new life, my new personality and what I had to face living with for the rest of my days. At least, in part.

On November 29, 2016, I had a stroke. More specifically, an anoxic brain injury resulting from a gliosis lucanar stroke. To put it in layman’s term (simple, not ignorant), it’s like tiny beavers built a dam by my spinal cord and dammed the river that is the blood supply to my brain. When the blood is halted for a minute, or a few, the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen. Part of my brain is dead, and it’s kind of important parts.

I have a long professional history as a finance expert. Almost 30 years. It’s mostly missing now. I can’t even balance my check book, not that there’s much there to balance. How much does it say I have? That’s how much is left, so what is there to balance? Just use as little as possible. You can’t spend what you don’t have.

This space will be used for personal thoughts and memories. Memories are an important part of my recovery and my overall mental health. And I can record it here and look back, because I forget some and need reminders.

I will also journal how my recovery is going. An ongoing update of my journey as a stroke survivor – what I have been through and how I got to this point. I am still coping with most of it. Grieving for the person I used to be and who I will become. That’s a hard task, but I have a very good mentor. She survived. So can I.

There are many days that I wonder why it just didn’t kill me. That’s true. The struggle. Being alone. Feeling that I didn’t matter. I did to some, and they kept me alive this last year. You know who you are. THANK YOU. I owe you my life and I will never let you go or intentionally exit your life. You’ll have to chase me way. With pitchforks and torches.