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23 May 2013

The difference a day makes

Yesterday.

The place I rent a storage unit from was ready to open up my unit and sell my stuff if I didn't get caught up with the rent by close of business yesterday.

I knew this was coming, but it took until yesterday to get the money together. Thanks to a Marine at vets house, I got the money there in time.

One bill settled. Stuff safe and secure.
That's progress. Hasn't been much safe and secure in my life lately.

VA hospital appointment, this time with Occupational Health. I do computer stuff for a living, which means typing. I've had the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome, so OH gave me some good advice and a set of wrist braces for when I'm sleeping, plus another one for when I work.

The braces I wear for sleeping will take some getting used to. They feel a bit like hockey gloves.

Today.

Taking it easy. Up all night again last night, so tried to sleep for a while. That didn't work. Still too much construction outside during the day.

Downstairs for coffee. Chillin with a couple of friends from the house when the boss needs the meeting room, so we head outside.

"Hey Opus, I need to see you too."

Shit.

Wait while she finishes with another vet. And, another. Fuck this. Don't tell me you need to see me and then make me wait. I'm already triggered because I know it's going to be about rent money, which I have none of. (See above where I had to pay to keep my stuff from being sold and appearing on American Pickers next pseason.)

Cue the "They're going to evict you tomorrow" and "You're going to be out on the street again". 

Note to social work people: threatening to throw a homeless person out on the street is bullshit and you know it. I've already proved I can survive the street. Tossing me back won't make me happy. but it won't break me.

This is where I start to get really triggered, because I start to get pissed off.  Or maybe it's the other way around.

I explain that I just emptied my checking account to save all of my worldy possessions less than 24 hours ago. She asks me if that's worth being back on the street.

To me, yes it is. 

I can sleep in the bushes and carry essentials in a backpack. I can't carry a futon and all of my math and computer science books with me. What do you guys learn in school, anyway?

So now I'm supposed to let the people from mental health know to inform the people from the place that owns vets house about what's going on with me, PTSD, and the rent. 

I'm also supposed to coordinate with the peer support specialist at vets house to set up a rent payment plan *and* meet with the substitute case worker-- who I don't know and haven't met.

This is about when I hit terminal velocity and make note of the fact that everyone is more than willing to threaten me with being out on the street-- yet no one has ever just asked how I'm feeling.

And that first meeting we had about the rent, where all three of them were threatening me with being out on the street, the one that felt like an intervention? That was a "circle of support". 

No, it was bullshit. That's why I stopped talking. and why I was shaking, and none of you even noticed.

You people don't get it, do you?

I had PTSD when I got here. It got WORSE when I moved into Transitional housing. After I hit my max two years here, I will still have PTSD.

I have to fight this shit EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY.

YOU need to take a look at my records at the VA hospital once in a while-- I know you can because I signed the release form that gives you permission.

Put down the fucking books that tell you how to run the program, and put aside the meaningless surveys you're constantly having me fill out, and think. 

When I say that no one ever just asks how I'm doing, don't just say that you've been checking on me- think about when that last was. My phone says April 8.  What's the date today? Thought so.

And y'all are going to end veterans homelessness in two years. 

Let me know how that turns out.










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