Editor’s note: If you would like to help Loki, please visit her GoFundMe page.
I recently wrote about being robbed twice at my storage facility in two days. They didn’t just rob me. They also ransacked everything, tossing bins that caused many to break and crack and leaving me with papers everywhere, photos on the damp, concrete floor, and a general mess of broken glass and many missing items. Many of those items that were stolen had deep personal meaning to me.
In the aftermath, I ended up making many trips out to storage. That’s not a place I would get away with overnighting in my van, yet the thieves got away with stealing from me. They must have used bolt cutters or a saw (making a lot of noise in the quiet, country night) to get through my locks. They apparently had enough time to do that and wipe out so much of my stuff, including many heavy boxes.
At one point, I drove out there, and I had this feeling that something was “off” with my van. Barely a week after the shock of the robberies, my van stranded me on the side of a highway. The mechanic shop where it was towed said they couldn’t find anything wrong and that I should pick it up.
Of course, I knew it would happen again; as I predicted, it did.
I didn’t even make it five minutes away, and it did the same thing. A bunch of lights came on, flashing all over the dashboard, and then the vehicle shook like mad and turned itself off. They returned with the tow truck and brought me to the dealership this time. It’s been out of commission for 16 days as of this writing!
As I had written a few months ago, I was given the opportunity to (at least) temporarily stay in someone’s home office and was asked to give $100 a month to do so.
On Friday the 13th, I was sent a message informing me that I would likely have to leave. The older person renting this home cannot pay rent regularly due to extreme poverty, and the owner has asked us to leave. With my van out of commission and likely to need to be replaced, I am in deep trouble.
What would have happened if I hadn’t had someone to stay with when the van first broke down? Many vehicle dwellers do not have anyone to stay with and have no money for hotels. Then what? This is every homeless vehicle dweller’s nightmare.
If you have been following my column for a long time, you know I’ve said many times that I have no desire to keep living. I continue to be pummeled almost daily by a disproportionate amount of horror. Not one person I know goes through as much grief and horror regularly as I do. I am not making this up. I am merely stating facts.
When you are involuntarily stricken with multiple chronic illnesses, stress worsens them due to high levels of inflammation, and there is no safety or feeling of relief from stress. It’s a never-ending cycle of inflammation, causing pain and other symptoms.
Homeless people die much younger than housed people. There is a good reason why. We are constantly battered by stress with no way out of this nightmare except death.
Older people are becoming homeless all over this country and much of the world. Unable to earn a living wage during their working years, many of the generation of late boomers (and soon, Generation X) will end up in extreme poverty at the time of retirement. Being disabled by any illness or the ravages of age and hard life will lead many people into homelessness.
The worst part may be that so few people care (unless it affects them or someone they love). The world is filled with so much tragedy and horror at this point that people who care feel helpless and hopeless, while the majority don’t care about anyone but themselves. As usual, those who care have no resources.
I have even seen people take the attitude that they “don’t feel sorry for these elderly people who end up like that because it’s their own fault! They should have done more to save money for retirement.”
That’s easy to say, but how dare they judge people without knowing the facts and information about each individual’s situation and life? For example, the older person I am staying with spent much time helping others, including doing hands-on hospice care for several loved ones. As a result, she lost a lot of work and money.
Like me, this person put the needs of others first at the expense of their own security. Helping sick loved ones die a long, drawn-out, painful death doesn’t count for anything in a universe filled with malice. Selfish people flourish, and good, compassionate souls end up like us – destitute and beyond hope.
Right now, I have been sick from stress for weeks. I am not exaggerating when I say sick. After the Friday the 13th message, I feel like someone plugged me into a wall socket, and electricity is surging through my network of nerves.
My head hurt for a while with bone-splitting pain. My neck and shoulders are so unimaginably tight that it hurts to turn my head normally. I also have had several periods of vision so blurry you’d think I was in a 95F room with no air and high humidity due to multiple sclerosis-related heat intolerance. I usually only get this when I am overheated.
I could go on, but I won’t. You get the idea.
I do not know what will happen to me. I do not know how I will survive. My van still isn’t fixed, and they cannot figure out what’s wrong with it.
Even if I obtain another high-mileage clunker of a van, I can’t even afford a few thousand for one. I’ve seen high-mileage vans going for $4,500 or so. The vehicle shortage is killing people like me.
This is why I didn’t get too excited about being indoors. I knew this universe would pull the rug out from under me again, as it always does, and I’d land on the hardest ground possible.
Part of me is numb. Being robbed twice has made me scared all the time that I will be robbed again. I keep crying and feel so empty. Between that and my fear of what is about to happen to me, I feel more hopeless than I have ever felt in my life.