Photos My story with my partner (long)


Nov 19, 2019
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Belen, NM
Hi just wanted to share what my primary relationship has been like & would like to hear your input / reflections

I met my partner during the Occupy movement in Arcata CA. She was camping with some schwilly dudes near town, and I had a pretty well developed camp up in the forest. She had just been abandoned on the streets of San Francisco by her friends she moved west with from Missouri, I had just hitch hiked to Arcata from Rainbow Nationals that year.

We had been randomly running into each other, like magic, for a while and became acquainted. One day she told me she was about to get steal a bottle of vodka from the grocery store, I watched from afar and saw her get arrested. I felt so bad, I thought "its unfortunate, how this nice girl is caught up with some bad influences..." - I didnt see her until 3 days later when she was released from jail. I was really happy to see her again, gave her a hug, and said if she'd like she could come to my camp and get away from the schwilly dudes. She said she'd think about it, and we both went our separate ways but would spend time together whenever we happened to be in the same place at the same time.

One night it was raining really bad do I didn't want to home back to camp, and some old lady invited a dude from occupy and i to crash under some tarps on some pallets in the bed of her truck. I didn't think it was a really good situation, I felt like anything would be better than this. So I took off, with him protesting in tow and I headed towards the town square. Standing in an alcove were a group of people with large packs - fellow campers/squatters/ya know. She was there too, and I just felt in my heart this divinely guided like I could feel her nearby and was being drawn to her. That group of people and I got a ride on the town bus near an abandoned motel, where we squatted for the night. This sweet girl and I zipped our sleeping bags together and we snuggled, this felt so special like we were meant to find each other among the people of Occupy. Remembering this night always makes my heart light up with a soft glow of sublime joy. We went back to sleep in the abandoned motel a few times on our own together.

After that, she came up to my camp and I carried her pack up there for her. I didnt pressure her into having sex or anything - being a sex abuse survivor myself - just offered her hash and some warm camp food along with some wildcrafted tea, the fire and to sleep next to me in my tent. We would go in and out of town, stocking up supplies, and spent a while together before the weather got bad. We began to share our intimacy. One night she brought alcohol, and got kinda loopy, so I had to let her know that isn’t cool at my camp. Its not the way of the Rainbow, no alcohol and from then on she respected that.

When the weather got to wet to have a campfire, we hitchhiked out of Arcata to Santa Cruz. There was someone who I knew from my college years staying there and let us stay with him and his roommate - it was a really small apartment, they were using meth and we ended up doing it with them for a short while. Not proud of that, and was sad that the only place I had to bring this girl Im falling for is basically to a tweeker pad. When the weather turned better, we set out to make a camp in the Pogonip forest, and never touched meth ever again.

She started having seizures and eventually at the hospital we found out she was pregnant (this was before I came out as trans). We did everything we could to settle down and have our child at a place to live with us, but they kept our baby in the hospital and placed our daughter with a foster caregiver then eventually two parents. The hospital used my partner's epilepsy medication as an excuse to keep our baby, then got the authorities involved. We had to go to supervised visits and court for 2 and a half years, it was totally heart breaking and in the end we lost our parental rights. At this point, the only contact we can have with our daughter is through the foster father's twitter account where we can see photos of her. Its too difficult for me to look there, and my partner doesnt know how to use technology well enough to look at the account herself.

Fast in Las Vegas, I had a couple good jobs. The apartment building we were staying at got purchased by new property managers and they started tearing it down before they moved us out. As a result of how they commenced with demolition before getting the tenants out of there, they had to award us a settlement check. We used that check to buy a van and we decided to travel in it and enjoy life while looking for an avenue out of homelessness somewhere. The process of registering it seemed to difficult in Nevada, so we decided to go to California and get my driver’s license back before trying to register. All I had to do in CA was pay a small fee, since my license was clean, and I had a new driver’s license in my hands.

We tried registering the van in CA but encountered complications with the Smog checks. We payed for the plates and had a temporary tag, but wouldn’t be able to get plates until the van passed Smog. Kept looking for shops to do that for us, it looked like we couldn’t afford to get it Smogged. At a community meal we met some people who said they could get a fake Smog certificate made up if we let them drive our van somewhere and gave them $100. That sounded shady and we didn’t accept that offer. I was juggling at Huntington Beach to earn us some extra cash, it was fun but can’t say it was very lucrative.

Once when I was practicing juggling at a lawn space next to a Sprouts in Orange County, I went back to the van and saw two sheriff vehicles parked next to our van. My partner was explaining our situation to them and I presented my license and our temporary registration paperwork. They gave us a citation for being parked without licenses plates, $750, and we couldn’t afford to pay it off. The bail was payed by my mom (who offered to help us register the van completely but she dragged her feet and we ended up getting the citation), so I didn’t have a warrant but my license got suspended. Only 3 months into van life and I was having to drive illegally.

The problems registering the van in CA got us scared so we decided to take off northwards, visiting the beaches. It was nice for a while. Made it into Oregon, visited the Q Center in Portland where I came out as transgender and started taking hormones. The winter came in, I’d never spent a winter or much time at all outside of CA, so we rented rooms with my partner’s disability income (which she got while having seizures during pregnancy). Kept having to switch rooms because of drama that would arise. In the third room we rented during the winter of 2018-2019, our roommate at the time quit marijuana and started drinking instead. My partner started drinking more as he drank more, and began having seizures again. This roommate became abusive towards me and was manipulating my partner, I asked her to come stay on the van again with me but she wouldn't so I went to stay in it ok my own.

I was upset so I applied for a job I really wanted in Las Vegas and decided to take a road trip alone to try and get the job, settle down, have a life of my own a little bit while I finished getting the van registered and would eventually invite my partner to stay with me. This was during the summer of this year 2019. I didn’t get the job, so I left Vegas to get back with my partner. She was still staying with the ex-pot smoker turned alcoholic, who started getting mean towards my partner the way he did towards me, so we bailed out on that place and got ourselves off the lease. This asshole threatened to have a gang of white boys come beat us up while we were sleeping and to get the van towed – it was time to get outta there.

We started living in the van full time again, looking for where we could possibly get out of homelessness and enjoy the summer a little bit. We ended up in towns west of Portland, and eventually found a housing voucher program that we got signed up for. We had 2 months to move into an apartment using the voucher, but weren’t able to do it so we lost the voucher. There was more we could have done to move in but we were new to the area and didn’t have a good handle on the local resources. We were put on another voucher program and are still waiting for it to be ready for us to use to try and move in again with.

Before the first voucher expired, we were offered a place to stay with someone we met through a campaign for one of the democratic presidential candidates. They drank a lot, and I was concerned this would influence my partner to start drinking again – which she did. My partner got super plastered on my birthday, finishing a half case of cider to herself, before we even made it to the drag club where I wanted to go dancing and she ended up getting thrown out of the bar. This ruined my birthday, the first birthday since I came out as transgender, and all I wanted to do was dance. I was really hurt by her poor choice, and took my stuff into the van the next morning and decided to leave. The person we were staying with was instigating drama anywhere she could and influenced my partner to make a choice that made my birthday a complete let down.

My partner ended up staying there while I was in the van. This was the second time this happened this year, I was very downtrodden to be without her and I was hurt by the poor choices she made with alcohol. I reached out on social media to someone I knew from my days working at the Renaissance faire in southern CA, who ended up encouraging me to go visit her in New Mexico. This influenced me to take another risky road trip. I didn’t have insurance or a complete idea of what to expect when I got there – my license was suspended however I was able to get a temporary tag again. My heart was broken by my partner and I was lonely and cold in the van, I decided to go..

I was pulled over in California for driving too slow for the speed limit. The officer took my license but told me I was allowed to keep going. This gave me a panic attack, and I drove for almost 8 hours straight after that. The officer told me if I had been near town he would have arrested me and impounded my van. I was never aware of the risks taking these road trips without proper documentation the way I had been, and now I was terrified of losing everything. I brought most if not all of my belongings with me expecting to settle down in New Mexico and continue my new life, find ways to handle the tickets through mail and afford getting my license reinstated.

That situation did not work out. This friend of mine from years ago turned out to be a toxic narcissist, and used me like a slave to help her organize her hoarded belongings, renovate the house she was staying at (her parents’) and make firewood to heat the place. She would start drama with me all the time, threatened to throw me out multiple times, and eventually used meth and bullied me out of the house. Fortunately, through my conversations on Grindr, I found somewhere else to stay. Amazingly, this guy worked on Chevys and did lots of work on my van without charging me labor.

He changed my oil and filter, put new rear brakes on and bled the brake system, refilled the antifreeze...hundreds of dollars worth of work. This started as a sexual relationship, then turned into a place to stay, and resulted in me getting lots of work done on my van. He drank lots of beer, which I do not and didn’t join him for more than a beer or sharing a pitcher at the local Moose Lodge. Sometimes he would throw tantrums towards his mother (who also lives here) and I. The last two times we had sex, he threw a tantrum the next day, so I stopped having sex with him and slept on the couch or an extra room. He still worked on my van even though I stopped giving him sex.

The work on my van has come to a finality. While I was staying at the place prior to this one, I had started talking to my partner regularly again. She was happy that the van was getting the extensive preventative maintenance, and so am I. But it is time for me to go. There is a very small transmission fluid leak which he wanted to seal, but can’t do it until Friday – and I’m ready to go now. I have reached my limit with the ongoing conflict between him and his mom, he exhibits frequent displays of toxic masculinity. This guy told me to write a letter to the Moose Lodge to see if they will help with funds for my trip back to Oregon – I am waiting to hear from them this afternoon.

I was offered another place to stay, in Albuquerque (these two places I’ve been at so far have been about 40 miles south from Albuquerque, in Los Lunas and Los Chavez respectfully) with another transgender woman. If I wait too long, the weather will turn on me and prevent me from going. It sounds like I would have a good experience staying with her, but I don’t want to be stuck down here. My heart is with my partner in Oregon, and I feel that my attempts to get established here would be overshadowed by how much I miss my partner and how much she needs my help. She has secured a spot for me at a shelter near where she’s at, which is close by to the courthouse I need to report at for a ticket I got while considering to go on this road trip.

I know it may sound ridiculous, but I think I would rather stay with my partner at a shelter than couch surf through uncertain situations in New Mexico. The weather through the middle of this week is against me – the southwest states and lots of Nevada are showing signs of snow, storms, and flash flooding. I am unsure if I will leave tonight or on Friday. Most of this hinges on whether I get help from the Moose Lodge to fuel my van with. If I don’t I will have to gas-jug my way up to Oregon, and my route goes through relatively sparse and unpopulated areas. Each time I took a road trip this year, I have had problems encountering authorities in California so I have to go around it. The thought of staying with this transgender sister sounds charming and like a possible chance to be established...but I feel a yearning to try and get back with my partner.

My story for driving the van without proper documents seems sound to me – I am going to report for a court date in person rather than by mail, and I haven’t found a stable situation in New Mexico like I thought, so I’m going back north. Should I get stopped, this is what I will say, along with showing the tickets and it is all completely honest and in my opinion more honest and productive than staying in New Mexico and having to learn a new area. Also the heartache of bring away from my partner would cripple me emotionally. I have tried to get in a mindset of moving on and leaving her to deal with her situation on her own but I don’t have it in me to cut her off like that.

This is what brought me up to here – 1500 miles away from my love, not sure how or if I will make it back to her, with another possible situation to stay at down here. I want to leave this week, and I feel that is the right thing to do. I never wanted these problems with my partner, and I admit that I wasn’t perfect either. I would have panic attacks while driving because the brakes weren’t working right, and sometimes I would direct this towards my partner. I am ashamed of that, however also there were basic problems like being isolated in the van and not exploring activities outside of it enough.

I love my partner very much, all I can think about is how I wish I never came to New Mexico. I was exploring a possible situation where I could get the van driving legal, from what was conveyed to me would be a good chance for that. Things changed drastically when I got here, and I’m damn lucky to have found a place to stay where my van will get worked on. I deeply hope that the Moose Lodge will help me get back to Oregon, so I don’t have to gas jug through remote areas in bad weather. My partner and I have discussed our boundaries, and developed a better approach to avoid people who will influence my partner to drink. She got a space for me reserved at a shelter in Oregon, all I have to do is get back and I can be by her side again and continue our pursuit towards being out of homelessness.

Here’s a picture of us, from Portland Pride this year. She made a video of me juggling in the parade. I dearly miss her, I want nothing more than to spend the holidays with her. We brought a child in this world together, have survived many tough situations relying on each other, and have managed to get somewhere with our pursuit to get out of homelessness. Your insight, thoughts and feelings are welcome having read our story.

I just want to get this trip back to her going. Everything is packed up back in my van except what I need for a shower and change of clothes to drive in. I should be finding out soon about whether the Moose Lodge will help me or not.


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Feb 3, 2021
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It seems that both you guys, in my opinion, take really serious risks and make rather silly decisions. There are several issues you have faced which could have been completely avoided and now I know what it's like to listen to my own story. Though it may seem like a criticism, it isn't. I guess I can loosely relate. I see the choices you've been faced with and although I'd have walked a different path, I really feel like I'd have ended up in the same place anyway. I implore you to carry with you in your head at all times the words "Take your Time!" Hear it reverberate in your head before you make any decision and for fuck sake, Don't ever drive an unsafe vehicle, no matter how impatient you are. Bad breaks and you still chose to drive?! It's not fair on other road users or your passengers. I know that you know that last remark, but seriously... Think about the repercussions of your actions. You do NOT need to exacerbate your situation further with a prison sentence for manslaughter or endangerment by reckless driving. I really sincerely hope you manage to get to your partner and I hope everything turns out sweet for you. It's time for your luck to change, I reckon. I know my response to your story seems negative but I feel a sense of responsibility, from one human to another, ya know? I am forced, by moral compass, to give you a ruddy good telling off and get you to pull your damn socks up! You are capable of making better decisions than you have in the past. Take your time. Breathe. You got this.

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