Homelessness was not on the agenda
I moved to the south coast from Croydon in December 2021 to be near my mother. Unfortunately, since the lockdowns, she has been experiencing ongoing memory loss.
And whilst she resisted the diagnosis initially, she is finally coming around to accepting she has dementia.
But being an independent lady, the idea of having someone in to assist her means she has to admit she can't manage.
Which was and still is a big NO!
Therefore it was a good idea for me to move nearer at short notice. At least she had some support available.
However, I swear the universe has a sense of humour and played a game with me.
Or perhaps I wasn't clear in what I was saying. Either way, it's been an interesting ride.
Six months after moving out of the blue, my landlord gave me notice to leave. He advised me that he was happy with me as a tenant but didn't want a tenant anymore.
As I frantically looked for somewhere to live, I realised not only were there few places to rent.
But my biggest problem was my lovely cat Saffy. Regretfully for a lot of landlords, pets aren't acceptable, especially not cats, as they cause allergies.
So a month later, I was homeless... I must admit it wasn't pleasant.
But I took it to be an adventure. Even Saffy made it an experience, as she went on a walk on a lead through woodland, sleeping with me in my car for two nights whilst I figured out what to do.
That was before I decided to purchase a tent and camp out.
As I say, the universe has a sense of humour because I had been saying for months I would love to live in a mobile home - although a tent wasn't quite the mobile home I was thinking of.
I had camped many years ago for two nights, which at the time was scary, as we had torrential rain and the camp was by a river.
However, Saffy and I had fun with high winds and pouring rain - the tent stayed in place and was cosy and dry.
Yet, again, I learned about myself and my ability to adapt practically and emotionally to circumstances outside my control.
But I was amazed how trusting Saffy was of me, as she has lived in a house all her life.
She loved wandering around the camping field, and hunting became an excellent pastime whilst I worked.
Saffy also became apt at travelling in the car, which she used to hate, crying all the time. At the start of our homelessness, I purchased her a new travel bag, which she loves and still uses as her bed.
I discovered I could put a tent up and not have it collapse or leak. 😁 Cooking on a portable stove impressed me. It was even quicker than a gas hob.
I learned I could recharge my laptop from my car battery. It is fantastic how many items are available to meet my everyday needs, even a lady's toilet for when you need to go, and there's none available.
Thankfully, the universe's sense of humour was short-lived, and I am now in a bright, airy flat. Saffy is missing wandering the field but appreciates the comfort of being indoors again.
I share this to highlight:
✔ Never judge a homeless person. You never know their back story.
✔ The universe has a sense of humour. It will do its best to provide. So be careful what you wish for.
✔ Events happen that you have no control over - how you handle them reflects your resilience and belief in the universe that you find solutions.
✔Research what help is available and know the facts to make the right decision for you.
✔ Be adaptable and curious - but acknowledge how you feel.
✔ You don't have to share what is happening on social media until you are ready to, if ever.
✔ Reach out to people who can help you. There is no shame in being homeless. In fact, you would be surprised how many have been but do not openly mention it.
✔ Put yourself first. Deal with your challenges before you help someone else. You will be in a better place to support them.
✔ Learn from your experiences and share what you learn to help others.
✔ You may mentally, emotionally and physically need to step away and give yourself some breathing space before diving back into life.
✔ Don't judge or blame yourself or others. It's happened. Get on with it. You can't change it, but you can grow stronger from the experience.
On a passing note, I did look to rent a mobile home or a caravan, but the cost for a few days was high, and to top it all. They say pet friendly but what they really mean is dog friendly.
And who would take their cat on holiday anyway? 😂 Me! Now I know she is so adaptable.
✅Ensure you take notes to record the fun, scary, and unusual situations you encounter or that happened to you. ✅
I have a book load of experiences to share, some fun, some not so. Still, with humour and curiosity, you can come through anything.
Karen works with women who have experienced abuse or trauma who know there's more to life and want to go for it. Especially if they are experiencing ongoing health challenges, or financial ups and downs, toxic relationships, or generally feel life isn't where they want to it to be. Book a call if you are serious about creating a better life for yourself?