Day eleven in women’s shelter


Hello everyone:

Well, I am happy to report I am still among the living and have not lost my sanity yet but had a few meltdowns already, I am missing my cats, feeling very lost, being homeless and waiting for the other shoe to fall I tell you what a way to live but I am now hoping for not much longer hopefully some good news will be coming for me soon I might still be living here in the Calgary area or I might not at this point it is just a waiting game for me.

Many things have transpired since I last wrote in my blog, Colin has called one of my friends back home and have no clue as to why, at this point I’m not exactly sure what to think anymore so yet again my trust is next to none at this point with anyone I feel that it is best this way for the time being.

I called Colin last weekend to let him know that I will be by hopefully this weekend to come and get the rest of my things out of his apartment that we both shared, for me it was only a temporary solution until I was able to get on my feet. Hopefully it will be this weekend and have decided for all parties involved that it would be best to not have any of his friends move me due to potential problems in the future I really do not want our friends getting in the middle of all this, I would not like to be stuck in the middle and besides it can make for an uncomfortable situation.

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Just the basics in life


When I was well enough I had entered in to the Victor Mager job re-entry program as mentioned before, we were given another assignment to do this was self-actualization needs which I would like to share with you here there were questions that I am going to highlight here that we had to answer and the ones not highlighted are my answers past and present.

My physical needs

Do you have enough to drink and eat

Back in 2008 when I was homeless I was beside myself not knowing where my next meal was coming from, luckily enough I was able to find many good resources. I had eaten in the same soup kitchen everyday having dinner for close to a month we had dinner at four pm and the people who I dined with at the table surprised me. Most of them either had a stroke of bad luck, gambled their money away even their house without their spouse or family knowing! and even people who had master degrees some of these people were actually quite smart and how they ended up homeless only god knows.Some other people had a mental Illness which is understandable and turning to drugs and alcohol as this is their only way of coping and because I have been homeless I understand why some, if not most have turned to that very thing. I am proud to say that it is something I have never done and don’t have any plans on doing so either.

Have you got adequate shelter? Are you comfortable enough in that environment?

Again in 2008 when I was homeless I saw many things that were a shock to my system literally I saw another side of life called homelessness. When I saw this for the first time I literally sat there and cried I wanted to end it all right then and there I was almost  ready to put myself in the psychiatric ward. I was able to have some help with a cheap motel room but still had no fixed address it was adequate and better than nothing I was grateful but was always concerned about what I was going to do the following month.

Do you have enough clothing

When I got to the west coast being Victoria BC where I became homeless all I came with was the clothes on my back with two totes in tow along with my sanity, at that point I wondered if I would ever get myself back on my feet again.

How many hours do you sleep at night on average?

Well, now I can honestly say that I am getting lots of rest and sleep however, because I am now sleeping almost ten hours per day I have to wonder if the sleep that I was lacking when I was homeless has finally caught up to me with sleeping so much. I was in my early forties when I became homeless my body has gone through many changes since that time and now I am not so sure if I were homeless again I could deal with it anymore, honestly at this point if that were to ever happen to me again I would more than likely put myself in the psychiatric ward and give myself a mental break from all the stress.

Do you engage in physical activity and what type?

When I was much younger I was always physically active roller skating, biking, swimming my friends could never find me reflecting back now those were some of the best years of my life. After I got married I no longer did any of the things that I had wanted to do always thinking the perfect housewife, anything I wanted to do was always put on the back burner. It has been almost thirty years, been divorced for twenty-seven of them, as much as I try to get into physical activity these days I just lack the motivation.

My safety and security needs

Do you have any concerns about your safety at home or at work within your environment and community?

I feel pretty safe where I am now in shelter  my two kids being the cats Keenie and Weston they give me unconditional love and bring much joy to my life, Colin, unfortunately at this point sadly I have to say from my point of view there is no hope for him as far as I am concerned he is on a suicide mission smoking himself to death and doing nothing about his current weight not to mention living in a very unhealthy environment which for me thank god I am now out of  and no longer have the burden of cleaning up the apartment, My Avon business has suffered now because of it and unfortunately have now lost most, if not all my clients.

As for safety issue at work the environment I work in is fine however, when I get off after eight pm a woman walking alone two blocks to the nearest bus stop in an industrial area no-one around and no- one other than truckers driving down the road I think this speaks for itself not to safe if you ask me.

Do you live in fear from harm and crime?

I feel pretty safe in shelter in this quiet residential neighborhood, the only time when I am in fear from harm and crime is when I must leave work by myself  and walk two blocks to the nearest bus stop.

My love and belonging needs

Do you feel adequately loved and wanted?

When I was living at home with my parents I felt very loved and very wanted I could not have asked for better parents my mother was especially protective of me I never really knew why until my mother and I started to get together on Sundays after my father passed away that was our day together and them my mom told me the story about my brother who would have been fifty-two my mother had a miscarriage long story but I will tell you about that at a later date my father Don loved me just as much.

Do I have enough people in my circle that I love?

Well, yes actually and although I have no family left to speak of, dont care for intimate relationships with the opposite sex anymore I’m only looking for companionship where I am able to share most things with  just a friendship and nothing more than that, Claudette my friend in Manitoba she will be 74 next year and Alan will be 64 in October next year also living in Manitoba and Rose  as well I call her my big sis I miss her so much and  I have learned many things from Rose, Claudette and Alan guidance which I can never thank them enough for.

When you feel like giving up read this


I have had so many times where I felt like giving up and then like this saying says why have I held on so long? My answer, I’v come this far why give up now and that god will never dish you out anything that you are not able to handle so hang in there.

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Treating people and animals with respect and compassion


  • We can cure physical illness with medicine but the only cure for loneliness, despair and hopelessness is love.
  • There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more who are dying for a little love.
  • Let us not be satisfied with just giving money, money is just a piece of paper that anyone can get.
  •  Others they need our hearts to love them so spread love where-ever you go.
  • There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more who are dying for a little love.
  • Please remember to not forget our homeless animals who have no-one to love them please adopt from your local animal shelters and please make a donation to our animal shelters during the Christmas season.

On behalf of all the animals and people out there a great big hug and big thank you.

Things that I used to do to cope and survive


There are many ways that people deal with stress, and cope everyday, for me back in Sept 2009 after leaving my last relationship because my partner changed and at the end getting a hold of my throat and trying to choke me I ended up homeless living on the street trying to keep myself sane, it was so hard to the point I dread waking up.

There were many ways I dealt with my stress here are some of them:

My eating was a real problem, I had no appetite the sight of food used to make me just gag even the smell of it believe me when I tell you I lived off nothing but junk food and most days I would eat nothing at all it’s amazing I’m still here to tell the story.

Alcohol and drugs, I have never done either of these but came very close to doing so as a way of coping and now because I have been homeless I now have a deeper appreciation for the people who are and have a greater understanding about why homeless people turn to alcohol and drugs.

Self-neglect, You know I was at such a low point in my life I just did not care about anything whatsoever, in fact I was living in Victoria BC when I took a transit bus to the beach and started to walk into the ocean and to this very day I still do not remember what happened after that all that I remember was I had suffered from post traumatic syndrome for some time sad state of affairs.

Criticize myself, looking back, I really was my own worst enemy I did not feel like I was worth anything, thought of myself as a useless piece of trash should have, could have, would have kind of attitude on the path of self-destruction.

Keeping busy, when I was suffering from depression and still do to this very day, I keep busy to the point where people have to call me on my cell phone because they are unable to find me and I even drive my room-mate crazy because when I start cleaning and doing other things I will not stop even though my room-mate tells me to stop and take a breath I still keep going like a Duracell battery no joke.

Self-conscious, I have always been the type that is very self-conscious when people look at me I think whats wrong is my make-up on wrong, not color coördinated among other things, I guess I’m so used to being insulted that honestly I do not know any different.

Isolate myself, after all the things I had been through being in many shelters, homeless and then finally settling into Alpha House in Winnipeg, Manitoba I began to isolate myself from people sleeping most days away watching television at night the only time people saw me in Alpha House was when we had to go to counselling sessions the women’s group being the hardest.

Nail biting, although this is yet another way of how some people cope, for me, I have always had this nervous habit since I was young and still do to this very day.

Overeat, when I finally made it to Alpha House I was able to settle down for the most part keeping a regular sleep routine and doing a-lot of reading and overeating whatever was in sight I ate.

Call in sick to work, when I was finally able to start working a part-time job in Winnipeg it took everything I had to even walk out the door. I  did not feel like going to work and  still dealing with depression my job didn’t last long as I found myself calling into work most days and finally gave up.

Cleaning everything , this is something that I still do to this very day when ever I am upset.

People pleaser, I was one of these kind of people doing things people wanted me to do all the time ,  just to get acceptance I took a good hard look at myself  and found all I ever did was get walked on thankfully Alpha House changed all that as my outlook is much different now it’s not my problem if people don’t like me it’s their loss.

Cry,  when I left my partner in Sept 2009 from that point on I had many times where I would cry myself to sleep, feeling depressed, feeling so alone wishing the days would be over.

Counselling,  when I was going through all this trauma I went to counsellors hopefully to try to help me get through this and one counsellor told me “get over it” well after that comment  I never talked to another counsellor until I got to Alpha House.

Bottle everything up, this is exactly what I did for many years and now that I am much older I am paying dearly for it as I have many health problems now so learn from me do not bottle things up because it will only give you health problems in the end talk to a good close friend.

Completely shut down, this was me I became very numb did not care about anything pretty much,  lost everything I ever had and to the point where I wished I had not awaken the next day not to mention loosing my sanity in the process.

Break out into a rash, this was a constant thing for me and because I kept everything bottled up I paid for it by loosing some of my hair and breaking into rashes .

Life and stress


Pound Coins … Or lack of

There are many things that stress me out such as the lack of money, messy house that I’m constantly having to clean, no work, not knowing where my next meal is coming from and being homeless which I have experienced before due to someone being selfish the list really is endless.

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My thinking tank is the bathtub


Well, It Is Saturday today and as the title says yes indeed I do have many thoughts going through my head when I relax in the bathtub, and today I came up with some startling revelations it’s almost like a lightbulb when on in my head let your mind be free anyways, someone once told me that my life was not a book but rather, a dictionary so i have now come up with the idea of writing a book named “Life’s trials and tribulations a true life story” I now feel that because of my life’s experiences I will be able to help others in similar situations and perhaps be an inspiration to others as well which I have been told several times in my life.
There will be many chapters and some of the chapters that I will touch on and talk about are:
1 Marriage.. and yes it can be a blessing however it can also be a nightmare
2 Life in low-income housing
3 I was a miracle child
4 In laws..my mother once told me “when you get married you don’t just marry that person you marry “the entire family”
5 Abuse.. yes the subject that women don’t like to talk about because they feel ashamed to and the effects as well as the types of abuse
6.The struggle to be accepted by others
7. The struggle for survival living from shelter to shelter
11 Inspirational quotes and some of the ways to keep yourself sane
12 My 2 sets of twins.. yes was pregnant 2x with 4 children
13 Homelessness and being judged
14 My passion for animals and their impact on me
As I will be remembering traumatic events in my life which will entail emotional turmoil and becoming very tired which really is nothing new to me but all the same emotional as I progress through my big project I am sure I will be adding new chapters.

A brand new start


Hello everyone:

Well, today I am filled with peace and very calm my blood pressure has not risen at all.

 I am so looking forward to whats in store for me in the next couple of weeks and although the moving will be stressful enough It will be a welcome change to be in a bigger city that has nothing but friendly people not to mention there are a ton of jobs out there in Calgary that I can apply for as well as feel safer on the streets walking.

Colin, my friend has done so much for me been a listening ear, giving me so much emotional support,  saw me through being homeless out on the west coast and now he’s going to welcome me into his home so that I can get healthy as I am not very healthy now due to the issues in housing like black mold that I must,  at the moment deal with.

Colin, my friend I have to tell you that he has done more for me than most people I know and helped me out of so many tight binds. I will be moving in with him for a while until I get myself set up with a good job and have some financial stability behind me.

I’m looking forward to moving out of here although the issue of packing  is really very stressful especially having to go through so many papers and sorting stuff out , however,  the good news is that I’m over half way done thank god I cant wait to get this move over with and out of this province for good.

Good-Bye Winnipeg Manitoba

Self reflection


Hello everyone:
 
I have decided that today’s entry would actually be part of the homework that I did while I was in school as it was part of life skills and self assessment.
It’s interesting to analyze things having realized that I have come along way from where I once was and would like to share it with you.

 

I am now feeling that my physical needs have been met for the most part here are a few examples:

  • My housing, I now live in a seniors highrise as opposed to a long-term shelter.
  • Having food on my table I will now live somewhat comfortable, was not able to before.
  • Have nice clean clothes and many of them where when I came to Manitoba literally had the clothes on my back and a few totes In tow.
  • I am now able to have a good nights sleep where before I did not get enough rest.
  • I have a warm place to live where long ago I was homeless.I live In a place where I feel comfortable and can relax for a change Instead of constant worry about when the next shoe will fall.

I feel that some of my safety and security needs have also been met a few examples are:

  • Safe home environment with a security entrance with 24 hour security.
  • Have friends that will support me In my journey to a better life.
  • I am realizing how strong-willed I am.
  • Emotionally feel that I only have to accept myself and does not matter If others accept me.
  • There Is still part of me that feels I need to be accepted by people.
  • I feel that I need to keep a safe distance from all people as I am afraid of people getting too emotionally close to me and me to them.
  • I am more cautious about my boundaries with others and to keep a safe distance.

Having the ability to love others, long for love and need to have a sense of belonging some examples: 

  • I do not feel a sense of belonging In society always felt like an outcast and still do.
  • I have given up on relationships with the male gender because of so many other failed relationships.
  • I do not trust other people.
  • I need to feel a sense of belonging as I have not felt that since I left home at 18.
  • I long for love In my life, someone to love me for me and someone who I can also love In return.
  • I care deeply for others and feel their distress and pain.
  • I am sensitive to others needs and help out when possible.

Self-Esteem and self concept needs, few examples of these are:

  • I see myself as a failure at relationships but as a very strong-willed person.
  • I am socially Isolated feeling like others do not accept me.
  • I do not feel valued as a person.
  • I now feel worthy of good things In my life where before I thought why bother trying.
  • I respect myself but others do not respect me or so It appears.
  • I need to find my sense of purpose In life.
  • I feel the need to be recognized and appreciated for the things I do.

Elaine’s self actualization needs:

I do not believe I have yet reached my fullest potential where my life Is concerned, there is still much to be accomplished. I have a great passion for animals and would give my life to save them.

I would like to stop the seal hunt that goes on off the coast of Newfoundland  and the Magdalen Islands where they kill them each year 275,000 to be exact between March and June most of them being between 4-6 weeks old .

I have not fulfilled anything yet in my life except just get by and determined to change to a better life. Until recently I did not have peace of mind but do now and finally able to relax I have never really been driven by money so the value of material things are really not that Important to me as long as I can get by with what I have, I also believe that It is how you live your life that matters the most, others who have done wrong I believe in the saying what comes around goes around.

My lifestyle Is a very simple one and as for my family I do not really have one anymore as my mother and father have since passed away, but, who I do have In my life that are not directly related to me but feel like they are my familyand just as important are Margaret I call her my adopted aunty but is actually a good friend of my mothers and consider her to be one of my family she Is much older around 70 or so she Is a wonderful woman Margaret was my mothers best friend when they both worked at Chevron together many years ago, after mom passed away we have remained friends ever since, then there’s Moksha who has seen me through many challenges  throughout the last few years true friend Indeed she knew my last partner and when she did not have the money had made a deposit of $50 just before Christmas of 2007 so that I could eat and get through the holidays, then of course there’s Colin my other dear friend whom I have known for more than twenty five years he has been a really great friend and wonderful support for me.

 I just wish there were more people like Moksha and Colin around they truly are one In a million kind of people, hope I have been as much of a friend to them as they have been to me and to you both my heartfelt thanks for being my friend especially so when no one else was there for me you both have never forgotten about me and that really truly does speak volumes so you see all three of these wonderful people who I have constant contact with truly have helped me through life they wont be forgotten.

I thought of becoming a lawyer working on behalf of animals but as far as I know In Canada there are no colleges or universities offering anything of the sort, then I thought of going Into business as mentioned earlier but I am not driven by money nor do I want a lot of It, recently I had spoken with a friend of mine (Colin) and he had actually suggested to me that I should share my life experiences so I am still taking that under consideration and might just end up becoming a motivational and Inspirational speaker hopefully to help others  that have found themselves in similar situations that I have been In thankyou Colin you have made me actually consider doing something like that.

I have also realized that one of the hurdles that I struggle with is living somewhat In the past although I have been getting better over the years am also happy to report that my life experiences have changed me as a person all for the better, I still sometimes try to cope with managing to move on and let It go but now when I do a journal entry every day I seem to be getting better  and well on the road to a healthy recovery.

 For those of you who know me well you know that I am  loyal, motivated, determined, driven, stubborn, open-minded and willing to try new things and not afraid of change, In fact I would rather embrace change and not run away from It, I’m honest, hardworking, willing to go the extra mile for others as well as willing to embrace challenges, I no longer live In fear but would rather grow as a person and have good quality people In my life with healthy boundaries.

I am proud of my accomplishments for there are many and would not be where I am today as a person had I not gone through all these tough times I have experienced It has made me stronger as a person, as well as made me very wise, and become more strong-willed that I would have ever Imagined I think I am also able to take on much more than the average person. 

 

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