July 21, 2014
Tonight, like last night, and an innumerable number of nights onward, I will be sleeping outside. The difference from those other nights, I will be alone. As a woman I am scared, and assure you I have a sharp instrument that will be accompanying me. I have chosen a neighborhood that seems to be nicer than the ones that I am accustomed to living.
This morning I had wakened on the concrete in the arms of the City/County building of Madison, WI. I have lived in Madison for six years now and this is not my first time being homeless in this city. This is also not the first city where I have been homeless. Sadly I believe my mother’s homeless streak from when I was a young child is haunting my life.
At this moment my mother is homeless as well. We had been living together for a couple years before I decided I wanted out back in November. I didn’t have a good plan. But unlike the last time I was homeless, at least I had a plan.
My mother is in her late fifties and is married to a drug addict. Honestly addiction is a close friend to my family, manifesting itself in different ways for all of us. My White mother, who had come from a traditional middle class family, had decided to allow her addiction to drugs lead her down a different path. I hadn’t met her family until I was in my early twenties.
At thirty-three I am desperately racing against a ticking clock to a fantasied retirement. At the most I hope to not be in the same predicament when I am my mother’s age. As I sit in a coffee shop writing this introduction to my blog, I am slighted at the knowledge that I am not welcomed around my immediate family.
In a reversal of my mother’s views when she was twenty, I have decided to leave behind most of the confines of street life, and redneck ignorance, in an epic battle with my crippling social anxiety.
It is important for me to leave behind these people although I love my family with all my heart, but I have a different view of what I expect life to be that I am not even sure what it is yet.
Bullied and cast aside, I was ashamed of my intelligence when I was younger growing up in a small housing project in Urbana, IL. With the entire flavor of South-Side Chicago, Lake Side Terrace terrified my sensitive heart enough to lock me away in a world of paperbacks and crafts.
I’m sure that I have not been the most kind to my family and I agree with the separation. Although with the back and sciatic pain issues that I am encountering makes it difficult for me to live this life style.
Yet I onward I press. The fear of going back to how my life used to be pushes me forward to a future that I have no idea how to navigate.
I will end this introduction here with my fear of the future and the fear of what may be waiting for me in this park I will call a bedroom for tonight.