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11 June 2013

A man's home is his castle. So they say.

One of the things I'm trying to convince myself of is that yes, the world is a dangerous place-- but most of the time, I'm not in any immediate danger. When I'm hyperaware, which is always, I look for danger. I usually find some, even if it's not rational. One of the dangers I'm acutely aware of is someone else being or coming into my living space unannounced. I'm okay with not having a lot of material wealth, or a huge place to live, but I am quite serious about my space being my space.  I've always been a private person when it comes to where I live.  A man's home is his castle. I could go on.

Recently, a notice was handwritten on a whiteboard downstairs that said maintenance people might be doing things in the building during June.  Sigh. Ok, I'll look for notices on my door. I don't like having anyone in my room, but it's sometimes necessary. Those days I make sure I'm not at home so I don't have to deal with it. I still get stressed, but being somewhere else helps.

One Friday morning I was asleep in my room (having worked until 0100, and been up a while after that) and someone knocked on my door. I sort of heard them knocking, mumbled something about me being asleep, and went back to sleep.

A few minutes (or a lot of minutes, I really wasn't keep track) there was another knock on my door, and I heard someone say "Maintenance!" as they were coming into my room. I made it a point to mention that I was sleeping, and could they please Get the Fuck Out, but maintenance dude just kept on working like I wasn't there.

I was there, lying nekkid in my bed, very seriously triggered and very seriously freaked the fuck out.  If I hadn't been shaking so bad I would have probably done something I'd regret later. (I'm not a violent person at all, but that morning I was close.) He kept on working until he'd finished his critical maintenance task (spackling several screw holes in the wall), and then left.

I managed to get up and get clothes on before I went to find him in the hallway, and asked him "What if someone came in your bedroom while you and your wife were sleeping? Wouldn't that bother you? His response was "Sorry, doing my job."

Dude, you are dangerously close to exceeding the limits of my medication.

I should note here that I brought this to the attention of people in charge, and very soon after received a written apology detailing what would be done to make sure this never happens again.

But still. It took me complaining loudly, when this was something that should never happen. Ever.

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I should also note that I didn't feel all that safe here (at vets house) to begin with. I know that all veterans aren't perfect, but I'm not used to being around people on parole wearing monitoring bracelets. It is quite possible that I've had neighbors before that were convicted felons and never realized it, but here it's out in the open.  Lots of "Yeah, well, when I was in the joint..." stories.

There are also cameras here (in the common areas), and people who review the tapes. Those cameras are here for when something goes wrong, for when someone's doing something they shouldn't be. If things are unsafe enough that there need to be cameras throughout the place...

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I have most all of my worldly goods stored in a storage unit on the other side of town. There are things I'd like to bring here, so I can set my room up properly, make it more of a home. I don't, because if I don't feel safe here I don't feel safe having my stuff here.

I've heard from other vets that live here that when they were in the hospital (or back in prison- ack!), some of their stuff was missing when they got back. If I end up in the hospital, I'm taking everything I have here with me.

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I'm still getting caught up on rent.  Settling my account for my storage unit took most of the money I had (two months worth of rent). I got a notice on my door that I have to have the sum of what I owe by Thursday. I don't have that much money. Not even close.  So that's another reason I don't get too attached to being here, because I have the fear that eventually I'm going to be evicted. Why move stuff in and get comfortable if I'm just going to have to move it out again?

Today I'm going to try to talk to the right people and something worked out with rent. I need to take pay stubs so I can show my income, which will hopefully reduce what I owe, and set up some sort of payment plan. They'll likely want me to be caught up in six months, which isn't looking possible from my point of view.

Hence my fear that I'll be back on the street again. Fear makes me anxious, which makes it harder for me to go talk to someone to set something up.  I know that one of the goals of transitional housing is to get me back on my feet, build up a good rental reference so I can get a place once I'm moved out of vets house.

I've decided that vets house isn't about healing or conquering fears, getting better. Transitional housing is just as the name implies, a temporary place to live. It's not even a place to catch your breath, really. It's a place, and a situation, to escape from. It's not prison, I can leave anytime I want, but circumstances (rather than choice) are why I'm here. Trying to cope with living here is a losing battle, and I've admitted to myself that I simply don't feel safe or comfortable here.

I dread going to talk about rent. They expect that since I'm here, I should have no problem with getting my affairs in order. It doesn't matter that I'm trying to heal, that my PTSD symptoms are worse from living here, or that I just need a hand getting things straight.

It often feels like the PTSD doesn't matter, that it's not their problem to worry about.





2 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. I hope you can work things out with these guys and I hope things will improve for you.

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  2. Nobody cares about PTSD and nobody understands us "crazy" vets that just want a quiet normal life. I sleep with several guns in reach of my bed at all times. I also live in an apartment that maintenance just comes in when they "need" . I live in total fear all the time and most of it is that I'm going to hurt some innocent bystander or family member just coming over to check on me. Phycologist says just sell all my guns, yeah right. So now I'm scared shitless with no way to protect my self? Yeah, that'll calm down the situation.

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