The survivors guide to being homeless: part 3
I remember being a teenager and my mum gave me my first set of keys. This is the rite of passage for all young people. There comes a certain age when your parents think you are responsible enough that they allow you the keys to their home. I remember the excitement filling my veins as mum took me to go and get the keys cut for my very own set. I remember the thrill of coming him from school one day and being able to open my front door. I remember the first time my mum could forget her keys because I had mine. It truly was amazing and then one day the thrill wore off and my own keys just became a part of my life. The first keys to my own home. Every time I moved opening the door for the first time with my keys. Then a bad thing happened and I had no home and my keys were gone.
I remember the first time I had to hand my keys into the reception of the place where we were staying and realising that I no longer had my own front door. I cannot put into words the pain it caused in my heart to do that. But it was worse when my husband arrived. It was one thing to go through this alone with the baby and worry about the safety of my child. But to put my husband through this, made me feel so guilty that I had taken away this right of being an adult from someone else. Now I didn't do it as such it happened as a product of my circumstances but nevertheless there it was we had no keys to our front door.
The system is set up to do what they think is right for the majority. But if like us you were a product of circumstance and find yourself homeless with no keys of your own. Then you need to find a way to survive through a system that dehumanises you. For me I found strength in numbers. I still had keys to my mums house and so could get a shower when times got rough but more than that I had someone who shared the experience with me. But if you are going it alone how do you cope? Well I think your biggest source of strength is your friends and family. Instead of allowing the keys to control our lives everyday we got out and walked. Whether we had somewhere to go or not made no difference just the defiant act of leaving the room in God's hands and going out gave me strength.
Keys may not mean the world to you in fact you might just lose your keys all the time. But when they are gone and there is no getting them back for a while you can feel a lose of control. There are so many ways that are destructive to keep control but I suggest that instead of trying one of those share your pain with your loved ones you might be surprised at how they can help support you at times like these.
Do not let the lack of keys control your life till you stay in all the time. I know so many people who in that situation stayed in and locked the door just to feel secure. The danger is that when you close that door to the sunshine outside not only does the vitamin D not come near you but feeling depressed can come all too close. The dangers of being homeless is that you can slip into oblivion, off the edge and out of contact. The important thing to remember that although your circumstances change you are still you. All the things you liked before you still will you might just have to be a bit more creative about them.