Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I always enjoy reading Kevin's website. As a matter of fact, I am hoping he will come to Williamsburg for a visit. He truly is an inspiration for how far he has come in his life. Here is his blog today...along with my comment back.

Blogging Personally

Yeah, I don't much blog about personal issues any more. I have my reasons. I'm torn between two ideas.

My posts of a personal nature seem to attract personal attacks. I don't get attacked personally when I post generic information. Personal attacks get old after a while. Well, more than get old, they hurt. It's only natural to avoid things that hurt. The same thing has happened to the homeless girl blogger www.beinghomeless.com. The attacks make me avoid writing posts of a personal nature - even though I do get some great and positive feedback as well. Homeless people are injured people, which means they are not able to protect or defend themselves against attacks, as well as other people might.

Then there is the issue of this blogs popularity. Everyone I know - friends, family, acquaintances - all read this blog. If I wrote about one person, every else who knows that person would also read it. It could start one of those "Did you hear what Kevin wrote about so-and-so?" And that ain't good. Even my exwife reads this blog. You may have noticed that I don't write about her on this blog. She has proven herself willing and able to use anything she can against me, even things that are not true. She destroyed my relationship with our children, and she didn't stop there. I don't want to give her any more ammunition, or reason to use it. Even this little mention is risky. Those are some of the reasons why I don't want to write personal posts.

The reasons for writing personal posts are obvious. Knowing what really happens in the life of a homeless person is vital information for the public. Doing so changes the public's perception of homelessness. It's a slight yet important difference. When you refer to "the homeless" you only see the condition, when you refer to "homeless people" you see the person within the condition. As school has begun again, I am reminded of the impact of this blog as several teachers and professors (in subjects ranging from webpage design to sociology) include it in their curriculum. Of course some say that I am only encouraged to stay homeless because of the attention this blog creates for me. That isn't true. It does prompt me to continue writing this blog, but other issues are involved in my being homeless.

Facts of my life - I have never been able to survive this world on my own. The only time I've been able to live what is considered a normal or acceptable life has been with the help of others, either by living married where I had the support of my wife, or with friends with whom I shared a place, or in a halfway house, or living on a college campus, or in the military, or some institution like the rescue mission. I did have a place of my own for a little over a year, but I wasn't able to maintain it. What causes me to be this way is unknown. Of course some people have said that I am just lazy, or that I lack character, or that I make bad decisions. Of course they don't venture to suggest "why" I'm that way. Others do say that what appears to be laziness, poor character, and bad judgment are just signs of mental/emotional illness. I tend to believe the latter, though I've never been thoroughly examined. If I admit that I suffer from mental illness, my exwife would use that against me, if I ever attempted to see my children. She has in the past. And there's the issue of being declared mentally ill. It would affect the rest of my life. "Your Daddy is crazy and homeless" isn't something I'd like my kids to hear from someone other than me. I do a very good job at hiding my deficiencies. And, this does cause some people to think my homelessness is a joke, (cause they can't see my problems). Perhaps my problems could be overcome with proper help. But real help isn't available. I could try the denial thing - just try to go on with life as if I had no problem. Denial works for a while, but eventually - like the year I had my own place - reality comes back to haunt. Perhaps if I found me an understanding woman, who could tolerate my imperfections, she could give me the support I need to carry on a more normal life.

This has been a confession made under duress, stress, and the weakness that comes from a two day old headache. Will this open a whole new can of worms?

Why should you be kicked for your 'imperfections'? We ALL have them, homeless or not. Those who hold you 'character flaws' against you do only so to hide their own. It is easier in today's society to point the finger at somebody else instead of looking at ourselves. And even if you do have some aspect of mental illness (which we all do as well), it doesn't mean you are undeserving or unworthy of love or human kindness. Just remember, we all need love and even through a helping heart we are all deserving of love. Patti


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