A stray kitty that has been hanging around the neighborhood for around a year came inside today. He has been here for hours. He lets me pet him as much as I want. He has gotten on top of me and cuddled with me. We talk to each other. I was planning to adopt a kitty from a shelter, but I’m hitting it off so well with him that if he wants to stick around, I’d be happy to have him. I hope that I can take him with me when I get my own place. If not, plan B is getting one from a shelter.
On top of the problems I’m having with Social Security, now my payee isn’t helping with my bills like she’s supposed to. She didn’t pay my half of the rent or internet, and she paid my half of the power bill late. I ran into the landlord on my way home, and he told me that he only received half of the rent. I told him that I’d talk to my payee.
My daddy and I could have late fees. We could wind up homeless. The power could get turned off. Even if we get things sorted out this month, I could still wind up homeless later, cuz starting in October, Social Security wants to pay me only $216 a month, despite the fact that I’m not getting financial help from my family (Social Security normally reduces a check cuz of that). I pay for my own food and bills.
I thought I finally caught a break after a lifetime of hardly ever having any money, and it looks like that’s already over. I’ve been homeless a couple of times before, and it looks like I might be homeless again.
I was gonna go to a temporary apartment to leave my bad living environment, but now I probably won’t be able to afford it.
The stress is absolutely crushing.
I recently got a letter from Social Security that makes it sound like they wanna cut my income from $735 a month to $216. I emailed my payee about it. She said that my money is “fluctuating” and that “there are no concrete answers.” She estimates that it’ll take about two months to find out how much money I’ll be getting.
The stress is unbearable. After a lifetime of severe financial strain, I thought things were looking up when I started getting Social Security. I only got to enjoy that for a short while before being plunged back into chaos. I’m worried about if I’ll be able to keep myself housed. I’m just worried in general about being able to make it if they reduce my money.
It’s very hard to get through life right now.
I used to only speak if spoken to, unless I knew the person already. I was braver online, since having a computer screen between the other person and me provided a cushion if I got rejected, but I hesitated at social activities.
I’m pleased to say that within the past month, I’ve initiated conversations twice with someone at a social activity. When I went to a sci-fi/fantasy Meetup, I joined a side conversation that a couple of people were having about Godzilla movies, asking a couple of questions about what they thought of one of the versions they mentioned. When I went to a group activity at the park on Friday, I asked someone afterwards how she liked trying Frisbee. I have doubts about how good of a conversation starter that was, but it broke the ice, and we wound up talking about our career goals.
I also put myself out there to reconnect with a couple of old friends. I ran into one friend, Kellie, at a bookstore, and I invited her to coffee. We had a good time catching up and I’ll get to see her once more before she moves to another state. I added another old friend, Clare, on Facebook. She was willing to schedule a Facebook chat session with me, and I got to learn about what it’s like to teach elementary school and her love of stories about strong women. She told me about her journey overcoming shyness, and it was nice that someone could relate to me about it.
What got me to start working through my shyness was my need to socialize. If my life was a Sims game, my social bar would’ve been in the red. I felt compelled to reach out to others cuz my loneliness became a stronger problem than my shyness. I have a desire to know people and for them to know me. I love finding nuggets of information about people, like that Kellie wants to become an outdoor therapist, helping people work through their problems in nature.
It helps me to think about how putting myself out there will create more opportunities to connect with others than I would’ve had otherwise. While not everyone will wanna connect, I remind myself that lots of people are also looking for friendship, or at least would be receptive to it, so there’s a chance that a connection will form if I try.
While I’m phasing out of being shy and into being outgoing, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being shy. If someone is shy, and it interferes with their goals, it’s okay if they wanna change, like I did. If someone is shy, and they’re okay with taking longer to form relationships with people, that’s an equally valid way to be.
For a while, I didn’t know who my payee is and couldn’t get a hold of the organization. I was finally able to get a hold of the organization on Monday, and my payee called me later that day. On Tuesday, I got to access my money. Social Security said they would reduce my money cuz of a benefit that I don’t get anymore. I talked to someone on the phone about it, and they said that it would be reduced for August and September, but go back to normal after that. I’m not happy about my income being reduced for two months, but at least it isn’t long term. For a while, I was so stressed out about my money that my feelings were unbearable. I’m much calmer now that these issues have been resolved. Now I need to find out if I can pay Social Security’s over-payment from when I was a child back from my back pay instead of having 10% of my check taken out every month. I’d prefer to rip the band-aid off all at once. Since I dealt with bigger issues with Social Security, I feel like although it’ll be hard, I can deal with this, too.
Last Sunday, I tried out the Unitarian church. I received a warm welcome from many people. The atmosphere was positive and there were many references to nature throughout the sermon, which I enjoyed. I felt calm there, which is an unusual feeling for me cuz I have depression and anxiety and have been dealing with a lot of long term stress. I think that joining the church will help me relax more.
The sermon was about creativity. A member of the church spoke to us about her experiences writing poetry and running various writing groups. She and the substitute pastor gave two pieces of advice about creativity: to pay attention, and to draw from our inner lives. She shared some of her poems with us, which were beautiful. There was even a poem she built from words she picked out of a box. They were words that seemed random, like electric and salamander, but she turned them into a beautiful poem, too.
There are some other activities through the church that I’m interested in. The Pastoral Care team involves providing emotional and practical support for other church members. The Singular Unitarians group does various activities, such as movies and potlucks. I’m not sure what the Dojo of the Mind involves, but I think it might involve something like philosophy or brain teasers. I’ll try it out and see what happens.
The payee organization I’m using is set up so that clients have a temporary payee for the first 30 days and then get switched to a long term payee. My temporary payee stopped working there last week, but they didn’t bother to let me know that. I’m not entirely sure who my current payee is, but they think it’s someone named Jerry. I tried calling Jerry yesterday. The organization promises to return calls within one business day, but he didn’t respond. I’m trying not to make a negative assumption about him, but I’m frustrated that I can’t get a hold of him. I’m upset that the organization hasn’t been proactive about communicating a change to me.
There are a lot of things I need to know, such as how often they’ll send me money, how much money they’ll send, and how they’ll deal with my rent and utilities. Social Security recently sent a letter saying that the payee got my back pay by the 16th, so I’ve apparently had money for a while, but the payee hasn’t given me any. I’m also upset about that.
There’s another issue, too. The smaller benefit I was on before Social Security has been cancelled, but Social Security thinks I’m still getting it for some reason, and they sent a letter saying that I’ll have my Social Security reduced by the amount I was getting starting in September. I found the letter saying that the benefit is cancelled, and I’ll have to use it to hopefully persuade Social Security to keep giving me the full amount.
I’m emotionally exhausted and miserable. I just wanna be able to access my money and start using it to enjoy my life. This should be a happy time for me, after a lifetime of having very little access to money, but it’s not. I’m screaming inside. I just wanna finally have financial stability.
On top of all of this, my dad is also upset, and he has been taking it out on me. The stress I’m feeling is unbearable.