I could have titled this “That time I became homeless” but that might have been too much. Sometimes you just have to finally get the whole story out. It’s a bit rusty. We’re going on about 20 years now, so bear with me. But yeah, when I was a senior in high school life got rough and I was homeless for a little while.
Not trashcan-fire-hobo homeless. It was much less romantic than that. Quite annoying really.
I love finding new writing outlets. I’ve written for some heavy hitters, but there’s something about hopping onto a budding publication and giving them a boost while they take on my more explorative work, like opening up about this weirdness.
As soon as I found the submissions call for The Gonzo Press I knew what I wanted to write about. My mom and sister had discussed the topic recently and my sister relayed something remarkable, Mom didn’t realize we were homeless for a time. Because we had a place to crash or a car to ride in she didn’t think of us as having been homeless when I was thrust out on my own during my senior year of high school.
To her homeless people are bums lighting trash can fires underneath bridges. (Insert inappropriate jokes here)
I realize this experience is a unique one. I love my mom and she did alright by me until life got really rough in my teens. Then she kind of gave up and left me to my abusive alcoholic father. That didn’t last too long.
Let me be clear, my dad never beat me so bad I was in the hospital, nor was he always drunk. He was one of those binge drinkers who would be cool for a few weeks, then reveal the monster inside and take it out on anyone who crossed him.
To him, he was never a drunk, or abusive, because he kept a job and never put me in the hospital.
Perspective is an amazing thing, but writing about it felt necessary. My Jewish husband (I’m not being an asshole, he really is Jewish) always wonders why I am hellbent on “giving away” all my money whenever I donate to charity. haha It’s a fun dynamic. He knows what I’ve been through but he’ll never fully understand why I can’t help but do everything I can for those who are less fortunate than me, a kid who at least always had a place to stay with friends.
Read on (pg 39) if you want to know how some kids end up homeless, what prevents it, and why I can never get too comfortable: