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March 12th, 2019, 17:03
Skaven!! Welcome back, old friend. I'd wondered where you've been all this time, having not seen you since Skyrim released, I believe.

I feel like I'm standing beside myself because your experiences are a reflection of my own.

In 2008, my mother passed away. Then came depression, family problems, and homelessness. During the economic downturn, this was especially crushing as I had no income at the time.

When my mother passed, our family became divided. My aunt, the trustee for my mother's will (whom was directed to divide a life insurance policy among me and my siblings) instead chose to keep that money for herself. I was upset, but only because I wanted to see that money go to my siblings to secure their future. She used that money in attempt to bribe us into siding with her decision. I think she felt bad, but ultimately wanted control over the money at the same time. I wouldn't stand for it, so I was given the choice to stay with her, or be homeless. In a time where the economy took a turn for the worse and my depression had been at an all time high, the sensible decision would have been to stay with her, probably.

Instead, I chose to be homeless. I could not submit to the idea that someone deliberately went against my mother's wishes for the betterment of herself and nobody else, and it infuriated me more that my siblings would never have that crutch in a difficult time.

Being homeless showed me how cruel the world was. Nobody gave me the time of day, and I wasn't really seen as a "person". I had no car, so my only option was to sleep outside (this was outside of a church at the time. I was grateful to the pastor for allowing me to sleep outside the property). I've had drunks from the local bar occasionally wander up and throw empty beer bottles at me, lit cigarettes, you name it. All I had was my backpack and a black trash bag with my sleeping bag in it, which was thrown away or stolen on four separate occasions (I had few places to hide my belongings, and I wasn't going to carry that around all day).

The worst was when it rained. You were guaranteed no sleep that night, and if you were under any kind of roof, your sleeping bag would likely get wet anyway.

I was homeless for over a year, also in southern California. Over the course of that year, I'd learned to despise money and what it did to my family. However, along the way I also encountered many wondefful people, and made friends with some of the other local homeless. Incidentally, I came to know someone from a homeless outreach team (named Brian) who was a massive help in my life, and properly introduced me to God.

As upset as I was with the world in how corrupt, mean spirited, and hateful it could be, the people I encountered showed me that there are wonderful human beings out there. It felt amazing when someone walked up to me, struck up a conversation, and wished me well. They saw me as a person, as an equal. That was above and beyond anything I could hope for in those dark times.

That really shaped who I am today. It helped shed my desire for materialistic things, because I had to be ready to lose everything in an instant. To this day, I'm so far distanced from the money driven, need for greed, politically charged mindset that seems so ingrained in our culture that I often feel alien. But you know what? I'm happy. Happier than I've ever been, because I'm focusing on what matters to me most.

Homelessness and emotional turmoil taught me the same lesson you've learned. Love is all that really matters.

Never give up, Skaven, because I'm right there with ya, bud.
~Watching since 2007~
Last edited by Ragnaris; March 13th, 2019 at 02:18.
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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