Give & Take

It seems when crisis becomes a mode of daily living, changes in circumstance present in sharp relief as “good” or “bad”. 

Black and white, without perceived shades of grey.

I have learned the habit of always coupling any change for the worse with something positive I can find. Sometimes, it requires an effort but if I don’t make this practice a priority, I have learned to expect I could become overwhelmed quickly and be rendered paralyzed to act when it’s necessary to remain on point.

Today’s change for the worse was having the gas and electricity turned off. So, no power or hot water, stove. But, the good news is that I have shelter until April 3rd. I think that’s about 10 days I didn’t have yesterday. I’m grateful for that. 

Electricity and heat are overrated, anyway. At least they are when the alternative is being wet and unsafe.

I’ll take the good with the bad every time. So, yay.

help.

After something truly bad happens to someone we know, a common response is “why helpdidn’t they say something?” Why didn’t they ask for help?

Something truly bad is happening . But, even though you might not know me, I’m saying something, anyway. Just in case it makes a difference that I am asking for help.

If you know God, or if you happen to be God, I really need some help.

Why

I need help right now because

  1. I’m not a duck, water doesn’t roll off my back and this is Portland, Oregon. Rain. Lots of rain;
  2. I’m not insulated quite as well as a house and it’s cold at night;
  3. I’m not an octopus, motorized nor especially endowed with super hero powers. I only have two arms to carry, two legs to transport and a pile  of kryptonite stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

An Apologetic

A middle aged woman carrying around two parrots outside in the rain is a ridiculous outcome. I like nothing better than a good joke, but, not being one. Would I deserve it? Depends on what is asked, I suppose, but I’m not blaming or denying accountability.

Regardless the circumstances, ultimately, I made choices that did not serve me well. Hindsight keenly reveals my mistakes. Free agency can have undesirable results. I own this all day long. And it doesn’t change the fact that ‘yes, I erred in my judgement and I need help to manage the consequences.”

The alternative is that I succumb to the principles of survival being solely for the fittest. In that world view it would be some duty on my part to buck up buttercup, and head to the elephant graveyard without making a scene. What would the neighbors think, after all?

Transparency

I’ll confess that I can be accused of being somewhat obstinate. I’m too proud and because I’m too proud, I try to do for myself what I can’t do alone. I am guarded so my vulnerability isn’t revealed. I refuse to back down long past the moment I should concede. I’ve always been a fighter, a solitary boxer standing naked on the shore, balled fists raging against an angry sea. Beaten back, again and again, just like the rocks eventually become sand, its pulverized my pride, my willfulness, my rebellion to this.

It’s impossible to make a dignified cry for help. I had to choose: the facade of dignity or the chance of restoration.  Like the saying goes, you can save face or save your ass but you can’t save both at the same time.

Immediate Need

Paypal = Eating

Post-Immediate needs are securing shelter and a way to transport the very little I have from here to somewhere better than here because here is gone.

The End.

Tonight is my last night sleeping inside, it seems. I’ll leave on foot with the birds in the morning. I won’t be able to take anything with me, really. My hands will be kind of full.

I really don’t expect we’ll survive long. I have no where to go, no one to call. I’m in an unfamiliar place. My medicine hasn’t been working right, so I’m physically impaired.

No one to blame but myself. I made terrible choices and put my trust in bad people. It’s a lifelong pattern. I guess I never worked through my sociopath mother issues. I keep replacing her with others. Maybe it’s all I know. But, that’s on me. And, it really doesn’t matter.

I wish I could tell my children how much I love them and how proud I am. They are nothing like me.

Maybe I have another post left in me for later, but right now, I don’t feel very good. I’m going to lie down and cry myself to sleep. Tomorrow everything will be worse.

I’ll be grateful for what I have tonight. I’m so scared.

 

It Can Always Be Worse


Hope not warranted at this point

The garage was broken into last night and the car completely disabled. The contents of the dash box and center console were stolen. The battery is dead and the engine compartment pulled apart..it won’t be driven out of here.

So, now, with less than two days left, the birds and I have no where to go, and no way to get there. When going nowhere having no way to get there seems fitting.

Right now, I don’t think anything remains to be hopeful about. I’m on the very sharp edge of total discouragement. Should I lose Louie and Qt, it would be all over for me.

And there is nothing I can do now to prevent this.

No car means no work, no money, no place to stay warm and dry enough to survive.

Just when I think I’ve met with the end..something worse comes to pass. I’d like to believe something different may come, instead. But, I can be a fool.

I’m just going to lie down, now, and sleep. Inside. Maybe for the last time I will for a very long time, if ever.

Shitty ending to a long story line. My impossibly cursed life

48 Hours Left

Maybe my chickens have come home to roost.white chicken

I tried hard, as hard as I could, to get back on my feet and hold down this studio apartment. For two months I managed to stay afloat, but, the effort I invested is paying back too little, too late.

I couldn’t pull enough income to make this month’s rent and notice was served. Now, I have minus 48 hours to pack up and leave.

So, tonight, right now, I’m getting the little I have here with me packed up into assorted bags and when I’m done cleaning up, my two birds and I will get in the car I borrowed and go find somewhere to park. We’ll be living in the car for as long as I can keep them both alive. These birds are susceptible to extreme temperature changes and stress. There will be both.

And, I will do everything I can to find more work and generate enough income to live.

But, let the record show that I did and continue doing the very best I can to survive all this. I never expected it would be easy. Maybe I didn’t realize it white chickenwould become this tough, but this is life on life’s terms and sometimes, we aren’t offered better alternatives.

So, for anyone reading this particular morose post, tonight, remember to count your blessings. Every single one of them. One day, you may be glad you put in the practice because without the ability to find something to be grateful for, it’s possible to find oneself in a position that would make the prospect of waking up another day untenable without having something to appreciate.

No matter how humble.

 

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

 

There’s a very good chance you or I could do everything right and still get blamed when something goes terribly wrong and we are hurt.

We will get blamed for it, because if people can make it the other person’s fault, then they can imagine that they’re safe because they’re not like that person.

And it happens all the time.

 

 

Other People’s Problems

I’ve had and continue to struggle with certain problems, one of them being securing safe, stable housing since my health interfered with my career several years ago.

Even so, I can be sufficiently moved by another person’s misfortune to feel compelled to respond somehow. That happened about 10 minutes ago as I was searching Craigslist for a short term gig so I can earn money to pay the remainder of the rent before the 3-day or quit gets posted to the door.

Instead, I ran across this:

please-help-my-son

The struggle is real.

Disillusionist

I guess there are some truths that I would prefer never having known. An idealist’s disappointment is a blade that carves to tailored depths and is as blunt as time worn stone.

In a word: it hurts.

It hurts in an especially excruciating way because it challenges the core of the idealism that is the basis of all that is dreamed and championed for. Disillusionment robs us of that bit of ourselves, little by little. Dream by dream. Hope by hope. Love by love. Shattered. Scarred.

Perpetually standing adrift at the crossroad to the rest of our life.

Then what?

Letting AI Inside My Head

Using IBM’s Watson for Personality Insights (a Tone Analyzer is also available), I entered samples of text from answers I have written and posted at Quora.com.

IBM describes this tool as a means to:

Gain insight into how and why people think, act, and feel the way they do. This service applies linguistic analytics and personality theory to infer attributes from a person’s unstructured text.

This was the result in a graphic of the Big 5 summary of my personality as interpreted by Watson via my writing

personality-insights2

In summary

You are analytical and particular.
You are philosophical: you are open to and intrigued by new ideas and love to explore them. You are assertive: you tend to speak up and take charge of situations, and you are comfortable leading groups. And you are altruistic: you feel fulfilled when helping others, and will go out of your way to do so.
Your choices are driven by a desire for discovery.
You consider independence to guide a large part of what you do: you like to set your own goals to decide how to best achieve them. You are relatively unconcerned with taking pleasure in life: you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment.

It also predicts that I am likely to enjoy rap music and it is unlikely that I enjoy country music. That’s kind of interesting.

Accurate? I don’t know if I can say with certainty. I can say the results were consistent for the most part with every analysis I ran (approximately 10-12 written articles).

YMMV.