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Homophobia

I met a really awesome girl the other day who I’d been talking to online. She’s actually lived in her car a lot too and has just been very much of a gypsy. I thought that was really cool. I’m always happy to meet people who are cool with the fact that I live in my car and who understand that kind of living.

So we were walking and I saw this dude. I immediately felt afraid and thought he would follow us and sure enough, he began following. There was no one else around. I was freaked! He started saying “You gay or what? You girlfriends or what?” I had no idea what to do. I just kind of shut down inside and it felt like a dream to me. Thankfully she was able to just calmly talk to him. Finally, after she said we were friends, he asked if she had a boyfriend. She lied and said yes. As soon as she said that, his tone changed, he became respectful, shook her hand and asked her name, then left. It was crazy!

I can’t understand why people are the way they are. What is so threatening about two queers walking down a trail? But I guess I have to deal with that that’s the world we live in for now. It really scared me. I don’t want to lie about who I am to protect myself.

It made a lot of things come up in my mind. One is, did he sense my fear and is that why he followed us? That frightens me because I do tend to wonder if predators sense that I am prey. I also felt badly because I instinctively stepped back behind her. When I realized it, I stepped up more beside her again because I don’t want to be someone who protects myself and lets someone else get hurt. But someone who I told pointed out that maybe it was because I could sense that she knew better how to handle the situation that I did. I don’t know. It was all such a fog and I just couldn’t think real well. I remember it kind of floating on the edge of my consciousness that I had pepper spray with me, but it was like I was so disconnected from my brain that I didn’t get it in my hand or anything. I couldn’t act on it. Very disconcerting.

I still enjoyed the rest of the time hanging out with her, but once she left I started shaking and realized it had affected me way more than I realized. I just hid it while she was still there. Thankfully I had a good crisis line to call as well as a friend and then I felt a lot better.

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PTSD and Staying with People

Today I was up earlier than usual, so I decided to go somewhere. While at the “somewhere” where I decided to go, I met a super awesome man. I noticed him because he is very masculine looking, but was wearing a short flowery skirt. We talked for a long time. While talking it came up that I live in my car. He said he lived out of town and his brother was in his guest house or he would offer that I come stay with him and then he was trying to think of other people I could possibly stay with. I explained that I tend to have trouble living with people and that I really am ok in my car, but that I really appreciated it.

There have been quite a few people who have offered places to stay and I so appreciate it, or they’ve suggested homeless shelters and other things. I find that it’s very hard for me to live with people though, especially people I don’t know. I think it’d be impossible. I get very triggered very easily by a lot of things. I couldn’t even live with my ex girlfriend very long because of it though I really loved her.

So this makes it kind of hard when I think of looking for housing. I also have heard from several people that, being transgender and gender non-conforming, shelters would not be a good option for me. There is one women’s shelter that sounds nice, but I’d have to tell them a different name and make sure I didn’t slip up or else I’d be out. That sucks.

I also think of housing if and when I get the money (I’m applying for disability so I may have money at some point hopefully soon). It’d be hard to find a place that would feel safe. When I lived with my ex, I was more afraid in her house than I am in my car because of the part of town and the things I would hear. And I’m guessing any low income housing I could find would likely be a similar situation.

Good thing I’m feeling pretty positive about living in my car right now because I think this may be pretty long term! At least in my car I can move from place to place if I need to. And hey, I get to enjoy the beauty that I would probably never get out to enjoy were I in a house. The other night I watched the full moon rise and it was so gorgeous! I wouldn’t do that if I were in a home because I’m too much of a home body. There are definitely positives about my car 🙂

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Comfy Bed

Today I’m feeling a lot more positive than yesterday thankfully. The weather is beautiful and that always helps. I went to the park and it was actually warm enough to sit out in the sun! Lovely!

Last night for the first time I think since I’ve been homeless I actually woke up in the night and thought how comfy my bed was. I was all snuggled in my sleeping bags in the back of the car and I was actually warm enough because the weather has warmed up and I felt really good. That was nice 🙂

It’s interesting figuring out the best way to sleep in a car. I put down my back seats so I can sleep half in the trunk and half on the back of the seats. I’m pretty tall so I have to sleep bent so that the big hump where the seats fold down hits at my waist since that’s the most comfortable. When I first started sleeping in my car, the seats where quite high up so it was more like sleeping in a recliner, not very comfortable after a while. Finally, I figured out that if I moved things around in my car, I can move the bottom cushion from the back seat forward which allows the seat backs to lay down lower allowing me to lay flatter. It’s a lot nicer this way!

If anyone else reads this blog who is also car camping, please let me know if you have ideas for comfy car sleeping!

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Winter

Winter has officially come and it’s cold! Now I’m depressed. It’s really hard for me to stay positive and cheerful about life when I’m freezing. The cold has this weird way of getting to me and making me become super emotional and super down.

Moisture is condensing in the car and all my stuff is getting wet too. I never thought of that happening. My blankets and clothes are getting wet and I’m afraid stuff will mold since I’m not sure how to get it to dry out well enough.

I’m thinking of the next couple months and trying to remind myself winter won’t last forever. If I can just get through this next couple months then it’ll start warming up again. I heard this is supposed to be a real cold and wet winter, but that was a couple months ago. Maybe things have changed. I hope.

At least on sunny days my car warms up nicely so I’m not too cold, and some days I’m even quite warm, sitting in my car.

Sometimes I lay in bed (in the car) and think of the people who are out on the street (with no car) and I wonder how they’re surviving. It makes me really sad. I’ve wished I could fit someone else in my car with me, but there’s no way that would work. I just wish there was some way to make it warmer for all of us who don’t have warm houses to be in and I wish the people with the warm houses would think of those who don’t have that…

I called a couple places that I was told may be able to help me get housing. They weren’t very nice to me. After talking to them I felt like I’d rather just stay in my car and at least maintain my dignity and not be treated that way. It’s so hard to ask for help, but I just can’t do it if the person isn’t even going to show me respect as a human being. I’m trying so hard already to maintain respect for myself.

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What is Homelessness for Me

I said in the last post that the hardest thing for me isn’t sleeping in my car, it’s the knowledge that I have no place. I’ve thought about this recently because I realized that, I really think it’s awesome to live in one’s car by choice – to travel, save money, have a truly mobile home, etc. And so I wondered why I was struggling so much living in my car. I guess it’s because I feel so out of place.

For me, homelessness – what makes me feel truly homeless – is having no family. It’s having no safe place to park. It’s knowing that I could get in trouble any time just because I am trying to have a good nights sleep. It’s never knowing when I’ll have to find a new parking place. It’s knowing that people look down on us who are homeless. It’s being exhausted and not having a bed I can go lay down on and just escape the world for a bit. Those are the things that make me feel homeless. Not living in my car.

Actually, when I think of my long term plans, I don’t really plan on getting a house for quite a while. I plan to get a larger vehicle so I can live in it and travel when I have the money. But I want to do it for the fun and adventure, not because I feel I have to.

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Homeless Again

In my post on where to park, I talked about how someone was letting me park at their place, and how I finally felt safe enough to get a good sleep! Well, I’ve lost that now.

I really felt like that had become my home. I felt safe because I was behind a closed gate. I knew the person who owned the place and they wanted me there. There was a water faucet that I could use for washing dishes and washing up. It was great! But they started getting complaints from neighbors that noticed that I was sleeping there. I’m not sure how they knew since I never had stuff outside and always kept my front windows covered, but somehow they found out and they complained. So I had to leave there. And now I feel homeless again. Doubly homeless.

The hardest thing for me honestly isn’t sleeping in my car. That’s not so bad. The hardest thing for me is just the knowledge that I have no place. Not having a safe place to park is really hard for me. It makes me feel like I belong nowhere. That’s what sucks about homelessness for me.

I’m trying to make the best of it. I do have a place to park for now that so far has been safe. Hopefully no one will bother me there.

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Cool Rainy Nights

I don’t remember if I mentioned that I was out of town for a while staying with a friend, so I was indoors, in a bed, with a heater at nights. Now I’m back in my car. Woohoo! Lol. It’s been wet so far. I’ve heard that we are supposed to get a cold wet winter. Joy. At least so far I’ve been warm enough. I have a lot of blankets and wear two pairs of pajama’s as well as snow pants and a big jacket to bed! It does take me a while to warm up when I get in bed, but after an hour or two I get pretty warm and am ok.

In the morning, getting ready for the day is when it’s pretty cold, or when the cold affects me. I try to wash up in the car and washing off with a wet washcloth when it’s cold out is, well, cold! I’m thankful we’ve had clouds at least which has kept the nights from getting too freezing so far. We shall see what the winter brings! At least right now I’m feeling positive, which is always a good thing 🙂