Ten years ago yesterday marks a special day in my life. I walked out of my family’s house wearing pjs and a coat with my iPod in my pocket. I suddenly was homeless, penniless, and familyless. I was terrified and had no plan but I had these vague notions that my life would be better for leaving. I was insanely fortunate that so many people helped me along the way.
The Pierce/Day families gave me a lot of stability, love, and support to pull my life together in so many ways. The Katerbergs bought me jeans, fed me dinners, and had me watch the original Star Wars with them. Roxanne and her mom gave me a bag of toiletries. Sherry and Ian let me stay with them in Kirksville for a while. The Danks family let me stay at their house and it was the first time in months that I was able to sleep through the night without waking up screaming in fear. Mark mocked me into believing in myself and applying to go to college again and encouraged me steadily throughout life in his own special way. Titus and Tracy gave me my first stable job from an ad off of Craigslist, and I was able to pay for my own housing and save up for college. Titus and Charles helped me get scholarships for undergrad and grad school, jobs during school, and gave me endless advice with unimaginable opportunities. Dr. Becker gave me free weekly therapy for my entire undergrad to help me work through my PTSD and stop having panic attacks to start sleeping without nightmares. I still have this fear of losing everything and ending up homeless, but isn’t as overwhelming and life consuming as it was before.
Fast forward ten years later to now, and my life is insanely different. I have health insurance, hot showers every day, a warm bed in a house that’s mine, a great education that afforded me endless opportunities, and a stable, maybe a little too nice job. I had a pretty difficult dream that my biological family all sent me notes saying that they were proud of me, and it just shows how heartbroken I am still to not have that in in my life. But, I have the support of the village that raised me to be who I am, and I am so very lucky. ❤️