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.