First, you should know I’m not really a social butterfly. I’m that person that sits or stands somewhere in the back, to a wall, while others are talking in groups. Not because I don’t want to talk, but I can’t just walk towards someone, or a group, and interrupt.
As you might have guessed from the title: I feel ashamed. Ashamed and a bit like a hippocrit, even though I don’t want to be like that. Let me try to explain. I’d love to talk to people, in this case homeless people. Not out of pity, but because I’m interested in them as a person. I often feel disgusted by how some people treat the homeless. As if they aren’t people. I think I can relate and connect more to homeless people, than to those ‘aristocrats’ (as they like to think of themselves). Yet, I have some aristocrats in the neighbourhood and still don’t talk to the homeless. Even though I want to do that for such a long time. (I don’t talk to the aristocrats either)
I feel ashamed and bad every time I go to the supermarket and I don’t talk to them, maybe even pretend to ignore them, even though I really want to communicate with them. They are people too and it’s often not their ‘fault’ that they ended up in this situation. I think/hope I don’t have the prejudices a lot of the homeless have to deal with. Partly, because I can relate. My fellow Hippo was officially homeless, but thankfully my parents took him in, since he was denied everywhere. I’ve spend nights outside too. It was so frustrating how people didn’t understand that my dear fellow Hippo was homeless. Nobody understood that this could actually happen. They just denied him, even though he would have to spend nights on the street. This can happen, people. Parents can be so ‘cruel’ to just kick their son out of their house, because he’s ‘acting disabled’. All those people who denied him, because they didn’t want the trouble, said he just had to go to school, because school was important. How can you go to school, or be busy with other stuff, if you don’t even have a roof above your head or food? They probably never heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Which symbolizes the needs humans have and the importance of it. You need every previous level of the pyramid, before you can fulfill the next. But I’ll talk about this some other time. Back to my sense of shame.
[Image of the pyramid of Maslow. On top is Self-actualization with the words: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts in it. Below that is Esteem with the words: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others in it. Below that Love/belonging with the words: friendship, family, sexual intimacy. Below that Safety with the words: security of: body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health, property. On the bottom is Physiological with the words: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion.]
I’m worried that the homeless people don’t want me to ‘interfere’. We have prejudices, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they have prejudices too. What if they think I’m just doing it out of pity or want to make fun of them etc.? As always, I don’t want to bother people. I don’t ask, but people are welcome to talk to me if they like. With this case it’s the same. But I understand why those homeless people don’t just talk to us. Because most of us ignore them, deny them, are mean to them. I just want to treat them like everyone else, like people, with respect. And of course I can’t do this alone. I’m too afraid to be alone, so I would have to take someone with me who is willing to talk as well.
I already feel bad that I’m not in a position that I can really help them. I’d love to do volunteer work, but I can’t because of my disabilities. Maybe some day I will be able to, it’s one of the things I’m working on. I also feel ashamed when my fellow Hippo and I have bags filled with groceries. We don’t have a lot of money, but still we have so much stuff and so much more stuff than them. Sometimes we treat ourselves and also buy things you don’t necessarily need physically, but it can still feel good to eat crisps for example. Of course then I see someone looking and feel very bad. I’m not allowed to take anyone in my house. I have to deal with rules from the health facility. Even though we have our own apartment and pay rent, it’s the same as when I lived at the group. They forced me to send my own fellow Hippo, my everything in life, to the streets. I couldn’t and went with him. I just wouldn’t abandon him. School still ‘punishes’ us for what we did. That we couldn’t come for months because we didn’t live in the same city. It’s just so cruel and when I think of this I get tears in my eyes again. I wonder, what would you have done? People told me not to ‘ruin’ my life for someone else, I would find another person… They didn’t understand the connection my fellow Hippo and I have. It’s not your average young relationship. And still, I think I did the right thing. I didn’t abandon him, went with him and kept looking for help. Exactly like I promised.
And again I went off topic, I’m sorry. It’s just that I wish things would be different. That I could do something, without getting homeless myself too. And I feel bad for thinking about myself as well. Sometimes people have to remind me that we don’t have enough money to pay our own bills, otherwise I would give everyone so much stuff and money.
I’m just so glad that this blogger does have the guts to do something. It’s really inspiring. Although I was already thinking about all this before I read her posts (nobody should feel guilty that I feel like this, it’s my own fault for being to afraid and to shy. I also feel like it’s my fault about what happened to my fellow Hippo, maybe even to me as well, giving me PTSD. But I should stop this circle now. I know I shouldn’t think like this, but sometimes…). I hope her posts will give me the power that I can do it too. And maybe, since it’s December, the homeless are treated better now. Sadly, a lot of people only act differently because of the holidays but maybe it will stay. We can still make this world better, if we just keep doing good things.
[Close-up image of one side of a painted face. The person has a green eye and the face is painted with the map of the Americas and the surrounding ocean and some air streams]
Photo source 1
Photo source 2