Category Archives: homelessness

366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 23

Today is the fourth anniversary of the day I left my house for the last time. The link goes to a post I wrote on 1/1/2014 about that point in my life. I’m not going to rehash it — I’m not sure I have the strength to, honestly. If you’re interested, feel free to check it out, and if not, no worries.  😉

I’d like to concentrate in this post on what I think I learned from an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

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Filed under 366 Days, change, fear, gratitude, homelessness, Making Light

366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 11

Wow. Don’t tell me I’ve run out of topics after only 10 days. Can’t be. The world is much much bigger than that.

On the other hand, this is really the first day where absolutely nothing has popped up and waved and said, “ME! Write about ME today!”

Sit back a minute. Think. Let my mind drift a bit, maybe this, no, not feelin’ that topic today, okay maybe this, yes, more like it, but not quite, and then one of the cats…

That’s it. Their vet.

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Filed under 366 Days, cats, gratitude, homelessness

Burn

Many moons ago, Steve’s dad got this bee in his bonnet about moving. This was long after Steve and I had stopped being a couple, after coming out to his folks, after the end of his second (only other) long-term relationship — but before he’d slid too far down the path into the dark.

Anyway, J (Steve’s dad) was forever on about moving. Different city, different state, didn’t seem to much matter to him, as long as it was different and far away from his current life. Steve’s mom, B, was still working the first few times the subject came up — and she was NOwhere near ready to “retire” to a place she’d never been, with no job and no friends, just to spend 24/7 with J, the retired law enforcement sergeant and recovering alcoholic who, once he stopped drinking, didn’t really have any other hobbies…except maybe having become the next-best thing to a born-again Christian during his recovery. That was…fun.

I mean, they loved each other, J and B did, but Steve and I could watch them, did watch them more times than I could count, go from amity to acrimony in less than ten minutes because neither of them seemed able to stop pushing the other’s buttons. Hell, I’m not sure they ever figured out they even HAD buttons, let alone knew what they were doing to set each other off, which pretty much made them clueless about how to stop.

What, you think Steve should have said something? He may have, to his mom, anyway. But his dad was an angry, nasty drunk with a hair-trigger temper, and that’s something that didn’t change after J kicked alcohol.

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Filed under change, fear, homelessness, inertia, writing

Walk

It’s the little things, sometimes, that get you.

Well, me, anyway.

I won’t say that before life went to hell in a handbasket on a buttered slide (heh), I was blind to the little things. But it was easy to overlook them, until I realized I didn’t have [THAT THING] anymore. I don’t mean just the material goods, either.

Let’s talk about…walking.

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Filed under car, homelessness, transportation

Life & History, Part the First

There’s this website called Making Light (often abbreviated to ML). I’ve been reading it so long I don’t even know when I found it, or even how, although it was probably by way of either Neil Gaiman or John Scalzi (both of whom are terrific writers and both of whom you should check out). At any rate, a few years back on or near the autumnal equinox, one of the moderators there, abi, started what she called the Dysfunctional Families Day thread, based on the idea that not everyone’s family of origin (birth, foster or adoptive family, whatever structure it was that raised them) was the basis for a Norman Rockwell painting or a gooey-sweet greeting card. That some people, in fact, had had it rough, and some had had it horrifically, terrifyingly bad, and many of them were still dealing with the fallout. So she started that thread as a safe haven, where people could talk without judgment about what they’d experienced, share coping mechanisms, ask for advice, or just…talk. Get it out of their systems, because sometimes just being able to do that, to talk to people who weren’t going to immediately say, “Oh, but you have to forgive [parental unit/sibling/other relative] despite the fact they did [horrific thing] — they’re your family!”

Well, no, being family doesn’t actually give you the right to fuck up someone else’s life, even if you didn’t mean to do it.

And every year around the first day of autumn, a new Dysfunctional Families Day thread would go up, and a couple of months later, it would essentially peter to a halt and abi would close it until the next year. Until 2011, when the thread filled up (reached nearly 1,000 comments) in just over two months and abi started another. And then another. And it stopped being an annual thing and is now ongoing because people don’t, it seems, only deal with family fallout during the holidays, although this is a particularly fraught time of year for a lot of people.

What I’m leading up to is that I posted on those threads quite often, those and the various Open Threads, when I was losing the fight to keep my house two years ago. I posted there because it was safe, because if I wanted advice I could ask for it, if I just wanted to vent, I could do that too, and it helped. My life was falling apart in ways I’d never imagined, and it helped to go to ML and write about it.

Things are so much better now. I just passed the one-year mark at my job, had my first annual review (of many, I hope), and they still like me, they appreciate me, they consider me an asset. Oh, I have room for improvement, I always do — and hell, if I ever did get a perfect review, where would I go from there? 😉 — but it’s good.

What follows began life as a post on Making Light, bad poetry and all. It’s been edited to add font differences in an attempt to make it easier to read, and proofed for the most obvious punctuation mistakes, but otherwise, what you see is what I wrote one dark night in 2011.

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Filed under fear, homelessness, inertia, job search, life & history, money

To

You’ve seen a little about where I’m From. Now let’s look a different direction: the opposite of “from”…

Except it doesn’t work quite that way when I write it; I can say “I’m from,” but I can’t say “I’m to.” It has to be something else, like “I’m going to” or “I’m heading to,” and neither of those has quite the same quality as the simple “I’m from.”

But I have come from, and there is now a to.

There’s going to my second week at a new job. A reality I kept quiet for a long time, afraid something would come along and pull the rug out from under me: “Oh, that job offer we said you’d get? PSYCH! Not happening, sorry to get your hopes up!” That didn’t happen.

The job did.

And after my first week I can say I’m really happy to have it to go to, not just from the supporting-myself standpoint, although that’s huge. But I feel as if they’re telling the truth when they told the group of new employees that we were chosen because we were exceptional candidates and the company felt we had a lot to offer. I am fascinated by the company from a business standpoint, and extremely pleased by everyone I’ve met so far, newbie and otherwise. I feel as if I fit somewhere again. It’s a good feeling.

And slowly but surely, if I succeed at my job — and trust me, I plan to! — I’ll have a place of my own to go to as well. At the moment, I’m renting a bedroom, but there was a miscommunication about my cats. So I either have to foster some of them (and pay toward their care, of course) with the understanding that I’ll get the little fuzzballs back when I can afford to rent an apartment…or I have to find a cat-friendly but affordable apartment. Pool house. Room. Whatever. I just got them back — they all slept with me the last two nights, and are finally seeming less shell-shocked by no longer being in little pens at the vet’s — and the thought of having to farm some of them again so soon hurts like hell.

Of course, so would losing this room without an alternative lodging. So if I could ask y’all for some good mojo of the affordable-housing or foster-kitties kind, I’d really appreciate it.

Because I want to keep moving forward.

I want to

keep moving

to

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Filed under cats, homelessness, work

From

This entry comes from a prompt given by the facilitator of the writers’ group I attend through the auspices of the women’s “day refuge” I go to often.  The prompt was given on July 31, 2012, and it was:

 

“I’m from…”

I’m from here, there, everywhere, neverwhere, never there.  I’m from bad luck and lost chances and death and hope gutted and fear attacked and life and second chances, the one we have to make for ourselves.

I’m from a house that isn’t mine anymore — they’ve taken out my roses, my mother’s jade plant, taken off the screen door and replaced my solid, sensible front door, unadorned as a two-by-four, with something geegawed and glassy-lighted.

But the jacaranda I put in is still there, or was a few weeks ago, and the crepe myrtle my mom put in not long after buying the house.  I always loved that tree, with its wine-colored blossoms and a trunk that shed its bark to reveal silver-brown wood as smooth to the touch as satin or new love.

I’m from there, but I’m not there now, and I look forward to…something, somewhere, that fits.

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Filed under fear, homelessness, writers' group, writing