The Remnants of Being Homeless…

My life these days is better than I ever could have imagined, and I am happier than I have been in years.

However, I am discovering that the “end” of being homeless doesn’t come with just having a place to sleep. There is still the struggle to pay for basic expenses, the push to find work, and the lasting emotional pain of loss.

There are days when I am so extremely exhausted that all I can do is sleep. My therapist has assured me that all of this is to be expected after so much trauma. What I wasn’t expecting at all was what happened two nights ago.

Having lost all of my precious books during my “homeless adventure”, I have slowly begun to rebuild my collection. This past week I found a book titled, The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp. I brought it home and started reading…

About two hours into this straightforward, witty, and heart-felt account of her homeless journey…I realized that my heart was pounding, my hands shaking and I had tears welling up and spilling down my cheeks. I put the book down, stood up…looked around and reassured myself…”You are safe now, it’s not happening now. You are not in the scary motel, you are not hungry, you are not in danger,  you are not walking your dogs down the long row of kennels…you are not there!” I was completely “in” the pain of it all. Hmm…My therapist had warned me there might be signs of PTSD after being in survival mode for so long, and from so much loss, and I knew this…I have had some pretty vivid nightmares, but never had I felt anything like this while fully awake. It all felt so real!

It was rough to put it mildly. I wish to God I could say that I am completely healed, that I am joyful every minute of every day now, but that’s now how it is, and I won’t lie…this healing may take a while. I may not be “living” it now, but there are parts of my mind and body that for one reason or another cause me to relive it..and I will face this the same way as I have everything else, with God’s hand and grace…and time.

Morning Glory





I Am a Neglectful Blog Parent…

I am so sorry for my neglect here lately. I am definitely NOT going to do well writing for the November challenges.

My new life has been moving forward slowly and steadily, and I am beyond happy. The apartment is coming along nicely, with furniture donations and little touches of my own, it is beginning to look like a home. I still wake every day like it is Christmas morning and I am a four year old child, so excited to be here. Safe, warm, and fed is just amazing. I continue to look for work, but it will come.

My dog Casey was finally adopted from the Humane Society a couple of weekends ago, and I am so happy for her. Though I am heartbroken for myself, missing her terribly, but so blessed to know that she has a real home again too. I don’t have to lie down every night picturing her in that kennel..I pray she is sleeping at the foot of someone’s bed now.

It is difficult at times to believe how much my life has changed and to face how much I have lost. I have yet to fully “look” at it all. Most of you that know me, know that I like to remain as positive as possible, but eventually I will have to expose myself to some of the hurt in order to move past it…just not now. If I were to truly write about it, it would hurt too much. I’ve hurt enough in my life.

Honestly though…if I were to write what I am feeling at this moment, it would just be the word “grateful” over and over again on this page. Funny how writing about the misery is sometimes easier than writing of happiness. Misery is complex and joy in simple, less words are needed. I spend my days listening to fun, happy music…I dance around my apartment, visit with my new friends, sing karaoke on Monday nights with more new friends…I eat and sleep and just LIVE. It is so incredible after so much time merely surviving. This is heaven.

There is a time to be happy, to be content, to just enjoy what the good Lord has blessed us with…and that time is always “now”. I love you all so much, and hopefully I will be here more often. Please keep me in prayer about finding work, and well, about everything! God is so good! Hugs!

P.S. I almost forgot! I passed my one year anniversary on here…wow! I just noticed I have 473 followers…when did that happen? I am still a bit surprised that my little life is of interest to anyone, but truly blessed by knowing. Thanks everyone!


I Try Not to Think of All I’ve Lost…

I am so grateful for where I am in my life now. However, it’s only been three months since I lost the life I’d known for so long. The marriage had to end, this I know. Neither of us had been happy for so long. There wasn’t much left to grieve there…except for what might have been.
It’s the days and moments when my mind remembers an object I forgot in my haste before the eviction…the books, the trinkets, the Christmas ornament I made when I was 8 years old that make it difficult. There isn’t very much pain in these thoughts, they are just things, and…I am healing.

The one area I can’t seem to get past is the loss of my dogs…Yes, Cody was rescued from the shelter and is now with my ex…not my ideal situation, but at least I know he is loved and cared for by someone he knows.

I try desperately not to think of my dear Casey girl, but there isn’t a day when I don’t grieve, when I don’t pass her photo on Facebook or here, and my chest gets tight, the tears well up…and oh my gosh, the pain is horrible. I am glad that she is no longer in danger of being put down, and that the Humane Society is a better facility than the county shelter…but…I want her HERE with me! I want her to be held, and pet, and played with. I want to feel her lick my face. I dream often of walking the aisle of the shelter, calling her name and hearing her sweet bark of joy to know that “mommy” has come back to get her. I can’t describe the pain…and God knows I have tried to NOT look at her photos, NOT go to the Humane Society page once more to see if she’s been adopted, but it’s like a bad bruise, this pain. You know it will hurt, you know it will crush you, but you push on it anyway. This heartache….it has not gotten any easier…it is not any lighter. She deserves to have a home…just like I do now. How long will I grieve this loss? How long will it take for me to finally give up hope of ever having her with me again? I don’t know. It feels like it will never stop.

I pray she is at least happy…well fed…and maybe, if dogs think this way…I pray she hasn’t given up hope either. Shit. And the tears fall.

So Healthy now!

Why Wait For Inspiration? ….Just WRITE!

You would think that after having this blog for almost a year now… I would know better than to sit and wait for inspiration before putting fingers to keyboard. I have thought of writing many times these past weeks, and yet somehow I managed to discourage myself with the typical, “What should I write about” conundrum.

So, here I am on a Saturday afternoon, sitting in front of this keyboard, and still having no idea what to write. I had hoped that just by placing my fingers and sitting with my tea I would somehow come up with something. Hmmm…so far, it’s not working.

I am still enthralled with my new home, my new life…I have taken many steps toward learning how to be single again. The last years of my marriage had been so isolating that it has been like rediscovering life…friends, social occasions…I even went out and sang karaoke, something I haven’t done in a long time! I had forgotten how much I love that feeling of release I get when I get behind the microphone and let it loose!

I am still looking for work, and the lack of funds has been hard, but so much better than “before the big fall”. I still have moments of grieving over all I have lost, the tears come…but, I try not to go there. Everything is getting better every day, and I always look for those precious moments…moments of gratitude, moments of bliss. I always find them if I just look.

The photos are of my new place…the tables I got for a total of $20…I was given a bed by a local organization, and tomorrow I am getting a sofa that someone donated, so furniture is coming slowly but surely. I photographed the french doors and balcony, because so far they are my favorite things about this place…I threw in one of the bathroom, and of my bedroom closets. I will take a few more as soon as the rooms are not so empty..Who wants to see an empty apartment? LOL…Love and peace to all of you….Hugs.



My New Home on the Butterfly Highway…

Hello all! My desire to write, to let the millions of words and emotions tumble out onto the page is a bit overwhelming. There is so much to tell!

I am safe, happy and content. Wow, just saying that still surprises me. The past months have been beyond hard, and now, well, this is amazing. Starting over. I have had moments of grief over losing so much, but I remain in the present moment more often. There is no room for unhappiness or regret.

My new home is the most peaceful, beautiful place I could have imagined. I have wonderful neighbors, who are quickly becoming friends. This little apartment is so pretty, though still mostly empty lol. I am sleeping on an air mattress, and the only other furniture is a table and chair left by the previous tenant…oh, and a dresser given to me. It is enough.

I wake every day astonished and grateful…I walk around this place and keeping praising God for bringing me HOME.

The job search continues. I did land a job, but only lasted one day…the work being much too physically strenuous for me. No worries, the “right” job is just around the corner. I finally got my food stamps, so hunger is no longer an issue either.

I wish my thoughts were not so jumbled at the moment!

Anyway…I was sitting on the steps of my balcony a while ago, appreciating the deep blue of the sky, the warm breeze…and watching the “train” of butterflies that come through each day. It’s funny how they know where the “highway” is…they come through the same “path” each day, somehow knowing exactly where to go. I envy them this. I can learn from them…moving on instinct, not worrying about a thing..just moving forward. This is me.

I just recently got my camera and all my personal belongings back, and soon, I will post photos of the new place…of my new life.

Again, I must take the time to thank all of you for your amazing support, love and friendship as I went through this trial. I love you.


Homeless Day 46…NOT HOMELESS!

So much has happened since my post just three days ago.

I mentioned having seen my therapist last week. Well, I had already applied for what is called, Shelter Plus Care, through the place where I go for therapy. The program provides housing and support for people in treatment for many issues, including mental health. After visiting my therapist, she went and spoke with the housing case worker…and yesterday I got a call saying that they had a place for me! Most folks wait years on these lists for housing, so I know it was my therapist and God Himself who made this happen.

Sadly, I can’t take my dog, Cody with me, so I am now desperately trying to find a place for him. I refuse to take him back to the shelter…I know that God will help me with this also.

But, back to the happy stuff! I was told to come in at 9am this morning to fill out the paperwork for housing, thinking that it would be a few days, maybe longer, before I could move in…guess what? I got done with the paperwork, and the lady says, “Hold on while I make a copy of your key”!! I was handed a KEY to my new apartment! Are you kidding me? She placed that little gold (yes, gold) key in the palm of my hand, and I just lost it. The joy and disbelief that this struggle was finally over stunned me and the tears flowed and flowed.

I left there and drove right over to the complex. I pulled into the drive, and parked in front of MY building, walked up the stairs and a tear slipped out as I put the key into MY door…and walked into MY apartment…Ohmygosh…there really isn’t any way to describe the feelings  that flowed through me as I walked in…looking at the kitchen, the bedroom, the little balcony and repeating, “No way…is this really MY home Lord”? My face hurts from smiling.

I still have the little “bump” to get over with the dog…and will need some help with money for car insurance, gas and food, until I find work,  but the rest is covered. I AM GOING HOME.

Here comes the sun do do do do…here come the sun I say, it’s alright…..



Homeless Day 43…The Invisible…

I woke in this motel room this morning, looked out at the cloudy, hot day, and fought to not crawl back under the covers.

The weariness of just surviving is something that no one who has not been here can ever truly understand. As much as I try to stay energized and positive, it has become a struggle like everything else.

Did I even mention that I got my dog Cody back with me? When I thought that I had a place to stay last week, I went and got him from the shelter to go with me. The reunion was emotional to say the least…I was crying, the shelter director was crying, and Cody…well, he was jumping and peeing all over the place. It was awesome. I feel somewhat badly now that he is in this situation with me, but it has really helped me to not be so alone. He is a gift.

I wanted this post to be so organized so well written, when in all reality I’m afraid it will be just how my mind is…muddled and all over the place.

I went for a much needed therapy session a few days ago, and boy, did I break. I have spent so many days just holding myself up, trying to be strong, functioning…but, the safety and acceptance of that therapy room allowed what I had most feared…letting it all go.

I told it all…How it feels to take a couple of dollars into the store, and try not to look at other’s purchases with envy. What it feels like to go up to a sample table in the store and try not to drool as you place a small piece of ham and cheese into your mouth. You smile, make eye contact, you don’t want anyone to know how hungry you are…how scared. You look at all these “normal” people going about their everyday lives and they have no idea…that you are homeless. You try to hide it as much as you can…and yet, there is a part of you that wants to scream it out loud…”I’m homeless! I’m hungry!”…but, you just smile, nod your head, wish them a nice day. You begin to feel like two people…the one you show to others, and the invisible one, the one that is scared, ashamed, tired, lonely and hungry. The person no one sees.

So many people tell me how strong I am. They don’t see the invisible part either, because I won’t show them. The shame is so overwhelming that I don’t even want to show it here…in the one place I should be able to lay it all down…
I’m afraid to say how forgotten I feel…how sometimes I’m afraid no one is thinking of me…because I don’t want to hear all the denials, because, I know it’s not true, but it is still how I feel. I fear telling how I sometimes feel like a little child, lost and alone, and how I yearn to be held, to feel safe, to feel cared for by someone..anyone, if only for a little while.

I feel guilty for all the envy I feel when I see families together…laughing, having dinner. Guilt for coveting constantly…the food on the commercials, the homes, the happiness of others…everything I don’t have. I pray about it. I berate myself…Stop feeling sorry for yourself! You have some food, you have a room today, you have your dog, you have people who care about you….So many people don’t have even this much! Stop feeling sorry for yourself!

Ugh…why did I think this would be so easy to put down here…on my blog?


Homeless Day 39…The Best Laid Plans…

Hey ya’ll. I have moved three times in as many days. The place I had thought I could stay did not work out. I won’t bore you all with the details for several reasons, the most important of which is that it doesn’t matter why.

I got my dog, Cody out of the shelter before heading to Florida this past Monday, and I drove 600 miles round trip to discover that it was not going to work out. I spent one night in a decent hotel to rest, and am now in a rather seedy place, though grateful for a bed and AC. The temps have been in the triple digits for days…NOT a good time to be homeless for sure. I pray for all of those people who must be out in this horrid heat.

I got my application in for food stamps, but as my husband is still receiving stamps for BOTH of us, he hasn’t reported the change yet, I can not receive anything until September 15. Yes, I have a roof, but going hungry has made it very difficult to remain healthy enough to go full steam ahead on the job hunt.

I was in the ER last week because I could not stop sleeping. They ran labs and came back to tell me that I am malnourished, dehydrated, and suffering from severe exhaustion, probably brought on by too much stress…uh, ya think? None of this was a surprise to me. It’s an awful catch 22…I need to be healthy enough to find a job and go to work, and yet, my situation provides neither enough food nor real rest to get myself to that point. My muscles have atrophied from lack of protein, and the motel I am now in, I can’t even really cook. At least at the last place I had a small stove and could make some protein rich dinners with little funds, now, even that is a challenge. Microwave food is not good on the nutrition, but it all that is affordable on a couple dollars a day. I pray so desperately for those who have even less than I do, my God, true hunger is the worst feeling ever! I won’t ever use the phrase, “I am starving” to indicate that I am due for a missed meal again…hunger hurts.

One of the hardest parts of this entire homeless, hungry situation is the complete desolation of pride. It is not easy to ask people for money, food or help of any kind…I can’t tell you how many times this past month+ that I have quoted the bible phrase, “You have not, because you ask not”…I am so grateful for those who have helped me survive and have helped keep a roof over my head, when in all reality I could not have done it myself. I want to be self-sufficient, I want to be strong and healthy…but, at this moment, I am not.

The second most difficult part of this has been the judgment I have encountered on so many aspects of my situation. I can only say one thing about this without becoming judgmental myself, and that is…if you have not been in my shoes, in my heart, in my head…you have no idea of what I am going through, and can not honestly have an opinion that is worth anything.

I have learned a lot about judgment of others during my homelessness, and I am ashamed to admit how much I was jumping to conclusions about the people I see every day. I am determined to not do that anymore…No one can truly know what another human being is going through or how they got there, and it’s really none of our business, our only business is to love each other. We need to look at everyone as connected to us, put our judgment aside and love them as God intended. We so often forget that we are all one, that what affects one, affects us all.  Each of us has God living within us…we need to see this in every person we come across. “If we judge someone, we have no time to love them” Mother Teresa

The thoughts and feelings have become “backlogged” in my head and my fingers, and now that I have begun “leaking” them out here, I’m afraid I may never stop writing, but I will for now. I love you all so much, and wish I had more words to express my gratitude, and I am grateful for many things. I really need a hug.