My life has many twists and turns, and some of those I thought were the worst moments of my life, I survived and moved forward, but that is life, we expect it not to be a bed of roses all the time.
This time I was completely unprepared for what happened the events preceding homelessness and actual being without a roof over my head, if you had asked me what would be the worst that could have happened it wouldn’t have been this.
It’s not the being homeless or losing all of my possessions, being invisible, marginalised, living out of bags, sofa surfing, even that there is little or no help for single homeless.
The most shocking thing for me is that has happened, even now after writing these posts there is still a sense of unreality, I feel as though I’ve stepped outside of myself and watching this happen to someone else, and it’s hard to reconcile this person with that other fully functioning human being who used to be somebody.
I’ve learned some very hard lessons, about myself and the people around me, friends and strangers.
It was other homeless strangers that taught me, how to pack and carry all my belongings in one bag
Where the nightly soup and sandwich run was each night, I haven’t had to use them, but they are there 7 nights a week 352 days a year.
Where I could go to get clean clothes and a shower ( essential when street homeless)
Where you can get a hot meal during the day
What to say to the council/agencies to make my case appear to be more important
If ended up sleeping rough where are the best and relatively safe places to sleep
How not to trust anybody
This was a twilight world I never even knew existed, which makes me wonder why didn’t I know the depth of how people were suffering, I live in a small town and was unaware of the services available, and run by volunteers no less, who care about people in our community.
It has in some ways made me a liar as I’ve stretched the truth on many occasions always telling myself it has been necessary for my survival, but it never sits right with me, and gives me a gnawing guilt that I’m cheating, but playing fair seems to get me nowhere constantly swimming between a rock and a hard place.
I hate that I can’t always look people in the eye, I always feel they know I’m not being strictly honest, even with friends, I’m so normal and up beat with them, so it fends off any awkward questions, as I don’t want them to know the reality as a few would help more, but my pride won’t let me be too reliant and I can repay them, and frankly I just don’t want to see the pity in their eyes real or imagined, so we play this game of pretend, until things get a little worse and I have to ask for help, never money, but like showers, or doing my laundry.
It’s exhausting to keep up the “I’m alright” persona, I’m not alright, and fed up of fighting, but daren’t stop, as that might be the day that things turn around, it’s a lottery, my number will come up one day, just a question of when.
I was just so unprepared