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30 July 2013

Why and how did I get here? What's next?

Just past 0500, can't sleep, don't wanna sleep. I'm tired, too tired to do anything useful. I can't concentrate anyway. The calendar says it's almost the end of July and today is Tuesday. It's not that I don't believe the calendar-- it's that it doesn't feel to me like the end of July, or 0500, or Tuesday.

I don't know what it feels like. It's today, that's all.

I don't want to go home. Home is a room in a transitional housing shelter for homeless veterans. I don't feel safe there, and I don't feel comfortable there- someone's always watching and keeping track. There are cameras. Daily sign in sheets. Rules, most of which list what I can't do.

The maintenance guy who thought it was cool to work in my room while I was sleeping still works there. If it was up to me he'd be unemployed. I was always afraid of someone coming in my room like that, because nothing good happens once the person is in. Could've been there to kill me. Woke up from a nightmare to a nightmare.

I've hear other guys who live here say that when they've been in the hospital or back to prison (!), they've come back to find personal belongings missing. Great, now I'm afraid to get sick. I don't have much in my room, just basics, but right now it's all I have.

I've been thinking about how I got here, how I became homeless,. Why this happened. Why me. Why, why, why.

PTSD. That's why this shit happened.

 I still don't like the idea that PTSD caused all of this- I've been questioning myself, looking for something I did wrong, the place where I fucked up, the bad decisions I made. If it was all just me, I could change. Learn new tricks. Try harder. Remove the distractions.

I hate hate hate assigning blame to a disability. Man up, Opus. Don't be a pussy. That's what the voice says over and over. Hearing it makes me feel weak, and damaged, and sometimes I feel damaged beyond repair. I used to be able to look past the present and see a better day ahead where I'd be past all of this. That day is hidden in fog and darkness now.

Maybe I'm a hero for getting as far as I have. I don't want to be a hero. I'm just trying to survive- hanging on by my fingernails to the dream I have, to finally get through college and have a career. Maybe when I get there, I'll be okay with being an inspiration. Chances are I won't tell them about all of this anyway. I'll be working and trying to forget it all.

Yet I'll probably still have to request certain accommodations at work, just like I've needed to do in college. 

Speaking of college, I'm going to try to take two classes this fall. My therapist and my psychiatrist have been giving me the look lately- that look that says "We believe in you, but we don't want you to go back too soon and fail. We want you to succeed." 

I don't like the idea that PTSD is holding me back. It is holding me back right now and has been for a long time. I don't have to like it, but the reality is that I haven't slept for almost 24 hours. If I had class today I'd have to be wired on coffee, nothing would sink in, and I'd be crashing as soon as I'm out of class.

I'm going to try putting in some library time during the day. I'll never be able to study at home, so I need to become a library rat again. I used to do that, have classes in the morning and study alll afternoon. It worked well. Now for that to work I have to put the Desert out of mind, forget that I'm homeless, and just focus on studying.

I'll need help from the disability resource center to arrange quiet space and extra time for exams, and maybe even extra time for assignments. They'll do that for me. My professors have always been willing to work with me on these things.

Me, I've always lived in two worlds: the fucked up situation at home, and the promising future I'm trying to find. 

The less time I spend at home, the better. It's always seemed that way.

Transitional Housing seems to like reminding me that I'm homeless and need help. They want to talk about goals and progress and call meetings that may negatively affect me staying in vets house.

I've got enough to deal with, without desk jockeys trying to tell me how things should be.  So fuck 'em.

Maybe fall semester, maybe spring, but I'm going back to school. 








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