That’s that time again; that time where I share a little piece of me. And it’s been a long time since 15 Things They Wont Tell You About Being Raised In A Dysfunctional Family. But, here I am, revealing one of what has been the toughest thing to realize; I have been homeless for nearly all of my life.
Being homeless starts earlier than you can imagine. It starts at home. And if that sounds ironic to say homelessness starts at home, it is because it is ironic.
The very first place that is supposed to give you a feeling of home, a feeling that you belong, a feeling that you are welcomed, a feeling that you are worthy and loved, is the very first place that feeds and shelter you; your family’s house. Here where the irony sets in. If those feelings stated above, especially the “homy” feeling is non-present, you are basically home – less. But you might not realize it right away, because the social definition of homeless is someone that sleeps on the streets which is where it could lead you in extreme cases. However, having a roof over your head does not mean you are not homeless. In my case, I always had somewhere to crash, whether it was a friend letting me sleep in their room while they were away on a trip or someone willing to let me sleep on the floor in an empty room. Nevertheless, I never had a home. I was always pressed to move on to the next place.
For me being homeless started in my biological mother’s womb. I was born homeless and spent 3 years of my life living in an orphanage before I was adopted. And it is exactly how you see in the movies; they dress us up, pin a tag with our name for people to shop around like they do in pet shops. The “luckiest” of us get adopted and move on with the rest of their life.
However, what they don’t tell anybody about adoptive parents or just parents in general is that – some of them – come with an ideal of a child. And when the child does not fit in that particular ideal, we are being rejected just like a dog on the streets. Luckily there are laws that give humans “rights”. Therefore they cannot just physically abandon us –although, I’m sure, some twisted psychopathic people do. –The rejection and the abandonment happen in a more subtle way. We are emotionally and psychologically left alone dealing with ourselves on our own and this at a very early age. For me the emotional and psychological rejection started the day I was adopted. My adoptive mother never connected with me. And yet, until this day she blames it on my “detached behavior” to excuse herself from not being able to connect with a 3 year old orphan that needed love and understanding. Needless to say, she wasn’t fit for the role of mother.
Physically speaking, I started being homeless at 15 when I was sent in a youth centre for a year. At 16 when I was released from the system and sent back to an unhappy adoptive mother, I decided I had enough and left her house to go to college in the big city. I never finished college as I was a troubled teenager without anyone to look up to. At 17 I quit college. I found myself with no revenue since my student loans got cut off and my adoptive parents told me they had no obligation in paying for me anymore. I got a minimum wage job in a factory, got out of the dorm and found an apartment I couldn’t afford. Months later I found myself trying to get some help from the only person I thought would, for once in her life, feel for me. All she did was blaming my decisions and choices. And my journey to homeless land started. I would get empty apartments I couldn’t afford, in between periods, move in with a date, crash on couches and floors and the cycle would repeat itself for nearly 10 years.
During all that 10 year period, I never took drugs or alcohol. And somehow, I always had a minimum wage job I picked somewhere. I was going through each every trauma soberer than a pastor. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no sense of self. I was in a sleeping state. I was not self-aware. I was letting sadness, guilt, shame, frustration and many other dark emotions control my soul. I was also letting others control me. I had no idea what love was haven’t I felt it not even once in my life. Not even inside of myself. I didn’t even know I had love buried inside until maybe a year or two ago when I really started getting scared for my life. During that darkest moment, something happened to me. I saw death. But going down the abyss I also saw something else; hope… However, this is for another post…!
Here are 14 Things They Wont Tell You About Being Homeless
Being Homeless Starts At Home
The very first place that is supposed to give you a feeling of home, a feeling that you belong, a feeling that you are welcomed, a feeling that you are worthy and loved, is the very first place that feeds and shelter you; your family’s house. Here where the irony sets in. If those feelings stated above, especially the “homy” feeling is non-present, you are basically home – less.
We Have Little To No Support System
You would think that almost everyone has a family that can support them in life. Truth be told, it is far from reality. Some people have nobody to look up to. And it could also be true for rich people. Sometimes your family will send you a check filled with nothing but ink so that they feel like they’re doing their deeds. However, inked numbers will never replace a strong emotional support system.
We’re Not All Roofless
The roofless homeless are easy to spot. They are the stereotypical homeless. The idea you have of homeless individuals. They usually look dirty, live on the streets and they ask for you to spare them a dollar. We see them sleeping in subway stations and on public benches. These are extreme cases. However, what about homeless individuals that appear to have a roof over their head? Are we going to help them out only when they are begging for change on the streets? You may want to check-in on your surroundings. There might be someone who you would never think of, that may be homeless right now as you read those lines. It could be a kid, a teenager, an adult or even you.
We’re Not All Alcoholic, Gamblers and Drug Addicts
Yes it is true some homeless individuals were led on the streets because of some form of substance addiction or gambling problems. However, some of us are soberer than a pastor and criminal-record free.
We Don’t All Have Chronic Mental Illnesses
This one is one of the most heard stereotypes that homeless people are somehow all mentally ill. Although many homeless are dealing with some form of altered mental and spiritual state, some of us are functional individuals with a wish of getting better. Yes there are homeless people that are diagnosed with some form of mental illness, however be careful to not generalize as it is a case to case basis.
We’re Not All Too Lazy To Find Work
During all those homelessness years, I somehow always had some form of revenue. Be it student loans, remote jobs or any other kind of job I could quickly find. Nobody would have ever suspected that someone like me could be living in an empty apartment with no furniture in it or crashing on someone’s couch. So yes, you could be working with an homeless individual without even realizing your co-worker does not really have a real home. You recognize the roofless homeless guy. But how would you recognize the same guy if he wears a tie? This was true for Chris Gardner, who was a stock broker by day but living in a shelter with his toddler son by dawn. Nobody would have probably ever thought he was homeless.
Some Of Us Are Non-Conformist Dreamers
You probably heard that popular saying “the starving artist”. Well, if that saying cannot be generalized, it sure can be associated to a lot of us. Many successful entrepreneurs and public faces you see today were all mostly homeless at some point in their life. Amongst the most popular faces let me name a few: Dr. Phil, Steve Harvey, Jennifer Lopez, Halley Berry, Jim Carey, Shania Twain etc. Being a non-conformist dreamer is part of the reasons why I found myself couch surfing for many years until I found better ways to manage the burning desire of making it out of the system.
We Let Unhealthy Feelings Blind Us
This one is true for all human beings. Too many times, we let unhealthy feelings and unhealthy people blind us from progressing forward on our journey to enlightenment and success.
We Have No Idea What Love Is
Another true statement that a lot of people can relate to. Love is hard to see and recognize and it can even be mistaken for hate. Love comes in different types of shapes and can be measured on many different levels.
To name just a few examples:
- Tough love
- Unconditional love
- Motherly and fatherly love
- Sisterly and brotherly love
- Friendly love
- Hypocritical love
- Abusive love
- Sexual love
- Soul mate love
With so many different definitions and levels of love, how is one supposed to recognize true love? Even your definition of every single example of love stated above might differs from mine. How hard one falls in love is also very much subjective… “Love is supposed to make you feel good” some would say. But those same people also say “Love hurts”. So is love supposed to hurt or to make you feel good? “A little of both, no pain, no gain”. But how much pain does one have to take to be considered a gain? If love gives one wings, it can also cut one’s wings off… Therefore, which one is true? What’s love got to do with it? The concept of love is very difficult.
We Have No Idea What Self-Worth Is
Self-worth is the thought process of knowing your individual value. It is what you think you are worth. But if you grow up not knowing that you are worthy and never learn your worth, you will probably go away feeling unworthy. Truth is, just to be a human being, a living thing on Earth, the fact that you are breathing, worth more value that you could ever imagine. You are worthy.
We Have No Idea What Self-Love Is
Love is already a complex and complicated concept in itself. However, when one becomes aware of self, I find self-love to be the easiest and most genuine kind of love that exists and will ever exist, because that kind of love is strictly based on your own standards of appreciation. Self-appreciation that is. Self-love is the act of accepting yourself for who you are and forgiving yourself for who you are not and will never be. If you also feel you need to be forgiven by certain people to forgive yourself, you should seek their forgiveness but if they do not wish to forgive you, forget about it, let it go and forgive yourself. You can change who you are today by reconnecting with your inner-child. Give yourself a huge hug. Then slowly start progressing forward on the journey of loving yourself for who you are today and for who you wish to become tomorrow.
We Have No Sense Of Self
Discovering the self is a never ending process and an ever growing journey. Most people know who they are not but have no idea who they are which can lead them looking for themselves in all the strangest places. At the end of day, aren’t we all in the search of ourselves? Don’t we all connect better with people that have similar interests or similar views? We look for a bit of ourselves everywhere and in everyone. Well, to make this less of an accidental journey, become aware that knowing what you are not brings you one step closer to knowing who you are. Knowing what you dislike also brings you closer to knowing what you like. Becoming conscious of that phenomenon now, awakes your sense of self.
We Are Unaware Of The Power of Consciousness
A lot of people do not know this; the power of consciousness. You become limitless when you become conscious of your reality and you stray away from your sleeping state. Whoever or whatever is keeping you asleep needs no room in your life. Your true state is conscious and abundant being. You were born from an abundant and eternal source. Therefore abundance is your birth right. Consciousness is who you are. It is who we’re all. Becoming aware of the power of consciousness gives you unlimited control over your life. You can transform and reinvent yourself at any time.
There Are Multiple Ways Out
There comes a time in your life when you have to realize that the only way out of homeless land or any other destructive land that is to save yourself from it. You have to become your own hero. Start by saving yourself first before saving everybody else. Saving yourself first is an act of kindness towards yourself and assures you will be healthy and in shape to help the ones you love later.
Saving ourselves from the prison of our mind that we built for our heart is the only way to feel free. Free your mind. Free your heart.
The first step is to be honest with yourself and realize that you are keeping yourself prisoner of your true self. And no, you are not the only one to blame. But it ain’t a blaming game. And if it is for you, well stop right now. It is the wrong kind of energy that you are serving your heart and your soul.
Saving yourself from yourself means allowing yourself to live the life you always wanted without apologizing for it. Saving yourself from yourself means to stop judging yourself so harshly. Saving yourself from yourself means you are self-devoted to loving and caring for your needs. Saving yourself from yourself means you stop fighting with your own reflection in the mirror. Saving yourself from yourself means you are honest with yourself. It means assessing your level of happiness and raising the current level to a satisfactory level. It means defining and planning your happiness. It means having faith and co-creating yourself with the Universe. It means coming at one with your true conscious nature. At the end of the day, all our souls are prisoners of the body we were born into, whether you alter its form or not. However, the way you choose to use and carry the vessel that were landed to you, is your choice.
What do you choose to do with your vessel? Do you choose to keep your soul prisoner or give it freedom of life? Save yourself. Save your soul. Save your life. It’s about becoming your greatest version. It’s about inspiring others to do so. Save yourself or you will remain unsaved.
This is part of how I ended up writing the pragmatic and practical book How To Save Yourself From Yourself With The Law of Reciprocity. We were all born with the power of choice. I suggest using that power wisely. Will you remain asleep or will you awaken?