Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How I Got Here 2

After my move from the womens shelter, I stayed in my car for about a week. I must have called every shelter in Nashville and surrounding cities for help and was shot down every single time.  Some said I had to be in the hospital and have a police report within the last 12 hours for domestic violence. Some said I had to have a job, or be seeking employment (I am disabled, the point of disability is that I can't work..) others said because I did not have a drug or alcohol problem I didn't qualify.  Some said because my child isn't with me I didn't qualify. (I would NEVER wish this existence on anyone much less a child, my child lives with her fathers parents in the area where I hail from and has no idea of any of my struggles) 
Yet others said because I am not an veteran, or because I am a woman, unmarried, and still others were just plain full.

 I became painfully aware, within about 2 hours that my life had reached a bottom. I began to cry, to the point where I was physically ill. All I wanted was a safe place to sleep, somewhere warm and where I could lay in a horizontal position without fear of being arrested or robbed, or even raped.

I out of sheer desperation called my mother. She had nothing to offer, but did book me a cheap motel, where I was able to shower and sleep for a night, without fear of arrest or violence.

Eventually I found someone renting out a room who did not mind my dog, and although it was more than I could afford, it was somewhere to stay until I figured out what would come next.  That lasted a month and was amazing. Those people will forever be in my hearts as gracious and amazing people.  They knew and know nothing of my situation.

Right before that situation was to end a friend here in Alabama offered me somewhere to stay, with minimal rent and expectations. I had no other options, so down I came.  Within 48 hours a  fake excuse was given as to why I needed to leave and within 48 hours of that, I was back on the streets, penniless, as I had given them my rent money up front.

Out of random chance, an old college friend texted me (why yes, 10$ prepaid phones do have texting) and asked me how I was. Upon some conversation i discovered him to now live Huntsville and we decided to meet up for lunch.  Although I ate nothing (actually i ate all the free bread they could put in front of me) he didn't notice and we discussed how our lives had changed. 

After a day in the park, learning about the area, I broke down and told him of my plight. Although living with his parents due to his persistent unemployment (who ever would have thought that TWO Masters graduates would both be jobless?!) he could offer me a place to stay for a few days, with wifi and electricity (and a bed and bath) to research my options.

This is where I sit, today. I have not a penny to my name, my gas tank is so empty my vehicle won't even start, but it is somewhere to be, for now. I generally stay during the day when it is hot (currently it is 86 degrees and rising, at 10:40am CST) and leave at night, so as not to cause problems.

His family has been nothing but gracious, even taking me to dinner on one occasion (and prodding me not to pick the cheapest thing on the menu, or save half for the next meal) and doing my laundry, however this is not a place I can stay, long term.  This is due to many problems, most notably the serious infatuation my friend has developed with me. As a woman and homeless (as well as a repeated domestic violence survivor) I am used to being hit on, or criticized, or even solicited, which I always shoot down without a second thought.  However, this man is interested in a serious relationship and is constantly trying to..get me to be interested in him, even though he is semi aware I do not and cannot view him that way.

I am simply just not attracted to him and well, I usually identify as a lesbian, as I prefer women aesthetically to men.

My bisexuality causes many problems within the homeless community and outreach organizations, which I will touch on later.

But, this is how I got here. This is how I live. This is my life. The life of The Homeless Girl.


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