In 2007 I was renting from a slumlord that refused to change the lock on my door after I had complained that people were entering my apartment. In the end I ended up on the street in a shelter for women.
Earlier in the Summer I had ingested second hand pot smoke which made me paranoid & in the end I ended up in the hospital. When I got discharged I had nowhere to go.
I was heavily medicated that Summer so walking became something for the first time in my life was uncomfortable. My doctor became acutely aware that I was homeless & took me off the medication.
Later that Summer in August I managed to get into a poorly run transitional program where I was harassed for wearing the clothes I owned. I’d have women coming up to me in the hallways telling me they were getting whatever clothes I was wearing that day.
In the end I ended up leaving with all my clothes intact & my possessions.
What it taught me is that you shouldn’t take anything for granted. I may have a safe roof over my head now but I often think about if that all disappeared would I be okay? I think so as long as I have my stability & my health.
Having nothing but the clothes on my back that Summer helped me see the world through others eyes. Maybe that’s why I have so many jackets because I remember the women in the transitional shelter that often didn’t have coats or jackets.
Being grateful for what I do have is something I am every day. I no longer take people for granted but I also don’t stick around if someone takes me for granted. Life is too short to put up with that kind of behavior.