Have any of you ever been homeless?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Dhanjot, Nov 17, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    The reason I ask is because I'm starting to think that that might be a viable alternative to death. A miserable alternative but at least a realistic one. Would just kind of like to know what it's like and how to survive. Thanks.
  2. Moat

    Moat Banned Member

    Let me start with living conditions and health: You have no roof over your head year-round, so you are constantly exposed to the elements, meaning that you will suffer from a lot more illnesses. If you are thinking, 'Well, I can live with a little cold' or 'A few days of the flu is not so bad in the long run.', think about the unsanitary conditions of your living arrangements, where for the most part, you bed wherever you find yourself at the end of the day (a park, the beach, an alleyway hidden in some obscure part of the city, even a sewerage drain, and you are more susepitable (how in the hell does anyone manage to spell that word correctly!?) so you not only have the elements like heat and cold to wear down your immune system, but combine it with malnutrition and germs of any said environment and you are looking at a very slow decay in your health. You also do not have any place in which to practice proper hygiene (ie shower, shaving, washing your clothes etc) save for public restrooms which,in this day and age, are mostly electronic and so, if you happen to be out wandering the streets in the middle of the night and need to do a shit, then you have very little options.
    You can also forget soup kitchens and most other charity benefits that you constantly hear about - while those do exist, they are not run in every town or even every city, and while you could be able to get a free meal at one, if you are fortunate to be around the areas where they are set up, they are not there to provide you with a long term solution to starvation. Water is not much of a problem, since you can generally use any old tap or water fountain in a park, but where food is concerned, you could busk or beg, but generally you will not earn enough in one day to buy you a proper meal to satiate your hunger, even with the best of natural talents and a generous crowd at the train/bus station or ferry wharf so you will have to think up some imaginative ways of conserving what food you do get during, say a one-week period, unless you are not adverse to stealing a loaf of bread from a bakery early in the morning.
    Climate. As said previously, you have no roof over your head year-round, so what do you do when it rains or snows (if you live in an area that receives snowfall during the winter-time) or when there is a heat wave in the middle of the Summer or a tropical storm? Well, through the day, you could ride it out inside a department store, but then, what about at closing time? And do not forget that being homeless, you do not have the proper access to proper sanitisation (again, a shower, able to shave, wash your clothes etc) so even if you were able to ride out some of the worst weather inside a department store during the day, you would smell and look grotty (filthy) which turns off most people from venturing near you and when that happens inside a department store, you put their sales quota down by their lack of customers and you face not only the ill-temperament of the store clerks and managers, but will also have to deal with the police, when they are called to constantly run off the premises.

    Having been homeless for a year myself, I would say this to anyone, if they were merely considering this type of lifestyle instead of being forced into it by circumstances beyond their control. So, I do not agree with you on bit, on that it could be a 'viable alternative to death'.
  3. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info Leif. Yeah, it really does sound horrible. I was thinking that I might be able to live like that for a day or two, and considering how depressed I am now, being homeless for just a short time would probably put me over the brink for sure. The only other option I can come up with is to commit some petty crime and go to jail, have a roof and three meals a day at least. I'm too old for the French Foreign Legion I just found out. Tough call between those three choices. I gotta do something soon though because the physical pain of all this is quickly becoming more and more unbearable.
  4. _Sil_

    _Sil_ Member

    If you mean by living in the street, then I've got nothing.

    But when I was young, my single mum was struggling on her own. She couldn't afford the rent, so we had to move out with no home to go to. We went from our apartment to someone elses apartment nearby, then to her brothers apartment. I don't know when or how, but we eventually got back to having out own place. But then we moved to another state and lived in the basement of her sister during the winter...

    Basically, surviving on ones own without resources wouldn't be the best of ideas... Though mooching off someone else does seem selfish, even if they offer. There are times when it can't be helped, such as when I was young, but, still, it feels awful.
    And it's difficult.
  5. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Hi hun can you not sign yourself into hospital hun tell them how desperate you are how suicidal you are You will get support you need and the social worker there will help you find housing before being discharged Thatis how it works here hun hugs toyou
  6. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    Along with what Leif said (and I can personally validate its truth, since I've been homeless before, as well) there are things such as violence (from both other homeless, and from those who aren't, who will take out their sadism on you), drug addicts, alcoholics, molesters and rapists (men are not immune), and thieves. There's being harassed by the cops, who can come in your camp, if you have one, and destroy everything you own, and beat you up - they do it, I've seen it - or just jerk you around, personally. There is no such thing as finding a safe spot. Unless you keep yourself really clean, and looking half-way normal (very difficult as most places don't have public restrooms, and if they find you in one, you'll get kicked out) most businesses aren't going to allow you near them.

    Forget finding a job, if you're homeless. Not only do you not have a physical address, but you're going to be sleep deprived, as well as not having access to shower facilities on a regular basis (unless you're in a shelter, and still many of these things will continue to apply even in a shelter).

    Oh, yes, shelters. Most are Christian based. If you're not religious, you're going to have a hard time. And rules? Forget staying out late, forget having a drink (in many of them), everything is on their time, their rules, and many of the people who work in shelters are ex-homeless: therefore all of the above worries about theft and other things will still apply. Shelters are just that, a roof, and many homeless refuse to go to them due to lack of safety issues, and an over-abundance of "you're a guilty sinner" condemnation. The other alternatives are drug-rehab based, and they tend to frown upon people who don't need their services. Seriously, been there, done that - if you don't have a drug or alcohol issue, you're kind of screwed. (For that matter, if you're a woman who isn't raped, beaten, pregnant or has a passel of children, you're screwed, too.)

    Many people "live out", if you're in a smaller town area. All the above still applies, but sometimes its a bit safer. My friend lived in a camp, by himself, on the river, and would fish, and come into the shelter at nights to get dinners there, or to use the shower (oft times you can't use the shower facility unless you spend the night). He survived 16 years living out in the woods like that, coming into town only once a week, sometimes. He now has emphysema from being out in the weather for all those years, and when he finally came to live in town he was hospitalized for a while for malnutrition. It took him years to finally be able to live around people again.

    Being homeless causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    If you have viable options beyond being homeless, I'd really suggest you look into them. Checking yourself into a hospital would be better than checking yourself into a jail, and it wouldn't affect your records permanently. Being homeless, even for a day or two, would only make things worse. I promise. And I wouldn't like to see things get worse for you, or anyone. :hug: Good luck.
  7. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    Thanks you guys. Yeah, you've pretty much convinced me that homelessness would be worse than death. As for a hospital, I was forced to go to one once before, and it really didn't do anything but mess up my credit since I refused to pay for what I didn't want (and couldn't afford anyway). Brighid Moon, your friend's story about living in the woods is intriguing. I'll look into that.

    Still, I'm thinking death still might be the best option. I honestly think people who say that suicide is never a solution (which is basically everybody in the 'support' industry) is full of shit, and are only interested in helping themselves. Surely out of the thousands of suicides every month, I'm sure that at least one or two of them had a valid reason.

    Anyway, at this point I'm just trying to decide if it would be better for my daughter to have some idea of what might be coming (if it does come) or if it would be better if it came as a total surprise. Like, would it be easier on her if she thought I didn't love her, or care enough to mention her in a note? What do you guys/gals think?

    PS. I'll stop posting here soon, don't worry, mods ;)
  8. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    I think the effects of knowing your parent killed themselves, no matter whether you knew it before, or whether you tried to tell them how much you loved them, is infinitely harder on a child than an adult. They'll always have questions that you won't be around to answer, and if they're very young, they wouldn't understand anyhow, even if you tried to explain. There's a high incidence of children from parental suicides eventually trying to kill themselves, as well. You sound as if you love your daughter greatly. I don't wish to believe you'd want to put that on her.

    As for the hospital, you went in before not of your own choice. Going in to get help, of your own choice, is much different, because you're admitting there's a problem and that you need help. There are social services set up to help people who are homeless, or facing homelessness, and they can offer you a support system to handle whatever you're dealing with, to the best of their ability. Perhaps you should check into this, first, and exhaust all of your resources, before you consider severe measures. :hug: Good luck!
  9. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    Thanks again Brighid Moon. Yes, i agree with what you said about a parent's suicide being infinitely harder on a child than an adult. Therefore, conversely, it would also be true that it would be infinitely easier on an adult than a child. And since she's 22 now, that would make her an adult.

    As for the hospital, I would be open to that, but I just can't fathom how checking into a hospital could result in a job. After all, I'm working with a case work from my state's employment development department, and if they can't find anything for me, it just seems that much more unlikely that anybody in a hospital could. Oh well, thanks for your thoughts and for listening.
  10. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    Jobs, medical insurance and housing are the three hardest things. You really do have my empathy, as I'm going through two of them right now, and I can't hold a job due to PTSD, so I'm on a limited low income. I'm actually fighting the same things you are, right now. Talking to you helps me, too. I really do understand. I've seen an absolute influx of "nouveau" homeless since the "recession" (I use that term loosely). Its horrible to see. People who have jobs, people who have lost jobs recently, and their homes and everything. It breaks my heart. The suicide rate has also skyrocketed since this all began, especially among men. We're living in very "interesting" times (to coin an old phrase). I really do wish things better for you.
  11. Lars

    Lars Member

    Don't become homeless, become a hippie and travel the world. Move to a place like Victoria BC where hippies run wild, and you will be accepted. Hitch kike there if you need to, but keep an open mind because if you want ketchup you need to steal the packets left by store owners.

    Is it better than death? Is living on your own terms, having your own freedom and the ability to live life the way you want better than death? You make the choices that define who you will become, who you are, and who you want to be. Nobody can tell you how to live your life, but be unique and live your life in a happy manner that promotes peace, love, and a better community.

  12. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    Brighid Moon, thanks again for your thoughts and understanding. I'm glad that you think talking with me helps you (though it's hard to imagine how, haha)

    Lawrence, that actually sounds rather appealing. But how in the world do the hippies there support themselves? I'd go for it if I thought it were feasible.... Thanks.
  13. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    Well, you know, its at least good to know you're not alone in what you're going through - though it doesn't help make the situations better. Only working on them does that. I've gotten so I'm absolutely obsessed with finding a trailer. My mind says, "If you have a trailer you'll never be homeless again." Which is a fact! But then my logical mind kicks in and says, "Yes, then how are you going to afford fixing it up (because it'd have to be an older model, or I can't afford it), what park is going to take an older model, how are you going to haul it?" Etc. etc. It really sucks when your mind does that to you. So I broke down, today, and decided on a trailer that presented itself to me at exactly the cost of what I have left in my savings. I suppose I'll worry about the "hows" as they pop up. My friend and I have less than a year where we're at, before we're on the street. I have to do something, and I'm the only one doing it. Housing is impossible. There is no low income housing, and when there is, the lists are years long in the waiting. Its this economy. So I have to figure out alternatives - because for me, knowing what I know, and living through what I've lived through, homelessness is no longer an option. I'll kill myself, first. That's a fact. So, I just do what I can in creative problem solving. I suppose its all a person can do.
  14. Moat

    Moat Banned Member

    That is the thing about hospitals, while I admit that when you are checked into one for mental illness or for an operation or other such thing, they care they give to you is top-notch and very compassionate, at the end of the day when you are discharged from the hospital, there is always a heavy price tag that is attached to how long you have been hospitalised, and if you can afford it or not, it is of great concern, especially for people with mental illnesses when they discover in their post weeks later how much that bill is for your admission and the treatment that you received which, put bluntly, if you went in for anything like mental illness (depression, bi-polar, anorexia etc) then the sight of the bill can only make things worse off for you, because then you are left struggling with wondering how you are going to raise the money to pay for your time in hospital. So hospitals, while a good place to seek help, also come with cons that, when you are healed, can send you spiralling back out of control to the point where you first entered hospital. It is sad, that that is the way things are done, and yes, while it is important that hospitable fees and that of an ambulance (if you ever required one), it have a very adverse affect on the treatment that you got while you were recoperating and learning to walk on your two feet feet again (metaphorically speaking).

    But while death often seems the most obvious answer, when people of that kind of a solution, they tend to get wrapped up in the belief that once they are dead, they have nothing to worry about anymore, and I believe that is a wrong way to look at it. Sure, it could solve your problems in the short term, but at the risk of using an old cliche, everyone does only live once, so when you die, you have no chance at all to think back on your errors and try and correct them. You can only do that while you are alive and for good or worse, as long as you are alive, you have an option to change at will something that has been bothering you, be it move away into another state and restart everything in another town or city or even a country half a World away (and yes, while that might not be a viable option with friends and family you are close to, keep in mind that I am just giving suggestions, not telling you what you should do).
    But whatever you do, while you are alive, work on the smallest, most insignificant problem you are facing at the current moment in time and work your way up, instead of trying to deal with the humongous problems, because you will never get anywhere with them, all the while the little problems piling up until you have even humongous problems that you find yourself facing.

    I hope I am not out of line for saying this, but when you spoke of your daughter (you do not have to mention her age) and when you spoke of death, I am sure you would have also thought about how your death would affect her. I am not saying you are selfish or anything to have those thoughts where you want to die, but whenever the opportunity presents itself, look right at her, in her eyes and remember back to a time when she was so very young, full of innocence and smiles and remember that promise you made to her when she was born, like every parent has, how you would be there for her no matter what, protect her from evil and harm and how you have her absolute, unconditional trust in you as her Pa that you will never let anyone separate you and you will be with her always (I did not mean any of that as a kind of guilt trip, so I apologise if it sounded as such).
    Whatever problems you are facing, large and small alike, even though only they are yours to deal with, never lose sight that you have your little girl right there beside you, holding your hand with warmth and love and willing to go through anything with you.
  15. Suisingle

    Suisingle Account Closed

    Having been homeless 4 times over the years (and again facing possible homelessness as we speak) I can tell you it's a terrible way to live. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Some people can obviously handle it better than others, but if you're mentally ill, you already have 2 strikes against you. As others have said, you are subject to assault and abuse from many people, cops no exception. You are treated worse than a stray dog, even if you're not panhandling, like for drug or booze money, which is what people will think whether it's true or not. Even if you're minding your own biz, sleeping in a tent in the woods.., someone will find you sooner or later and mess with you. Everywhere you go you're loitering and trespassing on private property, and are subject to arrest or assault.

    Maybe the worst part for me was the psychological impact of being totally alone and vulnerable... feeling like a non-person. Many cold lonely nights I spent in those woods, wishing & praying for a swift merciful death. Those painful and traumatic memories stay with you too, long after you've found a home, assuming you survive the experience. The last time I was homeless 18 months, and it nearly broke me. Please don't look at homelessness as any kind of practical alternative to anything. It's a jungle out there & no one cares. Instead they'll kick you when you're down. Do anything, everything you can (within reason) to avoid homelessness. I wish you luck and pray things never get that bad for you.
  16. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    Brighad Moon, glad to hear you have a plan for the trailer. I kind of know what you mean about the mind doing those things to us, about those things like fixing it up and all. For me, it used to be that obstacles like those were fairly easily overcome, now, even simple tasks are overwhelming. Today, I was going to call about a job, but I can't even find the strength to pick up the phone and call.

    Lief, no, you were not out of line at all. The fact that I have a daughter is indeed a big concern. The thing about it is, we were really close throughout the time she was growing up, but since she's been off to college, her values have changed completely. Now, we don't even respect each other anymore. I tried talking with her a while ago about my current predicament to see if she might have any ideas on finding a solution, but her response was pretty hostile. She said at some point (which I think has passed now) that she won't forgive me for being so burdensome. So now we really don't talk at all anymore. Still, I think she'd be upset if she found out I had passed away. At first I just wanted to try to impress upon her that if I was gone, that it's not necessarily a bad thing, and that she could look on the bright side - that I'm no longer struggling and unhappy. Now, I'm just wondering if it would be easier on her if she thought that I didn't care about her, which I could demonstrate with a farewell note, either by saying mean things to her or by not even mentioning her. After all, wouldn't any of you feel sadder if somebody who really loved you died more than if somebody that didn't care about you did?

    Suisingle, wow that's pretty amazing I think that you were able to survive four rounds of homelessness. Good for you. I sure hope it doesn't happen again. Yeah, you've pretty much convinced me not to let that happen.

    As things stand now, I guess I'm really not yet fully committed to putting an end to this. I've read that often when people do, they feel relieved and happier, but I don't feel like that at all. I've been visualizing over and over how doing it is going to be and trying to deal with overcoming that instinct to want to live. but there's simply now way around it that it's going to be terrifyingly painful. It's really just a matter of doing it. Just start. Once I start there'll be no turning back, This I think is what scares me the most. Also, it seems that accepting this kind of outcome is kind of a process. I guess I should probably stop thinking about it so much, and instead just think of it as just another chore or errand to run. No biggie.
  17. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    OMG, actually just got called for a job interview tomorrow. First one in nine months. Not going to get my hopes up; death is still the plan, but I'll go and do my best tomorrow and we'll see what happens....
  18. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    Good luck to you, Dhanjot!!!
  19. Dhanjot

    Dhanjot Well-Known Member

    Thanks Brighid!!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.