Happy Thanksgiving?

Have a happy Thanksgiving….I wish I was back in my mothers apartment helping her cook for the holiday.

Today the residence is having a big Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, green beans, and cranberry sauce. We also get to have either pumpkin pie or apple pie. I’m going to pay my dollar and get in on the feastivies of a good catered meal.

Last year my holiday was spent at the shelter, and the cooks made ham, turkey, macaroni and cheese and green beans. Earlier in the day we had a brunch where the staff served the clients of the shelter which consisted of real waffles and sausage and real maple syrup, and also orange juice and coffee.

The shelter really tried to make things feastive for the woman who couldn’t go home to family or didn’t have any family.

Ruby ended up going with a client named Jennifer to her families thanks giving in long island and bringing back food. She ended up having two dinners one from her trip and one from the shelter and ended up eating her left over food as well. Ruby can eat alot.

I’m trying to enjoy my day but I can’t help but think what is my family doing today, is my mother cooking or are they going to her brother’s house in Queens. I wish I could be apart of everything. It truly isn’t a happy Thanksgiving for me. I will be in my unit eating alone.

Non the less have a happy Thanksgiving to my readers.

I fit right in at st.fraincis…

Everyone at st.francis has a qork about them, whether they rock back and forth or have tremors. I’m not the only one who grinds their teeth.

I fit right into my new society of mental illness tenants. I’m a bit more of a recluse, because there’s no one to talk to. There is a woman my age here but she isn’t very friendly.

As I wait on line in the lounge for my daily medication, I notice that everyone has a special little something about themselves and I fit right in. I stand and grind my teeth, while others rock back forth or fidget.

I’m feeling quite content in my surroundings. Everyone always greets me good morning, and pretty much leaves me alone, except for the guy who hits on me. When ever he sees me he invites me to go out with him or he will buy me breakfast. I always decline. I am really not in the mood to talk about his virginity and get his hopes up that one day we can be together, even though I’m longing for a conversation, I just don’t want to have it with him.

He’s is disgusting to me. He smells like old sweat and is morbidly obese. He also mumbles when he talks. Even though he’s a “nice” guy I don’t just don’t want to get his hopes up that I’m attracted to him when I’m not. I can’t stand being around him. He doesn’t even wear shoes he wears open toes slippers and a winter coat and pants that make him look like a barrel.

Alot of the people wear the same clothes everyday even if it’s stained, like Leslie. She’s sweet and says hello to me when ever she sees me, but she wears the same top everyday and it’s covered in stains. Even if she changes her top it’s always stained with food.

There are more men then woman at the recidence. The men all wear the same thing also. No one gets dressed in clean clothes or a fresh outfit.

I try to change my outfits up. I have nothing but clothes now so I have options. That’s the only difference being younger then everyone else. I’m not content just wearing anything even if I’m not going anywhere. Alot of the people wear slippers in their feet and take their medication and money and go back to their unit.

The woman who’s my age is also stuck in a rut. She wears a black or purple skirt and a t shirt and pink sneakers. She always looks dirty. That’s one thing I could never go with out having clean clothes on my back. That’s where I don’t fit in.

I refuse to leave my unit and not be dressed. I will not put myself in a rut. But for the most part I fit into the fabric of the mental illness society.

Being homeless is apart of my story…

Everyone has a story to tell or to share. Mine happens to be being homeless. I literally survived living on the street. I still marvel at the fact that I wasn’t beat up, rapped or worse.

While cleaning my locker, I threw out a sweatshirt that I found on the ground when I was living on the street. It was a men’s 3xl in purple and it was a true religion.

When I first entered susans place I wore it all the time. It had become a security blanket for me.

I also had stolen from a panhandler a Christian Dior blanket scarf, which I ended up taking with me on my move. I had used it as a blanket on my bed at the shelter before getting the blanket the p.a gave me.

The shelter does in fact give you a blanket and a sheet for your bed, but the blanket wasn’t big or warm enough. So I would cuddle up to the scarf which has whool fibers. Now it’s apart of my outdoor wardrobe.

I still cannot believe that I ended up homeless living on the street for as long as I did.

I was eating food from the dumpster in front of pharmacies that threw out expired food when I wasn’t trying to steal food.

I was able to get up enough money because people where giving me money, and I would go to the dollar pizza place for a slice of pizza. I found myself asking Starbucks for a hot cup of water so I could make a cup of noodles I had stolen. Soon I was not allowed to go back into Starbucks because I wasn’t buying anything and they felt I was loitering.

I survived approximately 3 months without shelter. I had no idea how to even get into another shelter, as my first time with path, they had me in a regular woman’s shelter, and I got thrown out for stealing because the voices in my head where telling me that my dorm mate had left her things behind and their where cigarettes in her bag.

I put her pink napsack in my locker, and she ended up coming back and telling DHS on me. They clipped my locker and confiscated the bag, and told me to collect my bag and leave the shelter. My excuse was that the bag had fallen on the floor and I put it in my locker. I was going to give it back when she returned.

My excuse wasn’t valid enough. I found myself on the street. From there I stayed on Columbus circle area.

I found myself catching sleep during the day at the little park across the street from Trump international hotel until security asked me not to sleep there.

At night I would sleep in a little gazebo I found in-between the block on 58th and 7th Ave. It was private and I would spend nights there, or if it was raining I would go to the underground market staircase and sleep on the staircase sitting upright and leaning on the wall.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in front of a post office on 59th and 8th Ave. It was closed for the day, so I parked on the stair in front of the post office.

I had just scored a free cup of coffee from the Starbucks right next door, because I learned that you could get a sample, they where nice enough to give me a tall size.

The cops had come and asked me if I was ok. Then EMS came and they checked my blood pressure and said it would be a good idea if if went to the hospital for extra help.

I was admitted to the psych ward. I was there for two months before being sent by car service to Franklin woman’s assessment shelter in the south Bronx.

I had a dollar and 39 cents on me. I was so scared. I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be one big auditorium with cots, but it was rooms broken into dorms with 26 beds and mini lockers. The beds where infact cots which where uncomfortable.

After 9 days, I was transferred to Susan’s places for psychiatric evaluation follow-up. Basically I was in need of a haldol shot, and Franklin wasn’t equipt to administer the drug.

I was so scared of susans place, it felt like there where more woman in susans place then Franklin.

I come to the realization that all the woman in susans place where in fact waiting just as I would be. All the woman where also homeless or trying to abuse the system.

Being homeless isn’t something I’m proud of. But I didn’t know where to go and I was in the middle of a psychiatric breakdown.

Once in the hospital, I would look out the window and try and place myself back on the street. I had no idea they where trying to get me into an assessment shelter. I thought I was be discharged and be back on the street, thinking that I would have to walk from 114th street to 59th street and Columbus circle. I had decided that I felt safe there and I could panhandle for money.

I’m actually greatful that I was placed in the assessment shelter then transfered to Susan’s place. I was in dire need of professional psychiatric care.

I’m just not happy the way things where left. I’m not happy that my mother got a an order of protection against me. I’m not happy that I wasn’t more on top of my daughters academic career and ACS did an investigation. Finally I’m not happy that I was diagnosed psychoeffective.

Like, why me? What is God’s message to me? Why was I choose to go through this? All I know is being handicapped with a mental illness which lead me to be being homeless.

It’s been two years since my humbling awaking with my mental illness. I had to bite the bullet when I was in the hospital and admit to myself that I had a mental illness.

Once I was told by a social worker that I wouldn’t be able to go back home and I was being placed in a shelter, it was then I knew I was on my own.

It took alot of gumption but I persevered through the shelter system. One of the hardest things to was to maintain myself and having to start over with everything.

I literally don’t have to shop for anything. I have clothes and a coat that was given to me by the staff at the shelter. I have sneakers and boots. Now it’s just about maintaining my psychiatric health.

One of the scariest things I have ever had to go through, I never saw myself having to rely on the shelter system. If I didn’t have this disablity and something where to happen to my mother, I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent on the upper west side, and me and my children would be in a family shelter.

Life is full of ups and downs…. But I know there’s a purpose of why I had to go through this I just haven’t figured it out yet.

I confided in my pychatrist…

Today I confided in my pychatrist that I’m scared about my future financially. She let me know that I’m in an environment that deals with the ssa office and not to worry that my benefits won’t get cut off.

I’m in a stable environment that deals with the beaurcrasy for me. Even with my student loans they can’t take it from me because I’m recieving SSI. I let her know I put in for student forgiveness program. She said if I’m approved after 5 years the loan debt is wiped clean.

I still feel bad about it though and my credit score has suffered emencly. But I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.

I also told her that I’m getting obsessed with anorexia again. She asked me if I have tried to be anorexic in the past. I told her yes but I didn’t get anywhere with it. So we came up with a diet that with excerise I will loose some weight. Apparently I’m not eating the right things and need to add more fruit and vegetables into my diet.

Then we talked about my sleeping habits. I’m finding myself going to bed at 6pm. She said she thinks I’m suffering with depression and in the next couple of weeks she may increase the Zoloft from 100 milligrams. She wants to give the increase she already gave me to catch up in my system and see if I adjust to the 100 milligrams.

My consintration is all off as well, I’m not able to read my e-book with out having to stop after a page. Which is why she may increase the Zoloft as well.

I like this psychiatrist she seems to be on the goal with my treatment plan. Dr. Gonzalez from susans place didn’t talk to me. He just basically checked to see if I was hearing voices and the meeting was just ten minutes. He was concerned with my tooth grinding, if there was some underlying problem. But never suggested any kind of treatment for it. I went to the dentist at the clinic and they didn’t give me a bite plate to stop me from grinding.

My psychiatrist now is a little bit more personable. She’s inviting and warm, she makes me want to talk to her.

We also talk about my family and if in the future my step father may advacate for me so I can get the chance to see my children. But I would have to go to court to get visitation privileges. It’s something to consider, I may end up with supervised visitation at the court house. Which is what I don’t want to put my daughter through. But everything is up in the air with visiting or even talking to my mother again because there’s a order of protection in place.

I think with in time once I’m doing better with treatment I may ask my step father to talk to my mother for me and see what she has to say about me contacting her. The psychiatrist said to give it six months to prove I’m doing better in treatment.

I’m eger to speak to my mother and and apologize for the fight we had, and I’m sorry for leaving her the responsibility of caring for my children. I feel like I failed everyone. I just want to apologise to her. I know this isnt what she expected when she retired to take care of my two children, although my son is 23 years old and is working. The bulk of the responsibility is taking care of my youngest who is just going to be 13 in December. My mother will be 75 in February.

I wish I didn’t have this problems. I saw myself with a really great job being a cosmetologist. I literally went back to school for no reason. I am not able to renew my license. Even if I wanted to work I would be starting from the beginning with everything.

I miss everything about my old life. I miss cooking for my family. I miss the way my son would come into the kitchen and sample dinner. I miss cuddling with my daughter.

If only I would have stayed on my treatment plan, but the medication wasn’t working. I most likey would have ended up in the same place, in a shelter hoping for placement.

I’m thankful that the housing specialist introduced me to saint Francis. But I am so lonely. The only thing I look forward to is going to bed.

Travelled to the shelter today…

As I’m writing this I’m sitting in the waiting area of susans place. I decided after many failed attempts at calling to see if I had mail, I would hop on the train and go to the shelter.

Everyone that is staff is currently out for lunch, so I have an hour to kill while I wait. I may go to the deli and get a sandwich and a drink.

It would suck if I travelled all this way and I don’t have any mail. But I am expecting mail, so I rather just get this done and over with now even though I put in for my mail to be transfered to my new address, but it take 10-15 days for it to go into effect.

It’s so surreal being back in the shelter in the waiting area, which is meant for patients who have appointments at the medical clinic or for van requests to hra, social security, or the DMV.

The shelter is quiet. It’s not like I haven’t been here when the shelter wasn’t quiet, I had to see my psychiatrist by van request from the hotel. But now that I’ve moved out, this is my pervious address which is still on my current Identification.

Once everything is opened up again I’m going to the DMV to get a new identification.

Needless to say, I kind of miss susans place. It was home for a year and a half almost two years. I kind of miss the morning hustle in the cafeteria for breakfast and trying to find a place to sit down after breakfast in the living room.

I am starting forget what it feels like to have to get up in the morning and take my daughter to school or make breakfast for my son.

I have been in the hustle and bustle of the shelter that I have lost sense of what it feels like to be a mother. Even living alone. I just have to worry about myself. Its been two years and I am forgetting what it feels like but I won’t forget that I was a mother.

Just something’s I was thinking….

I’m going to be 40 years old and I have nothing to show for it.

I’m in debt with student loans and credit cards. If by chance I can’t get student loan forgiveness my loans will garnish my wages if and when I start working. I’m in financial ruins and I’m terrified.

Yes it’s a positive thing that I was able to get housing, but what happens when the buck runs out? I’m literally living on borrowed time and I don’t know what to do for my future.

In 2.5 years ssa may not find me disabled anymore, and I’m going to have to find a job that will allow me to pay rent and keep myself afloat and also pay my student loans. I’m qualified for nothing, except medical billing, which I have to pay $50 dollars for a new certificate. I’m not going to be able to find a job in this economy, which will put me back in the shelter system most likey susans place.

I just want to die already and escape these on going problems that I have building. I am so unhappy with everything. Everything I have is on borrowed time from my cell phone to my basic cable and even my living arrangement.

I wish I wasn’t born, I literally fucked up everything and I don’t know how to recover.

Trying to contact Ruby…

I’ve been trying to contact Ruby. I wanted to find out what happened with her moving into her new place or if she has to stay in the shelter for another three to four months.

I hope everything is ok with her, as she is in the hiatus with her SSI. I wonder if she was able to get welfare or if she has to pay back the last 6 months of $110 every two weeks.

I heard from Rachel last night but I was sleeping when the text came through. I got it this morning. She is concerned about the second stimulus check. She still hasn’t found a job is relying on the stimulus check to pull her through although she’s been getting welfare.

I think once they are back in the shelter and things go back to normal, they are going to put Rachel in a vocational program to help her find a job. I think she got to comfortable living in the shelter and relying on welfare to put a couple of bucks in her pocket, even though she was in a program for construction before the pandemic hit. Then she wasn’t able to go anymore. But I really feel like she’s gotten too comfortable with being given three meals a day and having food stamps.

Same thing with Ruby who when she’s in the hiatus with SSI, really lucked out with getting $110 every two weeks. If one benefit doesn’t compansate another one will.

But I still would like to know how Ruby is holding up with no income as she is an avid smoker of cigarettes and I know no one at the hotel she’s staying at is going to contribute to her chain smoking adding to her cpod. I still worry about Ruby and hope she cuts down on smoking. I wish she heard her ring tone on her new phone so I can speak to her. For someone that isn’t into technology she has now 4 new numbers since meeting her. I just hope that her phone doesn’t get cut off but it’s the inevitable as she probably doesn’t have the money to pay the bill.

I unfortunately don’t have her Obama phone number, which most likey got cut off as well because she probably hasn’t been able to recertify the account.

Anyways I hope Ruby is ok, and I wish Rachel all the best.

I heard back from my step father….

I ended up texting him this morning with the same content from the email. He got right back to me.

My mother is doing reasonably well. My stepfather has been trying to get my son to go to Community College with no avail. My daughter is doing fantastic and a straight A student in middle school.

My stepfather has been in northern CT for work, he only goes shopping every two weeks because of his preconditions with diabetes and arthritis. He has myopathy in his feet due to the diabetes.

But for the most part everyone is doing well. He was happy to hear from me and told me to stay in contact with him.

I feel like a distant realitive who is calling to check in on the family. I can’t believe I have missed milestones with my daughters progression in middle school. My son is just hurting and taking the abuse out on himself by not going to college. I know hes afraid of the debt that comes along with going to college. Maybe in time he will change his mind.

I wish I could be there with them and somehow influence my son to try college. I wish I could hear my daughter reading and and experience her report cards. I wish I could hug my mother again.

But I have to get over the separation. It’s been two years and I have to find a way to get over the pain of not being in front of my family. Maybe it’s better this way, but I hurt. This is the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life, being separated because of mental illness.

Living alone is seemingly the most loneliest feeling. It’s not about trying to find thing to do cushion the time. It’s the fact that I don’t have any family to reflect on. I feel like I’m in solitary confinement.

Non the less I am happy that everyone is thriving, and hopefully with in time I can get a couple of pictures sent to me.

I reached out to my stepfather…

I reached out to my stepfather this morning by email. I explained that I didn’t want to call from random numbers so I waited until I was more stable before contacting him.

I let him know the duration of me being in Susans place which is a micha shelter, and now living at St. Francis resendency.

I asked him to tell my mother that I’m sorry for everything that happened and the things I said, and I hope that my two children are healthy and thriving.

Most likey when he has a spare moment he will write back and let me know how everyone is doing.

I let him know that I was able to get my benefits back and I’m paying rent for an SRO and that I’m happy to just be back in the city and not in Brooklyn or the Bronx.

It was bothering me that I hadn’t even tried to contact him although I thought about it. It’s time that I have a line of communication open between someone in my family.

Hopefully I hear back from him today.

Ruby isn’t moving…

I heard from Ruby. Unfortunately she is unable to move into her new place because she is in the three month hitatus with social security, so for 5hree months out of the 9 month pay period because she is still residing at the shelter, she will not be recieving her benefits.

She has no money saved towards her move, and is relying on the one shot deal for her first months rent and furniture budget if she can get it approved. I was told that one shot deal doesn’t cover first months rent, I was denied over the phone.

So for the next three months Ruby will be a client still of Susans place. I told her once she starts getting her income again to save some money, not to spend all of it, just in case something happens, but I know that what I said to her fell on deaf ears because she has a codependent relationship with her daughter who always asks her mother for money on her fixed income, and Ruby feels obligated out of guilt because she didn’t raise her children she put them in foster care.

So in a way she compensating for lost time with her daughter. She really feels that it’s her Devine right to financially help her daughter even though everyone around her tells her to stop giving her daughter money, that’s the only reason why her daughter comes around, especially towards the first of the month when SSI is deposited on her bank card.

For three months Ruby’s phone will be shut off because she opted to get a plan instead of staying prepaid on MetroPCS. Alot of her money is going to go towards paying off her cell phone, I worry about Ruby alot. I wonder who talked her into getting a plan in her situation.

Anyways I hope that in the next three months she will be able to obtain a place to live again, but it seems like she has fallen into the pattern of the social security hiatus. It’s going to take another six months for the housing team to find her a place to live again, and she falls short of saving money. She is completely relient on the welfare system to fill in the gaps when she isn’t getting paid from social security.

I don’t know how she was able to get welfare to pay her $110 every two weeks for the last 6 months, when it’s suppose to be $22.50. welfare over paid her, and she is going to have to pay it back. Her situation is a mess.

She is in the process of applying for welfare with Ms. Smith the coordinator for HRA. Ms. Smith told Ruby that she most likey won’t get anything in compensation because of the error. So Ruby will be in dire restraints when it comes to having any income. She may not even be able to get snap(food stamps).