What would you do if a friend lost everything? How would you react if they reached out to you for help?
Would you help them out, or, would you be more concerned with your own problems and send them on their way?
When I first lost my apartment, I did not want to wind up living in the street. I called friends and family members begging for help. Sadly, there was no help to be had. I wound up having to sell my mother’s wedding band to get a few bucks so that I could stay with someone that night. I was terrified and ashamed. I never imagined life would take such an ugly turn. The thing that hurt even worse was that there seemed to be no real help anywhere. We all have problems. None of us are set for life unless we are wealthy. I get that. Having each door slam shut in my face made me feel my life mattered to no one.
As it turned out, I bounced around for a few months, desperately trying to make life work on some level. One disappointment led to the next. I felt like things were constantly out of my reach. I stayed with a highly abusive alcoholic who stole my money. I got to a point where I slept with my purse under my head. Not that it helped all that much. I still recall waking up, finding my wallet empty yet again.
That day I had enough. I had enough of not having coffee money, or cigarette money, or even five bucks for gas. I pitched a fit and I was done.
Now, how was I getting out with no money?
Thankfully, I managed to make friends who did care about me. They knew the situation was bad, but it was not until that St. Patrick’s Day would they know to what extent. That night, he took a swing at me. That was all it took. People flew into action. A circle was formed around me. The bouncer carried him out by his scrawny neck. I was brought into the extreme corner of the room so everyone else could see where he would be coming from next. He did not go away easily. He ran in and out of the bar several times before driving off drunk and with no headlights on.
Now what? Again I was alone.
One of my friends sat with me and we made a game plan of things I needed to do. We tried to get me into a battered women’s shelter, but they were full. I wound up in a homeless shelter that wound up being home for a little over a year. I didn’t have much, but what I had was mine.
I didn’t have to sleep with my pocketbook under my head anymore.
What would you do if you met someone who lost everything? Would you turn your back, or help out?