Info Dump mess – I want to come back and split this out to three different things:

  • CalFresh help since clearly there is a bunch of stuff available I found this time that I didn’t last time
  • Yelling at people who need it (I love Penelope Trunk, she yells at the world with her blog and you can pay her for coaching if you want her to yell at you privately, or take her classes if you want her to yell at others while you quietly think about how you needed to hear that – if you have a trauma background, you either are still avoiding being yelled at (read her blog so you can pretend she’s yelling at other people until you can’t resist commenting or taking a class or coaching session), you need to be yelled at but still hate it, or you recognize how helpful it is an love it.

    Oh, Penelope, that’s why we love you even if you think we hate being yelled at.
  • whatever other journal junk I need to clean out of this for those two


It took three tries requesting a call back on CalWin.

The most important thing I’ve learned recently is to say this:

I’m autistic and I KNOW my questions seem really stupid. I just need your help please.

I couldn’t say that without crying because it sucks to know how smart I CAN be and how stupid I WAS being because I couldn’t function at the moment they called and I knew I HAD to take the call.

I had to pull out a calculator and a blank document on my computer and do the math before they could answer my questions and then I cried again in relief that the solution was so easy.

The math:

If you are disabled and only get SSDI (see note below about cash help)


SSDI Amount
– Rent (LEASE amount)
– Utility exception of $500+
= Your income

If your income is 0 or negative, then you qualify for the maximum CalFresh benefit.

I had to ask the person three times and say that I was sending cash monthly and had a document in writing to the rental company promising to send the cash amount monthly before I believed them:


Your rent is what your LEASE says the person ON THE LEASE owes, not how much of it you pay AFTER any help you receive. Yes, tell them about the help if you are doing the phone interview – so they can reassure you it doesn’t matter.

NO – DO NOT DO ANY MATH for them.


Or you got someone that sucked at asking questions. More likely, if you’re autistic, have an autistic relative, or think you’re smarter than the person you’re talking to – either you’re not or you’re a jerk.

Being stupid, admitting it and then thanking the person afterwards is better than being a jerk.

I thanked the person very specifically and heard a laugh of pleased surprise.

I know what that laugh sounds like, because I’ve heard it and I’ve made it enough times.

I said something along the lines that I recognized that the job sucked and didn’t pay enough and that they were doing it anyway to help people and to please keep doing it until they found a better way to help people.

Anxiety will lie to you that you can’t trust anyone. If you grew up with trauma, then you will have anxiety because that’s how you survived the trauma of your childhood.

The way you recover is that you figure out that humans are all trying the best they can to survive, and if they have anything left, then they start to thrive.

The way you thrive is to connect. And to connect you find people you want to listen to, or who want to listen to you.

You only need one mutual friend. You can be a friend to someone who needs you as a friend, and you can have friends that you need that don’t need you back. There are so many kinds of friends.

If you journal privately, you’re managing your anxiety.

If you write publicly, then you are sharing your truth just in case it helps ONE other person. So the things you’ve learned and experienced can help someone else the way you wish you had been helped.

Authors are telling the stories they need to tell. Popular authors are telling stories that many people wanted or needed to hear.

The internet has made it so we can tell our stories so many different ways so that any human can find the story they need.

I found the story of the worst of humanity and that I can see and understand the worst thing a human can do and forgive it – because that is how much they suffered and are suffering.

I understand why Nonviolent Communication is the name that author chose. And I understand why people call it NVC because they want to help people who need to learn to communicate, but are too far from pain and trauma to understand it, or too close to tolerate it.

I’m so glad that people exist that can’t even imagine existence being so painful that you don’t want to exist anymore. I was shocked to learn that my father-in-law is one of those people.

Either you understand suicidal ideation, or you don’t.

I don’t know if my husband does. I know I do and I feel sorrow because I think my child does too. I do know my father in law doesn’t. He was so confused when I asked him if he had ever WANTED to die. Like, couldn’t even imagine understanding why any human would want that level of confused.

These people are working for crap pay dealing with us at our worst because they either want to or are willing to help. If you think you’re smart, then recognize that they are the experts here and you need to trust them

You’re not being honest or helpful by “doing the math” for them, you’re giving them the wrong numbers.

Don’t bother trying to call and wait – they have a 500+ backlog as of today and every time I tried to call and wait I was 40+ in the queue and never got to a human before the call dropped after 2+ hours on hold.

Go on CalWin, request a call back on Monday, if you don’t get one or miss the call, request it again the following Monday.

Right now the state has been sending emergency aid and you might have more on your EBT card than you realize, just go try to use it or:

CalFresh EBT Balance and Login – California Food Stamps Help (

If you can’t find your card – report it as lost: EBT Card

People are trying to help. And the more ways we try to help, the more people we will help.

When I was functioning, I didn’t find this site, but I did look all this up on my own, so I knew my family member qualified for the maximum and was getting only 1/10th of that amount.

We got a person at some point, and they pointed us at the form to fill out and upload on CalWin so that I can talk on behalf of my family member without them having to be present to give permission each time. You can give any adult you trust permission to apply for you.

4am philosophy

I am so grateful for my partner. I’m having the thought that I’m struggling to put things into words. And now the thought that no words are needed, I can just enjoy the feeling of gratitude. It seems to me that it’s a gentle type of joy.

I was the cause of my own suffering.

This thought is horrible, and painful and liberating. I think the emotions I’m describing are a combination of anger, sadness, surprise, and joy.

If I am the cause of my own suffering, then I can choose to not suffer.

Each moment, I want to choose to come back to myself, the present moment and gratitude.

I’m having the thought that I might understand what the Buddha experienced.

This feeling of joy and peace is so powerful. And until others are ready, there is nothing I can say or do to show them the path. Except for by being my best self. Which means I want to develop the skills of focus and calm.

I can best help others by helping myself. If I am suffering, that is just my body’s way of letting me know there is something I should be doing.

The better I care for myself, the better I am caring for the world.

This helped, because I was ready for it.

Life is suffering. And suffering is a choice. If I am suffering, it is communicating something to me, if I will just slow down and listen. And if I don’t then I am choosing suffering. Suffering is a gift to let me know that I am not doing something I feel I should be/want to do.


Instead of “I’m sorry for…” try “Thank you for…”

When you say you are sorry, the other person often feels bad that you thought they needed/wanted an apology.

When you say thanks you, the other person can feel good about you acknowledging and appreciating them.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I’m late.


  • Thanks for your patience.
  • Thank you for waiting for me.
  • Thank you for being flexible.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I’m late.


  • Thanks for your patience.
  • Thank you for waiting for me.
  • Thank you for being flexible.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I forgot.


  • Thanks for reminding me.
  • Thank you for touching base.
  • I forgot, I’d really appreciate support completing this.

Please love yourself

“but then you can’t expect somebody who loves you to treat you less cruelly than he would treat himself.”

Mary McCarthy on Love and Hannah Arendt’s Advice to Her on the Dangerous Delusion That We Can Change the People We Love – The Marginalian

This was a revelation for me – I had such a hard time understanding how someone could be so kind, generous & compassionate with everyone but me. Until I realized that I had become part of their self and thus was mistreated the same way they mistreated themselves. And because of my codependency I had allowed & tolerated it by not setting firm boundaries.

No one can read minds.

Your “obvious” hints/signs/clues – aren’t. Just state your needs if you want a chance of getting them met.

You are the only one who knows the inside scoop.

You are the one who knows what your internal experience is – everyone else can only guess based on behavior.

Put on your air mask first.

You must have love and compassion for yourself before you can have it for others.

If you are what you practice habitually, the best place to start is with your internal voice – be kind to yourself.

Feed the good wolf – if you feel yourself going into what I call “the bad place” – I distract myself with things that remind me of hope, kindness, goodness (right now it’s the idea of permaculture).

Not the only one.

On the one hand, intellectually I knew that I couldn’t be the only one to do this, but on the other, to have someone else actually admit to doing it too…. feels so great. Not as good as knowing that I’ve mostly trained myself out of it, but still pretty darn good. What is “it”?

“It’s called the We’re All Going To Die Homeless And Alone Spiral.” – Dooce


Wednesday night papa and his wife drove down. We had dinner at IHOP and then watched Juno (which was really good). Thursday we drove to San Jose. Mom, her husband and my brother drove down to meet us. We then all went for lunch/dinner at my pirate’s aunt & uncle’s house. Lots of good food. Most of the youngin’s went for a walk later on (after mom and crew left for home). Friday papa gave my pirate a ride home so he could go in to work (ugh!) while I stayed to hang out with MM on Saturday. We had lunch at a Japanese place, played some WoW and watched a bunch of anime.

Sunday I just relaxed, baked everything cookies for AP and did chores.
Monday night I finally got the save the dates done. So Tuesday they went in the mail as did the cookies. Tuesday night I made it out to salsa night. Wednesday I fussed with the computer some while I figured out what cookies to make. And tonight I got two batches of dough finished and it’s bed time with gym time at 8am tomorrow. Bleh! Too early!

Oh, and I’m thankful for such wonderful future in-laws, and such wonderful family and a great fiance. I’m also thankful dad gave my pirate a ride so I could spend time with one of my best friends.

File Cleaning & Priorities

So I came really close to spending a ridiculous amount on postage so I could get stamps to match my save the date postcards. Then I realized that most will get trashed or at best cut apart and used as ornaments like I intend. Spending more on stamps is just silly.

I also am looking through my old archive fold and cleaning out stuff like this hardware list for my first computer:
Acer Aspire P/N 91,AB576,Mo5
S/N 2601404720
DeskJet 672C
Iomega 250 Zip Parallel
Intuos Graphics Tablet
4GByte Hard Disk
128MB + 32MB

My daily gratitude is that I get paid time off to donate blood (2 hours per month), and that having Total cereal almost every morning keeps my iron up enough to allow me to do so. An hour or two snuggled up warm (to keep my blood moving) and quietly reading my magazines is always nice.

And some email cleaning:
Cute video my pirate found for me that put a smile on my face: Dancing Matt