Asking for a place to park…

Can be traumatic. Not in a physically dangerous way, but in a mental self-worth way. Sort of like going to the homeless shelter and having to listen to an hour sermon about how your evil ways have brought you to where you are today.

Again I’m met with “You have to go to the homeless shelter and see what options they have available.” No asking what I have done so far, or why going to a homeless shelter is better than calling the hotline. I get, paraphrased here, You have to stop saying you can’t go there or do that and just do it.”
You know… That’s so, just so… obvious. Why didn’t I think of that?
Does anyone stop to think that the reason I draw a sharp line at one or two points might be for a very real reason? That maybe you don’t know me as well as you think you do, or that maybe I know myself better than you do and know what I can do and can’t do?
Most people will automatically say “oh, but you don’t have any idea of what you can do until you go out and do it!” you know what? I do know. My life hasn’t been sweet and rosy, I have intimate knowledge of what I can do both mentally and physically before I crash and burn. And I learned those limits the hard way. And the whole point of where I am in life right now is to find a maintanence mode and stick to it. If I know that something will pull me out of balance mentally, then it’s stupid to go do it, no matter how much everyone else might tell me that they think I just have to. Because you know what? There isn’t going to be anyone to pick me up when I crash. I don’t have any safety net.

I guess if you’re reading this as a homeless person, then yeah, someone else has been there too. That doesn’t help you with your being there at all, but someone else has beat their head against just like you are.

And if you’re one of those kind souls offering advice to someone who’s homeless, please be aware that you likely don’t know all the reasons behind those lines they drew in the sand. Be aware that crossing that line may be worse, much worse, than any good standing in a line at the homeless shelter might be able to bring. And respect it.

Respect that the person who’s drawn the line has a clue about who they are and why they’ve drawn the line, even if they haven’t shared the reasoning behind it with you.

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  1. Anonymous

     /  October 6, 2011

    May I offer a suggestion? Don’t consider yourself homeless. I know a lot of people that live in their RV. They’ll stay overnight in big box stores like Wal-Mart and the like.
    Surf around online and look for RV’ing forums. Ask there for tips. There are a lot of people “living off the grid” down in the Hot States, such as Arizona.
    It’s a heck of an adventure, I hope you make the most of it!

    –A Guy without a cowbell

  2. Heya needs a cowbell,
    I got told to leave wal-mart by the security staff. I was told that I could go in and ask to talk to management and ask permission but it really depended on who I asked and what kind of mood they were in if I’d be allowed to stay. I had even made several purchases there that evening so I was surprised to get booted.
    I was noticed the one night at stayed in the Lowe’s parking lot (because I was still working on stuff and it just didn’t make sense to leave) but no one asked me to leave.

    My working hypothesis is that if you have a “real” RV (and a newer one at that) they don’t bother you but if you have something small or home built they assume that you’re homeless and tell you to leave.
    Given that, I haven’t seen *any* RV’s at the various wal-marts around town so maybe they get told to leave too. I dunno!

    There are a LOT of homeless people in Austin! Many are still living in cars, I haven’t seen any other home built campers around yet but I’m still new to this so I assume I’ll start spotting them at some point.

    I’ll keep perusing the RV lists/sites. It may just be that Austin isn’t a good place for living in an RV. But I’m still in school so I’m stuck here for the moment.

    (I still have my cowbell btw, even though my drumset went to deserving 5 and 8 year olds, with parental permission I might add)


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