Being "homeless" wasn't something I ever expected to be...especially at 18 years-old! But, when my dad kicked me out of the house, I had no where to turn. Since Mom left a few years ago, things just seemed to get worse at home, and dad's drinking got real bad. Sometimes he'd get so mad at me that he'd take lit cigarettes and burn my arm to "teach me a lesson." Now, I'm out on the street; sleeping at the park or just walking around town all night 'til the sun comes up. I have a job and I'm in school, but without a car, clean clothes & a place to sleep, it's hard. I don't want people to know I'm homeless, so getting help without everyone finding out is also hard. I just wanna finish school, then join the army...you know, do something with my life.
My dad & I have bounced around a lot; from Muncie to Franklin to Indy...I've never been in one place very long. About a month ago, my dad lost the apartment where we were staying in Franklin, so now I'm crashing at a friend's place. I don't even know where my dad's at since all this went down. My mom doesn't have parental rights & I don't really have anyone else. I hope I can stay in one place, at least through the winter. I don't even have a winter coat. I'm 17 years-old and trying to finish school, but it's just hard when I have so much stuff on my mind. I'm on probation right now for underage drinking. I know I shouldn't drink, but sometimes reality is just too hard to deal with, you know?
As a small child, I can remember my dad being a very mean & angry man. He was very physically abusive to my mom and us kids. I'll never forget the day he took my baby sister from her crib & made me watch while he shook her repeatedly until her little body went limp. After this incident, I was placed in foster care. It was a very nice home & I had very nice things, so people assumed I had a wonderful life. But, the truth was I hated being in that foster home, and all I wanted to do was just run away all the time. The courts eventually terminated my mom's parental rights & I was adopted by my foster parents, but I never wanted that. During my teen years, I got into lots of fights, abused drugs & starting cutting myself. Finally, I was arrested and spent lots of time in psychiatric facilities getting counseling. Strangely, I really liked it there. Since being out of treatment, I've mostly just bounced around from one place to another and haven't had a stable place to call home.
I live with one of my closest friends, Kevin and his family. I started living with them about 7 months ago because his family took me in when my family broke apart. Everything seemed fine in my life, until sophomore year, when I found out that my mom smoked marijuana, and my dad was selling pills and using cocaine. People began coming and going from our house frequently and so the police started watching our house very closely. Soon my parents stopped paying the bills on time and the water and electricity to the house got shut off. Eventually, we would even lose our car and be evicted from our home. As I found out, my mom had been using marijuana and my dad was selling pills then buying cocaine with the money instead of paying the bills or making sure we had food to eat. We stayed in a motel for a couple weeks. The drugs changed my dad so much that he ended up hitting my mom right in front of us kids. Now, my parents are divorced for the second time and all of us live with different people. I tried not to think about all of this, but I went through a long period of severe depression and nearly committed suicide. I’ve had trouble sleeping and I have frequent panic attacks. I just can’t stop thinking about all the problems in my life; how I’ve lost two houses and how my family has to go through this. I don’t understand how my parents could have let all this happen and act like everything’s just fine when it’s not.
When I was five, I was sexually abused by one of my mom’s friends. After all the court proceedings, my mom gave up. She & my dad divorced & she got into drugs pretty bad. For about the next 7 years, we moved over 40 times. My mom went through boyfriends & tried almost every drug out there; she ended up hooked on most of them. Sometimes we lived in motels or stayed with friends. During much of the time though, I can’t remember living anywhere. I do remember once we lived in a tent at a campground. We were there for almost 3 months. Sometimes my mom would disappear for hours, even days at a time. After about 7 years of floating around, my mom finally got an apartment. On the weekend of my mom’s 29th birthday, she threw a party that went on for 5 days. My little sister and I were locked in my mom’s room for the whole weekend til my mom finally sent us to the store to restock the house. On the way back, we saw lots of flashing lights outside our house. As it turned out, my mom’s boyfriend had been running a meth lab out of our laundry room. My mom ended up going to prison for 19 months.