I’ve been this way for about two weeks now. My body has been adjusting, so it gets better as time pushes onward. Some days I eat under 130 calories a day, and I’m starting to be able to see all the muscles underneath my skin which is nice. My skin is starting to clear up, and my body is adjusting to temperature so I notice less of a difference between 60 degrees during the day and 30- at night. This is a positive change because being sleep deprived and starving, two of three things you really need can really effect your system. I’ve still not been getting enough sleep though, and walk several miles every day with a backpack that probably doesn’t weigh any more than 15 pounds. I also have some sort of lung problem that’s finally going away but is resulting in heavy coughing. Many fellow high school students have suggested I go to the doctor. I don’t think they grasp the entire situation, so I just smile ans said I’m on medication for it and I should be feeling better soon. By medication I mean drinking lots of water. Water is the best thing you can possibly drink because it gives your body access to the nutrients it needs to replenish and re grow itself faster, so in a way I am on medication for it, and it will get better with enough time. At least I’m hydrated. This is the third thing your body really needs.
I’m glad I’m getting all the exercise because I wouldn’t do all of this if not for the situation, and I know my body is going to look magnificent at the end of these few months. I’ve been trying to make sure that when I do eat, I stay away from processed foods because that makes everything even worse. I’ve been trying my best to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, and a few nuts every so often whenever I can get them. I’m not going to lie, occasionally I have resorted to stealing food from other people’s lunches when they aren’t looking, but I can almost guarantee you they don’t need it nearly as much as I do because when they go home they can just get more. I don’t have that luxury at the moment, but as soon as I do I will never resort to such a thing again. And I never take more than I need. So a handful out of a big bag should be enough for me.
Surprisingly, I’m not alone in this. I’m in this situation with my boyfriend, Liam, who accidentally got me here in the first place. He lived in Conyers, Georgia and wanted to move out of his house. He’d been living there for a very long time and I’ve been online friends with him for over three years, which is a pretty long track record for me because I never tend to keep friends around for more than 1 year. I told him I’d give him money to travel up here because he desperately hated where he lived and ended up falling in love with me. I thought he was mainly moving up here because he wanted to leave his house due to his bad situation, but he really wanted to come up here to be with me and I hadn’t processed that. I got a landlord to let him stay rent free while he found a job a full month before he came up here via Greyhound bus. Everything had been prepared and set in motion until the landlord decided she wanted her money now and didn’t believe he would actually be there. This had happened one week before. Me and my best friend Sam did the next best thing we could do, and that was scope out abandoned houses in the area and try to find him one of those until he could find a house to stay at.
I’m in Maryland and it gets cold at night. Below freezing. He really had to find some sort of shelter, because sleeping in those conditions during winter is merely impossible. Especially in February or any of the bitter cold months.
We found a good house that was vacant and still in livable condition about 5 miles away from my community. It was in the middle of an open field, and a house and a house about 30 meters away that I don’t believe ever checked the residency since it was a different property. It was right next to a road with medium traffic, but it’s not often anyone stops by to pick up a walker, and it’s even less often that a driver will ask where a walker is going to.
He finally got here and we dropped him off at that house, and said we’d set him up with a job at Dunkin Dounuts and in a month or two everything should be set. It didn’t end up working out that way. My best friend quit her job at Dunkin Dounuts after saying she’d help, and then her boyfriend got his months notice to get evicted from his house. Now she’s pregnant and they have to find money for an abortion. Great.
Asking how I become homeless myself is a fairly decent question. I had been sneaking Liam into my house because it was just too cold at night to have him staying outside, and he was getting sick and not getting enough food to eat. I was giving him food and sneaking him in every night for a full week, and then we had a three day weekend and decided to stay with him for the entire duration of the weekend. My parents found out that I had been sneaking him in and said it was extremely creepy, and even went to the extreme as to say it was dangerous because he could have raped one of the children (Notice: my ex step father used to be a child molester so my mother worries about any male stranger). They had originally said I could stay there for as long as I was going to school and pulling high enough grades for them, which I still am. however, they started putting restrictions on everything. They didn’t want me leaving the house after 3:00pm on weeknights and constantly asked where I was on weekends. They wanted me working on schoolwork quite literally all hours of the day or they would not be satisfied. I wouldn’t have enough school work to even finish; I walk home with no homework almost every day. I would have been sitting in my room, alone, every day with nothing to do. They were also being extremely restrictive and I don’t think they understood that the more you squeeze and control me, the more I slip through their fingers. I simply couldn’t be pushed any further into the box they were pushing me into, and it had to stop. I couldn’t smile without them giving me a hard time, I couldn’t eat when or how I wanted to, I couldn’t sleep when or how I wanted to, and I wasn’t allowed to say or do things that I wanted to say or do. Even simple things like what I believed in and how I thought things worked. If it didn’t fit into their definition of what the world was really like according to them, then it didn’t matter what I said. I was younger and with less experience and therefore anything I said or did was not correct or valid in any way, shape or form. It never occurred to them that maybe I wanted a more positive life experience than the one they were describing. The actual me didn’t exist, everything I was to them in that house was a mere illusion and reflection of everything they wanted to see and nothing more, and the illusion didn’t feel like existing anymore.
Figuring out who I am is a stage in growing up and maturing, and they wouldn’t allow me this vital stage to my growing into an adult. There was a mold I had to grow into and the mold didn’t give me enough room. I got made fun of constantly for anything I thought or said. It really hurt my feelings, every single day whenever I expressed something important and close to my heart it got ran over and stabbed at. I didn’t even want to talk. There was no encouragement and no love at that house, and there was no acceptance. It’s their way or the highway, and the highway looked really friendly. There’s no hard feelings of course, they are allowed their own reality, but I personally cannot bear to live in that environment anymore, and they wouldn’t allow me to anyway. They donated all my books to Goodwill and everything else I hadn’t taken from my room. That is extremely frustrating because I needed one book in particular to do my homework. Now I may have to go to Summer school and that just isn’t an option for me.
Needless to say, it is impossible to work things out with my parents at the moment. My mother attempted to blame her heart attack on me and she now had diabetes she’s trying to blame on me as well. It’s not my fault and it never was. She does this to herself, and there’s nothing I can do about the stress she creates in her life. Yes, I left, but what she does with that information and how she handles it is up to her. Stressing over it is not going to help- she needs to accept it as what is.
So currently I’m living in an attic of an abandoned house. It’s nice and I like it, and soon I’ll be out of High School and able to get a job and move up to wherever I wish to from there. At least I’m not alone.