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Tag Archives: homelessness
I still feel like a homeless person. I have no money and no income with an SSDI case pending. Once a person is forced to live on the streets and in shelters, you never forget that life. There is compassion and a comradery for others experiencing homelessness. And you never forget. Many times, when I could, I have given food and water, and pulled a homeless person in from the rain for a cup of coffee–this including while I was homeless myself.
I have been #NoLongerHomeless since April 7, 2011. I am now living at Marah’s, a permanent housing program of Deborah’s Place. This organization gives shelter and housing to homeless women. In my location there are thirty of us residing. Without this having been offered to me, I would be on the street not knowing where my life was headed. And I still don’t forget. My mind is now wired to think about homelessness issues. To this day not only do I offer to help and feed the homeless if I can, but I still think like a homeless person. I truly suffer “backpack envy” when I see a really awesome backpack that would have been a great for me when I was homeless. Believe me, I was known around town for my backpacks! I would pack whatever I could inside. My pack was actually weighed a few times. Its heaviest known weight was about 72 pounds. I walked everywhere from town to town carrying that thing on my back. Often times I would have an extra bag for any foods I could get. Sometimes I carried yet another bag–a sleeping bag or blankets. Without trying in my walk tonight I found several places where I might set up camp at night if I was still homeless. Some places were occupied. Its an automatic thought to think like i am still homeless–like backpack envy–because, I will never forget. My brain is too hard wired now on the subject of homelessness. I wish I could do more to help.
When I was a little girl I dreamed of growing up, becoming a nurse, being successful, and marry a handsome, caring man and have a few children. I never imagined that I could one day be homeless. I never thought about divorce either. I have experienced multiple abuses, physically, emotionally, verbally, sexual assaults and rape. It all took its toll on me when I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder several years ago. I have survived through a lot. To my surprise, it took chronic homelessness for me to realize my resilience and how successful I am. I have discovered a new purpose and a new, growing love for helping others. Oh, I have always enjoyed helping others, studied nursing, and loved volunteering at various organizations, including also being a blood donor. However, it has changed. The warmth in my heart in being able to help others reach their goals has expanded in ways that I used to dream! I love every moment when I can make a difference! Over time and with thanks to social media, I am coming out of my shell and becoming more social. I dare say that I feel successful now as my life is transforming. I still have a ways to grow, but I am getting there! I am so grateful for everything that I have been through. I have learned much more and my character has grown because of the negative experiences in my life. I am finally on the right track.
I’ve had two doctor appointments this week: a new rheumatologist and my primary care doctor. Both are very concerned about the swelling in my legs. I have really bad pitting edema as shown below.
Yes, I am on a “water pill” but so far it doesn’t seem to be doing much. I go back to my primary doc this Wednesday, the 19th, and will see the rheumatologist on February 16th. The rheumatologist wasn’t much help when I saw her this week, and decreased one and took me off another pain medication due to my swelling issues. Pain management isn’t easy for me as I am allergic to most narcotics. In fact, there are no narcotics that I can even get as an outpatient. I can’t take acetaminophen (Tylenol) due to the potential for liver issues. So I am quite limited.
I’m not sure what else to mention at this moment so I will end this here. Hopefully it won’t be so long between blog posts. I will make extra effort to improve this in the future. Many thanks for following me. XOXOXO <3
Oops. Sorry, LOL! My apologies to a certain case manager at Northwestern Satellite Clinic. I sorta know him from Twitter and I’ve tweeted him a couple of times (or “perhaps” more, LOL) since becoming a client. Its a No-No! Ok, so I get impulsive and have to say something sometimes. I understand why and all that and I expected it when I became a client. But like I said, I do get impulsive. If I can get some medication again for ADD that may help the issue. I kinda have to laugh because of my misbehaving. Yeah, my bad. I am a rule-breaker. Its hard to keep out of trouble this way when I am impulsive. Medication should help that. I’ll have to ask about it if the new psydoc doesn’t offer first. I really would like to focus better on things like I used to when I was medicated for ADD. Life was better. Well, it was better until I started working at a certain place that triggered my PTSD because of memory of a certain homeless person who stalked me and…more. He knows who he is. He is still a major trigger. I was warned by the psych people against having any contact with him–even on Twitter. They are cautious. I view my newly following him as an exposure therapy, plus I feel it is fair and appropriate that anyone who needs and wants my help can get it. I will not get in the way of a legitmate request from someone seeking help–I don’t care who it is or what I think of the person! Everyone deserves a chance to get help they need! This brings up a future blog topic about social services agencies that ban a person from getting ANY and ALL services–including food pantry and clothing closet…
You wouldn’t believe the night we women at the homeless shelter had last night, and how it went from almost like a fun slumber party to ending with 911 being called when a severely emotional young woman in the group suffered a seizure after sharing very personal, painful memories about her life. Everyone gathered round to pray and I have honestly never felt more spiritual energy from praying as I did last night! It was powerful! Then this morning I received the following in my email. Its just amazing…
One day, when I was a freshman in high school,
I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.
His name was Kyle.
It looked like he was carrying all of his books.
I thought to myself, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?’
‘He must really be a nerd.’
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him.
They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.
His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him…
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.
My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks.’
They really should get lives…
‘He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’
There was a big smile on his face.
It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.
As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before…
He said he had gone to private school before now.
I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.
We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.
I asked him if he wanted to play a little football
with my friends.
He said yes.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.
I stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!’
He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends…
When we were seniors we began to think about college.
Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.
I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.
He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class.
I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation.
I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak .
Graduation day, I saw Kyle.
He looked great.
He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.
He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.
He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.
Boy, sometimes I was jealous!
Today was one of those days.
I could see that he was nervous about his speech.
So, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.
‘Thanks,’ he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began…
‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years…
Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends…..
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.
‘I am going to tell you a story.’
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told of the first day we met.
He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.
He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and he was carrying his stuff home.
He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.
‘Thankfully, I was saved.’
‘My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable…’
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.
Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions..
With one small gesture you can change a person’s life.
For better or for worse….
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for God in others.