“You Shouldn’t Tell People You Were Homeless…”

Should I be ashamed of the fact that I was homeless?

I have never been ashamed of it. It is what it is. It happened.

The apartment complex I live in had a pool party for the residents today. It was a wonderful, hot, sunny, South Georgia day. I mixed and mingled with old friends and met some neighbors I hadn’t known before. It was nice.

In the midst of one conversation with the guy who recently moved into my building, he says, “You know, you shouldn’t tell people that you were homeless”.  I’m sure my face showed my befuddlement as I replied, “Why not”?

I didn’t need an answer from him. I know the stigma attached to the word “homeless”. I know the thoughts that run through people’s minds, the judgment that will be there. But, the fact is, I don’t care what others think. I am NOT ashamed of what I have been through, and I don’t hide it. It is a part of my life now, another part of my journey.

When the question came up in our conversation of “how did you come to live here”? Well, was I supposed to make something up? This is my truth. This is my story, and I refuse to be ashamed of any part of it.

I have dealt with so much pain, so much loss and so much judgment in the past year of my life. I don’t want pity, I don’t need sympathy, but I refuse to not ever talk about it. My “pride” was flushed down the toilet when I had to start asking people for help…when I set up a GoFundMe site to keep food in my belly and a motel room to sleep in…when I had to accept money from virtual strangers from all over the world. And you know what? Thank God I was able to put my pride aside and let people know what I was going through, that I needed help! I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t told… if I hadn’t asked.

There were enough people being “ashamed” for me. Those closest to me, those who didn’t call, didn’t offer to help. They held enough shame that I didn’t have time for. I had to do all I could to just survive another day.

Now that I’ve come through, now that I can wake each day in this lovely place, safe and fed, surrounded by new friends and a new life, I have no place for shame. I will continue to tell my story, not to elicit a dramatic reaction or worse, pity…but because I KNOW that someone will hear this and they will be comforted by it. They will know that you can be down at the bottom and still rise up, that you can lose everything you thought was important, and find out that your soul, your determination and your compassion for others are the only “things” that truly matter. You can come back from anything.

I will forever be grateful for the kind souls who were there for me when I was homeless. I forgive those who chose not to be there for me, and most of all, I will NEVER be ashamed of, or afraid to tell my story. It is mine…And, as someone once said, “What others think of me is none of my business”.

Just my thought for today. Maybe I can get a tee-shirt made that says, “Formerly Homeless”…I would wear it proudly.

IMG_4114

Advertisements

16 comments on ““You Shouldn’t Tell People You Were Homeless…”

  1. Reminds me of the people at church who looked down their nose at me one Sunday because I couldn’t donate to the canned food drive…they didn’t know that I was the one standing in the food line receiving their donations the next Monday. Yes, hold your head high!!! There is a time to give and a time to receive. Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I still find it heartbreaking that the “church-going” crowd was the most judgmental toward my situation. Religion does not make one righteous…actions do. I learned so much about love when I was one of the “unlovable”…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Six years ago, I was homeless, and I’m not ashamed about it. I wrote a post about it, and just wrote what went through. That guy that told you not to tell anyone you was homeless, should get his head out of ass.

    I’m happy that everything is working out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After the Great Recession there is absolutely no reason to feel shame for having been dealt a seriously tough deck. Millions of people are still thinking “if not for the grace of God, that could be me” You have weathered your crisis with grace and strength, there is no shame to be felt. Hugs Kim 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Share Your Thoughts and Love!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s