In this blog post, I’m going to go right back into some of what I felt when I was homeless. Please be warned – this post could trigger some people because of how honest I’m going to be, but I want to share it because it was my reality then. It isn’t, however, my reality now.
I couldn’t see back then that my life would ever be any different but I see now that it is so different and I’m glad I didn’t give up.
Back then, I think I wanted two big things. There were lots of little things, too, but they all led to these big things.
The first thing I wanted was to be loved. To be wanted. I wanted someone to want me in their life.
I look at my children now and I simply cannot imagine life without them in it. Or, shall I put it this way – I don’t WANT to know life without them in it.
Then I look at my own parents. They were the opposite. They didn’t want me in their lives. They wanted nothing more than to never have to deal with me again. That is something I will never be able to fathom. I will never understand how a parent could do that to their child, but this post isn’t about that.
What I wanted back then was for someone to say “Gretel, I want you in my life. I want you around me. I don’t want to know life without you in it!”
I wanted a parent. I wanted someone who believed in me and wanted me in their life. This then leads me to the second thing I wanted.
If I didn’t have that, then I wanted to be dead.
It was as simple as that.
In one of my previous posts, I said that in the times I tried to take my own life back then, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be dead or if I just wanted the pain to stop. I’ve been thinking about it over the last few days and I realise they were one and the same thing.
I wanted to die because it was the only way the pain would ever stop. If someone had asked me what my biggest hope was back then, it would’ve been if I can’t be loved, then I want to die as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Because of how I was treated by my family, I felt like I was completely unlovable and unwanted by anyone. I wanted to be dead. I didn’t see any point in continuing.
It’s pretty confronting realising that but that was my reality. Most of the time, I wanted to be dead because I felt so unlovable.
But then there was this part of me, right down deep inside that kept wanting more. I didn’t want what life had given me. I wanted more.
I wanted what others had. I wanted to be loved. I wanted someone to want me in their life.
Sadly, that didn’t happen in the way I wanted it to. I wish I could tell you that one day someone walked into my life and wanted me in theirs and showed me love but it didn’t happen that way,
In the end, I found someone who loved me and wanted me in their life and that person was me. There wasn’t anyone who was really there for me on a daily basis except me.
I had to learn to love me.
This was a very long process but I somehow managed to do it. As I have said before, I didn’t have much support or counselling back then. I had to fumble my way through working out not just who I am but what there is to love about me as best I could.
It started with little things, like my ability to trip over thin air or bump into random things at random times; my sarcasm; my really warped sense of humour.
Then I had to learn to love my heart. I had to learn to love the way I feel compassion and empathy for others. How I want to help them as best I can.
Then I had to learn to love my mind. I had to learn to love the way I think; how much I love learning new things; how much I love talking to people and learning from their experiences; how I can literally talk to anyone about anything, and ask them countless questions in the process.
As I learned each of these things, I became more comfortable with who I am and that then helped me become brave enough to try and love another part of who I am.
The more I started loving myself, the more courageous I became at learning what else there is to love about me. The braver I became at facing my many, many demons so that I could learn more about who I really am and fall even more in love with myself.
I had to face some massive demons to do this and the best part was every time I faced one and it turned it into something to not be scared of anymore, I found even more about myself to love.
Learning to love yourself is not something that just those who have been homeless or who have had difficult lives struggle with.
Everyone has to learn to love who they are. It’s just that those of us who have had a rougher start in life have a whole added layer of feeling unlovable and unwanted that we have to ‘unlearn’ before we can even begin to learn to love ourselves.
It was a long and hard road getting to the place where I loved who I am. The way I’d been treated had made me believe the complete opposite of being lovable, but it was worth every second of the struggle.
I found out so much about who I am. Even today, I’m still finding out more of who I am and it isn’t what I was led to believe all of those years ago.
The best part of this whole process has been as I’ve learned to love myself, I actually saved myself, too.
I now know that all of the little and big things that make me who I am make me so lovable. I’m actually not even close to being who I used to believe I was.
So, in answer to the question in the title of this blog post – what do I want? It’s pretty simple. I’m the same as everyone else. I just want people to love me and want me in their life.
The beautiful part of the journey I have been on is, as I’ve learned to love myself, the last thing I want is to be dead! I want to be alive more than anything.
I want to experience everything life has for me – both good and bad.
In the end, I didn’t need someone to swoop in and tell me that they loved me and wanted me in their life. I just needed me. I needed to fall love with who I am and in doing that, I was able to save myself.
And I desperately want to be alive. I don’t want to be dead anymore.
All my love, Gretel xx