alice on the run

I want to post my few experiences living in a van after seeing the wonderful blog on how to live homeless effectively. I'm not sure what else I will post about yet, as this is a first for me. Welcome to my blog!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Inspired by the Homeless Blog

This is my first time at this website. I was going to just post a reply to the blog and ended up going through all this, so not tonite, but soon, will start posting my experiences. I have wondered at myself for being so fascinated by the plight of homelessness, and how people function. The first thing they have to do is learn to hide the fact they are homeless, and that is sad.

I lived in a van from March through August or so one year, and I did it on purpose because I wanted a taste of the freedom, and had got an old van, had no job and no plan for what to do next, and I had looked forward to the whole thing, just like someone else had posted. I had some other ideas about what I wanted to do while living in the van, but I found out the real world out there was alot more scary and dangerous than it seemed in my mind, and I let myself down on pursuing those adventures. I want to try it again sometime, but what I mainly learned the first time was how stupid I was.

But I liked it, in alot of ways, and I could see it as a good lifestyle, if you were able to plan for it, rather than landing on your butt that way and then trying to scrounge yourself a life.
_______________________
The thing that grabbed me tonite that made me want to respond was the homeless shelter experience. I did that too, for a day, and it was a day I'll never forget. The people there were of course women, but they were down and out and all beat up on the inside to such an extent that there was no attempt at conversation and eye contact was avoided. I was tired to the point of tears when I got there, and my first shock was that I was not allowed to sleep, nap, lay down, or even doze off with my head propped up on the table with my arms. I had to sit up and stay awake until bedtime. We had to go to a church service in there, which didn't bother me one way or the other but I was not there to get saved, just to have a safe place to close my eyes for about 8 hours, that's all I wanted. I think I actually lost it and cried awhile when I realized what little I wanted was not going to be so easy to get, and I was sorry I'd walked through the door asking for "help," the only "help" I needed being having four walls around me to feel safe in. That part probably feels quite different to a guy, than it does to a girl who was not used to what it felt like to want to fall asleep and not be safe to do so. Maybe it's the same for guys, on the other hand, but if you are a guy and look like you got nothing, there's nothing another guy wants from you; if you are a woman who appears to have nothing, there's still plenty to fear, maybe even more.

The food was some kind of mushy meat gravy over watery mashed potatoes and it all tasted alot more like aluminum than food; I couldn't eat it, now I am sure if I was hungry ENOUGH I would not complain about something like that.

I felt the sadness, despair, hopelessness of the other women and it rubbed off on me. I knew inside my heart I wasn't one of them, and I began to feel like I was an intruder who shouldn't be there, fact is I had a van but was afraid to sleep out in the van in what was at that time a very unfamiliar town. How I came to the shelter is a story I prefer to forget right now, but I was simply drifting without a path in life and drifted into some bad things. And the rude awakening did me a world of good. I knew that there but for the grace of God go I, and there is nothing exempting that possibility for me as well. I learned I did not want to be one of those broken from the inside-out women, living with no joy and no hope and nobody left to care that that is your life.

/alice2




10 Comments:

  • At February 3, 2005 at 12:14 AM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said…

    I am enormously touched by your first blog post. I am glad to have inspired you to write this.

    I can assure you that men have as much to fear when down and out as women do, and they even have the same things to fear, violence, sexual assault, and thievery. The pain you so eloquently described from not being allowed to sleep is the same also. When I was a teen runaway I was often driven to tears by the need for sleep, with no prospect of finding it.

    I hope you keep posting to your blog and I hope to see you again commenting on mine.

     
  • At February 4, 2005 at 7:52 AM, Blogger Woolfey said…

    When we were first told we had to get out of our house of 15 years were we had paid rent and raised our kids, we had the same reaction a lot of folks do. We decided we would have to get a new place. We threw ourselves into that project with renewed vigor, but in my mind I could see that settling our children in a distributed household was going to be the most workable solution. My wife and I never used shelters, preferring to become mobile. My daughter and her daughter went the shelter route. Now she is in subsidized housing. My youngest son after graduation high school, traveled and has some good stories. I'm sure He has some crappy ones as well but I don' figure I'll hear any of them for awhile. I'm after all his Dad. We are closer as a family than we ever were. I know that losing families or hard family circumstances push some folks to homelessness. In our case it galvanized us. We have most everything we need except a permanent living situation.
    I have said on the Mobile homemakers site, that these blogs are a blessing. So many homeless folks need to hear that they aren't the only ones working outside the system.
    I've had others tell me I can't possibly be doing what I claim to be because I have web access. Yeah. If an apartment was as easy as web access. I'd be in the place of my dreams. Try to get a checking account or a PO box without a physical address. If you don't have one , you must be a Taliban, or something really awful. Creativity.. Yeah that's it..

     
  • At February 22, 2005 at 7:39 AM, Blogger luvrgrly said…

    omg i m so sry that theese things actually happen b/c all my life i have complained that since i am always moving we always have to move to a slightly smaller house and some times i have to share a room with brothers and my sister and now i know that noe matter wut i shud b thankful b/c i actually have things
    ~lotzaluv~
    ~piper~

     
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  • At April 25, 2010 at 3:07 AM, Blogger Remnant said…

    I came over from Mobile Homemaker's
    page,enjoyed all that you have posted.
    Have to believe that soon many
    will be searching for the information that you have posted.
    Sad to see that you are no longer posting.

     
  • At May 10, 2011 at 6:04 AM, Blogger Real Mom said…

    That is how I feel, broken, and unloved. I am not homeless now, but I am considering it.

     
  • At October 30, 2016 at 2:03 PM, Blogger Open Source Energy said…

    I am a guy who has been homeless for a while. I never get harassed by cops while I sleep in my car... The doors have locks you know. The hardest thing for me is wanting desperately to strech while in the car and having it be too cold to lay in the grass. Of course I've become accustomed to 30-90 minute nano naps whatever I feel the need to sleep. I think 8 hours is too much sleep at once anyway. Here in Chicago I have friends who feed me. I sell drugs to adults with jobs and my biggest fear is being caught while I have my puppy with me. Often when I have to 'work' I have the luxury of my ex boyfriend watching him so if I am busted then at least I can manage the situation. To get busted with my boy dog would most certainly end with us both being shot by cops in 'defense' despite the fact I mind my business and respect the rights of others. It's funny the point in time we live in. Real funny. I'm only doing this until I publish my book and drop my mixtape. I probably should go home to Delaware and spend time with my mom before she dies. When I do make money, non-conventionally of course from my book (as I refuse to work to make somebody else's dreams come true for wages when I could work for free to make my dreams come true) I will make this wonderful place, where people could go live in their own tiny home, tend a garden and livestock to feed themselves. It's what I want most right now. Just enough space to stretch and enough security to be left alone in peace so I can work on my book. My only advice is to find out your major purpose in life is and do everything in your power to align with it. YouTube :Abraham Hicks when everything seems to be falling to pieces before your eyes.

     

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