From Homelessness to Finding A Place of Peace. A true confessional story.
My Year of Learning:
From Homelessness to Finding A Place of Peace
I was anxious. I felt like a caged animal and just wanted to escape.
I was trapped with nowhere to go.
I didn’t have the money to return home to Magdeburg or London.
The few friends I had in America were either too busy or didn’t want
to put up with me.
Then it hit me. Los Angeles.
I’d had a wonderful time there 5 months previous and I was dying to
get back out there and see all that I missed. I scraped together what
I could, and with 120$ in my pocket, I got on a plane to LA.
I didn’t have a plan or really any money.
I’d used my grandmother’s credit card (with permission) to book the
ticket and a two week stay at a local hotel. She didn’t know that I
hadn’t purchased a return ticket and that I didn’t plan on coming back.
She was paid and could sell any of the stuff I’d left if she needed to.
I relaxed into my seat on the American Airlines flight and felt a little
bit of relief. I let the music rush over me and slept almost the entire
flight across the country. We landed at LAX and I thought, „This is the
beginning to a new life. I’ll reach my goals, I’ll find the happiness I’ve
been seeking all along.“ Well, it was the beginning of a new life, but not
the one was dreaming of.
I applied for jobs in the area and landed one in Malibu.
(I’m not sure why Malibu was even on that list to begin with.)
I didn’t know that it was an hour away job from where I was
staying near LAX, nor did I realise that the area was notoriously rich.
It was an expensive posh restaurant, right on the edge of the sea where patrons
could overlook the rough waves of the Pacific Ocean while they either
sipped wine on godly white loungers or dinned over hand crafted tables.
I thought I could move out to the area and upon seeing what my pay would be
and what the rent was for flats within walking distance, I knew that would never
happen. I needed something I could walk to or take the bus to, as I don’t hold
a driver’s license. I’d have to take an Uber every day to work since I couldn’t
afford the regular taxi and the buses didn’t stop anywhere near the restaurant.
I got a credit card of my own and began to indulge myself. I figured I’d get another
job soon, one that paid okay to good and I could make payments each month.
I got myself a flat on Hollywood blvd, figuring I could use the cash advance to pay
rent when I was short on it and just pay it back later. (I don’t advise ever doing this.)
Long story short, i’d bought things for the flat and went on a shopping spree to treat
myself for looking for new jobs and for trying something completely new. 7,000$ later
I realised things were out of control. This bill came months later as I hadn’t been checking
my post and they were threatening to turn my account over to collectors.
I really didn’t care at that point. I’d become so involved in drugs and trying to find my own
happiness in any way that I could, I stopped thinking about real responsibility and became
more or less addicted to my own personal pursuits. I was getting high almost every day, laying
sprawled across the mattress on the floor of my studio flat surrounded by clothes, garbage,
a bong, wrappers and the shards of my dreams. I became so completely disillusioned that i
didn’t stop to think about any sort of consequence; Quite frankly, nothing mattered at all. I was
on a path of destruction and death, walking a tightrope across a canyon. I was so high, I believed
there was no limit to anything I could do or experience. Money wasn’t an object to me. I’d taken
a cash advance on my grandmother’s card out of desperation. I knew it was wrong, that I
shouldn’t have done it, but I continued to sink lower into my depression and tidal waves of mania.
Through my discovery of certain chemical combos, I saw the best and the worst of my life. I
was more vulgar than I had ever been, wearing ripped and disgusting clothes, not caring how
others saw me, and yet i was desperate to be loved.
Somehow in my haze I realised that I would need money to continue my habit and to keep my flat.
I thought about prostitution. A quick way to make the rent in one night’s time if I played my cards
right. I didn’t care about my body, but I was ashamed of it. Littered with scars and fresh wounds from
my ever increasing self-harm and bruises from where I’d fallen while intoxicated or high or from when
I hit myself in bought of frustration. I knew being a whore would never work out, due to my physical
hideousness and my shyness. I knew the only way I could ever make an attempt was to be high, and I
didn’t want to put myself in that compromising of a position.
I did think about it though. What it would be like and such. I imagined it in all different ways; vibrant coloured,
black and white, mute colour….semi clothed, nude. I lived a thousand lives as I played these depraved
films in my head.