Although the theme of this challenge is homelessness I want to explain a little more about what it has meant to me.
I’m just an ordinary woman who thought she would do one or two extraordinary things in life, well it didn’t pan out that way, but have had some extraordinary events happen that have shaped my life to the point where I am now.
I would like to do ordinary things like:
Cook, I’m a trained chef, however I love food , so being not able to cook is difficult to me, and a staple diet of package foods doesn’t fill me with joy, but needs must.
Having friends over for the evening, I get invited for dinner etc a couple of times a month I go because it means I get a home cooked meal, and of course the company, but I can’t reciprocate.
Taking a long shower or bath, you have to be mindful of people’s generosity especially if it’s going to cost them extra in bills.
Being able to stretch out on the sofa watching TV or reading, this was one of my luxuries, but you cannot do that in someone elses home, as much as they say they don’t mind you being there, but making yourself at home is sometimes a step to far.
When sofa surfing, in one or two places I’ve had to be out,between the hours of 8-9 come rain or shine and not to be back until at least 10pm, when I wasn’t working that was a lot of hours to fill.
Nowhere to unpack your clothes, I’ve often called myself the bag lady, as I can literally carry my life in a rucksack.
Not having a proper address to receive mail, always relying on e-mail, or having to visit the various offices I got to fill out forms there this is a huge reminder of your homeless status.
Being subject to people’s whims, they say you can stay “for as long as you like” then a few days in, “you have to leave …now” once or twice I’ve had to literally plead that they let me stay until the morning.
Where I was last living she just packed up my stuff and sent it to my place of work in a taxi!!!!, that debacle nearly broke me again, I saw her for the first time last week and just kept on walking, karma will visit her of that I’m sure.
Lastly dealing with unscrupulous landlords who charge exorbitant rent for a rat hole with shared facilities, in one place the shower was operated by coins £1 per 15 minutes, in fact the whole house should have been condemned but they chance their luck on the fact that beggars can’t be choosers.
I wish for an ordinary life doing the mundane things, that most people do, I want to be ordinary not marginalised living on the edges of society.
It’s said what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, well there are days when I can barely hold my head up, the fight vanishing as yet another set back occurs, one step forward two steps back, i know I’ll have to ride this rollercoaster until it stops.