I'm sitting in one of the academic buildings, alone, mostly in the dark. The lights are on motion sensors, and when I'm sitting at my laptop reading the sensors don't see me and the lights turn off. I don't have a backlit keyboard, so if touch typing fails I have to walk around until the motion sensors see me and the lights come back on.
It's a beautiful night outside-- 60 degrees, calm wind, clear skies. Why am I sitting here, alone?
PTSD. Depression. Anxiety. Fear. The usual suspects. Of course, the reason is deeper than that, more complicated, harder to unwrap.
I'm not technically homeless right now, since I'm neither living on the street or living in a shelter. I actually have a place that's home, but it doesn't feel like it. It's a bedroom in an apartment with three other people who I don't know. I'm crashing there over the summer, subletting. In Madison, subletting over the summer is a lot like couchsurfing in strangers places, except you actually pay rent and you get to stay for most of the summer. I might see my roommates once or twice a week. I'm usually either asleep or gone when they're at home and awake.
My brain is spinning most of the time. I'm tired but I can't sleep. There are a million and one things I want to do, things I wish I was doing, things I used to do and want to start doing again. I want to work on something meaningful, I want to build something, I want to have friends and a social life and a girlfriend, and most of all I want to have a somewhat normal life. Sitting in an empty office building in the middle of the night writing about how miserable you feel isn't normal. If I could get my brain to shut the fuck up and focus on anything, I'd be hacking, but it's not happening. If I could get my brain to slow down, I might be able to try interacting with other people. That's not happening either.
Go away. That's how I feel. I'll interact with humans enough to secure food and other things, but other than that, go away. I can't trust you. Not with anything I say, not with anything I feel. If you offer help I'll refuse it, because I started out not trusting people in general, and since I was kicked out onto the street by a homeless recovery program, I don't trust anyone who wants to offer me "help". I'm supposed to go talk to HUD-VASH. Last time I heard the waiting list for a voucher was ~2 years. (I don't know if I was even on the list when I was at Porchlight, but even if I was I'm back at the bottom of the list because I'm not in a shelter right now.) Even with HUD-VASH, I'll have 'case management services'. Oh fucking joy.
I don't want to be in the system. I want my own life. I didn't trust case management types much before, and I certainly don't trust them after my experience with case managers at Porchlight.
I used to sit, alone and awake, all night in my room at vets house. I couldn't sleep, because I was always anxious and afraid that for some reason I was going to get kicked out the next day, Or, someone would roll in late, some convict on parole, drunk off his ass, bouncing between the walls of the hallway. I could take zolpidem, but then I'd be asleep for the next sixteen hours and wake up feeling hung over.
Now I'm awake all night because I'm afraid I'm going to be homeless again in August. Because I'm afraid, my brain reacts to fear and the PTSD kicks in. Once the PTSD kicks in, I can't accomplish shit. I get depressed about not being able to accomplish anything. Then it's midnight, and nothing has changed, nothing has been done, and the only difference between last midnight and this midnight is twenty four hours, two breakfast burritos, two slices of pizza, and a few cans of soda.
It is almost midnight, and since I woke up to a cop standing over me, I get outta here by midnight. An hour buffer just to be safe. So time to go-- but there's still the question of the lights that turn themselves off and on.
I'm sitting here, in this particular place, partially hidden, because it's quiet and I don't want a lot of stimulation right now. It's also safe, because if anyone approaches from any direction, the lights come on and I can see them (usually before they see me, depending on the direction).
What the fuck. I hate living like this.