Reliving desperation and admiration

I interviewed with a BBC Radio show today. (It won’t air until next week. I’ll let you know when.) The topic for the host started out as basically, people being almost addicted to their cell phones. Then by chance during an internet search she came across my story.

If you somehow aren’t aware yet, I first joined Twitter and social media in 2009 while I was homeless. What started out as me not knowing a thing about Twitter or how to even use it, quickly grew to experiences that I’d have never dreamed of ever having! I could use computers at the library during the day, but other than that, I mostly tweeted by SMS/text message from my phone. My phone was my life — my dire connection to the world in my times of need. I could call someone, text or email by SMS. I didn’t have a smartphone. Just a simple, basic phone. A dumb phone. In fact, that’s the type of phone I use now.

I had unlimited texting so I could post messages to Twitter as much as I wanted, anytime I wanted, all day and all night. Whenever I had a need to say something. Which, back then, was quite a lot! I posted about my activities, shared thoughts or information on jobs or things I heard about, and wrote volumes of tweets from my emotions.

Fear, anxiety, and prayers dominated many of my tweets. I shared a number of hopes and wishes, too. There were many nights I lied on the ground, afraid and paranoid that someone would come up to me in the night. Is someone watching? Is someone here? Who is here watching me? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affected me severely. There I was alone, but I couldn’t tell because my mind conjured up invisible people who might have been lurking.

I kept my “security blanket” tightly in hand all night. My phone was my connection to the world. Anytime I needed to say something, to vent, to express my fears, somebody was able to hear me. I couldn’t get their replies until I went to the computers at the library the next day, but they were there. Somebody cared. Another person suffered the same plight of PTSD once. I’m really not alone.

The tweets from my phone led to development of virtual and real-life relationships with people and businesses. Through my sincerity and openness of my life, stigma changed to acceptance, understanding, and kindness. I got to see God’s love in action, and emotion. These people — my social media followers — said that I changed them for the better. What I saw is how they changed me.

Sharing my story online and in real life at speaking engagements has helped me to open up. I am still shy and very socially awkward, but I am much more open with my emotions. Having constant access to my phone and being able to tweet by text has been extremely therapeutic.

I still tweet Clint Eastwood style — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes I feel that I share too much. But I need to get things out. Sometimes I need to vent. In a way, being able to tweet and vent my emotions is more than emotionally therapeutic. It can also be protective against bad thoughts so I don’t try to self-injure. I haven’t done any cutting in however many years. It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still have those thoughts about doing it. So I greatly appreciate the kindness and compassion from all of you, my followers. A small gift, a kind word, a hug. It means the world to me! God’s love in action, indeed.

I discussed all of these areas and more on the BBC Radio show. (Again, I will share the link to the broadcast after it airs.) Talking about these things have so much effect on me emotionally! Ever since then my thoughts have been on all of my followers and how you have affected me, the place you have in my heart. I am reliving the desperation of my past and the admiration and love for the compassion I have received. Thank you all so much!

PS: Side note to Joan of Real Time Paradigm, my blogging teacher at NextDoor:  I clicked “Publish”! 😜

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Ms. Awesome Will See You Now

Sometimes I think that I am too nice. But is that really possible too be too nice? No. I am just very compassionate. It’s almost to a fault. People come to me for help and I am glad to offer it how I can. I’m not a doctor but I have received some certificates in health care. Sometimes people are dependent on the extra support. Being “on-call” can be a bitch! I’ve had to set limits at times. The neediness and dependency can really drive me crazy! On the other hand, I have an over-abundance of compassion and understanding. I realize that everyone has some sort of issue at some time or other, mild or severe, acute or chronic. I myself have faced PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the eating disorder anorexia, borderline personality, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I am doing well now, but for some signs and symptoms of PTSD yet. The slightest comment or action by someone could trigger emotions and bad dreams. Yes, it’s hard that others who have never experienced PTSD don’t understand. Thankfully, I have identified with a couple people who try to understand and have been very supportive. I know how it feels to have someone there in a time of need. It feels awesome! So when others come to me for help–to use me as a psychotherapist–or for health advice or whatever–I accept the challenge.  I find gratitude in observing positive changes in “my patient” who comes to me for support. The moment something “clicks” is so very inspirational to me! That is my fuel! Like a gift from God. There is nothing better than to feel the moment of positive change. My door is open if you need extra support. Ms. Awesome will see you now.

I don’t know.

I’m sorry for the lack of posting. Due to some things in life and some people who read my blog, I discourage myself from posting about stuff sometimes. I don’t really want to post tonight but feel that I really must apologize for not being as active. I have moods, I am good, I am bad; and today, I just don’t know. Today I am one kind of effed up. It’s hard to explain at the moment. I’m really not sure what to say about things. There is some PTSD involvement. Something happened today that has me kind of scared about what could happen. I am afraid to say what about because of who it involves and how. I thank God for friends though and some advice I have received last week about one issue. I think there have been consequences to my involvement in something (worthy) and, well, I don’t know. I don’t understand why and how someone would treat me the way they did today. But I think I can guess. I am guessing that it could be because I tried to help someone, and someone else got scared. I can’t explain now.

The service on my phone is temporarily suspended because of lack of income, but also my charger frayed a couple days ago so I can’t really use it anyway. So because of this, I no longer have internet access. I will visit a local free public wifi spot on my laptop sometimes to try and catch up. If you send me an email, tweet, or any other communication, please don’t expect a quick reply. Also, the phone number listed on my page as (312) 725-8373 is a Google Voice number accessed through the internet, so it is available and you may text or leave a message on it and I will receive the message when I come online. It is NOT my actual cell number! Though when my cell service is in service again, I have a Google android phone and calls to this Google number will then go through to my cell again as well. I am surviving the phone issue for now, though I am missing a lot of tweet and status update opportunities. Not to mention check ins on Foursquare and other social media. Thanks, folks.

And to a certain relative of mine: Don’t worry about me!

Working at it.

I finally received the verdict on the SSDI (disability) case. It was postmarked one month ago and it was just delivered a full month after. It was denied. So, I decided to look at my options. I am talking to people next week about a possible job. I am very excited about this prospect and hopeful for a good outcome! I am nervous too. I want to present well at the meeting and after. I am naturally concerned some about mental health issues if I take on employment. I could potentially redevelop eating issues or problems with PTSD. I will continue mental health treatment to make sure things stay okay and in check. I don’t want to go back to where I once was. I am doing better now. Not perfect, but better. I have some ADHD issues that can’t be fully controlled due to medication problems so I have to try and make a lot of notes. I started using Evernote on my phone for notes and it helps. I use Google calendar to help me keep track of appointments and events. While I’m talking about them… God Bless Google! Anyway, I really hope everything works out. Please say a prayer and wish me luck for the interviews I have this next Tuesday, October 30th. Thanks!

A reunion with my son!

I talked to my son on the phone Thursday evening. Saturday afternoon I held him in my arms! He is the sweetest boy like he always was. He is my baby. The cutest smile. Eyes filled with love. So smart and funny! I am proud of him. Even more because he was willing to call me on the phone that day, and then to spend time with me. That is so impressive! I know how hard it was for my children to be away from me because I was suffering too. I was so afraid to talk to their father. I saw him briefly yesterday when he brought Patrick to me. I was nervous to see and talk to my ex but I focused on my son standing before me. I could have cried but I managed to hold it in. I don’t know how. I love and have missed my children so much the past 5+ years! The moment I heard his voice on the phone I cried. I have tears in my eyes now thinking about how much I loved seeing him and being able to give him a hug and kiss. My God, I love you Patrick! I love sister Kerry so much too!

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I want to hold him and never let go. I have always wanted to be with him and his sister. They are the sole reason I am alive today. Having my children away from me killed me. It was because of them, hopes for the future, memories, that served to inspire me and keep me alive and striving to achieve a better life. One that includes my children.

His sister wasn’t there but I think in time she will come around and want to have our relationship again. I have dreamed of doing “girl stuff” with her. Being her mom and friend. Someday, when she is ready. I am waiting. ♥

Mental Chaos

Tonight my mind is succumbing to overpowering thoughts of what happened last night. I have not been able to get this memory out of my head all day. It is taking its toll on me now tonight. Too many thoughts, so many bad memories. Last night, overnight, I had a bad dream related to my PTSD. So much happened in it. And so many people. My ex-husband, my family, friends, my children’s old pediatrician (who touched me inappropriately once), and so many others. My children as well, separately and in different parts of the dream, as babies. At one point in the dream I held the corpse of my baby. Much more happened but this holds in my mind the most. Decay was already starting to settle in. I miss my children so much! I wish they knew the truth about me. I wish they would feel my love.  I need you, Kerry and Patrick.  Please, learn the real reason why I have not been able to see you for so long. I love you!

A purpose in life

When I was a little girl I dreamed of growing up, becoming a nurse, being successful, and marry a handsome, caring man and have a few children. I never imagined that I could one day be homeless. I never thought about divorce either. I have experienced multiple abuses, physically, emotionally, verbally, sexual assaults and rape. It all took its toll on me when I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder several years ago. I have survived through a lot. To my surprise, it took chronic homelessness for me to realize my resilience and how successful I am. I have discovered a new purpose and a new, growing love for helping others. Oh, I have always enjoyed helping others, studied nursing, and loved volunteering at various organizations, including also being a blood donor. However, it has changed. The warmth in my heart in being able to help others reach their goals has expanded in ways that I used to dream! I love every moment when I can make a difference! Over time and with thanks to social media, I am coming out of my shell and becoming more social. I dare say that I feel successful now as my life is transforming. I still have a ways to grow, but I am getting there! I am so grateful for everything that I have been through. I have learned much more and my character has grown because of the negative experiences in my life. I am finally on the right track.

For love of my daughter

This song has always reminded me of my daughter when she was little and we had that relationship. I still believe she was sent to rescue me like its said in the song, and she has made me happy. I miss her and I love her still, whether she realizes that or not. I wish she would give me another chance and try to understand the issues.

Dreaming

I dream of the day of no longer having dreams. Every night I have bad dreams–nightmares even at times–of my children and family. The dreams can be very sad or anxious,  or any number and combination of feelings. The last I saw my doctor he prescribed 3mg of Prazosin every night thinking it would be good for my dreams. It was–until that point. The new dose made the dreams so much worse!! It was like regressing in treatment. PTSD in my case is already complex and can be difficult. I wish my children and family would be able to understand what I truly go through, the torture my mind instills in me. I would give anything to hold my children again! It kills me that I haven’t seen them in years and they don’t even know I exist. I won’t babysit the children of friends for fear of the emotions and memories of my own. I wish they knew. I wish my children would know that their mom still loves them and imagines life with them again. I don’t know if it will ever happen. I can hope. I pray. I love you Kerry and Patrick. ❤

Doctor appointment update

I saw my primary care doctor yesterday for follow-up on my swelling. As usual, my weight was checked. I lost about 4 lbs in 5 days being on the “water pills”! I still have quite a bit of swelling and he increased the dose from 20mg to 40mg. He did a brief EKG in office and also ordered a CT scan to be done before my next appointment in 1 week.

I got the CT scan scheduled for next-day and went to Evanston Hospital to pick up the iodine dye prep kit. On my way back to Chicago I got a phone call from the hospital, NorthShore University Health System, REFUSING to do the test because I have no insurance and money to pay for it! Sure, they will do a payment plan–as long as I have at least $500 to pay up front–and they will collect payment before the test. I turned in papers for financial assistance for the medical group and hospital just a week ago–and according to the person from the hospital who called me yesterday refusing the CT scan, those won’t cover the test because of the dates. I emailed my doctor and told him about what is going on. He is an excellent doctor and patient advocate! He is working on his end now to try and figure something out. With my PTSD issues I will get anxious if I am forced to take care somewhere else. I’m not sure if I could even do it because I am so sensitive to how doctors interact with me. It could blow my anxiety level and emotions through the roof with even just one “simple” thing! My doctor is great with me and understands my needs. He really cares for all his patients. If only medical/hospital bureaucracy did too.