Wed. May 18th, 2022

Hope.

I remember being a child and drawing with tiny pieces of broken crayons on newspapers and school papers in the attic of m grandmother’s house by the light of the hole in our roof. My best friends were the pigeons that lived in the small room that I was not supposed to play in. I spent time there anyway, while my mother was high and my grandmother was watching game shows, too old and sick to care about what I was doing.

The house was full of asbestos, lead paint and bird waste. My mother expected me to watch after my little brother even though I was very young myself. We ate toast, mostly, because that was all my preschool self knew how to make. He watched a lot of television. I read as many books as I could. They transported me from the unhappy existence that I lived in.

I tried to take my life for the first time when I was in primary school, maybe I was eight? I swallowed the small tablets in the tiny amber vial that my grandmother had by her side all the time. I got on my old rusty pink lady bicycle and pedalled as fast as I could to the river by the old soap mill and got ready to jump in.

I met a friend once I arrived. She asked me why I was sad. I told her that I was okay, nothing was wrong. She asked me to have pizza with her and her mother. So I did.

I only felt dizzy for a little while from those tablets. I felt grey in my chest knowing that I had to return home.

When I did, no one had even realised that I had been gone.

My mother yelled at me for leaving my bicycle in the driveway while she lit a cigarette and drank a beer.

I walked very close to the cabinets and the sink to avoid being smacked.

If you have never been abused, neglected, or unloved you have no idea what it is like to live in fear of rejection. You would not know what it is like to always know in the back of your head that someone could possibly harm you.

Even as an adult, I do what I can to stand up for others that are being treated unfairly. Why?

I have a roof over my head that does not let the weather in.

I am a fan of this organisation: Folk er Folk. If you have a moment, will you watch the videos here? People have this wild idea that the homeless in this country are living the good life, driving BMWs and all of this. Yeah, sure. Maybe some are. But please stop thinking that this is the majority. Life is not kind to us all. Some people get kicked hard from the start and never get back up. “The resources are there!” you say! Yeah, are they though? Do you know the shame that goes into getting help for people that have failed over and over again? For those that have landed in a country because they are running from their abusers just to be safe and now they have nothing?

You do not know these humans’ stories. You would not want to be judged – why are you judging them?

I have lived a life that I did not deserve. I was just a child that should have been cared for. I was not. I grew into an adult that has no sense of what love or safety feels like. I have a developmental disability that required intervention but got none because I was trying to make my mother’s life “difficult” by just being me”. I was there to be seen & not heard (and to be a source of income).

Pause your judgement and understand that you would want to be understood. We are all just trying to get by.

Loving each other is the only way we are going to survive.