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06 November 2013

Again with the two worlds at once thing

I'm still struggling. I'm making progress on some things, but every day is an exercise in overcoming some obstacle. Lately it's been sleep-- I'll stay up for two (or even three) days, crash for fourteen hours, and then the cycle repeats. Sometimes I get a few hours of sleep. Other times I get several hours where I'm watching a lecture, taking notes, thinking, and stuff is making sense. That part is encouraging.

The part that's causing me trouble is my sleep pattern, but there's more underneath the surface. I stay away from vets house as much as I can lately. I leave through the back door, and get back late at night when I know no one will be in the hallways.

Seeing other homeless vets, with their monitoring bracelets and parole officers and whatever the hell else they have going on brings me down. Seeing them reminds me that I'm homeless. When I "feel" homeless, I'm reminded that going from college to homeless to college is a pretty hard path, and it's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed by that.

I don't like it when other people that live in vets house do see me in the hallway or outside, because I know the questions are coming. Where ya been? What ya been doing? How come we never see ya in the dining room? And on, and on. My answer is always the same. Busy with school. I don't want to discuss things- vets house, and being homeless, is one world. College is another. I don't feel comfortable when the two worlds mix. It feels like having the Earth opening up under me with one foot on each side of an ever expanding gap.

So, I do need to talk about vets house for  a little bit. I got a letter (slid under my door, of course) that my weekly room inspections  that had not happened for three weeks would start again this week- today, actually.

My room is a mess. It's not like hoarder with dead cats under the couch messy, but it is a level of messy that most people think needs to be corrected. I've been working on cleaning, but to be honest I'd much rather go over my notes from a number theory lecture than clean my room.

Being told to clean my room also makes me feel like a little kid, which wasn't a really happy time. 

Now I get triggered when I hear people in the hallway outside my door. I'm waiting for one of them to try to come in.
I'm petrified, frozen. I mute the TV if it's on, sit still, don't make a sound. Until they go away. Until it's quiet again, then I can breathe.

Maybe it's that for the first year I was able to pretend there wasn't a world outside, pretend that because these other guys in the house are vets too, we'd relate to each other.

The closet I get to being a normal student again, the less I want to deal with anything and anyone that's associated with being homeless.

Anyway, the inspections. At last Friday's meeting with Case Manager and Program Manager, it was pointed out to me that if there was an inspection and the inspectors saw my room, it would be bad.

What kind of bad? Crops fail? Stock market crash? Locusts filling the sky?

I made sure to point out that the washers and dryers in the building don't wash or dry for shit. There's a work order in. We're going to switch to a different supplier when the contract is up with the current supplier.

Not our fault. It's the contractor. Or hands are tied.  Typical answer. Fix  the damn washers and dryers and my laundry will be caught up. Simple as that.

Now since it's the start of the month, I have to worry about how much rent is going to be taken out of my account. It's been weeks now, and no sign of a repayment plan for my back rent.

Rent should not be this complicated.

I did find out that any scholarship or other financial aid I scrounge up for school is considered income when they calculate my eligibility for the program. Wonderful.

I'm supposed to be going to the Vet Center once a week to talk to a counselor about the Desert, to build documentation for a service-connected disability claim for PTSD.

I don't want to talk about the Desert, not like that- it doesn't feel right.

I am going to go through the 12-week Cognitive-based Therapy sessions again, to talk about the Desert and try to find a place for the memories and images. There are some things I need to bring up, look at, and try to understand.

I had planned to write more about  exactly what I'm doing with lectures and reading and assignments- but I haven't had a good nights sleep for a while. You know how you get when you're running on Mountain Dew, tired as fuck, it's cold and dark outside, and about all you can do is feel miserable?

That's where I'm at right now. So I'm going to get some food, try to get some sleep, and try again tomorrow.

Some days are better than others.


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