1 day left….

So today I go back to the shelter for my results of my covid 19 test, which I know is negative. It was a requirement for me to have one done before my second interview for st.francis.

I leave to get on the van around 11am, by appointment is at 12:30. It doesn’t take that long to get back to the shelter from 106th and Central park. The coordinator arranges van requests back to the shelter around the time the driver drops off lunch as they already have packets of oatmeal and dry cereal, milk, coffee, and sugar for the mornings.

We were dispersed into three different hotels and there are two drivers and two vans, but they also have a mini van and Ms. Smith will sometimes come and pick up clients and drive them back to their location, like on Monday the van took me to my second interview, Ms. Smith and Ms. Bowie who is apart of the housing team, drove me back in the mini van to the hotel.

I’m actually excited now to be able to get back to the shelter and pack my stuff and not be in the hotel anymore. In a day I will be in my own space and I’m excited to be moving out and getting aquatinted with the program that st.francis has for me.

After being in a dorm with 26 other woman, it will be a nice change although for the last 6 months I have had my own room, but no more will I be in a semi private environment. It’s surreal.

Once I get to my new living arrangement and move my belongings into my unit, I’m going to go to the check cashing place and cash my money orders as I’m going shopping on Wednesday with Abdul.

I hope the day doesn’t move slowly. I was a rut last night while trying to sleep. I tossed and turned all night anticipating today. I was up at 5:00 this morning, and I got myself together and just wait for 6am to roll around so I could go out for a cup of coffee and a cigarette. The corner store doesn’t open up till 7am, so I had to walk two block to Columbus ave to another deli for my coffee.

I just strolled, soon I will be able to make my own coffee in my make shift kitchen. I won’t be able to boil water, but I will have a microwave. I’m going to get two mugs at target that are microwave safe.

I wonder how it’s going to be and feel to live without family. I haven’t had the responsibility of caring for two other people in the last two years… But now I will be in my own space, and I caring for just myself, although I am pretty much have been on my own for the last two years.

I just thought that I would be sharing this experience with my children and family. It’s a different feeling. I’m excited but I don’t have the comfort of my mother and stepfather to see me through the door of my apartment.

I’m sharing the experience with the staff of the shelter and Abdul who are very happy that I was able to survive the whole process.

But at least I am moving and that’s what I have to look forward to now. Through everything that has happened, I am officially going to be able to say I have my own place. I have to live with and deal with my own mental health issues in the safety of my own place.

Unfortunately while living with my mother, if I started to exibite psychosis, she would call the cops on me and I would be admitted to the psych ward. The whole issue now is that I will be living with that type of support on site.

It has been hard to except, but it is infact better that I don’t live with my family. It just wasn’t a good atomspher for the lives of my children, especially my youngest. And financially I wasn’t able to care for them properly. My income is for one person. I wasn’t able to make it through the month before. I was in charge of paying the cell phone bill which was on a plan for three people, and being stubborn I opted to have n iPhone which I was leasing as well as my mothers iPhone. With the fees and charges I wasn’t able to keep up. I also had retail credit that I had applied for in the haste of my psychotic episode and had spent money buying my daughter and myself clothes on line. I thought I would be able to maintain. I was literally out of my mind. I never had enough money for laundry, or extracurricular activities concerning my daughter, and had to rely on my mother to pay the cost for class trips or picture day.

I want to say one of the things that I want to do is clean up my credit, but I can’t. I am relieved that through this process, all I needed was about $800 to move into st.franis. I have $700 and they are allowing me to move. I’m relieved that I didn’t have to use my credit score to find an apartment or a room as a 2010e goes by your disablity, which for the most part its for mental health problems although they do have programs based off different disablities.

I don’t mind that the program will be maintaining my benefits. It makes me not fear that I will not have enough for the month… And it’s nice to know that I have a little savings that I was able to aquire.

After I finish getting the things I need, I’m most likey going to hand in the majority of my savings for the money manger to hold. I’m going to live by their budget set aside for me. I will probably keep about $200 in cash for myself.

I hope that today I will find out if I got approved for the one shot deal with HRA… I really don’t have a problem with paying my first months rent though.

It’s just going to be nice to be able to call my unit home. I always called mother’s place home, but it will be different to have my own. I wasn’t paying the rent or utilities so it never quite felt like it was my place. I had rules for my children, but as my son got older he started to act out towards me and negated the fact I wasn’t the owner of the apartment. My mothers word was bottom line and he often used that fact against me. It is what it is… My daughter on the other hand thought I was the best mom in the world but she was too young to really understand the deal. I tried to give my daughter the world, I did the same with my son, but the relationship between mother and daughter are significantly different then between mother and son.

Unfortunately even having been married to my daughters father,I still ended up a single mother. I tried to have and put together a family, but my husband ended up being diagnosed with his own mental health issues and he had a porn addiction that surfaced when he ended up moving in with me and my family.

We ended up getting into an argument shortly after my daughter was born and I packed up his things and asked him to leave.

My son’s father was virtually non existent as well even though he took me to court for visitation. When it came to child support he didn’t make any contributions, he did pay for summer camp for his son, but ultimately I had finical support from my parents.

I had no idea that I was suffering with a mental health condition, until I was diagnosed after my first hospitalization in 2010 when my daughter was 3 years old and my son was 13.

I was trying to find work but couldn’t balance out motherhood and a schedule with positions that I applied for. I didn’t have the money to pay for child care which left me being a stay at home mother and working out a deal for money with my mother.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my mother wanted me to abort it .. but I didn’t. I was “in love” and thought that with in time me and my boyfriend would be able to find jobs to support ourselves and find an apartment. We had even applied for public housing. My daughter was only 6 weeks old when we got into the argument and he moved out. We did try to work things out but his safety net was to move back home to Pennsylvania and live with his parents.

I really was struggling with postpartum depression and the manifestation of schitoeffective disorder.

I made it through 7 years raising my daughter until I had my biggest psychotic episode, and I had stopped taking my daughter to school and ACS was notified. I was trying to protect her because I thought someone was going to steal her off school ground.

Because I had mental health issues on file with my health care, they served me with a restraining order to vacate the premises, my daughter wasn’t home she was with my stepfather, my son actually saw me being escorted by the cops out of the apartment.

I was completely in the throws of a psychotic episode that I ended up walking around Broadway near the building, and sleeping out front of whole foods on 97th and Columbus ave.

I had even tried going back with the cops to get my things, my mother had let me in but my son had taken all of my clothes and put them in trash bags on the Terrace. All I was able to get was a pair of sweat pants and a blouse. I wasn’t even allowed to go through my dresser drawers to see if I could get the rest of my clothes as one of the cops was watching me from the bedroom door.

I ended up staying on the street, and then finding my way to path which is in the Bronx. All I had was the clothes on my back and my identification, which through the process of trying to get a bed at path and going into a regular shelter I lost my identification.

I actually ended up in a shelter for a week before getting kicked out because I was stealing. A voice told me that there where cigarettes in a bag that I thought was left behind, only to find out that the woman had never left the shelter and she saw her bag in my locker and told DHS. They ended up clipping my locker and I was asked to leave. At the time I was at a facility called win one on 58th street and 8th Ave. They let me take my pocket book.

I ended up staying on street for about 3 months, living off the things I found rummaging through the garbage and stealing denim leggings from the pharmacy.

I must have looked homeless and people felt pity for me. A few people have me money or food… But for the most part I was stuck with the manifestation of my disorder. I was talking to myself and trying to find a place to seclude myself even getting arrested and being transported to central bookings for shoplifting. I was let out on my own recognitice as it was just a few dollars of things I had stolen.

I was given a metro card and I found myself by Columbus circle. It wasn’t until I was sitting in front of a post office that was closed for the day because it was holiday, that I think someone in the neighborhood had called the cops and they picked me up. They called for Ems backup and I with my dented pink suitcase that I had taken from the garage was transported to st. Luke’s hospital and admitted to the psych ward and started on the haldol shot.

For two months they also gave me haldol pills to build a response with my disorder.

From being kicked out of the shelter and living on the street i really had settled on the fact that I was homeless. I didn’t enjoy trying to find a place to sleep and had gotten kicked out of CVS for loitering in the clinic area.

I also stayed in the train station and was asked to leave the staircase as there is a business underground on 59th street called underground market where they have an eatery.

It wasn’t until my step father who was deemed my in case of emergency person from previous hospitizations, came to see me at the psych ward that I learned that I really couldn’t go back home. Although I was out on the street it hadn’t dawned on me that I couldn’t go home. I was hearing voices telling me that I just had to go through this process and I would see my family again.

My speech was incoherent as I was in the middle of calming down from my psychotic episode and I was talking about people I used to know who I thought cought HIV.

My step father explained to me that the social worker on my case in the hospital was arranging for me to be placed in a n intake shelter, and after the visit was over he gave me a hug. I can’t say he looked relived but more concerned for my well being.

At the end of that week, I was given my things which wasn’t much, but it was washed for me. I had stolen a pair of tights and my leggings had a hole in them, so I put the tights on under the leggings. I had a purple mock neck top that was thrown out in from of the Maxx that I had taken as well as some books that I had found.

While in the hospital I would look out the window and try to decide where I was going to live on the street. I had no idea what was in store for me until my stepfather came and told me everything.

The next day the social worker came to tell me where I would be going, that they had arranged for me take a care service to the south Bronx. The day after that I got my belongings back, and was taken with a case manager to the cab. I was given medication, tooth brushes, deodorant and tooth paste.

The ride from the hotel to Franklin was long, and I was terrified. I didn’t know what to expect. Once I got to Franklin, I checked in and they already had my name on file as a new client.

I had to wait about an hour after they searched my suitcase, to be seen my intake specialist. While at the hospital I was given a Cane by the internist because my arthritis was also on the Fritz and I was stiff and they felt that I needed it. I was also given my discharge papers which I had to show to the intake specialist.

I was given a bed on the second floor because I had a cane and was deemed in their terms disabled, so I could use the back entrance on the ground floor instead of having to climb the stairs.

The bed was a cot. I put my suitcase in my locker but I didn’t lock my locker the entire 9 days I was at the intake shelter. I was given a sheet, a blanket, and a pillow as well as a small bottle of lotion, a tooth brush a towel, and tooth paste.

The intake specialist gave me an appointment to see a case manager in the building the next day to evaluate me. I had to see the doctor and psychiatrist at the facility.

They had to give me a ppd test which was mandatory, and also collect my medical files.

At Franklin you had to get up by 5:30. Bed check was at 9:30 where the staff left a clip board with the list of names of the woman who where staying in that room. You had until 10 pm to sign your name or you would loose your bed.

During my 9 day stay, I was able to get a black tunic top  and a dress from donations, and I found a pair of black leggings someone had thrown away from the laundry room in the garage.

You had to stay on the drill floor which had two TV’s blaring and the security desk. One tv was in Spanish and one was in English.

The food wasn’t very good, but you definitely don’t have any right to complain as it wasn’t permenant shelter. I found myself very hungry during my stay at Franklin. I didn’t even get a snap case open because the longest you could stay at Franklin was 21 days.

The psychiatrist told me that I had an appointment at susans place for a follow up. I thought I was going to be given a metro card and I would have to find my way to and from. I thought I would have to go to my appointment and come back to Franklin and wait the next step, not realizing that I would actually be transferred to Susan’s place. I had forgotten that I would need to assertion an income again because I had lost my SSI. I had no idea how the system worked.

I was driven to Susan’s place after dinner. Unfortunately the only thing I was able to do was wash up because I didn’t want to go to the drill floor to showers. The room had a bathroom with a sink so I opted to just wash up. I was given a bra that wasn’t my size and a couple pair of panties I pretty much rotated panties washing them in the sink and hang drying them on my locker door. I was afraid to shower in the open shower area because the only private stalls where the toliets.

Once I got to Susans place, Ms. Brown made me put my things in a plastic packing bag to search my suitcase. I was made to take a shower, and my things would be put in the dryer for bed bug check. They had offered me dinner but I was full from the beef stew I had eaten at Franklin. I was taken to my room which was 404 across the hall from the living room and social services office. I was given a key with a lock, sheets, a blanket, a pillow, deodorant and a small bottle of lotion. It felt good to take a hot shower after so long.

The next day was Friday, and I was given an appointment for intake with a case manager, the following Monday was my follow up with the psychiatrist.

It has been two years since my transfer… And now I’m getting ready to leave. I’ve definitely come a long way since everything. I have learned alot in general about myself in the process. I had to come to terms that I would be on medication and have to see a psychiatrist for the rest of my life. For some people who have my disorder and being able to live with family, I think eventually most people with mental health issues end up having to live independently.

It just sucks that I don’t have the right to see or contact my family. The only person I am able to contact is my stepfather because he doesn’t live at the address. I have yet to contact him to let him know anything or that I’m actually alive. My psychiatrist as of now wants to contact my family but im hesitant. I’m filled with embarrament and shame. I want to actually not have to deal with a third person to intervene. I know now that this isn’t possible. I would rather not have my psychiatrist contact anyone even though they kind of want a history from an outside point of view about my condition.

I just hope that through everything I didn’t scar my children, especially my daughter who I was closest to. I hope that she isn’t badly effected by the change in living conditions. I know my son is angery, and completely hates me. He couldn’t deal with my condition and seeing me get admitted to the psych ward, although he tried to be patient. I just couldn’t balance my diagnosis and motherhood. I tried to be the best mother I could, but I had become a recluse and unfortunately that bares a burden on family life.

Then going into a restricted environment, has really been an eye opening change for me. All I can think about is would I have continued living with my mother? I’m almost 40 years old, and I didn’t have my own pot to piss in. I couldn’t just call the shots, if the dishes needed to be washed it was infact my job to do them, and I gave my mother a hard time with doing them not to say that I wouldn’t do them, but when she wanted it done now I always wanted to wait until later.
Now I can basically do my own dishes when I’m ready on my own terms, including my laundry. For the most part I didn’t do laundry consistently because I didn’t have the money, and it was my responsibility to maintain mine and my daughter’s. Instead I ended up having a months worth of clothes for her to avoid having to do laundry every other week.
It’s just wasn’t a good environment and that’s my fault and problem. I was the cause of the arguments with my mother, and the lack of respect when it came to dealing with my son.
I have to come to terms with that even being a mother, I just couldn’t be what they needed and money was also the problem. I couldn’t budget myself accordingly and with no financial help from my children’s fathers, I ultimately sacrificed my little bit of income into trying to spoil my children.
They are better off and I know that. It’s just hard to deal with it excepting that fact. If I didn’t have my parents I mostly likey would have lost my children to foster care. If something where to happen to my mother and I didn’t have schitoeffective disorder, I wouldn’t be able to afford the apartment on the upper west side. I most likey would be struggling in a shelter and be dealing with a very angry son who most likey would end up living with my stepfather.
I would never be able to get a job to afford rent of $1700 and utilities and food and the necessities that come along with providing for a family.
Since having my son it was one continuous fight with his father with his rights as a non custodial father and payments of $25 dollars a month.
I ended up back at stage one with my daughters father and having the same fight. He was in Pennsylvania but couldn’t hold a job to pay support. It just wasn’t what was needed for my children. But my guilt is also that I left a financial cost on my parents.
I don’t know what it is to have a job, as I always tried to have a career. For me it was impossible even before my diagnosis. I could barely find the balance between mother hood and going to school, and now I’m working with student loan forgiveness program about my student loans again.
I’m forever going to be in debt and that weights alot on my mind.  Even if I should start working again, which I feel with my condition isn’t possible, I will always have debt in the back of my mind. Im going to have to get a job that pays my rent and little bills that I have aquired.
I don’t know life without being on a government assistaned program. I went to school but basically have no training in anything and the one thing I prided myself on was that I went back to school for my cosmetology license, but I lost it. I wasn’t able to get my log in information to change my address on file with the department of licensing so every four years I could pay the ten dollars to recertify my license. I basically went back to school for no reason. I wasn’t even good or great when it came to being a hairdresser, but it was a love of mine. I would never be able to make the money I need as a hairstylist to support myself.
My contingency plan is get a security guard certificate and also probably take a course in bartending in order to make a healthy salary to support myself that is if I ever loose my benefits.
But where I am moving is making me deal with having intestive psychotherapy. I literally have problems in general with being able to hold a job as I have anxiety problems as well.
I feel like shit being on ssi and living off snap benefits. Why was I born this way? What is the purpose? I have to deal with it alone and try and come to terms with my existence.
I don’t think I have suicidal tendencies as I really never tried to harm myself, although a few months ago I tried to over dose on Tylenol and ended up throwing it up on the floor.
I researched ways to kill myself but really just got pointed int he direction of suicide prevention.
I would really never take a sharp objects and inflict pain on myself. I don’t like pain and it wouldn’t kill me. I can’t buy a gun and even if I could I would have a problem pulling the trigger as I don’t like pain to begin with, who does?
My thoughts about suicide is what if I attempted it, and survived. I would be locked up in an insane assylulym.

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