Two days left in the shelter system….

It’s the countdown now for my moving day. I have to say I’m relieved a little bit that I won’t spending more time in a restricted environment.

It definitely has been a process in general. I was really thinking that the system wouldn’t have a place for me to go. I thought I would just be spending my time after four years and I would have to go to another shelter. But now I know that the system has placement for everyone.

I thought I would be living out of a locker for the rest of my life, but that simply isn’t the case. The 2010e basically works with your disablity o insure you live in an environment that is based on your needs.

I was apprehensive at first because when I found out that I wouldn’t be in control of my own money, I kind of felt like it was a slap in the wrist. But I had time to think about it, and it was also explained that the reason the program in the residency does that is to ensure you will always have money for the month. If I decide that I don’t need the whole allowance or don’t want it for the day I don’t have to take it.

They help you pay for your bills as well… Like if you aquire a cable bill and your cell phone bill, every month they give you the money out of your income to pay you bill and a write out a check to pay your cable bill.

The cable company is just a few blocks away from where I will be living so all I would have to do is take the bill and the check and go pay my bill. They give you cash for your cell phone bill, and luckily alone my research of the neighborhood, I found that there is a metro pcs close by so I can pay my bill in person.

This whole process has been surreal for me. No more will I have to go through medal detectors or deal with security watching everything I do. Freedom, finally. I’m going to have a door that I can close and not have to be bothered if I don’t want to. I will be able to get dressed at my own time and not have to worry about leaving the dorm by 9am and trying to busy myself until 5.

It will definitely be different as a single entity. I don’t have the responsibility of having to maintain my two children. It’s not a bonus as I actually enjoyed being a mother., But I couldn’t provide for them that’s the sad fact. Unfortunately dealing with and having mental health problems and also living off the system such as snap benefits I was only really able to provide the bare minimum. I was living under my mothers roof. She paid the rent and utilities, so I had to follow her rules which left me feeling restricted in sense.

I did fight for child support but never got any, which didn’t help with the cost of living, and as my son turned 18 and got older the system didn’t work in my favor. He wasn’t obligated to go to any program to prove he was working or capable of working which put a sanction on my welfare case. Unfortunately there was too much cash on hand for me to keep my welfare case open and they docked me the $145 every two weeks to help me take care of my daughter.

With out me present, I’m sure my mother has things in a grip while raising my daughter who will soon be 13. My son’s birthday just passed he turned 23. But because there’s a restraining order in place I’m not able to see them.

Due to mental health acs felt it was best that I wouldn’t be able to stay in contact which is the hardest thing I am going through. I was a mother for 21 years.

Now for the last two years I have been on my own from being escorted out of my living situation with the clothes on my back and having to go to path shelter in the Bronx and being shleped to a shelter and then living in the street for three months, this whole thing has been daunting, and scary as I was going though a psychotic episode.

It wasn’t until I was picked up by the cops and Ems, and taken to the hospital and placed in the psych ward that I had to be told that I wasn’t allowed to go back to the premises in which I lived.

After two months of being in the psych ward I was taken to Franklin woman’s assessment shelter in the south Bronx for 9 days. The hospitals case manager arranged for me to be placed accordingly.

After 9 days and having to see their doctors and psychiatrist I was driven to Susan’s place where I had to start from scratch. The whole process now is apart of me.

I have come to except that I have a mental health problem and issues, what I can’t except but I try to, is that I’m not able to be involved in my children’s lives. Even though for the most part my mother and I had a relationship, it was plagued with having to deal with mental health. I was not ok. I couldn’t find a balance with having to take medication and having to see intesive treatment. I even signed myself out the program and stopped taking my medication. It is one of the hardest things I have grown to realize… Whether I was going to treatment or not, the course of events would have lead me out of the apartment where I lived. I was not able to maintain myself, and also the responsibility of taking care of both my children.

It took me the year and half in the shelter to come to terms with having a new life without family, which is why I am in a sense greatful that I will be living in supportive housing. I can seek my treatment within the supportive housing program….

Coming from the whole shelter environment which is very much restricted and semi private to being able to say “at least I will have privacy” is a feeling that I am getting used to having.

Even living with my mother, unfortunately I didn’t have privacy as I was sharing the master bedroom with my daughter. At least my daughter has her own space now which is more important.

I did try to find ways to assertion my own like applying for section 8 housing outside of new York city, but all the waiting lists where for give years or more and I was approved for the public housing lists. I have to except that I was probably not going to be able to move on my own with my daughter as my son had decided that where ever I went he wasn’t going to live with me.

I have come to except that this is and was really the better decision for my children not to say that I wasn’t a good mother but financially I wasn’t able to care for them, and I was also a burden on my mother.

Now I will specifically be on my own, and one of the nice things I feel within the program is that they maintain my benefits encluding snap.

One of the things that I am going to be working on with my psychiatrist is my guilt. I feel guilty that I am receiving SSI… I wish I could work but I can’t hold a job with my conditions. I feel like I am a burden to society and I wish that I could actually work a decent job and make my own income but I get paranoid and afraid of the basic things. I feel like I’m being watched and I get angest while traveling.

I am excepting the transition from the shelter to saying I will have my own place without my children, for me it doesn’t feel natural to say which makes me feel guilty for living without them.

But I have to say and except that I am infact going to have my own space and now coming from living in semi private dorm, and then the hotel, at least I won’t be bothered behind the four walls of my room.

It’s now two days until I move and I’m prepared, not 100% ready. I have to say that I am scared that what if I have a relapse and have to go be put in the psych ward but I guess that’s why there’s support where I’m going to be living.

I busied myself with getting the fitted sheets and comforter that I want for my space. There is no argument from my mother. Because it was her apartment I had no say so in decorating my own space or what color sheets I should have on my bed.

I’m now going to be on my own and have the right to decorate my unit the way I want without interruption. I’m going to have people maintaining my benefits so that I never fall short in income, that even doing laundry isn’t going to be an expense that I need to worry about.

So I decided that I will be getting basic cable at the cost of $44 dollars a month and just try and maintain a basic living lifestyle.

I’m going to have a support system in place for me, so if I need to talk or have a problem with my mental health status it can be addressed on site which is why I am not too unhappy with how everything turned out. I don’t find it to be a problem now that I have to stare at my issues head on. There’s no way for me to sign out of treatment because I’m feeling better. I literally will loose my freedom and a roof over my head. I have to actually except the program.

But now I will have freedom. I will be able leave at 4 am if I want. I will be able to have company or spend the night out… But that’s not a big issue for me as I really didn’t have many friends to begin with. Unfortunately the friends I did have I lost in the middle of my psychotic episode, so I am starting over with that process as well.

I do have Abdul who I met on tagged but I haven’t really disclosed my diagnosis with mental health to him. But he has been a friend to me non the less. He wants more but I’m not able to give him what he wants as far as a relationship is concerned. He wants a family and being 50 years old and having no children and never been married, he is lusting over the idea of settling down.

I have already been married and still not even divorced yet… So there’s a knot in my string and definitely don’t want more children. I wouldn’t be able to keep it if I where to get pregnant. So I just keep Abdul at arm’s reach. He has been somewhat supportive this far which I appreciate… But I can’t commit it wouldn’t be right.

I’m now committed to my mental health. I now have to learn to live alone with in the constraints of my own space… No real rules within my four walls which is the biggest change for me. I don’t know how to actually live on my own without having to share space. In the shelter I’m sharing a room, and semi private bathrooms.

Now I’m going to have a private bathroom, it may not be my own but at least the toliet and shower are private. At least my unit that I was given is right across the hall from one of the bathrooms on my floor which I think is nice.

I’m going to actually be maintaining me myself and I. I will be able to have the foods I want in my own refrigerator. I wont have to worry that there isn’t enough food. It’s a just a feeling I can’t say that it’s good or bad.

Im going to be learning to be a somewhat functional person. Coming from the shelter environment where the day is broken up to three cycles revolving eating because of you don’t eat you pretty much have to fend for yourself and use your snap… But there’s will be a place to eat without having to share a table with someone or having to eat what’s being prepared. It’s definitely going to be a change that I have been dealing with for the last year and half.

I won’t have to share a microwave with 200 other woman if I want to microwave something… Like I’m going to have my own everything.

The nice part is that the unit comes furnished, so it’s the little things that I have to purchase which I think it was great that the shelter makes you put money aside from your income for your move.

I won’t be spending the whole $1500 dollars I have saved so I will have money left over just in case.

Going to stock up on cold and flu medicine, as well as Tylenol. I’m going to buy a rug that goes with scheme of my design… Besides the refrigerator and microwave which is basically already paid for on Tuesday, I’m going to save up for an air-conditioner. I’m going to be buying a television as well.

I just have mixed emotions with everything in general. Like I’m happy but sad at the same time. The shelter life is now just apart of my story, something I never thought of or considered as a younger woman before I was diagnosed.

I always thought that I would be doing something in fashion and making a decent salary, and be living close to my mother in my own apartment on the upper west side. I miss the upper west side, even though it’s where I have been for the last 5 months. It’s just not the same now.

My new life I will have my own address and be living on the lower eat side. I pretty much feel like through the whole process, I actually lucked out. I’m actually going to be able to live in Manhattan where I feel most comfortable.

I was terrified to think that I was going to be calling the Bronx or Brooklyn home.

Now it’s two days until I move, and I’m just mixed up with different emotions. Like I’m going to have my own space, I haven’t had my own space since I was 16.

It’s definitely different when your growing up and live with your parents. You are told to clean up and make your bed. You have to eat dinner when it’s served and basically be trained to become a citizen of society.

I will be doing these things on my very own now. If I want cereal for dinner I can have that. I don’t have to worry about what to cook for two other people… It’s a feeling that I’m going to have to actually except.

In the shelter your pretty much left to your own vices but I learned to roll with the ouches and eat the food that served. I usually eat lunch and dinner sometimes eating breakfast if I had it to the cafeteria in time. A new food that I actually learned to like is grits… I never used to eat grits before and now I enjoy since having tried it. You can definitely get your own food at the two corner stores and bring it in… One of the things that I got spoiled on was the one of the corner stores by the shelter would allow you to get hot food on your ebt and even ciggarettes. But I found it difficult to find a place to sit down to eat a breakfast sandwich once the cafeteria opened back up at ten am as the cafeteria filled up quickly with the clients. Im not one to be able to eat right when I wake up in the morning so I kind of had to make a decision sometimes and wait it out for lunch and also eat dinner.

Now I will be living on my own terms and I’m thankful that I will be regaining privacy again. Living in a semi private living situation is a difficult environment. I hated that I had no choice but to live with other woman and living the habits of strangers. It’s an experience that I don’t ever want to be apart of again.

Now I’m just waiting to find out if my one shot deal has been excepted which I will most likely find out by Tuesday. I will be cleaning my locker out on Monday and getting my money orders as well.

This stage is almost over… I now just wonder how it’s going to be living in supportive housing. Yes I will be on my own but but will be maintained with out being restricted which is a new feeling.

Being a mother I felt restricted at times because I wasn’t able to just get up and leave, I had to make sure if I wanted to go out an socialize that there was someone home to watch my daughter. Now if I want to go play pool or go for a midnight stroll I don’t have to answer to anyone. All of these things are new to me and I have to actually learn to live solely.

But for the most part, the people at the residency don’t look unhappy. They look content and at peace with the environment which is what is making my transition to moving less scary.

I am excited to decorating my space and look forward to it. I guess now it’s about the little things that I have to take into account.

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