A-Z Blogging Challenge – Theme: Homelessness
When disasters happen in our lives if you have them, the first people you turn to are friends, I won’t say family, I have a brother but we don’t have the type of relationship in which we reach out to each other.
During the run up to the loss of my home I’d let a very good friend of some 20 years standing know what was happening, well he got the story in drips as it were, he said all the right things even sent me some money, and promised no matter what the result, he would be there for me.
I believed that, I had little to believe in by that stage the all my fight left in me was dwindling so to have someone share some of the burden was a lifeline that I grabbed with both hands.
What is homelessness and how many people are homeless?
Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.
Above from Crisis
So on the final day when all was lost, there was no phone call nothing I had noticed but it wasn’t that high on my list after the melt down at the homeless shelter and then driving around trying to find me a place to stay, then having to get myself settled so I could start work the next day, before visiting the council to register as homeless, as you can imagine there was a lot on my mind.
The plan being that if I didn’t have anywhere to go, he would send me the fare and I was to stay with him for an indefinite period, we were friends right, so come the Friday still no word and I’d left several messages, bearing in mind he knew how embarrassed I was about this and apart from another friend who lives abroad no one knew any of what was going on.
On the Saturday, I was again without a roof and several phone elicited no response, however I was taken as I said on my previous post, on the Wednesday a week later I finally get a phone call and was asked casually “how are you” it was like I was in a parallel universe, I replied basically I was in hell and where were you?
“Oh I was busy, I didn’t get your messages, my phone wasn’t charged, I was cross-eyed with anger and became slightly hysterical and told him through gritted teeth the events of the past week, only to be met with a feeble I’m sorry.
I’m not going to let him off the hook as we’d known each other for far to long for him to hand me this crap, bottom line he couldn’t be bothered and I saw him with an absolute clarity that day, I didn’t mention that when he was in a similar position 6 years before I turned up at court to support him and paid his arrears over £2000 pounds, to date he has never paid back and even when I asked him for it knowing it would pull me from the pit he made excuses.
What disappoints me is that I accepted his reasons never believing for a second he’d let me down like that, I was desperate for that money and he knew that, and because of that it took me a long time before I got the courage up to ask for help again.
As an act of kindness I was taken in, now here’s the thing, when you’re a guest, everything is great, because you going home, when your there because circumstances dictate your visit, it takes on a whole other meaning.
1. You are in someones home
2. You do not have the freedom to come and go
3. You cannot cook or even have fridge space,
4. You have to be quiet and unobtrusive at all times
5. You have to pack away your things daily, and take them with you
6. If they have guests you have to stay out until they are gone
7. In my case I had to be out by 9am every morning and not back before 10pm
8. I couldn’t receive any post which was difficult, as I needed an address for some inquiries
And this person was being very kind, but I had to follow the rules otherwise I had to leave, they wanted their lives to be disrupted as little as possible and I had to respect that.
As word got out as it were I was met with a mixture of shock and judgement, it fell into 2 categories really, those who were shocked offered temporary sofa surfing, but only for a few days, and those that were judgemental insisted I tell them the whole sordid story before making a decision which was usually no with one or two it seemed like they wanted to revel in my plight, again I didn’t mention that with one or two how I’d helped them in the past without question, nor force them to humiliate themselves by asking for detailed explanations.
This whole thing when I was released from being a hostage of the black dog, made me re-evaluate my friendships and my interpretation of its meaning and have had to remove those elements from my life, not only because of my homeless state but for by well-being, how could I heal mentally when I had few in my life that I could trust.
I do realise that homelessness is not an easy concept to grasp like Mental Health it always begs the question, “How can this be”? it’s an unexpected turn of events, even I didn’t think someone like me could ever be homeless but I am, that is my reality.
I would never have thought that any of my friends would close the door on me and to this day shun me, as a social pariah, to them I’m now a non person I’m homeless.