Friday, July 12, 2013

To be homeless.

Stumbled upon this on reddit while surfing aimlessly, enjoy.


I'll not go into what causes it, because I was only 3 years old when it began for me, and 8 years old when it ended. I will tell you what it is like.

Nobody cares about you. They make a big deal about you when others are watching, but when it is just you - forget it. Homeless adults get ignored because everyone thinks they got that way on their own. Homeless children get ignored because people are selfish, uncaring assholes.

You are 5 years old.

People see you on the street and they cross the road. They pretend to not hear you when you ask for spare change. You are carried out of the hotel lobby, in the freezing Salt Lake City winter, because your presence bothers the guests. Some people will -try- to hit you with their car if you stand too close to the road with your sign. You get real good at stealing candy bars and beef jerky. Canned foods are a snap to pocket. Dad doesn't ask where it comes from - he is too drunk and stoned to care. Your older brother helps you cook it when the wind dies down enough to start a fire.

You are 6 years old.

You discover that supermarkets and delis throw away food that is out of date, and when they do it, and on those days you feast. The rest of the time you eat nothing unless you steal it. You steal bottled water from the gas station because they won't let you use the faucet in the bathroom. You pretend to be just some kids playing in the duck pond at the park, but you are actually bathing.

Your father tries to do the right thing so he enrolls you in school, but then the school notices you wearing the same clothes every day so they call DCS to check on you. DCS sees that you live in a tool shed in some old lady's back yard, so they send you to foster care.
Your foster parents beat you daily, and force you to study the Bible every waking hour, and then you go to sleep on a piss soaked mattress with 7-8 other paychecks (I mean foster kids) in the corner of their basement.

Every morning you are required to stand in a bathtub, naked, with 3 other children holding a quarter sized dollop of shampoo in your hand for 5, 10, 15 minutes.... however long it takes for your foster parents to come into the bathroom and certify that you are not wasting it. I don't want to tell you what the older kids do to you when nobody is looking.

Your father is finally let out of rehab and regains custody of you. You move in to a friend's house while your dad gets back on his feet, working as a high-rise satellite dish installer. Eventually the alcohol gets him kicked out again, so you move into a motel. Next week its a new motel. And again next week. Sometimes we move in the dead of night. Sometimes we are chased away.

You are 7 years old.

The years of molestation and beatings from other homeless kids and foster parents has really started to do a number on you. You find yourself starting fires just to see things get destroyed. You release hundreds of captured bees into a hotel ventilation system to get back at how they treated you. You put rocks through windshields. You get picked up by the police over and over, and not once does anyone do anything beyond the bare minimum required. Nobody ever asks why. They just want to forget abut you.
You move to Maryland and live in squallor in one of the most dangerous towns in America. Someone is murdered in the motel room directly above yours. Distant relatives discover what has been going on. They send for you.

You are 8 years old.

Big house in the country. Food on the table. Nobody hurting you any more, but for 10 years you are constantly being asked why do you never smile? They years of psychologists and psychiatrists try everything to figure out why you never smile. Why you avoid people. Why you lock yourself in your room every night. Why you never have friends over, or why you never visit friends. You are so incredibly intelligent but when you make it into the best university you can't even manage to go to class every day... but you won't touch alcohol. You don't do drugs... you don't smoke cigarettes because you are too afraid. Your only friend in college is someone as fucked up as you are.

You are 22 years old.

You move to a new town. You start a new life. With your abilities you are able to buy your own home within 2 years. An empty home. Just you and your cats. You don't allow family to visit. Your couple of friends have never seen the inside of the place. Every single door is barracaded so you can try to get some sleep at night. But you can't. Any time a girl fancies your company you make sure to let her know that you are absolutely not interested in any sort of romantic involvement, because every relationship you have ever been in has ended disastrously.

You are 30 years old.

You are the Co-Chair of a major online retailer. Your company does millions of dollars every year in sales. You do everything you can to be sure that your employees are happy and productive. And every night you cry yourself to sleep because you know that if your business faltered, even for a second, those employees would drop you like a hot rock.

You are 35 years old.

There hasn't been another human being step foot in your home in years. You finally decided last week to replace the only pair of shoes you own because after almost 3 years of wearing them every day you got tired of the snow coming in and soaking your socks. You could have bought every single pair of shoes in the store with the cash you had in your pocket but you still bought the cheapest pair of shoes that fit.

You go home and lie down on the couch with your tablet and read various news websites until you fall asleep. You pay $55 per month for cable and broadband internet with Charter, but you haven't even taken the cable box out of the styrofoam since you got it 3 years ago.

35 years old.

I have a place to live that is all my own, but I am still homeless. I have shelter but I can find no solace. I have all the money I could ever need or want, but every day I wake up wondering why I didn't pull the trigger the night before.

That is what it is like to be homeless.

Damn it, testosterone leaking from my tear ducts again.

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