14 June 2014

Rainbows in the dark

"There's no sign of the morning coming-- you've been left on your own, like a rainbow in the dark" -- Ronnie James Dio

I'm sick-- eventually stress and anxiety and depression and no sleep catch up to a person, and some bug or another takes hold, and so my head feels like it's filled with cement and when I cough I sound like a '74 Plymouth that doesn't want to start up.

I know, thank you for sharing, right? But that's what happens. Eventually shit takes its toll, and the immune system can't fight like it normally can.

I'm also feeling shut down, going through the motions, numb.  The past couple of months have hit me pretty hard. When spring semester started, I was going to class, studying, getting stuff done. Things weren't perfect, but I was at least alive. I looked at the future and things looked promising, once I got a few things figured and straightened out.

Now, I'm doing good if I get up, get showered, get dressed, and go somewhere to forage for food every day. I've got a list of projects I wanted to work on this summer, and right now I don't give a shit about any of them. I don't have the energy to call about a new apartment. I sleep most of the day, and by the time I'm up and moving around it's already nighttime, so what's the use. I don't trust anyone to even listen to what I have to say, I don't want to go through the whole story yet again.

The VA isn't doing anything to help, and after last week's meeting with the homeless program director I don't expect them to help in the future. I want to believe that not everyone that's involved in helping homeless veterans is like that, but right now that's my experience. I can't just pretend that everything is ok, because it's not ok. I'm angry, and disappointed, and I feel pretty hurt over the whole situation, and those emotions take a lot of energy.

After all of the therapy, and all of the medications, and the paperwork over the past two years, I've moved across the street. I'm again facing being out of school for a year, and going through the process of proving that I'm stable enough to return to classes. It's the summer of 2012 again, and all of the work I've done since then has been meaningless because in the end I ended up back where I started.

That's it, really. Being back where I started. That's what I'm so depressed about. I gave recovering, and returning to school, absolutely everything I had. If I'd have passed both classes in spring, I'd only need fifteen credits to graduate.  Fifteen fucking credits. That's how close I would be to being able to start a real career, to have enough income that I could afford a decent place to live, to be on my own again, to have a reason to get up in the morning and to be able to end each day knowing I built something useful. I'd still have PTSD to deal with, but I'd at least be able to say "look, I have this disability, but I didn't let it stop me. I was homeless for a while, and I didn't let it stop me. I still graduated from college."

I don't know what more I could have done to make spring semester work. I could have petitioned to drop one class, and ask for an incomplete in the other, and I'd be in better shape right now. All I had to do was ask, I know, but there's only so much I can do when I'm sleeping outside on the air vents of the same building one of my classes is in. Everyone has a breaking point, and unfortunately, I found mine. It's hard to focus on anything when you're trying to figure out where you can sleep tonight and not get rained on, assaulted, robbed, killed, or arrested (and I damn near did get arrested one night).

It'll be a long time, if ever, before I trust anyone again that says they want to help me-- especially anyone with the title 'case manager', 'peer support specialist', or 'homeless program coordinator'.  I'll rebuild my life and go on, because that's what I do, but I won't forget what happened. It's about more than college or having a nice apartment. You fuckers at Porchlight and the VA left me out on the street to die without a second thought. That's something I will neither forgive nor forget.

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