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23 April 2011 @ 01:58 pm
It's been a long week. I tried to kick off my cold but it stayed around. For days now, I've been talking as if I just smoked sixty years of cigarettes. I just roused myself out of bed for the second time today, leaving behind three other snoring, humanish lumps in the bunks around me. When I was depressed on my own, wasting life and time, it seemed like a self-indulgent sin. In the shelter, it resembles something more systemic.

I got someone at the housing program to give me an estimate of the length of time I'd be on the waiting list for a room--about a month and a half, they said. My case manager had been trying to persuade me and himself that the absence of information meant I could be there within a week. He finally mentioned an actual day--Wednesday--that the shelter might have to kick me out its doors. Not the shelter proper, but the crisis program that has been providing me with a round-the-clock bed. I won't stay in the main shelter. I can't and won't. In the main shelter, people's entire existences revolve and hinge on getting a bed each day, and their schedule is circumscribed very strictly by the shelter's timetable. Out the door with all your stuff by 7:00 a.m. If you've managed to get a locker, you could stick around maybe and take a shower without losing your stuff. Bed opportunities for the coming evening start at 8:30 a.m. so people hang around. If you're expecting mail, you can't pick it up until 1:30. No laundry services in the main shelter. It's meager and demeaning even at a remove.

I've been in a mood as terrible as rough weather. Last night after a period of sobbing and thinking of my mom I lashed out in screaming rage at my bunkmate, who was recently released from prison for assault. She'd just asked me if I was okay. But the measure of how miserable and pathetic I am is that I sobbed apologies within seconds, feeling guilty and horrible, and she softened and called me honey and reassured me it was okay and gave me the room for a bit. Later she told me her life story--a lot of people do that here--and projected our friendship well into the future. However, she probably forgot everything five minutes later, so no real commitment should be expected.

My cold is deep in my body, doing things to it. A nerve in my jaw is agonizing. I seem to have lost some hearing in my right ear. Today I went for the heavy-duty cold medication and now my head is numb and the world feels Kafkaesque.

Short-sightedly I only booked thirty minutes on this computer and now I have to go. I am lonely and floaty and achey today; my throat is raw. I'm going to pick up some food and go back to bed, I think.

I want to say a thank you. The money has made a huge difference. I didn't want to admit it. I wanted to imagine myself as fiercely independent. But without people's help I think I would have sunk under by now.

A passing wave,

Gerigeri on April 23rd, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine what you are going through but i can relate to losing your mother. And again i'm truly so damn sorry my point is if you need anything drop me a line @bronxniter170@yahoo.com. I can empathize with you i'm a mother of seven and i would go insane if something happened to one of mine. Last week my son's friend was 16 and died of a massive heart attack i'm still reeling from that but if you need a care package just email me and send me your info and i'll mail it to you.
"Smokin' hot.": kitten dandelion crooked_halo8without_me on April 23rd, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you. What a gift it is to hear that I've helped someone else in some small way. Particularly someone as important to so many of us as you are.

Sending hope that a housing arrangement (among other things) will work out soon.
caiathisficklemob on April 23rd, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)

Depression could be systemic. I wouldn't be surprised.

I hope your cold improves.

I am sorry and worried you're being kicked out.
flaming museflaming_muse on April 23rd, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
I cannot imagine how being around other people who are in a hard time in their lives and who are feeling both trapped by the rules of the shelter and desperate about losing what little support they do have would not make everyone feel that much worse. I don't know enough about how shelters must be run practically to know what could be improved in your specific situation, but there must be a better, more uplifting, personal, and respectful way.
laurashapiro on April 23rd, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
Sorry you're sick on top of everything else. ::hugs::

Malmalnpudl on April 23rd, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
If it helps to think of it in this way: You bless others by allowing them to help you.

You're often in my thoughts.
Trepkostrepkos on April 23rd, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
Anna, I don't blame you for not wanting to stay in the main shelter. Can you stay somewhere else while you wait for a place in the housing programme? Would your brother put you up for that period?
And I suppose it's crass of me to ask, but is there any chance you have been left anything by your mother? Money doesn't make everything better but it sure helps.
kassrachel on April 23rd, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, honey. A month and a half. Bloody hell.

And the fact that you haven't sunk under by now is a tribute to you and your strength. The money coming in is a sign that people love you -- and I am pretty certain that a lot of people love you who haven't even been able to send funds.

Thinking of you. With so much love. From afar. Health and healing and a real place to live, speedily and soon.
MELODY GLOUCESTER PEGASUSjolielaide on April 24th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
Letting people help doesn't negate your fierce independence. You're still standing, under an enormous, unimaginable tide of misfortune, and that's a pretty strong testament to your fierceness.

I hope you get over your cold soon, and that you find some alternative to the main shelter while you wait for your housing.
Tuesday Has No Phonesthebratqueen on April 25th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
*HUGS* Sending you lots of love.
tabaquitabaqui on April 25th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
Ah, man, i'm sorry you're sick on top of everything else. I wish i could do more. And hey - we all wanna be fiercely independent but none of us are, really. Not one.
*offers hugs*
*still listening*
Dessdessert_first on April 26th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC)
Sending you good wishes, Anna. Take care.