Monday, July 31, 2006

why was i homeless

I am often asked the question, HOW DID I BECOME HOMELESS? And each time I am asked I seem to give a different reply. Its not that I make it up as I go along or I lie about it, the fact is there was not one thing that led to me being homeless, it was a combination of factors and each was as responsible as the other.

In my other blogs I have written about various aspects of my life, and my childhood in particular. I guess this is where the grounding came in and this was the platform from where my life has evolved. Being raised in the main in the care system I wasn’t afforded the same luxury as most when I hit difficulties, I couldn’t return home when I found myself out of work, or down on my luck. The care system was cut off from my reach as soon as I hit 18 and from that point I found myself totally alone with no support network.

I found out quite early that life on the streets often gave me things that I lacked in the rest of my life. I was able to find food and companionship in other homeless people and although I still felt very alone, I was with other people who were alone too. There was some comfort in that.

I never made a conscious effort to keep returning to the streets, it just happened. I am to blame as well though. I didn’t seek the help that I needed to get back on track. I was afraid of the system that for so long had been responsible for my care and felt unable to engage with them. I have likened it to the school bully, after all you wouldn’t go to them for help in fact you would avoid them at all costs. That was how it felt for me I needed to avoid them at all costs.

It was only when I had been through the system through default that I realised that I should have taken that route in the first place.

Becoming settled, like I am now has a lot to do with the kind of things that I avoided in the past. I sought help with a psychiatrist even though I was forced controlling drugs in a unit by one as a 12 year old. I stayed in a hostel where my movements were restricted like it had been in many of the children’s homes that I had been in (and also prison although not so harshly) I saw a doctor who helped me access the things that I needed even though I had been turned away from many surgeries in the past and had never really dealt with the way I coped with rejection. I learnt to let go of my anger through a series of management classes, anger which I had used to protect myself but which also I had used to keep others at bay.

But I am not unique! Many of the homeless you see on the street will have endured the same as me. I was lucky I managed to break that cycle of homelessness, but like I said it was by default. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time in the right frame of mind. If all these elements had not been there I may well have still been sleeping rough, taking a cocktail of substances just to get through the day and block out the hurt. Or worse still I could and possibly would have been dead.

So when in future I’m asked how I became homeless, I think I will just answer ‘I never threw a six to start’


  • Very good stuff. I'm loving your blog.

    By Blogger Voice from the Village, at Monday, 31 July, 2006  

  • I too was in Hill End Hospital at age of 13, after a period of being in care from age of 1 with my sister. I used to run away after being rejected by my foster parents. My parents abandoned me and my sister at age of 1 and found other partners to make a family with and forgot us. My main memory of Hill End Hospital consists of being forced to drink sedation, a gooey yellow liquid, still to this day don't know what was in it?????? Any ideas?? Surely it should be against a child human right to be forced drugs upon, afterall I am a mum now and don't give my kids controlling drugs when they are naughty or out of control. We always work together by talking things through with the children. My second memory of Hill End Hospital was being made to sit in large groups and being gawped at and staying silent through all this. You sound like you have come through this a strong person, and if you want any help in confronting officials regarding the use of controlling drugs at Hill End Hospital, then I would be happy to help you.

    By Blogger Miss Perfect, at Wednesday, 02 January, 2008  

  • I think we should get compensation for being treated with sedation controlling drugs. Also I was locked in a cell regularly at Middlesex Lodge, in Hillingdon, isolated for hours on end, isolated so much that I hated mixing with the others and in the end used to ask to be isolated on purpose. I know this sounds odd, but it affects people differently, and then from this to controlling drugs at Hill End Hospital! I think all this excaerbated my depressive episodes and I have been get bad claustraphobia now and have a fear of lifts large crowds and bright lights and it is worse when I am with the children as I fear for their safety.

    By Blogger Miss Perfect, at Wednesday, 02 January, 2008  

  • I just wanted to add that me and my sister never stole anything or committed any crime apart from being born, in case anyone reading this thinks I deserved this childhood. I have been sexually abused as a child and my sister too. I think social services have a lot to answer for, they could have got me and my sister adopted from the offset. Instead of our feelings being taken into consideration, they considered our parents feelings as they said they did not want us adopted! Yet they had there own family which we were allowed to be a small part of when they felt like inviting us over.

    We were treated like criminals when we were still only children. This is wrong especially when we commit no crime. No wonder people do commit crimes they might just as well when they get treated like one.

    By Blogger Miss Perfect, at Wednesday, 02 January, 2008  

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