I once had no place to live. \
My mom and I left New Mexico and went to Virginia, then we moved to North Carolina. My mom was having really bad back problems. She had a new kind of experimental surgery – a spinal transfusion – and she had to be off work for a long time. The transfusion didn’t take, so she had to go back into surgery. Then she got laid off so we didn’t have any source of income. Then all those medical bills hit.
For a while we lived in a little space above my grandmother’s garage. Then we got a van and drove all the way to New Mexico but when we got there we had some more problems and went through a really tough time.
We came back to Virginia so I would be in a good public school system. We didn’t have anywhere to stay at first and were living in and out of the van and bouncing around to people we kinda knew.
It was a very hard year when we got to Virginia. My mom took on two or three jobs. I would walk several miles each way back and forth to school every day. When I got home, my mom would still be at work. By the time I finished eating dinner and put everything up, my mom was so tired from working so hard to provide for us. So it was just me a lot of the time. I didn’t have a lot of friends at school. Middle school is already kinda cruddy and then I had my issues.
We had to leave our apartment. At one point we had to stay in the van for like three weeks.
When I started high school, we found a place to live. It was a very small place - only two rooms. But it was OUR place. Some of my classmates were rich and had giant houses, but I had a house now! I was so pumped! I was so pumped up to say ‘you want to come to my house?’ It was really cool. I don’t know if confidence was the right word, but I know I went to school a lot happier. Maybe that was security?
After a year, my mother’s back started to severely affect her. She was losing feeling through her hips and legs. She couldn’t afford another big surgery and because she kept having to ask for time off she ended up not having that opportunity any longer and the bank came and took the car one night. Then we weren’t going to be able to stay in the house any longer.