The Realities of Homelessness

The daily mental battle

Sleeping on a flat surface and stretched out.

Taking a shower without someone yelling “HURRY UP!!!” Just being able to take one every 3 or 4 days, not every 7+ days. The record is 15, I think. Warm water and soap to remove the stench and dirt and letting you feel “Normal”. Washing your hair!!! When it’s been up in a ponytail for better than a week and when you take out the rubber band – IT DOES NOT MOVE. Not a single hair. It is that oily! And know I am susceptible to yeast infections in my fat fold, aka lap fat. Oh, for a flat tummy! Oh, to be 60 lbs lighter! Oh, to not have the stroke issues! Oh, all the shit which I really want to go away!! The yeast infections are due to the “plastic” in the diapers and heat and sweat trapped in unbreathable and confined space. I was able to wear cotton undies for a few days with leakage pads. The infection cleared up. Hell, the last time when it was really bad (August), Dr. C. had to lance and drain a boil. Eeeeww! Yuck! I had to keep draining until the cream dried it out! You never want to experience that, especially so close to your private parts,

Getting up at 3am and being able to go to a bathroom and sit on a toilet without having to drive to a Safeway and hopefully not commit to the “walk of shame” or drop a load in my diaper. I now carry adult diapers. I can’t justify any vanity on my part. Oh, Gunn would be scandalized! “But, Venke! Vhat will people tink of you! How embarassing!” Shut up, bitch. I wouldn’t be here if not for you. Her voice comes back too often. It is what it is and I’ll just have to take 600 mg a day of Neurotin to insure the nerves down south are in communication with Central Command. And that will be undergoing reconstruction for years. I have a bathroom purse. It’s nice and made from “vegan” leather. OK. There is some vanity and not wanting to advertise “homeless and poor and peeing on myself”.

Typing and “storytelling” is part of my therapy. Who’da thunk that!

They’re playing Christmas Music at Starbucks. Eek. From 40’s Big Band to Rap. *Shudder*

Being able to go to the kitchen that has a refrigerator, a stove and cook top, and maybe a microwave (let’s not forget cutlery and eating vessels and tumblers), to prepare a warm meal or have a piece of toast when under the weather or just a glass of milk. Heat a bowl of chicken noodle soup! Or a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Make a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese. A grilled cheese sandwich on sliced sourdough with Tomato Bisque from Trader Joe’s. A breaded and thick cut pork chop with baked apples. A chicken breast with sauted asparagus. A homemade Cobb Salad or Chopped Broccoli from Costco, A PB&J with something other than Concord Grape Jelly and on 10-grain Wheat, not that cheap wheat bread that has zero nutrition and is worse for you then Wonder Bread. Fresh Wonder Bread……yummmmm. Addicted to that as a child. Gunn did me no favors. She sure didn’t teach me nutrition, encourage exercise or chase me out the door to play with neighbor kids. Brownie’s offered too many camping trips with a parent participating. Good God NO! “Ve don’t do dat in Norway!” No. families go hiking and fishing and sleep in…..sleeping bags? That’s the rumor.

I’ll be back soon. I’m off to Speech and Cognitive Therapy!

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A Quick Post

Will is at Storage with Andy – getting my diapers since I used the last one this morning. I’m at Starbucks just having updated my GoFundMe campaign.  And just trying to provide some current context, which I will do here as well.

  1. Will is SOBER!
  2. His day of sobriety is October 12, 2019. He had his last drink (fucking bottle, or Handle, or 1.5L of vodka every 36 hours) on 10/11/19.
  3. He is Clear and Vibrant and hooked on Starbucks Nitro which is making him a very talkative chipmunk!
  4. His memory is so much better and he is the one DRIVING! I let him take over the wheel and I am enjoying being the passenger once more. It’s been since 2012 except the handful of times a was I with someone. Literally – no one since 2016 and that was Amanda. Less than a dozen times since then. Maybe half a dozen. He’s my driver! Hehe He even jokes he’s driving Miss Gracie. Andy is enjoying the way it used to be. Daddy is supposed to be in the drivers seat. Rawroo!
  5. I have started writing my “book”. I had too. There is so much pent up inside me with no where to go. So much anger – and hatred. Dad didn’t have to die when he did and I didn’t have to have my stroke when I did if it hadn’t been for HER. I will NEVER refer to her as Mom ever again. Her name was Gunvor. I will use that or the nickname Gunn. I apologize to any women who have that name. They should never be confused with the Gunvor who was in my life.
  6. I am looking actively for an attorney to handle my medical malpractice/malfeasance case. It is complicated and messy, not simple and direct. I have spoken to a few attorneys and I will speak to more. I will not give up.
  7. We have figured out how to handle Will’s brother. That’s all I am going to say.
  8. We know what we will do when all this is over and lawsuits have been settled and life has settled into a normal mode with a roof over our heads and a refrigerator and a bathroom. We so need a place to live, but Abode isn’t going to do anything for us. We missed out on Section 8 housing last week. Too many applicants and the website became unavailable after 12 noon. They opened online only at 11:00. Heard nothing from Abode. They need one more thing – a letter on agency letterhead stating a person from that agency has known we have been homeless for part of the year. Multiple letters from multiple people to cover each month for the last year. This was rolled out by Alameda County on October 1st! We have everything else they wanted to complete the application for the apartment in Oakland, then this came up. If we can come up with this for each of us and have it for them, they will need updates or something else before we fill out the application. It’s bullshit is what it is. No wonder people are homeless and living out of their cars for 7 or 9 or 13 years!
  9. We quit smoking. No more Camel Crush.We vape. I quit smoking completely and enjoy vaping, which I rarely do if I am not driving. Will vapes and occasionally has a cigarillo. My blood pressure is normal and Doctor is happy, though worries about the vape because the “News” says they are unsafe. Yeah, ok, if you buy off the black market, from a guy who makes them in his garage,etc. We don’t. You don’t want kids smoking, let’em get carded! They did when I was 18 and I was told, “NO! Get out of here!” They need to be told No. They aren’t denied often enough as it is without them having a temper tantrum. “Wha! I am old enough! You’re discriminating against me. It’s ageism!!!” Bullshit, little one. We had to suffer at your age. It’s your right of passage. Now, shut up. You’re bothering me. And get off my lawn while you’re at it. (Metaphorically)
  10. I’m a little behind on the news….has Trump been impeached yet? Has the NYSD gotten his Tax Returns? Has SCOTUS flipped on their backs and placated the Big Horny Dog? Curious. Asking for a friend.

That’s it. Will is back with dinner from Asbury Church. Chicken Teriyaki and Rice. Gee. More carbs. SMDH

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.