Military vet that went through some shit. For the past 6 months I was on the street and going from shelter to shelter.
You know how many shelters there were for battered women? Or women in general? Dozens upon dozens. I couldn't believe it. I've been denied entry, turned away, and kicked out for stupid shit.
I was at a men's shelter and went to the other side of town for a couple of job interviews. The buses ran late but I told the shelter manager that I wouldn't be able to make curfew.
He acted as if he understood but as soon as I came back this fucker gave me a "warning". After three warnings you're kicked out for 90 days.
I was like fuck this shit. They also had a policy of making those with income (I get VA disability compensation) to set 50% aside for savings. Sounds reasonable until you realize that you need their permission to access your own money and fuck waiting 2 years in a shelter to give you section 8 housing. Like who can live like that?
I was kicked out after I withdrew all of my savings without their permission twice.
Call me a narcissist or a slave to my ego, but I felt relieved to be from under their thump. As if I had to be grateful to them for letting me sleep in a bunk bed with other Vietnam war vets who are coughing up a lung and spreading the flu around.
At the end of the day, the only person I need to depend on is myself and MY own resources.
So I was back on the streets. I had a plate that lived 7 miles away. At the time her car was fucked and I needed a place to lay low so I said "fuck it" and walked. I've done 20 mile hikes with the Marines in full gear and a medpack, so I remind myself that 7 miles in the cold with a backpack and street clothes was nothing.
Once I made it there and slept for the night I managed to get ahold of a case worker that helped me look for a spot. Living off of hotel rooms were killing me and I couldn't stay at my plate's place long term because a man needs his own castle and you can't let someone else have the power to kick you out and control your destiny. Been there, done that.
My job interviews fell through so I went from place to place in search of work. One time I stupidly was stuck in the cold with a dead phone and needed a place to charge it.
Damn near EVERY establishment denied me entry.
It was like I was the scum of the Earth. Security guards confronting me as if I was a wanted criminal just because I asked to borrow an outlet to charge my phone.
Finally after what seemed like hours of walking, I stumbled upon a boogie Marriot hotel. I thought that there was no way they'd let me sit down and charge my phone.
Lo' and behold they were more than happy enough to let me sit down and charge my phone. In fact the receptionist said "Take all the time that you need." Almost brought a tear to my eyes.
After a week of wandering and sleeping on park benches, I managed to stumble on a motel that was hiring. I negotiated my pay along with a permanent room in the motel for work.
As I sit here in my room and reflect on my journey I realize that I lost everything I had built from a couple years ago. I had to crawl through the mud, sleep in the rain, and ask for favors that NO ONE was willing to help me with.
There is a point where you become so angry that you become laser focused. It's like tunnel vision.
I was so OVER everything. I was over with being broke, over with everyone shitting on me, over with being kicked out of local establishments, and over having less than a THIRD of the resources that women get, that I obsessively searched for a solution.
Suddenly, what I lost didn't matter. Reaching new heights did.
And it starts now.
If you've ever been in my shoes then you know exactly what I'm talking about. No one cares about your struggles, and no one cares about YOU. If you can't provide anything then you might as well die.
I looked back at the lessons from those who lost everything and the mindset they had to bounce back. Steve Jobs being removed from Apple, Napoleon escaping exile and returning to France, Abraham Lincoln failing practically every business venture he's ever had, etc.
They used their failures as a foundation to build their power because the harsh truth is that only YOU can see it through and bend the world to YOUR will. Don't bend your will to appease world.
There is comfort in knowing that no one truly gives a flying FUCK about you because it sets you free. I demanded that the motel manager let me stay and work because why not? What did I have to lose by trying?
Even my social worker was surprised, but my ambitions have not been sated. I need to save as much as I can and get my own condo or apartment. Hell I had a dream about a penthouse overlooking the city. It's time to get to work.
Happy Fucking New Year.