I should be grateful that I have a place to live it's almost the end of January, and bitter cold outside. I am grateful, actually. I'm not happy though- in fact I'm very unhappy because I'm triggered as hell living here.
People become homeless for lots of different reasons. Veterans are no different, There are 25 or so vets here. The number varies as people move in and out, but there are always as many different reasons for being homeless as there are veterans in the house.
Vets have difficulty readjusting to civilian life in different ways as well. It's sadly not unusual to find veterans that have had problems with the law. Veterans that have done time, and either as a result or a more distant consequence, ended up homeless, are part of the same program I'm in. We all live in the same apartment building.
I've been struggling lately, and I haven't been sure exactly why. Now I know. It made sense when I was eating in the dining room, and the other vets there err taking about the times they'd been in prison. How the sentence was too long, or the courts got it wrong, how they'd been screwed by the system.
I was the only person in the room that had never been behind bars.
Granted, one of those people and I have become friends. He's a phD candidate at the same university I attend. It's still an unnerving conversation to find yourself in.
The question I've had bothering me is, how did I get here? Not the physical place as much as "here", living in a homeless shelter with dealers and sex offenders and other assorted felons? Some of the guys here are working towards rebuilding, or building, their lives. Some are not, and they're easy to spot.
For all of the effort I've put in, all of the therapy and pills and sleepless nights, the rebuilding and reinventing, the keeping on, the dust off and try again tomorrow, this is where I sleep.
I've been trying I tell myself that this doesn't matter, but I have to just be honest. Home doesn't feel very safe. Again. Still. Whatever.
Fucking depressing, is what it is.