Blog updates in progress

Category: JennDOTLove
Words: 85

I’m working on fixing up Jenn.love. I threw the blog together last year, but haven’t done much with it. Now, with two weeks until my college fall semester begins, I’m going to actually build a layout, tweak plugins, etc. But first I need to fix some core issues.

Please ignore any mess. 🙂

P.S. During my updates I inadvertently wiped my registered users. I’m sorry! Please re-register / register to be considered for private posts (things I’m not comfortable sharing with the internet at large).

♥ Jenn
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Summer semester 2022: done!

Category: Personal
Words: 63

I am proud to say that after working my ass off this summer, all 12 weeks, I aced both intense 12-week classes with As!

Computer Information Systems: 95.19%

CIS 105 (summer 2022)

Computer Networking Technology: 94%

The fall/winter 2022-2023 semester starts on August 29th, though I have a late-start class that starts on September 11th. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited. I have always loved school!

♥ Jenn
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Nothing changes if nothing changes

Category: Private
Words: 1452

This is a Members Only post.
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Members Only posts are semi-private, viewable only to people I am comfortable sharing more private details of my life with. While registration on my blog will always be open, not all registrations will be approved for Members Only. Please contact me at x@jenn.love if you’d like to be considered for Members Only posts.

♥ Jenn
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Some random feelings about recovery, and PTSD (not necessarily related)

Category: Addiction
Words: 284

I’m at a point in my recovery where I recognize the behavior that led to the mistakes I made, but I have no interest in re-visiting those points in history if they don’t serve a purpose.

If you are still re-visiting those points in history for the wrong reasons, then you are not at a good point in recovery. If all you can do is wallow in toxicity and throw it around to try and hurt others, then you are not in a good place at all, and you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start again. Part of recovery, a big part of being well on the road to a better place in your journey, is being able to move past the hurt others have done to you, and instead look to the hurt you have done to others, and what you can do to ensure that you never repeat those behaviors, and that you instead exhibit healthier behaviors that lift you and others up.

*

My therapist thinks a lot of my PTSD issues comes from me trying to quell the urge to deal with my trauma. My fault is in trying to simply push it aside and distract myself with Everyday Life. I’m working on actually working THROUGH my feelings instead of just blowing past them, because I have learned the hard way that difficult emotions are not ones to be ignored. They will wait, until a point, and then make themselves known in order to be acknowledged. I keep having to learn, unfortunately at not just my own expense but also at the expense of others, to not make those feelings wait until the acknowledgment point.

♥ Jenn
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Brain damage-amage-amage-amage-amage

Category: Health
Words: 378

Thus far 2022 has been stressful, because I’ve been losing weight non-stop (a problem you think you want until you actually have it happen to you), my electrolyte and other blood levels are everywhere but where they should be, I’m tired all the time (the few times I rely on caffeine via a latte or a caffeine pill barely makes a difference) but I can’t get a good night’s rest even if my life depended on it (again, supplementation, this time via OTC and even RX sleep meds barely make a difference), and then last week, out of nowhere, with naught but about 90 seconds of feeling “off” (sort of like a pre-migraine aura, only intensified) and like my brain was out of sync with my body, I had a fucking GRAND MAL SEIZURE. No, I didn’t stutter. No, you didn’t mis-read. One second I standing up after checking the water level of a drinking fountain I keep under my side of our bed. The next thing I know I’m lying on my floor looking up at my ceiling, Daniel, Alyssa, a cat or two, and two EMTs, and I’m being told I just had a seizure (Daniel had to tell me this four times, because I kept lapsing in and out of consciousness – he said my look of terror each time broke his heart). It lasted for about a minute, during which my eyes were rolled back in my head and my throat was locked up. It was Ryan who found me, and his panicked cry that woke Dan. From a friend and our cat rescue and fostering he knows what a grand mal seizure looks like and what to do, so he was calm and quick about calling 911, calming Ryan, and rolling me to my side and keeping me from injuring myself (further) and being there for me as I came out of it. Besides the seizure, I managed to crack my head on the dresser on the way down – the bruise is still sore, and that injury is now a week and two days old!

Two days of hospitalization for observation, one MRI, two EKGs, and 10 tubes of blood later, I have no answers: just more questions and more frustration and a lot more fear. 😧

♥ Jenn
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Three years clean

Category: Personal
Words: 73

Today, January 19th, 2022, is my three years clean date. I won’t go into detail as to where I was on January 19th, 2019, but let’s just say it was the launch of Rock Bottom.

I’ll always be in chronic pain, and I’ll always need medication to make the pain tolerable. But thanks to my determination to change, Suboxone, and therapy, addiction no longer has any part of my life, and it never again will.

♥ Jenn
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Even a crazy rescue cat lady’s good deeds do not go unpunished.

Category: Cats, Rescue
Words: 1245

My intentions with cat rescue are 100 percent purely to save cats: to provide them with a better life, tailored for each individual cat. For some cats that means TNR. For others, being brought indoors, vetted, and adopted out or sent to a rescue. For still others, euthanasia. It all depends on the cat. But no matter what, my heart and my goals with cat rescue are always aligned with one thing in sight: provide a better quality of life for any cat that strays (get it?) my way. So to be accused of anything other than doing my best for cats with the best of intentions is both shocking and hurtful, even though I have been forewarned and know from hearing of and reading the experiences of others that there will always be baseless accusations and drama bantered about. Even though I knew that inevitably there would be something slung my way, it was still a shock when it happened, especially since ultimately I incurred the undeserved wrath of another rescuer over…you guessed it…the root of all evil: $$$.

Here is what happened (dates are bolded for relevancy):

On January 1, 2022, in a local neighborhood Facebook group, I re-introduced myself as the local crazy cat lady who had taken 30+ cats out of the neighborhood via TNR and rescue, and asked for donations in the form of supplies – cat food, cat litter, bedding, cleaning and disinfecting products, etc. I emphasized that we would appreciate anything offered in the spirit of a donation for the care of the cats in our care currently as well as any coming into our care in the future. I also clarified that I was not asking for any cash donations; I simply would appreciate any items in the categories I had listed (food, litter, bedding, cleaning, disinfecting, etc.).
In this post I also shared photos and descriptions of our current soon-to-be-available-for-adoption kittens (3) and currently-available-for-adoption kittens (3).

On January 2, 2022, a woman, E, contacted me to express interest in my adoptable kittens. But the conversation turned to a sick kitten she knew of. We ended up meeting on this day in order for her to give me this sick kitten to evaluate and treat. She also gave me a $200 Visa gift card as a donation for my rescue efforts. It is important to note that this gift card was a donation, and not an adoption payment or anything of the sort (FWIW I do not charge an adoption fee for any kitten or cat I adopt out; I simply ask for an item donation towards the cats in my care, and that can be whatever a person feels comfortable giving). I was floored by the amount and initially refused it, but she insisted I take it. So I did.

On January 3, 2022, the sick kitten passed away (he was starving and depleted of red blood cells from fleas; all I was able to do for him was comfort/palliative care). E informed me there were siblings – three, to be exact, plus their mother. I knew that if these four were left were they were (outdoors), the kittens would surely die, as Mama would not be able to adequately care for herself and them in the increasingly cold temperatures. So I asked E to meet up with me so I could take custody of them in order to get the mother cat TNRed, and to get the kittens indoors, vetted, and hopefully put up for adoption. This was accomplished by 10:00am that morning.

Later that day I was introduced to M, an experienced rescuer who lives about 40 miles away from me. Our introduction happened through a mutual rescuer. It was M who was given my number, and M who called me. We spent about an hour on the phone, during which I told M our story: how we are not vets or vet techs or even a registered rescue; that we simply TNR and rescue strays who come our way, and that we operate as a sort of “safe landing” for stray cats until I can find them rescues or homes. During our conversation I mentioned the deceased kitten, his very-much-alive siblings, and his mother. M expressed interest in taking the three kittens for her rescue, because, and I quote, “I have a waitlist of adopters who want kittens!” She told me how much she charges per kitten, and her discount for two, and how her rates piss off other rescues in her area because she undercuts them. I was simply relieved to have found a rescue for three kittens within mere hours of receiving them into my home, and we made arrangements for her to get the kittens the next day.

Cue January 4, 2022. It was on this day that E got in touch with M to see how the kittens were doing, and I guess in passing E, not realizing that M was her own “entity” with her own rescue and I’m my own “entity” as such, asked M if the gift card was able to help her out…well, M entirely flipped her fucking shit…at me. I realize this all sounds kind of convoluted, so the bottom line is this:

  • 01/02/22: I was given a $200 cash donation that I did not ask for to help me with my cat rescuing efforts.
  • 01/03/22: Another rescuer introduces herself to me and insists on taking three kittens I have for her own rescue.
  • 01/04/22: This rescuer finds out I was given a gift card 24 hours before I knew of her existence and insists that the gift card belongs to HER and HER rescue since SHE has the kittens I gave her.

Am I wrong for thinking she is wrong? That gift card was given to me as a donation for MY efforts with MY rescuing. Furthermore, if M wants to play it that way, shouldn’t I be sending M an invoice for the vetting I did on those three kittens? There’s food, litter, KMR, kitty milk, vaccines, de-wormer, Revolution, topical flea spray, etc.

Ultimately, my text messages were blown up with all sorts of accusations about me being a thief and a scammer and a fraud and she threatened to “out” me and supposedly so and so people and such and such vet advised her to out me and cut me off and not accept kittens from me and so on and so forth…

I won’t lie: I cried. I was really, really, REALLY upset. This completely broadsided me, and again, I operate on the purest of intentions when it comes to helping cats. I am honest and transparent, and the accusations were shocking and hurtful. Her entire attitude was disgustingly abrasive, too, which didn’t help matters. And, we have mutual rescuers who know and work with both of us, so I was also understandably worried that they might take sides (and there shouldn’t BE sides!) and not want to have anything to do with me – which forget hurting me, it would ultimately hurt catsand at the end of the day that’s all that matters: the cats.

 

It’s been a few days now since all this took place, and as far as I know the dust has settled. I haven’t contacted M or E (who M convinced to call the police to report me for fraud?! Fortunately the police basically politely told her to fuck off!), and I don’t plan on it. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing: rescuing cats.

 

♥ Jenn
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Under construction, but still up and running.

Category: JennDOTLove
Words: 63

Now that I’ve put together and the meat and potatoes of my blog, I’m going to tackle its layout. I was using a pre-made, but I’m going to install one of WordPress’s own, and then make it my own. So, pardon the incoming mess, because on a good day I’m meticulous and particular; but now it’s been several years, so I’m quite rusty!

♥ Jenn
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Where have I been for the last four and a half years?

Category: Personal
Words: 1309

With the literal dawning of a new year, it’s time to address the opiate-addicted, shoplifting, felony-convicted, chaotic hot mess of an elephant in the room: what all has been happening in my life since 2017.

In June of 2017 we lost our home. The truth is, it wasn’t a sudden thing – though the homelessness was. One day we had a place to live, the next the sheriffs were at our door. Truth be told, between Daniel’s physical and mental health issues putting him out of work from 2012 onwards, and then my own physical health crises and multiple emergent and scheduled abdominal and pelvic surgeries and hospitalizations that began in 2010, we were struggling financially, and struggling earnestlyfrom 2013 onwards. We didn’t have centralized heat. We floated and bounced checks, robbed Peter and Paul to continue robbing Peter and Paul to eventually pay them both off – while still finding ways to help out my mom and brothers. There were times Daniel and I pushed food around on our plates, and then put it on the kids’ plates when they weren’t looking so as to make sure they ate, because there wasn’t enough food to go around. I vividly remember the day I realized I could go to a food bank: while loading up my trunk with donated groceries, I received a call from the county assistance office informing me we qualified for nearly $900 in crisis SNAP funds, and that they would be available the next morning. I could barely drive to the office and park the car in order to go in and pick up the debit card because I was crying so hard.

So there we were on June 15th, 2017, two days after my 33rd birthday: we lost our home. To make matters worse, six months before, I had had yet another emergency abdominal surgery – my sixth emergent surgery, my 14th surgery overall. Around that same time I was switched to a medication that, in rare instances (usually in elderly patients), caused severe short-term memory loss. It happened to be. So we were homeless, and I felt and acted like I was losing my mind for several months during a hard physical recovery (also a hard mental recovery, because that surgery, which was a vertical open surgery, just absolutely shook me).

June 2017 – June 2018 would be a blur of staying at my mother’s apartment, then with a friend, then in motels, then losing Alyssa and Ryan to foster care. This was when Daniel and I fell apart and nearly lost each other and ourselves. But we were still standing (barely). In January of 2018, after finding out we were living in our car, an online friend offered to let Daniel and I come stay with her, her husband, and her two children. You know how they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Indeed they are. It was around this time I was becoming addicted to my prescription pain medication (Oxymorphone), and my emotional addiction was jacking up my physical tolerance. She was becoming addicted to whatever opiates she could get from family and friends, and then from me. She was also, like me, severely depressed. And her depression was manifesting as neglect of her family and home, as well as hoarding behaviors, so Daniel and I walked into a huge mess that we cleaned up and continued to keep clean during the three months we spent staying with her and her family.

Two addicts living together will never end well, and our situation was no different. We spiraled individually as well as together. We were the worst possible type of person for the other. We left abruptly when she lost control of her emotions and pulled a gun on us. Admittedly, the I began the verbal confrontation over opiates, but she pulled out a gun. At no point did Daniel or I threaten her or her family. When the gun came out, we packed and left, and with the exception of getting our cats the next day, we never looked back. I got in touch with her once to wish her well, and that was that. She wrote a lot of untrue things about me on the internet – things I have not bothered to read in detail, because to be honest at the end of the day I know who I am, and people who care about me know who I am, you know? I do hope she is getting to and staying in a healthier place. I truly do wish her and her family well. Addiction is an ugly beast.

In April of 2018, when Daniel and I came back to Lancaster, we ended up at the Water Street Rescue Mission. In June of 2018, I broke a minor rule by saying something stupid, and was abruptly thrown to the streets. For next six months I would live on the streets and in motels, with a very small group of people who would turn out to be true friends. Unfortunately I would also run into situationships. I was physically assaulted. I was nearly raped. I ended up catching charges — retail thefts (shoplifting) — because we were stealing merchandise to steal to pawn shops in order to have money for motels. I’m not proud of what I did, but I will say that I do what I had to do to put a roof over my head when the weather is getting cold and I had nowhere to turn.

During all of this time, my opiate addiction continued. But I did not turn to street drugs or needles.

In November of 2019 I found a shelter in Columbia, Pennsylvania. They took me in. They were a godsend.

And on January 19th, 2019, I was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant for a retail theft. The secure bail of $10,000 was ridiculous considering I stole $51 of merchandise from CVS, but the 88 days I spent in jail were eye-opening: the women I met, the stories I heard, the pieces of broken lives I saw. And, I consider January 19th, 2019 to be the day I got clean. The very day I was released from jail, April 15th, 2019, I made arrangements to go to rehab. On May 1st, 2019, that’s what I did, and I would spend eight weeks in two different rehabs, going to individual and group therapy, and starting Suboxone medication-assisted-treatment. I will be three years clean with no slips in just a few weeks.

I was successfully discharged from rehab in June of 2019, and after spending two months in the Lancaster shelter Daniel was at, then spent a few months sharing an apartment with one of the two true friends I made while living on the street for six months, T.

On December 13th, 2019, Daniel and I moved into a house together, along with a roommate, J. J shared the house with us until July 3, 2020. We’ve opened our home since then to T and to another friend, Z, but since October of this year our house has once again been ours.

Alyssa and Ryan were reunited with us at the start of the COVID crisis, on March 20th, 2020. And in October of 2020, full physical and legal custody were returned to us. COVID has been horrible for so many people and for our economy, but for us personally, COVID has been a blessing.

I did attempt to go to school at the start of COVID, but mentally I wasn’t ready. The breakdown I had this past October was in the works last year. I was put on academic probation, but I am going back to school this coming spring semester – aka in a few weeks.

I know there is a lot I’ve probably skipped over, but in a nutshell, this has been my life for the past four and a half years! Feel free to ask me anything in the comments.

♥ Jenn
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