14 comments on “Homelessness During Active Abuse: A Confession of Asphalt, Glass, and Steel

  1. I have to say what a warrior and strong woman! I admire your strength sister and thank you for sharing. All these things we have lived through “HAVE MADE US STRONGER”, and I appreciate your speaking up about this, “we are allowed to hurt as long as we need to”. You truly inspire me to write more and be able to share my story more. I struggle with finding the right words, Spanish is my first language, but I really was inspired by your blog her today!! Thank you and keep empowering women. Every day I’m blessed to have come across BTS and meet other phenomenal women I can learn from.
    💜
    Mimi Ortiz

    • Awww hi lady ❤ ❤ Thank you for reading the post. I realize it might be difficult to read but I think it helps us all heal. You know, you can always start a blog in Spanish for victims and survivors of domestic violence. I am sure there are plenty whose first language is Spanish like you and they may have a hard time communicating everything in English. It would also give those who only speak Spanish someone to connect to who will understand uniques things that you might have endured from a cultural perspective. I'd follow you, and I understand enough Spanish to read it 🙂 ❤

  2. I don’t have words about this, just emotions, it’s made me feel so tearful on your behalf. A roof above your heads is such a basic need. Just kind thoughts sending to you …

  3. Amy, your post hit a nerve this morning. I have talked about being homeless on my blog and I have tried to advocate for the impoverished and have discussed the direct correlation between domestic abuse and homelessness.
    My ex used homelessness as a means to control me, I was petrified of being homeless.
    For us; he actually would be nicer if we were homeless. I guess because then he could play the role of my rescuer.
    In the beginning of our relationship, he would get us evicted and I would move out on my own, feel sorry for him, allow him to stay “just for a couple of nights” and he would refuse to leave. We would get evicted again, I would find a place…..
    Like you eventually things spiraled out of control and it is how he kept me under his control. It is hard to explain to people why I stayed or went back time after time. For one thing I didn’t think I could do homeless alone. It was scary and shameful enough with him, let alone by myself.
    But the thing I dreaded the most happened; I ended up leaving and sleeping in my truck. I was working, self employed; and making not bad money but it’s expensive being homeless and trying to find a new place to sleep where no one will recognize you, or a place to wash up where someone won’t figure out you are homeless, eating all your meal’s out.
    The thing that caused me the most shame was the fact that my mother was his greatest accomplice. I had left him and been no contact for 3 months when she and my step dad offered to buy me a mobile home so I would have security. Then a couple of months later they sold it out from under me, putting me out on the street and going on an 8 week cruise. My mother actually emailed from the ship

    • Sorry I am doing this on my phone and hit post by accident. Anyway she emailed from the ship saying it was imperative I be out by the time they got back. When my ex popped back into my life professing his love and that he had been given 6 months to live I went back.
      I kept thinking he must be right, there must be something horribly wrong with me for my mother to do something like that. That has been my biggest hurdle to healing.
      What mother would do that?
      I ended up once again losing everything and the abuse got so much worse.
      But this has gotten long enough.
      I just wanted you and your readers to know you are not alone and the fact that we survived to write about it is testimony to our strength of character.
      For the first 5 years after leaving him and being no contact he tried everything he could to get me fired or evicted. Making anonymous complaints against me with land lords and employers, showing up and causing a disturbance or sending the police on trumped up charges.
      Even after I had two heart attacks he persisted and I have moved so many times I lost count.
      It has now been slightly more than a year since he reared his ugly head and caused trouble. I hope that is a sign he has given up but I still look behind my back.
      I will live the rest of my life feeling vulnerable because I don’t have a safety net, I live month to month because my health makes it impossible for me to hold down a full time job and I have no saving or even furniture.
      What I find interesting now is my step dad has gone senile and the only one of the 6 kids; between the two of them; is me they rely on for help. The one my mother calls to cry about her fears she will have to sell her big home at the lake if she puts him in a home.
      Life works on mysterious ways.
      I totally relate to your undeserved shame.
      Hugs to you Amy, and any other victim of abuse struggling to keep a roof over their head. People don’t realize that for most victims it is so much more than “just leaving”

      • I am so glad to know you, although I would much prefer you not to have endured any of this. It makes it less uncomfortable for having this out there. I’m not really sure my family knows, and I haven’t brought it up with them for the same reason. I worry I’ll be scolded or brushed off even though the likelihood of that is low. It’s been five years since I left, and I still cannot afford to live on my own due to the financial abuse that occurred – although I have gotten credit score raised back up significantly. I’m hoping maybe by the end of next year, I can be back out on my own. I miss my own space and my own rules and privacy as an adult. Like you, I have no savings and no furniture. I lost everything the morning I left him (and I owned everything in the apartment). Isn’t it horrible how one person can be so destructive? Sending you love from the East Side of the continent ❤ Thank you for being so strong and for your support.

        • You are so incredibly strong. I am constantly amazed by what you have endured and then had the strength to put your life back together.
          I totally understand missing having your own place, and privacy. I believe where a person lives strongly influences their happiness and self esteem.
          I don’t have the energy or resources but have often thought Tiny Houses would be the answer for many women leaving an abusive relationship.
          They could help build it, which would give them a sense of pride, self worth and self sufficiency.
          Big hugs back at you.

          • I think if you knew me the first year, you probably would have tried to figure out what was wrong with me. That first year was a disaster to live through but it was important for me to see that I could survive even that. I don’t doubt my ability to endure, survive, and rebuild because of it. Tiny houses I think would be a great idea – as long as people aren’t trying to go all for luxury they are much less expensive and can be moved easily. Have you ever thought about seeing if you could put a proposal together and get funding? (I know, DV funding is already stretched too far) But I think if you could get private investors, it would be amazing.

            • Actually I have thought of it but have been so sick until just recently and then busy working. I can see a village of tiny homes, with a communal garden. Security would be more possible. Women could help build their own home and then teach others, perhaps even make tiny homes to sell. There are a bunch of women who make Cobb houses up the coast. They travel around teaching people how to do it. Everyone does what they can, some child mind, some cook, while others build.
              I think it would be a great esteem builder.

  4. You are very brave Amy. Every time you share some of your story you help someone else. I can promise you that things get better. The older you get the less it matters what other people think. It’s been more than 25 years since I left my abuser. I have overheard people too many times passing judgement on the homeless. The stigma is devastating. They don’t know how to respond when I say “Really? Did you know that I was homeless?” It forces them to rethink their prejudice. Hang in there and keep sharing.

    • Most people are taught that those who are/have been homeless somehow are deserving of their circumstances and fail to understand how someone could end up that way due to situations that are out of their control. People lose compassion for them and see them as inferior, unclean, or even worse as animals. Even if it is an uncomfortable conversation, it’s important for those of us who know us to have knowledge of what we have faced, because it helps break down their denial that it could never happen to them. It also shows them that since they care about us and respect us even though we shared those circumstances, then those currently trapped in homelessness are deserving of that care and respect as human beings as well. I am sorry that you endured it as well but appreciate your willingness to share.

  5. HOMELESS?.. How about HAVING a home and STILL having to SNEAK a shirt, underwear, sock, shoes, pants… OUT OF your house on a DAILY basis, to work everyday… Until you have enuf to get u thru a week?… WHY?.. JUST-IN-CASE… MAYBE!

    You PAY rent, YOU pay gas, electric, but you have NO rights in your house…

    You can’t ENJOY your house because you are restricted to ONE room!!! The BEDROOM … Because he can keep an eye on you there while he recovers from his “Hangover”… Middle of the day but your house looks like a TOMB because he needs dark & QUIET!! So you lay there, next to him. His hand draped over you as you contemplate murder… BUT?.. You don’t MOVE a muscle because he will IMMEDIATELY ask you “WHERE YOU GOING?” …. “TO PEE” you say… To BREATH… I “KNOW”…

    ONE DAY… SOON… I KNOW…

    • I am sorry that you’ve experienced this, but I’m not sure why you appear to be upset with the content of my post. The two situations are not really comparable, and I don’t make it practice to invalidate anyone’s experiences during their abuse. But yes I have been in the situation where I’ve been forced to stay in the bedroom against my will and was beaten up on more than one occasion for refusing to use a cup to relieve myself because I wanted to use the bathroom like any normal person would. This post specifically focused on homelessness in active abuse, and I wanted to talk about it because of the stigma and stereotyping so often associated with people who have experienced homelessness. Neither situation is easy. I hope you can become free and find peace. No one should have to endure EITHER circumstance.

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