We were technically homeless. We weren't living on the street, thank goodness, and have a strong safety net of friends and family who were all very helpful and loving and thank goodness for wonderful friends who housed us and made us feel welcome and loved. But the facts are that, for a month, my husband, my three small children and I, were homeless. That terrified me. Still terrifies me. Because even though we're moving into our new place next week (YAY!), it was so easy to reach the point where holy moly, we have nowhere to go and oh my God, we're actually homeless.
I didn't use the word around my kids, but I couldn't help shouting it to myself all the time. It wasn't our fault, really. We had trusted the wrong people, entered into a lease that wasn't enforced with a landlord who had a whole bunch of issues, plus we were just coming off of fourteen months of unemployment. It was a combination of events that led to a perfect storm of me and my family homeless.
I'm still a little shell shocked, honestly. I know it was a momentary blip, I know that Marc's got a great new job and is doing well. I know that the kids rode it out surprisingly well, they're amazingly resilient, and of course, it helped that we were staying with such great friends who made us feel so welcome. And it was less than a month, after all. Our new place is lovely, really. I already adore it and I'm not even moved in yet.
Things still feel a little fragile and scary. I imagine that they will for a while, for me. I hope not for the kids. I wonder how they really felt, in their own heads, about it. They seemed okay, mostly. Jessie could talk about it, which helped to mitigate some of her fears and frustrations. Sam had some other issues that manifested itself, but for the most part, he seemed to sail thru it without too many problems (it definitely helped that we were staying with his best friend). Julianna was a little off, but adjusted quickly. I worried the least about her, she's still at an age where her security is still really based on my availability. As long as she could snuggle up next to me, she was fine.
I'm feeling more like me these days. The past month, two months, really, have been exceptionally difficult. I was depressed and miserable and trying so hard not to be. But I feel lighter, more cheerful and optimistic. Signing an eighteen month lease will do that to a girl.