A little history

When I applied for social security income the first time ever, I was denied. I had only been hospitalized twice, and they didn’t find me disabled. I had to go for an appeal. Which meant a year long wait to go to court in down town Manhattan at civil court.

My daughter was 3 at the time, and I had a case manager named Natasha Phillips coming to see me once a week to make sure I was taking my medication and make sure I was ok. She was appointed by the hospital and I had no choice but let her come and visit me. She was nice and helped me apply for a Obama phone. My mother was working for democracy prep high school in east Harlem. Her job at ART oh mi was temporary but she soon landed a job at Democracy prep. She was making $75000 a year as the high school librarian. She was the bread winner, and I was just another mouth to feed.

I had been lying to snap with a letter I hand wrote myself with a factious address and phone number stating that I was baby sitting for $100 dollars a week. The offices don’t have enough leeway to cross reference letters or pay stubs so I was able to get snap with out having to go to work force. Work force is orientation for non working working people. They give you a test to see where you stand academically and Point you in the direction of a person who handles job fair. And your supposed to go to orientation to get help getting a job. They have jobs at staples and and security positions, and they don’t help with metro cards. Your suppose to run around New York City on their appointments given so you can keep your snap benefits. You have be doing something. Working or going to school. It wasn’t until I had to apply for welfare the very first time I learned this. I decided to go to Manhattan barbering school on 28th street and broadway. I had a student loan taken out and I was getting $64 dollars every two weeks in cash assistance and $597 in snap benefits. I still just a single mother of one child.

The course was 12 weeks and at the end I had to take the practical which was hard as fuck. It was given at the school and my father had his brother as my model He got a hair cut and a hot towel shave. I failed the master barbers test. I only had my temporary license. I was able to get a chair working in a barber shop in the Bronx off the the 2-3 train. I was in a shop with a bunch of men and I had no idea what I was doing that the manager of the shop had to finish my hair cuts. He wanted me to work on the beauticians side of the shop, it was a double shop one side was a barber shop the other side was beauty salon. But I didn’t have my license so I quit the job.

So then I found out that I didn’t have to apply for full welfare benefits I could just go to the snap office on 125th and 8th ave, someone told me to lie to them and just get a letter saying I was working so I didn’t have to go to child support court again. So I wrote a letter and I was Approved for snap benefits. My cash was coming from my mother. I didn’t have enough to get my nails done so Elaine was generous enough to pay for me keep my nails done. And when I wanted my hair braid I was steal my mother debit card and take out $100 so I could go to 125th street and between 6th and 7th ave to my girl Kane to get my hair braided in an African hair braiding shop that I had been going to for some time.

I was still applying for job and getting some interviews but never called to start working. Until I got job working with a veterinarian as front desk reception. He delt primarliy with Cats, located on 79th and broadway. I got fired from the job because I screwed up the paper work on the computer. I got paid $80 dollars. I didn’t even last two weeks on the job.

So when I found out I could lie to snap thats what I did. I had snap for 6 months until recertfication, and the same rules would apply. I would have to bring in a copy of the lease, a letter that I was working or pay stubs, and wait to be seen by one of the snap officers. This went on for some time and as long as I was putting food on the table no one said any thing. I did still try to find work. I lied on my resume and used my friends as references like when I was working for the town shop which was a lingerie shop on broad way and 81st street.

So when I was hospitalized, then hospitalized a second time, Natasha told me to apply for SSI, that I may not get approved the first time but I could do an appeal and go to court. Surly enough Thats what happened.

Natasha met me down town by 8am to go to court. It was was in July. My father came by the apartment to baby sit for me and I went down to the court houses.

When you do an appeal you have to write to SSA and give a reason why you want to appeal the decision made in your case, and you have to do it online. I had a little notebook laptop called an EEEpc my father bought me for Christmas. I had to make a social security profile and submit To a questionnaire form. I was given a reference number and in a few days a letter in the mail with my court date attached to it. I had no money for a year. I was getting $20 a week from my mother or when I needed money for appointments with snap. I was given laundry money to do mine and my daughters laundry and I spent my time home with my daughter.

I went to my bi weekly appointments with outpatient care on 114th street and Amsterdam with my therapist Chris Wilson and my psychologist Ricardo Miller. I was given a metro card at he clinic to get back home, then I had my weekly visits with Natasha.

Natasha worked for a program called Post graduates on 23rd street. Her job was to visit mentally challenge people at home to make sure medication was being taken and if needed fill out a 2010e. I wasn’t eligible for a 2010e because I already had shelter and I was a single mother . You have to be living in a shelter and not have children, and be recieving SSI. She was in charge of placement of 2010e like moving someone into a group home and things of that nature.

My daughter wasn’t school age yet so Natasha tried her best to help me get her into day care but I had to be working in order to get her into day care. So I would spend most of my time pushing the stroller to Barnes and noble and coming back to feed her lunch. Alot of time was spent in front of the Tv. Because I was on Zyrexia I was groggy. It was a anti psychotic drug. Which left me incompassitated. I would sleep until noon leaving my daughter to fend for herself while my mother went to her 9-5 job. I couldn’t get up out of sleep. So as my mother left She would leave the house phone by my head and my daughter would be up playing with her toys while the tv was on. My mother would feed her breakfast.

It was July when I had to make a court appearance at civil court. My appointment was at 9am. I was there by 8 am waiting outside for Natasha to show up. She was my witness. If you need to bring someone with you to court like a case manager or a family member it was written in the questionaire I had to fill out online.

The judge was given a letter from my psychologist stating that I was unable to work because I was in intensive outpatient care at the psychologists office and that I was a good candidate for SSI. The judge read the letter and told me not to move to expect a letter in the mail in 7-10 days with a determination. In about 5 days I got a letter in the mail it was my award letter. I had to go to the social security office which used to be located on 55 west 125th but moved to 209 west 127th street and 7th ave.

When I went that Monday morning to to the social security office I learned that I would only be getting paid $421 a month but if I brought a letter back from my mother stating I was paying utilities I would get the full benefit amount of $733. So I came back with a letter from my mother, and they called her to verify. So once a month on the first I was getting $733 a month. I got retro active pay in a span of 6 months I got a deposit in my td bank account for $3600 I gave my mother half, the $3200 then another $3600 dollars. I gave my mother half of all the back pay. I spent the rest of it on clothes for myself and my daughter and bought a phone. My mother already had ATT so she let me get an iPhone and the cell phone bill was my responsibility. My son was starting high school and needed a phone so my mother took him to ATT and got him an iPhone. He was attending Essex street academy in china town. So I had 3 phone lines that I was responsible for paying. The bill was $125 a month.

I was feeling myself. I had an iPhone and Elaine had just moved to jersey city she had had her second child and was goin through a divorce. She had an iPhone and we would face time each other and talk all the time. My son said to me its business phone Im not doing anything why did I have an iPhone. When he started high school is when things begin to change between him and I. He was more arrogant and told me about myself more then one occasion. He was acting out and smoking weed by the 9th grade and hanging out with older boys from the building. But what could I do, his father wasn’t around. He was still a good kid but our relationship was rocky. I was only good on the first of the month I got paid, he would hit me up for money so he could go out with his friends.

Before ATT had grandfathered back in unlimited everything we where on a data plan. So the bill was always escalating. The bill rose to $300 and thats when My son was in the 11th grade and started working for insomnia cookies. So my mother and I switched to Sprint and got new iPhones and my son had ATT which he paid his $90 bill with his pay check. I thought if I could show him responsiblity it would be to pay his own cell phone bill, but most of the time my mother paid it because he was always using his money to buy weed and fix his bike at the bike shop. If it wasn’t the tires it was the spokes.

By the time My daughter was in kindergarten the sprint bill was almost $500 a month, because I added tablets and I had a subscription to beats music. I had $75 dollars left after all my little bills where paid, and the laundry still hadn’t been washed. My mother was paying to wash my laundry.

My daughter got left back in kindergarten, she was being tested for a learning disability by the school, but they wanted to wait until she was in the first grade.

We had switched from time Warner cable to Verizon fios and I had Verizon fios put in my name so I could have a bill in my name so when I went to the DMV for my state Identification I could prove my address. I was still using a passport, and I had a ticket in my name for not wearing a seat belt, even though I had just taken it off when I was parked in front of the building after coming home from a lousy date, where I was date raped. He had made me drink his seaman after a blow job. then drove me back home and treated to leave me on a road in Queens, but ended up driving me home and getting a speeding ticket, and I got a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. I met the guy on black planet. And I was also Cat fished. It wasn’t the same guy from the pictures, but I still went on the date. I ended up getting pregnant and having an abortion.

I was always with out money by the time I got my SSI. I was good for a couple of months but when we switched from time Warner to Verizon fios I was always broke. My mother never asked me to contribute to the house hold because I was bringing the food stamps. I was putting food on the table. By the time I got my SSI I was up for recertification, I had to bring my award letter and a copy of the rent to recertification on 125th street. I wasn’t off zyprexia but my doctor had recalibrated my medication intake and instead of 25 milligrams I was put on 15 milligrams which helped. I was able to get up in the morning and take my daughter to school.

So it wasn’t until I started seeing my therapist and psychologist once month that I decided to go back to school. I only had had one problem with SSI which brought me to their offices they said I was over paid and they didn’t pay me one month, but quickly fixed the problem and the next day I was issued my money.

It was 2016, I enrolled at empire beauty school. Determined to get off Welfare and Close my ssi case and have a normal job, I was seeing my therapist and pscyhologist the entire time I was in school. I had to leave early on the day I had to travel from 34th Street to 114th on the 1 train. When I graduated I won award for time management. I had 98% attendence. I was at school by 8:30 am every day after dropping my daughter off at school, I was paying for after school which my mother took over payments because I couldn’t keep up with it and the cell phone bill.

I wanted a career not just a job. I was in deferment with my student loans so when I got approved for financial aid I was too happy. I got a pell grant to pay for school, which meant I got a check once a month from the bersus office of $225.

I was feeling myself, but panicked every time I got on the train. I would have to tell myself that I was just going to school. I was just taking the train, I would listen to music while on the train so I wouldn’t have to hear other peoples conversations.

I had already been receiving SSI for 4 years. So when I started School, I met Tamara, who owned a beauty salon on 106th and Columbus ave. She drove a Mercedes Benz and lived in the Bronx. I got her name and number from one of Elaines friends named Faye. I decide to have my hair cut into a pixie. My hair was pretty long about shoulder length, I had it relaxed and cut into the style I desired. I decided that shorter hair would be easier. And this was a sign I know now that when I do something dramatic its my bipolar acting up. I paid $85 dollars to have my hair done. Not thinking of the cost for up keep. I had bought all new clothes in black for school, and I had a disablity metro card in place which Natasha had taken me to Water street by the ferry to apply for before graduating out of post graduates. I no longer needed case management. I had case management for almost 3 years.

So I would put $35 dollars on my metro card which allowed me to ride the train for $1.35 per ride instead of $2.25 per ride. And that was for the month to get back and forth to and from school. I brought my lunch from home because there where micro waves or I bought lunch out or I didn’t even eat lunch when I was in school. It all depended on how much money I had.

So When I recertified with SSI for snap benefits, recertification was now every year, and not every 6 months. But thats all I had was snap and SSI. It wasn’t until I was in school that I learned section 8 was closed in New York City, but you can apply for section 8 outside of New York City there was a website with an online portal for the application process.

It wasn’t until after I resigned from the dry bar and go fired from manicube that I applied for welfare one last time. My son was 20 years old and my daughter was going on 10. Because he was working I had to put him on the budget and when he refused to go to orientation I decided that If I couldn’t get cash assistance then my mother couldn’t get the rent check. I don’t know why she let me have a bank account in her name but I guess she trust that I was make lucrative money reselling on mercari, which I was. I had made $600 and gave it to her. I also made made $100 dollars her and there, but I was selling off prized possestions like Beats head phones and video games and gently used clothes.

So I would check the mail, and take the checks and deposit them into the checking account at bank of America the bank I choose to open in her name. I would forge her signature and keep the $145 every two weeks.

My cash assistance was $145 every two weeks and that was with going to child support court. I was given $75 every two weeks from my daughters father but it went into arrears. I had gone to court 7 times, because William, my daughters father was scheduled for a phone conference from Pennsylvina. Then I had found a way to sign out of going to see my psychologist and therapist, so I was on my own.

I only collected 4 checks then cut off welfare after I was done with court. I went to reapply for just snap benefits. I ran into a snag, because my son was working I would still have to include his income on my budget. He was working for cash and didn’t get pay stubs. So I quickly learned that Even being head of household on the budget I was responsible for him under the same roof until he was 27 years old. I could no longer get food stamps. And I tried. I used the app and I went to the office and They wouldn’t let me get snap benefits.

This is when things took a turn for the worst and I let my daughter stay home for a week and an acs investigation was done on me and I was evicted from my mothers apartment. There was nothing but arguing going on, it was a span of couple of days when I found out the bad news about my snap benefits and when I got kicked out that when I tell you I was hearing voices I was hearing voices.

They where coming out from the Television. I was talking to myself. I thought I was in the FBI witness protection program and I thought Diddy was talking to me though the camera portal in the television.

I had bought a pit bull I named Harlow and brought her home. I told my mother she was a gift from a friend for when I move to Cohoes New York. I had a year on the waiting list for public housing. That didn’t mean I got the apartment it just meant to meet with the housing specialist for choice voucher. I called myself crate training the puppy and even though they fell in love with Harlow she is what broke the straw on the camels back.

I was sharing the master bedroom with my daughter at this point. My mother was in the living room. We decided to switch rooms because my son was coming home from work late and I didn’t want his noise to interfere with my daughters sleep for school, and with him leaving his bike in the living room, my space, there was nothing but arguing going on. So my mother suggested that we switch rooms, and that allowed me and my daughter more privacy. We had maintenance come up and help us rearrange the rooms.

So now its been a year. I don’t know how I made it living on the street for 3 months, that sleeping in a gazebo was the best memory I have from being in the street. I spent my days walking back and forth, stealing from dune Reade and spending my day in the time Warner shops building. People where giving me food and helping me with money they knew I was homeless. I was in central bookings to prove my identity and also for shop lifting. Being thrown out of mcdonlads and arrested for loitering. And with in a year and half managed to get my SSI back and now have to worry about my future. Im facing jury duty when I move and learning how to travel the Bronx is a big deal. And I thought I would have been able to make it on $733 with my daughter, even though she started receiving benefits.

I applied for Buffalo, Newark ny, tarry town, Florida, Massachustes, ohio, main, Vermont and some other places. How was I going to get there? I couldn’t afford a seat on a plane to and from. I didn’t know how to get am track. I also applied for Newark New Jersey housing development.

I went so far as to research mitchellama apartments in Manhattan down loaded and printed the application and sent it off by mail just so I could have my own apartment. I didn’t have money for furniture or a cup to drink out of. I didn’t know that when you move you have to go to the DMV and get a new identification with your new address on it. I didn’t know when you move you have to tell social security administration that you have a lease if your receiving benefits. I have to find the snap office for my location when I move. I have a lot on my plate to think about. I might end up in a group home.

So now this month is the first month I actually got paid from SSA, and I got May and June in one check on my direct express card. So when I got SSI the first time, I literally didn’t know how to act. And I was hospitalized also. I have been in the psych ward so many time that each time I was admitted the staff remembered my name.

The longest time I was in the hospital was right before I made it to Franklyn woman assessment shelter. I was hospitlized for two months, and all the while I was in the hospital I was hearing voices. I was counting security cameras to see if and when Diddy logged in to check on me. I was having conversations with myself about remember I had the eee pc, (the mini laptop my father bought me) and the poetry I wrote.

I also spent my time in the library pretending to read the boring selection of books they had in the hospital, not once did I ask about being discharged. I felt safe in the hallways of the psych ward. I was given 3 meals a day and I had a shower and note book to write my poetry in, in pencil.

I remember when I was living on the street, I had gotten food poisening. I was on 98th and Columbus ave inside star bucks. someone had given me $20 to get something to eat, so I got a Starbucks sandwich and a frapachino. I stayed until they closed. So I quickly went down the block to Petco and locked myself in the bathroom and spent the night in Petco. I was vomiting all night. It wasn’t until the manager of the store came to open up the store at 7am that she checked the bathroom and found me in there and told me to leave before she called the cops on me. She had her phone in her hand and recorded me getting up off the floor and leaving. The only reason she knew I was there because Petco has motion detectors inside the store. So when my stomach had calmed down, I left the bathroom to look for something I could make a pillow out of so I could lay down and get some sleep.

I was delusional the whole time I was out on the street, I kept getting asked if I needed help. I turned away Goddard assessment team which came around in the vehicle to see if any body needed help with getting into a shelter. I didn’t know it was against the law to be homeless, thats when I was sitting in the train station the cops even told me if I didn’t have anywhere to go I could go to a shelter they would take me. I said I had someplace to go. I was planning on staying on the street. It wasn’t hard to come up off a couple of dollars. People where feeding me and I had made a friend at Lincoln square who was buying me lunch and giving me a coupe of dollars.

The mind of a a schizophrenic. I had slept in the rain one night in the gazzebo on 58th street. I slept under a tarp I stole from a cart park outside someplace, probably from a panhandler who left their cart outside. And I lucked out on a pack of cigarettes. There was a stray cat that came and made friends with me, not once was I thinking about home. I thought I would see my family again I just had to do this one thing to prove myself to The FBI that watching me in glass eye so I could be reunited with Diddy and I would be able to see my family again.

Its been a long year. Now I have much to face living alone for the first time. I have a lot to take care of. First is the loneliness, everything else will follow. I have to say I made my bed, now I have to lay in it. I can’t even say I blame myself, its my mental health that is at play. I have all the time in the world to become and be creative now that I have the things I need like a laptop tablet and phone. But I have a lot to face, one day at a time.

Living schitzoaffective

My relationships where not that great. Most based on sex I never really had a relationship. My new little friend, Abdul is great but I don’t want a relationship and he’s looking to settle down. He doesn’t know much about me either. He doesn’t know my diagnosis and he doesn’t know I was previously a mother of two.

There’s no way for me to be honest and tell men I lost custody of my children to my mother and I was evicted from the apartment in where I lived because of mental health issues. So I don’t bring it up. I just say I’m single with no children, but now I’m running into men who want to settle down and have children. I can’t have any more children because of my mental health. Acs would get involved and take the child away. Plus I’m stuck on missing my two children every day.

This is punishment for being schitophrenic. Having mental health issues is the worst because the world views you in a different way. It’s not like I did things the right way I was a thrief. I tried to get over on my mother so many times that I’m also in debt with Avon at a sum of 500 dollars. I thought I could sell the products online on eBay or mecari so I bought a bunch of products and it went to waste. I ended up using the products.

I’ve been with 29 men since my last relationship which was two years ago. I’ve had one night stands and relationships based on sex. I was always the one paying for a good time out. I met most of all my encounters online because I’m a recluse I don’t go out to meet men like at bars or anything like that. I barely had girlfriends to socialize with.

When I started Empire beauty school I really thought I was going to make some impact in my life and make friendships that lasted. I was doing something that I loved to do which was hair, even though I wasn’t good at it. I felt like I was only learning to do hairstyling so I could do my own hair and my daughter’s. I passed the classes and the practical but getting a job in the field was difficult. And working around seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist, I got a note from my internist and gave it to my psychologist and signed out of intensive psychiatric treatment. I don’t remember what the letter said but my psychologist said he would need permission from my internist to sign me out of treatment. So I did it. I had been going to treatment for 5 years and was sick of it, I wanted a normal life.

This is as normal as it gets when you’ve been living a lie. This blog is my last ditch effort into sharing myself on social media truthfully and and be honest with myself. I’m not a good person. I met men online because I lack social skills. And found it normal to develop relationships with men from dating apps. All 29 have been from social media. Not one paid attention to me the way a man should and I have had some good times but I now crave attention and the only way I can get that attention is from dating apps like tagged and plenty of fish but what I’m looking for is a pen pal. Just someone to text and talk to about anything to take my mind off my worries. This is my task being on dating apps.

I have nothing to offer. But I feel bad for Abdul because he really likes me. I’m not not attractive I turn heads. Like there’s another gentlemen named Mike who’s a chef I met on hi five. He’s 60 years old though. He took me to my appointment to see the social security doctors in Pelham bay. He met me at 6 am in front of the shelter to take me to the appointment which was at 8 am. He lives in the Bronx and is a veteran. He now lives off the 6 train on elder avenue. But he’s not boyfriend material. He told me so. But he wants me to come to his room he’s renting so we could have sex. I declined. We kissed but I feel guilty moving on with my life with out my kids involved. Plus I don’t want a boyfriend. I’m not girlfriend material.

Being in a relationship and being schitophrenic is daunting. I never know when I’m going have a mini episode even being on medication.

My last relationship was with a guy named Will. He was a veteran and a single father of three children. He lived in a family shelter in Newark new Jersey waiting for his section 8 to pick up so he could provide housing for himself and three children. He was still married to his childrens mother who had two other children with two other men. His situation was complicated.

I went into debt with that relationship also buying him a iPad mini from Fingerhut I had a 800 credit line. I bought the iPad for his birthday. Add express clothes to the debt I had a 300 dollar credit card for I bought him clothes.

I never got a chance to pay off my debts. Now that I’m alone and I have my SSI to myself I have more money then when I was living with my mother because I was over withdrawing from my Chase account to pay the cell phone bill and the cards I was maintaining . I’m in debt with Macy’s as well. I bought my son clothes and never paid the bill. I’m also in debt with PayPal for a 300 dollar credit line. And I wonder how I’m going to find any guy to approve of me. I have nothing to talk about because I live in a shelter and all I have is my blog where I tell the truth about my life. I don’t want another man in my life for a relationship. That’s why I have never been to Abdul’s apartment. He’s invited me to his apartment. A walk up by Yankee stadium. But I think if I go over there he will initiate sex with me. So I haven’t gone.

I’ve been date raped (unreported). Twice. I have a ticket in my name with the DMV for not wearing a seat belt which I’m in debt with so I can’t get a driver’s permit just a state id.

I’ve been pregnant a total of 5 times having 3 abortions. Living like I’m a recluse is the only thing I have. My life is a mess. That I’m getting sucidal tendencies researching how to end my life. I’m better off dead but I don’t have the balls to do it.

I was thinking of buying nembutal or potassium cynide pills off market and saving them for a rainy day. Nembutal is the painless way of taking my life. I have no one to live for. I won’t be missed by anyone I literally have to build friends from scratch and not honestly.

I can never really tell anyone that I am schitoaffective they will shy away from me. I just tell the people I chat with when I’m asked about my family life that I don’t have any family my mother and father passed away and I don’t have aunts or uncles. My grandparents are deceased but I stole cash from them also hidden in the dinning room beauro so I could buy a phone and keep up with Elaine’s purchases.

This is the life of a schitoaffective homeless person. The trials and tribulations of living with the fact I stole from family to keep myself afloat. I even got out of going to jury duty. My first time I had an excuse the second time I was pregnant with my daughter which was my excuse and I was never called back.

All the the things I fear are sitting staring at me in my face like jury duty in the bronx. My living situation. My credit score and my debt with student loans, that every night I pray I don’t wake up the next day.

There’s nothing to smile about any more. I have to live with the guilt of what I’ve done, and know my family is better off with out me.

Starting over…again

I’m almost 40 years old. What I mean by starting over is getting SSI back, a source of income.

When I first got to susans place I was given a bed and a locker. I was transferred to a mica shelter for woman with mental health disabilities and or physical disabilities. There’s 200 woman in the shelter at any given time. They give you 3 meals a day and all there is to do is sit around.

Your given a case manager to help you get housing and also important paperwork like your social security card, state id with the shelters address and your birth certificate, with the help of the van request I was able to get all 3 again. My address is now that of the Bronx NY and I have all my documents. But I had to reapply for social security income. Which meant going to to the local social security office in the Bronx and making an appointment to schedule a phone interview with social security. I didn’t have a phone yet and I couldn’t get an assurance wireless because I had already had one, until someone from the shelter gave me an assurance wireless phone because she had two phone accounts she was paying for. She let me have her Obama phone. But Ms. Smith a cordinator for the van requests took me to social security and let me use her cell phone number for for my scheduled phone interview with SSA, that was for August 11th 2019.

In the meantime I had to go to welfare. Which is 300 canal place by van request. The van takes you there but your given a metro card and you have to take the BX 32 bus back to the shelter by yourself. I had made a friend on tagged. His name is Abdul. I was using the Obama phone to chat with people on tagged. It’s an 8 gig phone that comes with mad bloatwear and only enough room for one app. So I made an email address and switched accounts to SafeLink when the phone number disconnected and was sent a SIM card from SafeLink. Abdul doesnt live that far away from the shelter, I’m close to Yankee stadium and that’s the stop he lives on the 4 train. I didn’t tell him that I lost custody of my parental rights and I was kicked out of my mother’s apartment and I suffer with mental health issues like schitophrenia, I said I lost the apartment when it went coop and I don’t have any kids.

Abdul has been more then generous giving 20 dollars a week when I was on welfare. When I got approved for welfare my cash assistance was 22.50 a week and 194 in snap. Being that I don’t get a period I didn’t have to worry about buying pads, even though they have that at susans place also. Along with razors and soap. We also have showers and towels. There’s laundry facilities there also.

So when I went to HRA , and was given a metro card to take the bus back alone I hauled ass into a cab that had socilicited me and for 15 dollars I took a cab back to the shelter. I knew the address but I didn’t know the stop on the bus.

I saved the cash up and bought a pair of pants on burnsides rainbow shops and I used my snap to but cigarettes and a cup of coffee because there’s a deli across the street from the shelter that takes food stamps for cigarettes. The clothes I was wearing where from the shelters donation closet. I grabbed what I could fit including a pair or high water black begging jeans and some shirts. I was given more under wear and I was given a purple bra by some woman at Franklin who went to a church function where they were giving out donations. Before then I was wearing the to tight bra and when I was on the street I had stolen a sports bra type of bra from daune Reade.

Abdul took me shopping for some clothes at a thrift store across the street from the shelter. I was wearing my hair curly and cropped because when I was living on the street I had stolen a relaxer and a sewing kit with scissors in it. I went to Petco locked myself in the bathroom stall and relaxed my hair and washed it out in the toilet. Mind you I was bat shit crazy I had no reason to do this but I cut off my hair afterward and put a head band on.

The clothes barely fit but I had no choice but to wear tight sweatpants and t shirts. I was able to buy some hair products from the beauty supply store on burnside and in the morning wet my hair and put some products in it.

So when I was approved for welfare I had to go to we care which is a place you have to go to put on record with welfare that you can’t work and they have an assessment team to determine if you disabled or not. Their psychiatric office where my meteators between myself and SSA. They put in the application for ssi. About a week later I got paper work in the mail it was a questionnaire for social security disability, but I was also denied SSD I didn’t have enough work points. The questions where pretty standard like what was my disability, my employment history and my last known address. I filled out what I could and mailed it back.

At Susans place there’s a clinic within the walls of the shelter. The psychiatrist is the one who administers my haldol shot once a month, and that’s why I was transferred to a mica shelter.

With in 5 months I was approved for SSI. That’s wasn’t after having to see social security doctors in phelem Bay where I had to take the 4 train to 125th street and transfer to the 6 train going back uptown to Pelham bay. The office was across the street from the train station.

I opted to have the direct express card with direct deposit from SSA on it. I was mailed my first check which I cashed at the local check cashing place with Ruby my partner in crime as she calls it. I went to metro PCS and got a phone and a tablet and then went to Rite aid and put money on a prepaid green Dot card so I could download the Starz app and watch power . I wasn’t trying to keep up with the Jones anymore I was maintaining bordum.

There’s a living room at the shelter there’s two televisions. One in the dining area and one in the living room which is maintained by security. I now live with DHS. So when ever I go out for a smoke I am subjected to being frisked with a wand and my stuff out through a scanner. I have to go through a metal detector when ever I leave the building. I hide my lighter in my bra like most of the other woman at the shelter, because it doesn’t go off in the medal detector.

With my check of 735 I bought a tablet phone, and a tablet, with cases so I could set up my phone and tablet with the 90 dollars I put on a prepaid card. I also bought two pairs of jeans and 3 shirts and put the clothes that didn’t fit on the donations table in the living room.

After my first check I wouldn’t be seeing my check for 3 months because when you live in an emergency shelter SSA only pays you for 6 of the 9 months on social security. So for 3 months I didn’t see my check. But I got retro aka back pay of 2300 dollars which 60% of it goes into saving at the shelter with your case manager. I had to get a money order at the post office because it lasts longer then a regular money order. The saving is for when you move into your own apartment or shared or scattered site you have money to buy furniture or things you need for your apartment. And this is what I fear. There’s no request to live in which ever borough you want. Most of the woman are placed in housing in the Bronx sometimes Brooklyn and you have maintain. Meaning go to the DMV and get a new identification. Go to the local snap office where your new housing is and then also find the local social security office and let them know you moved and hand in a copy of your lease.

I’ve been in the shelter for a year. I’m just learning how to get around. I requested Manhattan but most likely I’ll be placed in the Bronx if they can place me because this is where I learned your credit score has a part to play in where you live and placement.

So with the remaining balance of my retro I bought clothes on Amazon and rainbowshops.com now at least I have clothes that fit and Abdul had bought me some sneakers and a coat from the thrift shop and one of the staff members have me a gap coat that she no longer wanted which is pretty up to date in style but that wasn’t my concern this past winter. My concern is my credit score. Where am I going to end up in a few years.

It’s now June and because of the coronavirus the shelter closed they had us pack our stuff and they buses us to motels. One in the Bronx and one on the upper west side on 106th street and Central park. I’m on center park. I didn’t bring my tablet so when I got payed this month for may and June I decided to by a Mac air 11.6 referbished on Amazon prime because I have an account with them now. So I can stream videos and hbo max so I can watch friends and the fresh prince of bell air.

I went to Harlem and got my box braids taken out and put cornrows in. I’m maintaining the shelter lifestyle. My clothes are sent out to be washed by the staff on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but we could be here for 3-6 months, and guess what? I can’t go to the clinic for my haldol shot. I have my own room and in order for me to keep my sanity I decided to start this blog on word which I’m going to switch over to my laptop and keep myself busy by sharing the experience of being homeless.

Susans place isn’t that bad there’s not a lot of rules to follow it’s just that it’s boring all day long with out gadgets. So I decided to live journal because we have wifi at the shelter but also at the hotel. I am literally 10 blocks away from my old residence and I can’t see them. The only number I remember is my father’s and I dare not call or text. I did enough damage.

Not only did I steal the check from HRA I opened up a pay pal in my mother’s name and used the bank account she let me have and also mine to open up a credit line. I put her in debt and it’s something I feel guilty about everyday. I was buying clothes for my daughter from the children’s place. I know she filled identity theft and this is why she has a restraining order on me. I am literally not at a loss for words I deserve it, but I have to blame my mental health I was hearing voices telling me I could pay it back when I get signed. So I spend my day journaling and letting it be known people with schitophrenia are not ok. It takes alot to deal in general but the cause and effect of your mental health are just that.

I was never ok. I was never normal. I always had to try and keep up with the Jones with out working for my keep. I know now that having a line of credit is nothing more then debt that I have considered suicide. I researched nembutal the suicide pill. I became an organ donor online at the dmv. But I have to save up for the pills and possibly put them aside for when I have the balls to actually commit suicide. I would have to send the money Western Union or cash app because they come from over seas. I’m not even suicidal. But I can’t deal with myself either.

At susans place there’s an activity cordinator who goes out of her way to see that we have yoga and Zumba classes but that doesn’t take away the pain of what I’ve done to my family. And be that I’m off my medication for the next 3 months all I have is my laptop and my phone and no one to call. I hate taking pictures now and I give out my number to random men on tagged to have someone to text until the conversation dies off.

Birthday and Christmas where spent in the shelter. The shelter had Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. My birthday will never be the same and I can’t even celebrate mother’s day any more. I have no friends and the only people I have to talk to want to meet up and possibly have sex and I gotta weed through the conversations. Abdul is a nice guy but eventually he’s going to want more and I can’t give him more. He’s 48 single and no children. I don’t want to have sex because I have hpv I found out at the clinic after getting a papsmear and I have to go for a biopsy in September to have the cells frozen. I still have my iud in. But my ex boyfriend gave me hpv and I feel disgusting.

So the life of a homeless woman isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I might be able to get a laptop and have a tablet but I still have dreams of becoming published and this isn’t my mental health talking. Not for bad boy records for any body who would take me seriously. But I know I am biting off more then I can chew. This is why I created the blog.

Franklin wasn’t my first time in a shelter. When I was kicked out I went to dyckman center. There’s gaps in my story for a reason. They placed me at win one on 54th Street on the west side. I got kicked out for stealing from someone’s locker. They clipped my locker and she got back the bag I took from her. This is when I still had the four phones I took out for me and Diddy.. I braided my own hair in the lounge area and stared directly into the security camera because I thought Diddy was watching me handle myself. I was there for a week. I had gotten my last direct deposit from SSA and my cell bill was 1400 dollars because I was no longer in the lease they closed my account and this part of my escalating debt. I was back out on the street and this is when I had no money and I admitted myself to the hospital for swollen feet. I was hearing voices and wondering when I was going to have my next meal that I decided to start stealing my food. I got busted in tj Maxx on 96th street for stealing panties, then again at Trump plaza for stealing pants. That the first time I went to the precient they kept me locked up for a few hours. I called my dad and left a message that I had gotten picked up.

My schitophrenia got so bad that I was in time Warner shops mall and I went shopping at h and m and I asked the staff if they could hold my items for me that someone would be coming to pick up and pay for items. I left my dad’s number and my name. I did it again at the TJ Maxx before I got busted and also Desiel. I thought Diddy sent me body gaurds that where around for me that I could go shopping but leave the stuff at the register and someone would be by the pay for the items . I also believed that he had a suite for me at Trump hotel international and I just had to wait till he got off the plane from LA.

This is why it only took 5 months for SSA to approve me for SSI. I said some outlandish things that where documented when I had my last stint in the psych ward. It usually takes 6-9 months for SSA to make a decision on whether or not your approved for SSI. It only took 5 months for them to make a determination. Now I get 781 a month and 60% of that is supposed to go into savings but we are in the motel and I’m not with my usual case manager. But I still have money saved. With everything closed in the city there’s no where to go. Even still I don’t feel like spending money. I spend time reflecting on my life. The many mistakes I’ve made and my pending future plans with housing. The meet fact that I will never see my kids again or my family. I’m alone in this world with a story to tell.

Living on the street.

When I was kicked out of my mother’s apartment, I was living on the street. I had a denim jacket a pair of jeans ugh boots and a t shirt on when the house keys where taken from me. I had my Micheal kors pocket book with my identity in it and also my daughters birth certificate and social security number. I had my original birth certificate and social security number all located in my wallet, along with my marriage license. I had some cash in me, because I had my SSI. Not danting on me that I didn’t have an address I remained on the preaipice that I still had my SSI, not putting two and two together, this was court appointed mandated orders that I be legally evicted from the apartment.

It was the day before I was to get paid from social security, I had my phone and I was on the street. I returned my p.o box key to the store in which I was renting a p.o box for no reason, I chilled in Starbucks until closing. Then went to MacDonald’s to get something to eat. At midnight my Chase Bank got a direct deposit for 2500 dollars from HRA (human resources administration) from child support.

Previous I was going to family court because I was on welfare. I was getting 145 in cash every two weeks and food stamps at 649 a month. My mother was getting rent at 145 a month paid for by welfares hra services.

HRA makes single mothers go to family court to fight for child support. Child support offices down town on crystie street asks for the father’s name and last known address and anything on his identity you can give to locate the father. Which meant Kioko was going to be served papers as well for Aaron. But my daughter’s father, William, was in Pennsylvania and would be served papers work that his daughter was in the system. My son was 20 and working for Uber eats as a courier.

I lost my cash assistance because my son didn’t want to attend orientation for hra. He was another adult on the head of household case and he would have to turn in his W-2 or paystubs to prove he was working after high school. He has already turned in his high school diploma and did the finger imaging for me. But when he learned he had to do orientation which is job placement he got turned off and said he wasn’t going he was working.

So welfare cut my cash off to two dollars and let me keep my snap benefits. I had a second bank account in my mother’s name to put away money. She let me open the account. I called myself trying to start my own business reselling and trying to get into the human hair business. I was going to resell human hair on mecari where I was reselling things like clothes. It was pretty profitable but I couldn’t have more then 2000 dollars in my bank account because of SSI. Social security administration checks bank accounts and if you have more then 2000 in your bank account or have any direct deposits other then SSI they cut you off.

So my cash assistance was cut and the only check coming in was the rent check. So I took it and deposited on my phone because I was holding the account I forged my mother’s name and deposited the check. I told her I got a letter from HRA and the rent check was cut also the only thing I was getting was food stamps.

The cell phone bill was my responsibility. It had me and my mother on the plan but we also had tablets. And I had to have the iPhone 256 gig phone which I called forever gig phone. My friend at the time, the one who has two children and lives in Jersey City had the same phone. I was trying to keep up with the Jones. I was leading the phone and tablets my bill with spring was close to 500 dollars a month. Mind you I was only bringing home 733 a month in SSI. I was accustomed to over withdrawing on my account that I bought my daughter a guinea pig we named Riply and two hamsters Sam and Josh. But it’s the expenses, the cage accessories and food for the pets that I didn’t take into consideration. I just wanted my daughter to have the experiences I didn’t have. I had did the same things for my son not with pets but with video games. I was stealing money from my mother’s bank account and sing her credit cards to buy him video games that when I got an 800 dollar check from empire beauty schools bursar’s office I bought him the PS4.

I still was lax on laundry because I had shipped so much that my daughter has nothing but clothes and my son was financing himself from his job. He was paying his own cell phone bill and maintaining his bike with the help of my father that the 145 I stole went to maintaining the pets I bought my daughter. Mind you I was taking our retail credit like old navy Victoria secrets and others, I ended up with 26 different cards including lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart. I was reselling my clothes because I was purchasing online and if it didn’t fit i would sell it on mecari. There’s times my mother had to pay the sprint account which was in her name. I even had a retail card for furniture I purchased myself a new mattress so I didn’t have to sleep on a futon anymore.

So when I got a direct deposit for 2500 the first thing I did was pull out cash and rent a room at the days inn on 94th street and Broadway. At this time I was bat shit crazy I was out of my mind. I was hearing voices and thought I was the FBI witness protection program and they where using something called glass eye to monitor me. I thought Diddy was my boyfriend and he was watching over over through glass eye and I could hear his voice though music when I played it in my phone. I was having a conversation with myself.

I stayed at the hotel for 3 nights. I went to 125th street the next day and bought Mac makeup, and took a cab down Broadway and bought something to eat. My phone was cut off and I went to sprint and opened an account for myself and Diddy. I had four phones for no reason. They where Android phones and I bought a speaker so I could blue tooth music.

I thought Diddy was my boyfriend I was talking to him through my ear piece, and 50 cent wanted my opinion on what to do with powers 5th season, Eminem was my biggest fan because he was on the lettrs app also and went by the name Henry w which was just a guy that I befriended on the lettrs app who enjoyed my poetry. I thought Diddy was apart of the Illuminati and that he was trying to get me in and 50 cent had a crush on me and I was going to write hit songs for bad boy entertainment.

I had no one to call and I was locked out of my Facebook after completely embarrassing myself I had cut and pasted pictures found on the internet and I used a photo app to make a picture of me and Diddy together with my daughter in the middle like we where a happy family. I was posting that I call Sean John combs “Johnny” and he was my man. Family wasn’t in my page just friends that I grew up with and people I met at empire beauty school.

I fucked up my Instagram which is now closed because I was taking pictures from the internet and tagging celebrities with rumors I made up like Eminem confided in me that he was a transvestite and Rihanana was my best friend that she wanted me to write for her. But I had nothing but pictures of my daughter and myself on regular day activities with no likes on them. Only ten people where following me and each one of them saw my decline in mental health, including Elaine from Jersey city. Who was friends with Nonie who eventually got a brownstone through New York housing connect and moved her children and herself to 135th and Amsterdam ave from a sublet she was renting after leaving the building.

I was in the hotel room alone and I had four phones. I even went to the precent and had the police go with me to my mother’s apartment to get my clothes which where all in the shopping cart on the terrace. She let me in with the cops of course but it didn’t stop her from calling my son at work. Harlow, my pit bull was in her cage. And all that was left in my closet was a pair of torrid sweat pants and my mcm luggage bag that was purchased on mecari. The cops wouldn’t let me go through the dresser draws so I grabbed the two items. Blew a kiss at Harlow and left the apartment.

Harlow I bought from someone selling pitbull puppies on Craigslist for 300 dollars. I got her when she was 2 weeks old. The guinea pig had died and so did the two hamsters. I had gone to dyckman to cut off welfare and I resold my beats head phones to buy Harlow. I think that was the straw the broke the camel’s back for my family. My son was too threw with me and my daughter was acting out in school stealing from kids book bags and bringing the stuff to me. She was in special education and I had gone to social security to apply for SSI for her as well, which she got and I was payee for. But it wasn’t until I was on the phone with Elaine that I had stopped taking my daughter to school. Her two daughters went to charter school and had a week off so I was under the assumption that my daughter had the week off also. So I let her stay home. That’s when an investigation was done on me when I took my daughter back to school. She was missing homework and jcc her after school tutoring and I had missed an appointment with the specialist for special education who granted her an IEP and she was far behind in class work.

So when I was thrown out the cops where supposed to take me to path which is in the Bronx. Path is assessment for the homeless. But when I went back to get my clothes I stayed in the street. I had been in the hotel for three days. But my money ran out quickly. I bought a pair of sneakers and underwear. I had a laundry bag filled with a pair of sweat pants I bought on 125th street and socks. On my third day at the hotel when it was time for me to check out I stayed in street down Trump towers. I had walked down there from 94th street and went 57th and 8th Ave. I threw the sneakers out because I th9uggt through “glass eye” jayz would be collecting my stuff. I thought through all the cameras in the street they where all watching me make my stride towards bad boy like making the band and I had to go through these things in order to get signed at bad boy. That diddys personel would find me and bring me to his office.

I was on the street for three months. Time went by so quickly. I slept on a park bench and the train station. I eventually lost my pocket book with my identity. I was at the library making business wins with my home address attached to it on the computer they let me use for 30 minutes at a time.

I was turnstile underground market on 57th Street sitting on the train station steps or the time Warner shops building or Starbucks until they called the cops on me and asked me to leave because I was only getting the free sample of coffee and no purchasing anything . I even slept in a daune Reade pharmacy waiting area before the store manager closed it down. I was stealing food from Duane Reade I even stole I tablet from rite aid down in the Trump plaza area.

I was able to boost two att prepaid phones and connect to the city’s free WiFi by sitting in a little park outside Trump hotel. But I got arrested in MacDonald’s for loitering and they sent me to Central bookings downtown. I had to plead the fifth and I was let out on my own recongnice and given a metro card by the lawyer and I was sent on my way.

I was able to steal underwear and a pair of denim legging from daune Reade and I was using the bathroom at time Warner shops to change. I couldn’t brush my teeth but I had stolen deodorant and I was able to go with out smelling too bad. I was getting bits to eat at whole foods because they give out the sample cups so you can sample the buffet.

Someone in the train station gave me 200 dollars out of his pocket and told me God bless things will get better, so I bought a Google play card so I could listen to music and a pair of headphones so I could talk to Diddy, and I bought food.

I wasn’t worried about my period because I had an iud birth control in place, which illuminated me from getting my period every month. But I went three months in the street that one early morning I took my suite case that I found in front of TJ Maxx with my blanket and sheet inside, and I was sitting in front of the post office it was closed because it was a holiday. The cops came and called EMS, and they took me to st.lukes Roosevelt hospital. I was admitted and I was there for two months. My father had to come to sign off on paper work and they told me I was not able to go home and I would be taken to Franklin woman’s assessment shelter by cab, paid for by Medicaid. I was so out of it that I was convinced my friends from childhood going had HIV and that she had disappeared. The last thing my father did was give me a hug and he left . I was put on the haldol injection and I was released from the hospital two days later. All I had was a pair denim leggings a pair of boots I stole from a panhandler and a coat I stole as well. From the time I was admitted they had me on haldol. That was the first thing they pumped into my system. I spent my time going to group and sleeping. It still hasn’t dawned on me that I couldn’t go home. This is all now me remembering what had happened. The money that was given to me in the street I was going to the beauty supply store and buying synthetic hair and braiding my own hair in box braids while sitting on a park bench. I spent my time trying to get a cup of coffee from the outside vendors and Starbucks, that I was determined to let Diddy continue sending me messages through glass eye and I spent my time listening to music on treble an app I found.

When I got to Franklin I had to do intake so I could get a bed. Franklin was only assessment for 21days. Then you where transferred to a shelter. I was transferred to susans place 176th and Jerome ave.

Stamps no welfare. I had no clothes, Franklin gave me panties and a too tight bra and used clothes to wear. I had to start all over again.

Something is wrong

I knew there was something wrong with me in high school, when I was home alone I would hear a voice calling my name. I never told any body what I heard I thought the apartment was haunted.

I have always been a introvert, shy and kept to myself, so it was a shock when at 15 years old I turned out pregnant. I was 6 months by the time anybody put it together. You couldn’t tell because I always wore baggy clothes to hide my figure, my mother had taken me to the doctors for what we thought was the flu. I had morning sickness, and the smell of food was nauseating. But no one thought I could be pregnant.

When I came home from a function at my school I had on a skirt and blouse and one of my friends on the cheerleadering squad turned to me and said I looked pregnant, I got highly upset. I came home home and told my mother, “well are you?” I confessed that I didn’t know, and she gave me $40 and told me to buy a pregnancy test. I went to Rite Aid and bought one.

Oprah was on tv and the topic was teen pregnancy. My mother had the day off and when I got home from school she was laying on the couch watching Oprah.

I went to the bathroom and because I was already in my second trimester Peeing was the easiest thing to do. So I opened the pregnancy test box and peed on the stick, with in two minutes two lines popped up revieling that I was indeed pregnant. I screamed, my mother started to cry. I had become a disappointment. I was only in the tenth grade. The school year was ending, I had to miss the last two weeks of school.

When I told Kioko my boyfriend he put his head down and said he would be there for me, and he would have to tell his mother. That was my last day in school. I don’t know what excuse my parents told the board of education to get me out of school for the last two days, but my mother didn’t want anyone in school knowing that I was pregnant.

Shortly after finding out,from a confirmed pregnancy test my father came home. And my mother told him I was pregnant. He got so pissed off. He started telling, ” do you know how much it costs to raise kids” “I can’t afford this” he went on and on about the cost diapers and formula and the insidentals that come along with caring for a new born.

One of the choices was giving up the baby for adoption, or my mother adopting the baby herself. But I didn’t feel right about that. My baby being my little brother or sister. I said I would quit school and get my GED, my parents weren’t having that. I was told I was staying in school to finish my high school career.

The following weeks where packed with doctor appointments. My father never quite looked at me the same.

I had to see the obgyn and my pediatrician. My first obgyn appointment I had a sonogram and a papsmear test. The pediatrician was to make sure I was healthy. I was so scared at the obgyns office. Then I heard the heart beat of the baby growing inside me. I got to find out the sex of the baby and found out I was 26 weeks pregnant which meant I was shy 6 months. I was 5 and half months pregnant.

During that time the family on both sides found out that I was having a baby. We only had a two bedroom apartment so it was decided that my room was going to be shared with a crib and changing table. It was summer time, my mother decided that she and I would take a trip to our favorite place, Terry town in Westchester. We stayed at the Hilton hotel. We went shopping for maternity clothes and stayed in Terry town for a week while my father got some things ready back home.

I was hearing voices but only when I was alone. A voice calling my name.

We got back from Terry town and I had a doctor’s appointment with the obgyn. I was high risk because of when I found out I was pregnant. I went two trimesters with out prenatal care, so I had to have all the tests done with in a few weeks like a glucose test and HIV test. I had to see the doctor every three weeks then every two weeks once I was in my third trimester.

The end of my pregnancy was normal. I still had morning sickness, but Kioko stopped coming to see me. His family had moved from Brooklyn to Staten island. But he stopped contacting me, when my mother called him and told him that I was alone all the time and he should really making his way over to check in me because this was his baby too. Even though my mother didn’t want anyone to know that I was pregnant at school I told my friends Zuehai and Marisol that Kioko and where expecting a baby.

My due date was August 29th 1997. But I didn’t go into labor until the evening of September 4th when my water broke. He was born September 5th 1997. Kioko made it to the birth of his son. My childhood friends from the building all where busy with their lives but came to see me once I brought Aaron home from the hospital.

My life had changed. I was no longer able to go out freely I had a baby. I suffered with post pardum depression . When I gave birth it was the first day of school September 4th. I went back to school the next week.

I was 30 lbs pound heavier and I had all my hair cut off at super cuts because I was experiencing alopecia after having a baby. I was starting the 11th grade and staff and teachers didn’t know I had a baby. My mother said she adopted a baby and was able to get maternity leave with pay from her job at The Dalton school where she was the high school librarian. So while I was in school she was at home with my son for 12 weeks. By the time she went back to work we had a baby sitter in place.

But I wasn’t feeling myself. I was heavier and lactating. kioko had invited me and Aaron to stay in his home for Thanksgiving in Staten island. My dad drove us out to Richmond road. His mother Patricia had Kiokos bedroom made up for me and my infant son. Kioko stayed on the couch. But our relationship was not the same. Kioko was distant and distracted and I spent most of my time caring for Aaron. Kioko took me to the movies to see Titanic at the movie theaters while Patricia stayed with the baby. But by the time Christmas came Kioko and I had called it quits. Kioko had just graduated and was looking for work and had a new little friend who was female, I forget her name and I was interested in Lanell Tate who was on the basketball team in school. He was also in my class and he took interest in me also even knowing that I had just had had a baby.

Life went on but that didn’t stop Kioko from slamming me with papers from family court for visitation of his son. We had a battle in court with a referee instead of a judge and that’s when kioko won visitation but he would have to travel to Manhattan with his mother and my mother was the buffer. I was not allowed to attend visitation.

Visitation didn’t last long Kioko stopped showing up it was only Patricia Kiokos mother who showed up. I was only receiving $25 dollars a month for child support but I was granted full custody of Aaron.

A whole year had flown by and Aaron was turning one year old. With in a year I had been to court 6 times for visitation and made a new boyfriend.

Lanell would come over to see me after school and on the weekends, but we never had sex. He had a fetish he wanted me to rub his his penis with my feet. I did it but I was wondering why he didn’t want to have sex with me. Then I found out he had a problem with the fact that I had a baby. He said my vagina was stretched out. Lanell and I only lasted a year by 12th grade things had fallen apart. I was in the throws of mother hood and also applying for college.

Prom was a nightmare I ended up going with friends. Lanell and I had broken up it was the first week of senior year when he broke it off with me. I was heart broken. He said he couldn’t deal with the fact that I had a baby and by his rival Kioko. I wondered why he even persued me.

I was planning on going to prom with Lanell. But he too grew distant and started playing the disappearing act. And still staff and teachers didn’t know I had a baby. So after school I got on the train all the way from Jamaica estates the q17 bus would drop me off at 179th and Jamaica to the F train. The F train to 47-50 th street and then transfer to the B train.

I went to school all the way in Jamaica estates because I have a learning disability and my mother had me tested by the board of education and found I had dslyxia and discalculia. I had already 4 different schools before getting into The summit school.

At first I was taking a yellow bus to school. I started Summit in the end 7th grade when I transferred from Holy name school of Jesus a Catholic school on west 96th street across the street from where I lived. I had to wear a maroon uniform everyday. My weekend clothes where sweat pants.

There was always something wrong with me, from my academic career to not having many friends in school. I was in introvert. I was always being bullied and made fun of. I was hyper active and the only time I was happy was when I was home. So it was a surprise to everyone when came out pregnant.

I think I was a good mother or so I thought. I tried to find jobs that paid so I could take care of child care or after school programs, wondering how people like Nonie made it after her mother passed away from aids. She was an older woman in my building who was also Aaron’s baby sitter while I attended Mandell school of allied health. She had 4 children in a two bedroom apartment. She ended up working for 1199. I interviewed for a job at 1199 but didn’t make the cut. Nonie had 3 kids that where all around Aaron’s age which made it easier for we to care for him while I was in school.

I don’t know why I choose Mandell. I was looking for something that would pay me back for attending school and learning a trade, not realizing that I actually had to apply myself. Going to school wasn’t for me. But I had to try.

I think the one thing I blame my parents for was not telling me how to be an adult outside of high school. I relied on them for everything. So when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I had to rely on them even more. Not realizing that a debt was a debt.

So as Aaron got older we had a wall put up in the dining room which became his room, because him and I couldn’t share rooms anymore. Not once did I think that I was going to have to move out and get my own place. My mother was looking for bigger apartments that would accommodate myself her and Aaron, we also had pets.

When Aaron was ten my parents divorcd my father had moved out because he couldn’t take that I was a single mother and it drove a wedge between my mother and father. My mother was more on my side then my father. I was the black sheep of the family. I have 3 cousins who are doctors and one cousin who works for att u verse in Jersey.

I could barely hold down a job. And this is why I’m where I’m at today. In a mica shelter. I am deemed an unfit parent, lost custody of my two children to my mother, diagnosed schitoaffective which is bipolar and schitophrenic, I have to find a way to start my life over with out the title mother attached to it.

To scratch the surface

I remember when I was living with my mother, I was filling out section 8 applications outside new York city because section 8 is closed in the tri-state area. I so badly wanted my own space.

I was going to use my little income and live in public housing, mind you I can’t navigate Manhattan I was going to move to Cohoes New York with my daughter. These are the things that worry me about my future.

I live in the south Bronx now and I can barely make it around. I don’t know up from down. Where I was living was easy, I had all buses and trains flowing on either end of my residence and it was the upper west side.

I had 733 a month which I was used to blowing on clothes and my cell phone bill. With out landish ideas of turning my poetry into songs for the wildly famous Bad Boy entertainment. I grew a small infatuation with Diddy aka Sean John Combs and thought if I applied myself I could be a writer for Combs enterprises.

I spent my money and I was broke by the second week of pay day which is on the first of every month from social security administration. I didn’t worry about laundry which I had to pay for and I had my food stamps aka snap in place for a budget of 3 people which included myself and my two children. My mother wasn’t charging my rent for the master bedroom I shared with my daughter. I don’t know how I got by. I smoke cigarettes, but so did my mother. I would bum cigarettes off her when I didn’t have any more, but I felt that I was doing the right thing by having snap I was putting food on the table. But I was also trying to keep up with the Jones.

A childhood friend of mine manage with her mental health diagnosed schitoaffective she married and had two children. Moved to north Carolina and then settled in Jersey City. She has a tiny two bedroom apartment, only difference is that she was getting SSD, social security disability, and child support, and with SSD your children get a check also. She was getting 800 per child for child support, mean while I was going to family court to try and get child support for my son from his father, and from my daughter’s father whom I’m still married to.

I had my son when I was 16 years old. My first high school boyfriend was his father. My parents picked up the tab on financials like diapers and formula, clothes and child care so I could finish high school.

I landed my first job at Barnes and nobles bookstore with another childhood friend of mine. While she was getting paid 350 dollars a week working the children’s department, I was in the history department on the weekends making 101 dollars a week. I took the job so I could get experience working, but soon quit the job when I landed a job with Godiva chocolates.

I couldn’t work the hours needed at Barnes and nobles for the children’s department because it was full time, and my mother worked full time so did my step father. They where paying a puruvian woman to care for my son inside our apartment and the hours requested from Barnes and nobles was the evening shift 3:30 on to closing. My shift on the weekends was 8 am to 4 pm.

I never really finished college. I got accepted to Buffalo state University F.I.T for merchandising and LaGuardia community college I ended up going to LaGuardia community college which is located in long island city. My best friend at the time, the one who worked at Barnes and nobles with me transferred from BMCC to LaGuardia just so I wouldn’t be alone. She was majoring in hospitality, I was majoring in liberal arts.

I had to start my day early during the week because the baby sitter was there in the morning at 7:30 am. My first class was at 8:45 am. My dad had me on a grant that paid for college from his job at Cornell University, but it didn’t cover books. I was taking math , English and critical thinking. My friend was taking English, sociology and calculus.

College didn’t last too long because I flunked out my first semester. I never gravitated towards the college experience. My friend decided to give up college and continue her JOBS waitressing and Barnes and nobles.

My job at Godiva chocolates was fantastic but I still found a way to quit. By then my son was already getting ready to go Pre-K and so I was a stay at home parent. I hadn’t applied for welfare yet until my son’s father hit me with court paper for visitation of his son. I never denied him the right to see his son but I did tell him that he couldn’t see him until he started paying child support.

We had to go to court, my father got me a lawyer to fight for child support and he got his visitation but I couldn’t be around. It had to be my mother and his mother with him and visitation was once a month. Child support was 25 dollars.

While I was going through this I was getting an allowance from my mother and she told me I should try school again, so I applied for beauty school. It was on 34th Street, in the heart of Manhattan. LIBS. My mother paid out of pocket because she made too much income for me to get financial aid. I was still a minor at 20 years old, and she was head of household.

I met a Japanese girl named Seiko who was staying in an SRO (single room occupancy) on a visa to attend beauty school. She was 21.

I wasn’t really that good in hairstyling but I tried my hardest to Excell because when I was a little girl all I wanted to be was a beautician.

I got my temporary license but never got my license because you needed a live person for the state exam. I couldn’t find someone who would let me cut their hair in a 30 degree hair cut,so I never made it farther then working for Supercuts as the receptionist. I wasn’t making good money their either I was working 3 days a week and making 125 dollars very two weeks at 7.25 an hour.

By then my son was in school and so during the week when I wasn’t at work I was trying to keep up with my childhood friends who worked and maintained themselves.

I did everything first, lost my virginity first got pregnant first and started smoking weed first. I was the bad apple out of the bunch. So during the week when I wasn’t at work I was at home on my desk top writing poetry and trying to find ways online to get my poetry noticed and smoking weed, and that’s when I found blackplant.com and what used to be migente.com it was the day of social media. Myspace wasn’t that popular yet, but I was on both black plant and migente and so where my childhood friends.

The reason why My sons father and I where no longer together was because he cheated on me with another girl and I found out about it and confronted him about it. But by the time my son was born, our relationship was over already. He couldn’t take me being pregnant and stopped coming to see me.

He was there for the birth of his son. And these are some of the pictures that are left behind in a photo album someplace in the apartment that I used to share with my mother.

And so when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my mother forced me to get married or she was going to kick me out because no only did I put up an argument for him to stay with us before I got pregnant I had no money and nowhere to go. Was I hearing voices? No I wasn’t, but I was exibiting signs of depression and bipolar disorder, with what my father called self medicating with the weed. I hadn’t hit my low point yet.

“Take your baby and move into a shelter” but Aaron (my son) is staying with me. This was when William, my boyfriend turned hisband, at the time moved in and then moved back to Pennsylvania because he lost his job. Then he moved in with us when I found out I was pregnant. My mother forced the issue and gave me the bottom line. But before the pregnancy, and before he moved in, I had enrolled at Mandell school of allied health on 59th street , for medical assistant.

I met Monroe who soon became my boyfriend and I was doing poorly in the classes and couldn’t keep up with the course work. Monroe was a student at Mandell also and he was a veteran, slightly older then me he was also married an ex coke head living in a men’s shelter on 28 the street.

I got pregnant and quickly had an abortion which Medicaid paid for. Because by the time I finished the program I was the other woman in his still on going relationship with his wife. Monroe was still married but separated but that didn’t stop him for going to visit his wife on weekends.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I got married. My husband was working for New York sports club right down the block on Broadway, and I was pregnant at home doing laundry and cooking dinner, but we barely had enough money to get me maternity clothes, and his dream of being a personal trainer/dj to techno music would be on hold because he was only brining in 350 dollars every two weeks. Was getting snap and cash assistance from welfare but the cash assistance was only 64 dollars every two weeks and my husband smoked weed also. It didn’t dawn on me that the bills where getting paid by my mother like electricity and cable TV.

I put my school debt on deferment and it bought me some time. By the time my daughter was three I was hospitalized in the psych ward at st.lukes hospital on 114th and Amsterdam ave.

I could go into depth but I was diagnosed bipolar and put on medication. I was in the hospital for two weeks. After which I was in outpatient psychiatric treatment. I had to see a therapist and a psychologist.

I now think about it how would I maintained in Cohoes New york? I only know Manhattan. And now that I have to live in the south Bronx off the 4 train I am learning to travel around on my own away from Manhattan. I would have lost my daughter to the foster care system in a short time. I have to say that my kids are better off with my parents but I’m not ok, because when I was kicked out with nothing but the clothes on my back, I never went to path, which is intake for the homeless. I stayed on the street . I was with out a roof over my head for nearly 3 months.

I first stayed in a hotel called the days inn on west 94th street. I had gotten a deposit of 2500 from child support form my daughter’s father, my husband who was in Pennsylvania. He had abandoned me when my daughter was 6 weeks old. My mother picked up the tab for diapers and clothes where hand me downs from other moms in the building and eventually my mother picked up the tab on everything except child care. By the time my daughter was 6 I was on ssi. But before that I was on an allowance of 100 a month from my mother. I had my snap in place.

Ssi isn’t good money. It’s a payment once a month for people who cannot work due to mental health or some form of disability. I never had that much money to begin with so when I was awarded I had a case manager already because I had already been in the hospital 3 times. I had to go to court to get approved. I applied and was turned down so I had to appeal which took a year. So for a year I was on medication that made me gain weight and I was an at home parent. My son was in Junior high and my daughter was barely out of diapers.

By the time she started school I was in debt with student loans. My mother was paying it off for me but I deferred again and went back to school for cosmetology, empire beauty school. I was determined to set the record straight and live a normal life. I was using my little bit of money to pay for after school for my daughter while I was in school again.

By the time I graduated empire beauty school I was in debt and I was able to get my license. This time around the state was using mannequins for the practical. Shortly after getting my license, I started working for the dry bar salon upper west side location on 72nd street and Broadway.

After much training I got an email from the manager saying I wasn’t good enough for dry bar and I had bad comments from customers reviews, And I needed to go back to training like back to school training. So I resigned my position. I was only getting paid 9 dollars an hour and I was part time.

I had my SSI to fall back on. So when acs had me thrown out of the apartment I lost my SSI because I didn’t have an address anymore. All the credit cards I have out are now in default and my student loans are also. I have no way of paying them back. I was receiving student loan forgiveness which meant because I was a recipient of SSI I didn’t have to pay back my student loans. I lost that as well.

When I was out on the street living in Central park and stealing food from Duane Reade people where literally handing me money. But I did get into some trouble landing me in Central bookings. I was locked up for 24 hours for shop lifting and let out on my own recognitence.

I was sitting across the street from the time Warner shops in Trump plaza when the cops stopped me and called EMS. They took me to the hospital where I was admitted to the psych ward. I was in the psych ward for two months . The person they called was my father and he had to come to the hospital so I could get discharged only I wasn’t going home. I was going to Franklin woman’s a