My name is Victoria Pickel. I lost my job in April 2020 per medical reasons. I was evicted from my home in August of 2020. I was only a month and half behind on rent. My deposit covered one month so I only owed half months rent. When landlord was changing my door locks with me sitting there, I called the police. I didn’t think anyone could be evicted during that time. The police said I had 30 days to move. I applied for social security disability in October of 2020. I worked my entire life and it was hard for me to admit that I could no longer work. I have the credits required to receive disability benefits. Social security sent me to 2 different doctors. One doctor said I had very limited short term memory. Other doctor had me walk heel to toe a distance of maybe 5 feet. He grabbed my arm midway to prevent me from falling. Somehow my claim was denied in March 2022. I appealed the following month in April 2022. Social security reconsideration began in May 2022. I do not have an attorney but will have to if my claim is denied again.
I was born on December 4, 1971 near Bristol, Tennessee. I have lived in this area my entire life. In July of 2022, Tennessee made it a felony to be homeless, to camp or sleep in vehicle on public property. I’m currently staying in my car in a parking lot in the Cherokee National Forest. I’m allowed to stay for 2 weeks then I have to leave for a week. I go to a pull off on the side of the road a few miles from here in the same national forest. I’m always scared there of being hit by a car since its right beside the road. I cannot go to a shelter because I have a dog and they really don’t have the room since there is alot of people that are homeless in this area. My dog is everything to me. I’m married to an abusive man. He conned me into marrying him. I was driving a brand new car and he is a convicted sex offender. I believed him when he said he was wrongfully convicted. But when I accidentally picked up his phone one night, I discovered that I married a monster. That’s when the physical violence began. I was already suffering emotional and verbal abuse. He stole everything of value from me and caused me to lose my job in management along with my new car. I don’t have any friends. My parents passed away several years ago. I sometimes take a shower where my husband lives at with his mom. I have no choice since I don’t have anyone else or any where to go. That’s why my dog means so much to me. He has been with me since he was a couple of months old in March 2016. He is a small mixed breed, pug dad mixed with Jack Russell mom. He is not an outside dog. I used to joke about him being a couch dog. He hates being outside in the dark. He is used to sleeping in the car now. Sometimes he acts like he used to, happy and playful and jumping around. Most of the time he is sad like me. I tried to give him up once about a year ago. They called a said he whined the entire 3 days while standing at their door and wouldn’t eat.
I’m out of options now. I’ve sold everything I could. I’m behind on paying for my storage unit 2 months, owing $155 right now. They sent an email that my stuff will be auctioned off next month. I also got a speeding ticket a few years ago. I had it postponed and delayed as much as I could. I have to go to court this Tuesday since I can’t pay the $215 fine.
My medical conditions are severe depressive disorder (diagnosis before homeless), anxiety, COPD (2017), chronic venous thrombosis (2016), TIA (mini stroke in 2017), hypokalemia (2020), vertigo (2015), and acute encephalopathy (2020) which changed my life and stopped me from working and living my normal life. Over 20 years ago, I was involved in a motorcycle wreck that hurt my foot and ankle. Peripheral neuropathy on one side of foot. In 2015, they wanted to do surgery on other part of foot, didn’t heal properly from wreck, 3 bone spurs and they thought a tendon was rubbing against something and tearing. I declined surgery even though I was in constant pain. In late 2019, I began having problems with my legs. It stopped the pain in my foot and I never got a diagnosis from a doctor. Constant pain in both legs, cannot stand in one position for more than 5 minutes, can’t walk over 10 to 15 minutes, can’t sit over an hour. I cannot take the hot weather, excessive sweating and feel like I’m going to pass out. It’s getting hard to not use bathroom on myself. Another medical issue that I’m not sure about is when I took a tilt table test in 2016. It showed mixed cardiology and neurological issues. I was sent to cardiologist and neurologist. Had abnormal test results from both doctors, and they both said that they would see me in a year. So I didn’t go back. I did learn that I was passing out alot because of low blood pressure and they wanted me to be on blood thinners. But I am stereoblind, I do not see in 3D per lazy eyes that I was born with. No depth perception makes me very accident prone, so blood thinners are not an option.
I probably gave way too much information for anyone to really read. I just really need help. I did everything I could to help myself. Spent the last of my money on dog food. Not much food for myself. Food stamps help but food prices are crazy right now. Almost out of gas. No clean laundry if I could take a shower. I can camp in a campground nearby for $12 a night. I have everything in car to camp but scared to unless in campground, woman alone with small dog. I was attacked a few months ago and defended myself with a flashlight that luckily I had in my hand.
I’m not sure what documents I should put on here. I will upon request. I’m just going to take picture of me and dog in the car where we usually are. He does sleep on top of me but hard to take that picture.