Becoming homeless is an experience many people would never want to subject themselves to. However, for millions of people, that fear is a daily reality. You may not know what to do when the time comes, however, it's standard that the first night will be rough, as evidenced by these stories.
Reddit user, u/Eniv3n, wanted to know:
I was about 9 years old, and my mom said we were going on a camping trip. I didn't really suspect anything, as it was summertime and we went camping a lot when I was younger. Although I did wonder why we were packing so much stuff. After a few weeks of "camping," I started to complain, but my mom kept insisting that it was good for us to get in touch with nature, etc. Then school started, and we were still camping. And we kept camping for another 6 months. When we finally got a house, my mom cried with joy. And we don't camp anymore.
I remember being really hungry and acting weird because of the low blood sugar, almost delirious. This was when I made a futile attempt to run away from an abusive home with no money. I ended up going back because of that.
It all Came Crashing Down.
I was only homeless for about six weeks, at 36 years of age. After several years of depression and anxiety slowly eroding my resources, relationships and general will to try anymore, I ended up having a final blowout with my gf, who reasonably couldn't handle me anymore.
I started sleeping at work, which wasn't even a full-time job.
The delicacy involved in not getting caught, and the freedom from the extremely unhealthy state my relationship had been in, kept my mind away from the absolute, abject terror that was hiding beneath the surface; the scary part of homelessness for me was the growing sense that if I fell any further I'd probably never get back up. It takes resources to be clean, fed and rested, and if you aren't those things it's very hard to get resources, let alone find the will to try. But that first night was all triage, all focused on being sure the second night wasn't going to be on the street.
I pulled it off for six weeks, and that time, actually, saved my life; I was away from conflict, intimately connected to how dire my circumstances had become, forced into a very regular schedule (routine is really good for me but nigh-impossible in a depressive state), and, without bills, was able to save enough for damage-deposit and rent.
I still struggle with depression in a pretty serious way but the animal terror of having no where and no one really seared itself into me. A better motivation would be the-future-i-want than the-future-i-fear, but as it stands I at least have a motivator strong enough to escape the incredible gravity of mental illness.
I was kicked out by my mother at 16 and spent 2 months homeless before the local authority placed me in foster care.
I think what hit me first was how my own mother could make one of her own children homeless. I felt like the least favorite of her children - it all came out of nowhere, I racked my brain for years after, trying to think of what I might have done in particular.
Also the crippling loneliness you feel when you are trying to get hold of people to ask for a place to sleep for the night. I could not feel more alone in the world when someone would either not answer my message or tell me they were busy.
I'm pretty sure I camped out in the park that night. Didn't sleep at all.
I was getting high, so it really didn't truly sink in until I was broke and dope sick. Then the desperation started. Going to gas stations jumping car to car asking for money. Stealing what I had to. It was a miserable existence. There are so many things you don't think about when your not homeless... taking a shower, washing your clothes, and the boredom. Hours upon hours of nothing to do. And the constant noise. There was nowhere to go where it was truly quiet.
Fortunately I eventually got arrested for shoplifting reached out to family who helped me get back on my feet.
Had a single mom. We slept in a station wagon at the lake. We thought it was just an amazing summer camping trip. Mom didn't sleep much at all and when she did the slightest sound/movement woke her. Kept a pistol within hands reach at night since we had the windows down.
Had to Go.
I lived at school until I dropped out due to a bunch of personal reasons piling up. My mom was mad that I dropped out and wouldn't even talk to me the first few days after and my relationship with my father is complicated/nonexistent.
I took the train to my home town, even though I didn't know what I would do or where I would go when I got there. I ended up staying the first night in my brothers room (not quite an apartment, just the one room with a kitchen and bathroom he shares with like 5 other people).
After that, I posted to social media that I was in this unfortunate situation, and a friend I had lost touch with despite once being very close offered that I could stay with him and his fiance until I got a place of my own.
I never actually had to sleep outside, and I found an apartment after about one month so all in all I was pretty lucky with how it turned out.
Oh and my mom and I are cool now, and my dad and I are also trying to rebuild our relationship after he finally divorced his no-longer-new wife (I've always referred to her as his new wife even though it's been over a decade).
I was homeless for a little while in the 80's. Its terrifying at first. You feel so unsafe. I was a teenager, and wasn't willing to close my eyes and sleep on a park bench alone. So, I went to a local shelter and lied about my age. The forced me to shower and do a pee test. It turns out the women in that shelter were scarier than the street so the next night I didn't go back. I slept in a park but ultimately made squatter friends and stayed with them. It was very much a community and I felt safe and loved there.
The biggest problem with being homeless in the city is no one wants to let you use the bathroom. Even park bathrooms are locked. Squat peeing in between cars can be done quickly and undercover, but when you get your period its a nightmare.These days I have stability so I never pass a homeless person without buying them some food or giving them a little money. And if they use it for drugs or alcohol I don't care. Living on the streets is HARD, drink if you need to my friend.
My ex wife made up a bunch of crap to get a restraining order. I got served at work while she simultaneously shut off my phone service and locked me out of our shared bank account.
This was Jan 7 2016. I had a t-shirt and slacks to wear for clothes, and no where to sleep. My car didn't have working heat. Thank God for my parents who got me a hotel, new phone, and some money for clothes.
I ended up living in an extended stay hotel for 2 months while I looked for an apartment, and got my affairs in order. The restraining order was dismissed, the divorce went to trial, and I got the house and the kids.
Not the First Time.
I don't recall my very first time exactly. I do remember looking for a friend that was homeless and his friends ended up watching over me. Everyone was drunk except me. I didn't sleep.
More recently. Less than a month ago I lost my housing and everything I own. I'm alone this time. I sleep during the day and browse Reddit at night. I was homeless for 10 years the first time. And I am terrified now.
The Car Is Your Best Friend
I was homeless for a couple of months a year or two ago. I had a car and a low paying job so I lived in the woods in a tent for a bit. The first night was miserable. I ended up sleeping really uncomfortably in the passenger seat of my car and it was a really cold night. After that I got a tent and slept on an old climbing pad I had. The first night was hell but the next several weeks were actually not so bad. I had a spot in the woods where I was well hidden and would cook over a fire. I really didnt have it that bad but it gave me quite a bit of sympathy for people who really do end up on the streets in a much more desperate situation.
From Couch To Recovery
Slept in my vehicle, couch surfed with a friend, squatted in an unused trailer; all while still working at a Walmart. Saved enough to get a crappy apartment and just kept going from there.
Walking To Nowhere
I kept waking up in the middle of the night and would start walking "home". I'd get a few steps then stop and realize I had nowhere to go and turn and walk back over and lay on the ground.
The ground is very cold and I felt a lot of shame.
First night my wife and I landed up sleeping outside we slept in a local park that I knew. We had come down from the countryside with a few Rands (enough for 1 meal maybe) and had hoped to stay with a friend. He was unable to give us a place to stay, so we had to sleep outside.
After the insecurity of that 1st night I told my wife that we have to find a safer place to sleep, so we climbed up the slopes of Table Mountain (about a 1 hour walk) and found quite a obscured spot amongst some bushes and trees. We cleared it out of sticks and rocks, made it a bit habitable and then went make to the city looking for work. We'd spend the day going from one place to the next looking for work until it started growing dark. Then we'd head up the mountain to our little spot for the night.
Did that daily for a month until we were able to secure a small shack room in the townships, where we stayed for another few months until I get a job offer.
Was my wife's temp waitering jobs that kept us fed whilst I was looking for work.
Biggest challenge was mental, keeping focussed, clean, looking presentable and just making my job looking for a job.
Anything To Get Away
When I was a teenager I had lots of problems with my mom, I pretty much chose to be homeless. I slept at a Catholic Church across from my high school so I could still make it to school and graduate early. I remember feeling really sad because I slept where they put peoples ashes, and I remember being so sad that those people could comfort me in death more than anybody alive. I used to talk to them, if there's camera footage I look insane. I never realized how alone I was in the world until I was homeless. And I never realized how cold concrete can be, it chills you right to your bones and is painful.
Nothing But Negative Thoughts
I started being homeless at 19, a previous foster parent put me out for coming home from college one night, and I had called up a friend last minute. When I started to realize I wouldn't be able to crash or stay anywhere, I am fairly certain I started to dread, and spiral into a constant, underlying depressive state. All I could think about was "am I going to die like this? Do I matter? Will no one help me? I'm sad, I'm scared. I don't want to feel like I have to beg. What if I'm stuck like this? Is this really my life right now?" 19-26 was a very challenging time...
Finding Resources Wherever You Go
Sleeping in my car wasn't that bad. It was summer, so it was pretty warm which was my biggest issue.
Showered in the gym, and spent most of my day at the library before going to work.
For the first few nights it wasn't bad. However one night police found me sleeping in my car and escorted me to the local homeless shelter, which was one of the most terrifying nights of my life. Since I'm lying there in a top bunk, when a huge argument breaks out because one guy breaks out some drugs, wouldn't share it with a second, then a third got pissed and started screaming at them to be quite because he needed to sleep.
Too Young To Comprehend
I didn't really realize what was going on, I was about 6-7 at the time. Dad said we were going to go for a drive and to pack my backpack with all the clothes I could fit and one toy. Mom was just crying. Me and my brother sat in the backseat, he was a little older and was holding our Sega Genesis and looking scared.
We drove for a little while (it was already getting dark) and we parked in front of a Walmart and dad said he had to rest for a while. Was the first of many... many nights we slept in the car.
I remember one of my parents was always awake, with their hand in their coat pocket. Looking back it was obvious they had a gun for protection, sleeping in shifts.
Nothing Will Ever Make You Ready For It
It was terrifying and cold and hungry. I didn't sleep a wink. I adapted over time. Extremely steep learning curve to surviving homelessness.
Nothing really prepares you for it.
There's no shortage of excellent horror fiction out there. Recently I read The Terror by Dan Simmons and can't remember the last time I felt that claustrophobic and nervous. But I am also a fan of quite a few classics. Are there any other horror books that capture grief as effectively as Stephen King's Pet Sematary? What other book evokes folk horror as beautifully as Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home? Let's not forget this wonderful classic: The Haunting of Hill House. I could rave about that one (and Shirley Jackson) for days. All of these books left their mark on me and yes, I'd include them on a list (if I were to make one) of some of the scariest books I've read.
People had their own opinions to share––and books to recommend––after Redditor Tylerisdumber asked the online community,
"What's the scariest book you've ever read?"
"Gerald's Game. I've read lots of Stephen King and this one scared me the most. Slept with the lights on for several nights."
Everything about this book is creepy. Don't even get me started on the... degloving. I'm sorry I even typed that word out.
"It's not a long story..."
"The Yellow Wallpaper.
It's not a long story and I'd highly recommend going in knowing little to nothing about it. It's brilliant and terrifying. Published in 1892 as well if that's any interest!"
Few stories make you feel this sad. A pretty stunning piece of work––and yes, unnerving. Can really get under your skin.
"I think it was mainly..."
"For some reason, Salem's Lot by Stephen King.
I think it was mainly because I was on a week-long hiking trip in the Australian bush and it got dark and scary at night. But damn, I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights. Then the friend I was hiking with read it, and he couldn't sleep either."
This is probably my favorite early King––and for good reason. The sense of atmosphere is impeccable. Those characters are loveable and you genuinely care about what happens to them. Then the book veers from horror into tragedy. It's quite moving.
"Just the knowledge..."
"On The Beach.
It's the most soul-crushing book I've ever read, and there's really nothing scary in it.
Just the knowledge of impending death for everyone that feels so awfully heavy."
This is one of those books that makes you feel hopeless.
It's impeccably written but wow... it's a truly heavy read.
"You never knew..."
It's a classic. I found it to be immensely chilling. You never knew what would happen and the writing instilled a sort of dread. I read it in the dark before I went to bed until I finished it."
A book I can read and re-read over and over again. It's a beautiful horror novel. It's also a really fascinating window into the era and manages to say a lot about social and class mores.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. Very creepy and unnerving, definitely scared me reading it at night."
I wanted to really like this one––unfortunately, I did not––but there's no denying that the first third or so (especially once the two protagonists get to the house) is pretty unnerving. Shame the payoff wasn't all that.
"It was disturbing and horrifying..."
"Helter Skelter. It's about the Manson murders and goes into quite a bit of detail. It was disturbing and horrifying because, unlike the King novels also mentioned, it's true. What they did to Sharon Tate is so absolutely devastating. Pure evil."
This book is gruesome and not for the faint of heart. The level of detail we dive into learning about the Tate-LaBianca murders is remarkable and also rather nauseating.
"So the book's characters..."
"Bird Box by Josh Malerman.
Forget the Netflix movie. The book's monsters are terrifying, in that you simply just don't know what they are or what they look like. They could be anything. What they are is enough to drive people insane by just being looked at.
So, the book's characters have to navigate a world mostly without one of our most used senses, and what's more terrifying than something you can't see?
This leads to some utterly scary scenes in the book that sent my heart racing and I had to put down for a breather."
It's a shame that movie wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips.
"It's a different kind of scary..."
"It's a different kind of scary, but The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's dystopian nation feels not that far from reality sometimes, and it absolutely terrifies me."
We're going to go there.
Yes, this book is terrifying.
"I feel like the movie..."
"The Ruins, by Scott Smith, messed me up pretty good. My favorite kind of horror is psychological, and while there is a physical "entity" the real horror is the helplessness of this stranded group trapped by something they don't understand. Their desperate struggle to hold on to their sanity and the slow descent into hopeless desperation just really hit hard.
I feel like the movie was a fairly faithful adaptation, although it's been a while since I've seen it."
I love this book and have read it multiple times over the years. It's slow-going... and then the final one-hundred pages are just horrifying.
Well, if you haven't read any of these... What are you waiting for? Get on that. You won't regret it.
But also... the world is pretty scary right now, so we understand if you need to take a step back.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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Have you ever traveled to a city you've always heard good things about, only to be totally let down upon arrival?
When a friend insists we travel to certain cities because we would "just love it," they're setting the bar pretty high.
And a city can also boast a rich history or an attraction that makes us curious enough to find out what makes it so appealing.
But, alas, when we finally reach the destination, it's never exactly what we thought it would be.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor tshirtguy2000 asked:
"What city is overrated?"
These are not officially real cities but they do have a rotating population.
It's Always A Party There
"As a former
slave associate at party city. I 100% agree."
"Lego City. There always has to be someone falling into the river."
"Cabot Cove, the murder capital of the world."
"Sure, the murders are all solved, but would you really want to live in a city with that much, easily solved, crime?"
Neighbor To Springfield
Shelbyville. Those f'kers steal trees from neighboring cities.
These were once considered destination cities but their popularity eventually took a nose dive.
"Atlantic City. Venture a few blocks off the boardwalk and it's incredibly depressing. Very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty, while they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic."
Lots Of Water
"Niagara Falls, Canada. I grew up there. Mayor pumps most of tax $ to casinos and tourism with flashy vegas-esque attractions."
"Myrtle Beach. I'm not even saying that it has a good reputation, I'm just saying that any shred of positive thinking about it makes it overrated."
Where A Creek Is An Exciting Attraction
"Lamb's Grove, Iowa. It's not the paradise on earth that people always say it is. Don't get me wrong, it's got great Chinese food but the motel 6 is meh at best."
Impressions for these cities fell far below expectation.
"Dubai. It's the clickbait of the world. 'We have the biggest/tallest/most expensive YOU WON'T BELIEVE when you see THIS...' It's hot as f*k, everything's a man-made tourist trap; labor exploitation and racism are rampant, and they try so hard to prove to the world how modern and Westernized they are. Really, it's just government propaganda."
"Miami. Horrible place filled with horrible people."
Truth be told, many cities can be overrated.
It just depends on a person's experience, or a resident's perspective about what it is about the location they live in that is nothing worth writing home about.
If I had to choose, I would say Las Vegas is overrated, but that's because there is nothing in Sin City that is of personal interest to me.
I may be severely judged for my opinion, but that is a gamble I'm willing to take.
The opposite sex can be a bit of a mystery sometimes. Our brains work differently just like our bodies and this can lead to certain sensitive questions. Guys tend to be a little less open but today it's time for the ladies to ask away. Even wondered what they really think or feel about their body, yours? Today's the day to get the answers you didn't know you needed.
Redditor William84000 asked:
“Women of reddit, what question do you have of men that you'd really like an answer to?"
His question started an informative thread for women to ask men the questions they've been wondering and receive honest, real-life answers.
“How long does it take to recover if you've been hit in the balls?” Snowy-avocado
“Anywhere from 5 minutes to literally turning to dust like we were Thanos snapped.” secondhand_organsdust whirls GIFGiphy
“The Big Dumb Object...”
“I've always wanted to know: why do you like loud machinery so much? For older men it's mowers, leaf blowers and such. For younger men, it's modified cars and motorbikes. What's the deal with the loud machines?” marshmellow_bunnyx
“Power and tools. Tools are a thing that gets stuff done, and they are loud because they contain the
natural essence power of violent explosions and fire. Most men like powerful things, instead of powerful people.”
“In sci-fi, this is called 'The Big Dumb Object', and is pretty much a trademark of sci fi books written by men” Connect-Zebra7173
To shave or not to shave?
“Does body hair on a woman bother you that much?" reillydean28
“Leg/arm hair? Don't even notice. Armpit hair? Not my thing but not my choice/decision. Pubic hair? I'd prefer not, but it's not going to stop me from getting the job done." wHUT_fun
It’s a power and control thing...
“Why send a d*ck pic?" stavinlawrence
“I think for most men it's a power dynamic thing. Either it gets them off or it just makes them feel in control."
“Then I assume there's the added bonus of if she likes it she might send a nude back. But these losers have a greater chance of buying a "get bigger penis pills" that actually work before a girl appreciates an unsolicited nude." InertialEclipse
"Do you notice the little things?”
“Do you notice the little things about women like a new hair cut, when they wear makeup or a nice outfit?” xforeverlove22
“I can't speak for everyone but for me, nope. Not at all. My uncle had a moustache for like 20 years and one day decided to shave it off. I didn't notice it. I noticed there was a weird atmosphere around me like ‘come on, say something’, so I small talked with him.”
“A few hours later after he left they asked me if I seriously didn't notice that his moustache was gone. My answer was ‘What moustache?‘ And makeup would definitly fly over my head.” PleaseTakeThisName
Lets just not touch people without permission...
“What things have women done that make you uncomfortable?" charloget
“Had a few grab my junk at random. Even had a couple that just forced a kiss on me. I don't usually experience women trying to pick me up, but the few times I did was never great. It was either negging, overly sexually aggressive and always in a group." bahamabanana
On today's episode of sink of float...
“Do penis' float like a buoy? I heard they do but have never been able to verify it.” TheFantasticV
“I mean it's buoyant but it can't really do much besides lazily sorta half float there. Still amused the f**k out of my wife to learn.” secondhand_organsGiphy
Everyone just wants to be loved...
“What makes you feel loved?” linedizzy
“A compliment, a hug or a kiss we don't have to initiate.” Nuitari8
“Do guys care if women get cosmetic procedures done?” dookieconductor
“I don't necessarily care about the work itself, I'd be more concerned about understanding why she felt like she wanted to get it done and help her feel body positive for whatever work has been done or if she feels like she needs work.” -notjosh-
Math will kill a mood everytime...
“What does it feel like when you're having sex and you're trying not to 'get there'? Is it frustrating? What do you do/think about to keep it from happening?" uhohoreolas
“I sometimes do math like 333*3... But often I am fine with just controlling things to focus mostly on her pleasure instead of mine. Tho sometimes she is excited and ends up moving in unaccounted ways while I am a hair away and there is no stopping it. I definitely don't find it frustrating. It is still very enjoyable." Fkire
Some of these Q&A's were unexpected but now we know! This important thing here though is knowing it's ok to ask questions sometimes.
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Everyone's got their own favorite food.
What are two foods that actually taste great together......even though most people don't eat them that way?
Breakfast is the most wonderful meal of the day. As the wise Leslie Knope once said, "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?" So mixing it up can feel blasphemous, but what if it's tasty?
Jam It On
"When I was growing up, it was standard procedure for us to put grape jelly on scrambled eggs. I did it when I went to college and everyone at the table stared at me. I still like it."
"That sounds gross af, but not too gross that I don't still want to try it. Haha"
Bringing People Together
"Peanut butter and maple syrup."
"My husband and I both grew up eating PB and syrup on our waffles. We took that as a sign it was meant to be."
"Peanut butter and syrup on waffles is one of the single best things I have ever had, also growing up with it"
Mustard?! Don't Let's Be Silly.
"Mustard with scrambled eggs. Actually I haven't had it in a while but from what I remember its really good"
"Mustard with eggs period"
Sauces and dips are critical to enjoying some foods. Mess with it too much and you risk ruining the delicacy. So that's why it's reassuring to see these people offering up their new spins on dip combinations.
Only For The Elegant Dining Experience
"Hummus and salsa mixed together with tortilla chips."
"Fancy bean dip."
Peanut Butter With Everything!
"Peanut butter and cheddar cheese (like the proper brick kind, not kraft cheese slices). When I was a kid I sometimes made myself pb and cheese sandwiches. They're very filling but delicious!"
"Toasted English muffin, butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam and marble cheddar on top. Lord have mercy on me."
"Add a litte hot sauce on the peanut butter."
Better Than Garlic Sauce?
"I already posted but I'm eating pizza with my friend right now and he likes his pizza with hummus."
"Hummus is good with so many things."
"So I make spaghetti noodles, but break up the raw noodles into smaller pieces. Once they're done I put in a an egg or two (mix it around) and let it cook. I swear it's not that bad. My Nonna always makes it for me when I go back to the Midwest to visit. It's good with parmesan cheese too."
And then there's these taste combinations. Mixtures so strange, you might just be willing to walk away from your phone or computer and try one now.
Sweet And Savory?
"Watermelon and feta cheese."
"With red onion and balsamic vinegar."
"Thats like the most basic summer thing in Greece, Balkans, Turkey together with some Uzo or Raki"
Who Lives In A Cheddar Under The Sea?
"Pineapple and cheddar."
"A guy at work introduced me to dipping a peanut butter and honey sandwich into chili. That was surprisingly great."
A Creative Spin On An Old Favorite
"Root beer float except with cherry Coke and chocolate ice cream. I was in middle school on a field trip, last in line at the cream shop, and ordered this after everyone else had done the standard root beer and vanilla. One of the cool girls who had never spoken my name before gave me this piercing look and asked if I would switch with her. I instinctively knew I would get zero benefit from this deal, so I said "Nope, ya gotta just remember it next time." That felt good."
Keep an open mind. Don't do this for every meal, sure, but always be ready to try something new.
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