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I've survived being sexually assaulted in my sleep by an asshole who hoped that I was trans and would consequently have a dick. I've scrounged for food before at various places and snuck all manner of sustenance from college events many years ago. I've couch hopped for around 2 to 3 years while wrestling with depression and thoughts of my own insignificance, believing that I deserved that kind of life. In one of the places I stayed at, I faced an overtly violent human being who almost lunged at me in a drunken rage and who has also beaten his roommate to the point of drawing blood from a crack to the head. I've been accosted on the street by random strangers looking for favors, hoping to get me addicted to drugs and then use me for devious purposes. I've had to obtain Sudafed because my ex knew people in the meth world and I couldn't say no. I've learned to employ grey man tactics and not stand out, evasion has saved me from time to time. And If I've ever been caught in a corner or place where I didn't have the leeway to just go, I've exerted enough of a presence and body language to leave the impression that I shouldn't be fucked with. On the streets, I know that most of the stranger encounters you deal with can be handled purely with body language and tone in voice. There's a way to avoid tussles and physical conflict if you know what you're doing and get a lay of the area you're in.
But that doesn't change the fact that I don't want to go through it again. Or fear it. Or feel paralyzed by it. Going back to that dark place, I can picture myself staying in various parts of my college campus to fight for my degree completion. Homelessness is the reason I failed my first attempt at a degree when I was 19 years old. I can't handle failing a second time. And there's no way in hell I'm going to stay with my father or mother, they are out of the question. As for staying with anyone else, I find it unconscionable to ask because of three main reasons entailed thusly:
- I don't know the person well enough.
- I fear getting someone sick during a time in which a pandemic is raging.
- I'm intensely prideful because I've lived with previous boyfriend's families before because of my mother.
I get this debilitating feeling in the pit of my stomach just thinking about it. I know that I'm not one to give up lightly or relent to situations I find myself in whenever there's a problem. But that doesn't mean I don't feel sickening dread, especially with something this negative and which has made such a lasting impression on my life.
I've had two interviews and been turned down for two jobs already. I'm not going to stop searching, but I do worry about not finding a job in time. If I'm forced into staying with my grandparents or other family member, it means having to relocate far from my college and I don't want to do that. I also don't want to be forced out of a job if I do manage to acquire one. While my partner would have a place to go in the event that he loses his job, I feel like things would be much more complicated for me. His support structure is much more concrete than mine. Things with my family are quite tenuous and I don't really like asking them for help.
As for the relationship aspect, I fear homelessness because he has recently confessed to me that he's realized he has the option to choose to stay with me in addition to the choice I have to make surrounding polyamory. He said that he can be positive in the fact that he chooses to keep our relationship every day, but he also said that he has the option of taking my choice away. That tells me that someday he may reach a point where he doesn't want to deal with the pain of uncertainty and will choose to end it himself, which will leave us in an uncomfortable position. I honestly don't know what that's going to end up looking like, and the emotional pain of it all is the most sickening part of it. The feeling of being alone in a place with no home and having to start all over again, just like I did before. I know what I would do differently if this happened again, but that doesn't change the fact that merely contemplating this possibility brings back unwanted memories/knowledge that I would then have to put to use again.
Well, I'm not surprised. I finally had to hit a homeless shelter. Despite my swagger and my time spent with people who mainline, I shook for two days. Luckily there's a library across the street. I don't like how hard and blase I'm getting. But I'll take it over death. Dishonor over death. I'm a coward. I like being awake. Even though reality comes down like a thousand pounds of voile every morning. I will not die before I'm 25. I will not die before I'm 30. I will have the life I want, and nothing's going to stop me.
The smell of cold and rain depresses most, but it instills in me the memories I most greatly cherish… freedom deeply grounded in humility… it reminds me of my head being crushed by thoughts of death, my arm burning [oh the beautiful sensation!] … my eyes ambushed by blood… my heart being ripped from my chest and stabbed with an icicle broken off of the rearview mirror from my piece of shit car that was my only possession, my address of residence, wanderer, hunter, gatherer, loser… The beautiful scent of stale smoke from cheap cigarettes and sweet miss mary jane… my only sense of sanity… it’s beautiful how patchouli can cover the stench of homelessness and pride… I wouldn’t trade those times to hold the whole fucking world in my hand…
for me, there is something extremely comforting about the concept of a "home." wherever i choose to call home, i know i will be relatively safe and secure, and most likely surrounded by people that i love.
to be "homeless" is not to be without safety, security, or love, however.
enveloped in comfort, people tend to stagnate. therefore, any facsimile to homelessness that one experiences -- be it physical or psychological -- can serve to enrich one's life in many ways. one will learn not to strictly associate safety, security, and comfort with a few makeshift walls and a door with a lock. rather, one can learn to make peace with the world one stranger, one scavenged meal, one comfortable park bench, or one "fuck you" to the daily grind at a time.
when home ceases to become strictly physical, relationships may undergo an elaborate metamorphosis. the people who truly love you and those that you truly love will not be swallowed in a void of vacant , scoffing faces; they will be enlivened by your newfound ferocity towards living. you will become not the inhabitant of a place, but a person defined by the things that he or she does and says -- not simply defined by things. you become a lot less "convenient." you might even be a lot harder to find.
when one confines the definition of "home" to a particular country, region, city, or apartment building, limits are set on one's sphere of influence. one's "stomping ground" becomes the cul-de-sac in a whitewashed subdivision. one's bit of earth is reduced to the confines of a mailing address.