1998…My adult life started in College or University at 18yrs of age. I lived at home for the first two months. I wanted to live on campus but couldn’t afford housing or food. My mom and I had some major differences that determined me basically not living at home by October that first year. I found myself homeless & needing to live on campus anyway. I stayed with a guy for a month and half & he brought me home to his family for Winter break and by January I had moved into the dorms. It was not something I thought I could afford to maintain and moving out after the negative falling out with my mom, I was deperessed. It basically destroyed my ability to focus and the boyfriend added fuel and fire to the downslide. I failed miserably that first year and it may have gone differently if I had of listened myself and moved into the dorm first thing. We’ll never know.
That summer I tried being a live in nanny but it was more responsibility than I could do at my age then. I was horrible at it & because of my life situation I was still depressed & my self esteem was plumeting. By July I moved back home on a trial basis and that did not last long. It was not good at all. So, homeless again I was sleeping on the stairs at my University and had to beg for help. Being a Baptist University & me having been baptised baptist you would think they would take it on themselves and help. No. I asked for help from the chapel leaders and no one wanted to help, they just prayed for me. No food, nothing. A stranger who was a misionary student asked a girl if she could help me and she did for at least a month but then she took me to the big Baptist church in our city and introduced me to the college leadership there. Well, a decans wife was willing to let me stay with them temporarily and did for 6 months but again I was not fitting in and found myself homeless once again.
So, now a cosmetology student my new boyfriend (who would become my husband) helped me find a room for rent from a Morman woman. She was a widdow and rented her bedrooms. I was a definate outsider being the only one there that was not Morman. I basically just slept there and stayed at the local Denny’s or JB’s as much as possible when I wasn’t working. The house had a really bad sewer roach problem and I lost a lot of sleep staying up chasing them away at night. I didn’t stay there long, I got pregnant and moved out after 4 months.
This next place was a niftly little loft-shack with a living space-kitchen upstairs and bedroom downstairs…YES, the bathroom was upstairs! Yeah, pregnant and the bathroom is upstairs from the bedroom, AWEFULL. I stayed there for about 7 months or so, just until I was maried to the father of my baby (it’s a girl!) and then we moved to his parents house for a couple of months just until we got our own apartment. I hated living with his parents. They judged everything about me because they thought I got pregnant on purpose just to marry their son, NOT THE CASE! I really was in love with the guy but I didn’t understand who he really was as a person or anything really. I thought a year of dating was enough to really know someone.
We had a son our second year of mariage and after three years of mariage it was time for a divorce. We did not have the same of ideas about life or anything. He never could commit to me or the respnosibility of being a husband and a father. I had to call the police often and wanted a life without violence for me and my children.
Seperated from my husband, trying to file papers for divorce but totally depressed and attacked by anxiety… I could not focus on how to get a better life. By this time I had graduated cosmetology school but lost all of my equiptment in the mariage struggle so I could not take my test. No one would lend me the money for equiptment but everyone kept saying ‘ we will help you’. Yes I got some help, but if someone would have lended me the money for my equipment I could have gone to work in my career instead of chasing makeup counter jobs and waitressing or bartending.
I moved in with two guys when I first left the husband and NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. I hate the world for it. These guys were bad news!
My sister helped me get into my own place but I could not get the hours at the makeup counter or with bartending to keep the rent paid. I lost it. I also dated twice during this time and both guys were nuts, CRAZY. I lost the kids by default of missing a court date and did not appeal it because I did not know how or that there was a time limit to do so. So, upon being evicted the second boyfriend said I could stay with him, which turned out to be with him & his foster parents.
I stayed there for four years and felt like a kept prisoner. Life was just sucky, sucky, sucky. I kept believing that I would find that dream job that would pay for my cosmetoligy license but each time I bought the equipment it was stolen or broken in domestic violence. EVERY TIME!
By this point I had been told that I was a pushover and user-type people were enabling me to fail so I would keep being a resource for them. It was eye opening and it is exactly what was happening! My whole life felt this way. I knew I had to get away from all relationships and work on myself. I realized that my diagnosis back in 1994 was something I needed to consider because I had been homeless basically my entire adult life. So, after loosing my last job I went to the homeless sheltar and began getting counseling and help. I accepted my diagnosis and sought my social security claim. Yes, it was degrading but if I had just done it in 1994 (I didn’t kick my ex out until 1995) I would have never gone through the homelessness with my children. That is what unrealistic judgements and expectations did to me. I didn’t want people to think I was damaged or that I couldnt do what I needed to for myself and my children, but actually I COULDN’T.
I got my own apartment in 2005. My kids moved back home with me when they were in high school but everything we went through since 1994 was not necessarry. I don’t know how to make it up to them.
As for my life now, I am still poor but I am not homeless. I pay my rent and utilities every month and even pay for computers and internet. I don’t date, I am solo and single. It’s just me and my children the way it should have been since 1994!
There is a problem in the world. Young people & people in general cannot get employment that pays their rent & life expenses. We have more industry now than we ever had, yet people cannot get jobs that pay the bills. It is time we asked ‘WHAT IS GOING ON?’