Why Do Some People Just Remain Homeless?

homelessguitarist
“Homeless” by Leroy Skalstad

The following observation is strictly based on my own homeless experience during January – September 2015.

Why don’t we just pull ourselves together?

The fact is, homeless people pull themselves together 24/7. It’s just that pulling yourself together as a homeless person doesn’t mean getting a job, it means getting up on your feet, preferably without falling down again. Every day is like your first day at a new place of work. You know how tired you are in the evening after these first days and your head is full of all the new images? That is how tired homeless people are, when we wake up.The difference is that every day we wake up to an ever growing random chaotic noise of “new jobs.”

Bear in mind that I only hit the streets for one night, two in the homeless shelter and maybe twenty, either awake or crashing randomly after parties. Which means that my issues were a paradise compared to so many I see every day.

Why do homeless people make short-sighted decisions, instead of planning for the future?

There is a term called “Decision Fatigue,” and can be explained best by the fact that if a convict faces an appeal court in the morning, that person is much more likely to be let out of prison, than if the same person faces the same court and on the same day, 8 hours later. That is because our heads get filled up through the day and we are less likely to make important decisions in the afternoon to avoid mistakes.

Decision fatigue is what homeless people wake up to.It got so bad, that when I managed to walk around in one particular direction and had a second to think, I would think the same, all day long for a few weeks; “I wish I got so tired, I would accidentally walk in front of a bus and be killed so I can get a break.” My thoughts weren’t that precise at the time, it was more like “Bleeeeehhhhhhhhh Bus, Peace.”

Then there is an army of other heavier issues. Often that would be things like a divorce, abuse, rape, war and so forth. I housed a homeless vet from the French Foreign Legions and he’d been active for NINE years, then went on spending his FFL money and ended up homeless in Denmark, piss drunk without epilepsy medicine.

No one chooses to be homeless at first. It’s a process and it’s amazing to see how fast some people’s view on me changed and have changed back, now that I have managed to “pull myself together.” Infact, it was socialists and socialism that pulled me together, right after I had decided to go full time and check out of society.

Being homeless, is like having two lives.

I smoked a great deal of weed at the time and hid a beer can I had made into a bong, in an abandoned warehouse, you know, that type with half a roof and some walls and graffiti, that heroine junkies use to fix in. That was the world I felt most accepted in. Being there alone, were probably my most honest moments of 2015.

Still to this day, maybe every second month, I revisit the homeless shelter, because after this experience, 99% of people I know, I get bored talking with, because they are still in the “OMG!!! I can’t find my phone, that is SOOO bad!!!” mentality. Even people around the age of forty, my age, actually think that their material things have an important place in their lives. People are funny 🙂 Having that said, it’s nice to have dry shoes, without holes during Christmas, especially if it’s snowing/raining.

When all this tiring lifestyle is so dominant, it becomes harder by the day to keep up and some of us, including me, just give up one day and begin devoloping into a personality that feels hated by society. And infact we are. That is the reason why it’s going to take a Libertarian for me to vote to the right:

  1. A typical right wing attitude is either “Why don’t they pull themselves together? Why do they choose to be in a way I don’t like, when they could have my fancy home with no other problems but alcoholism, domestic violence and a great deal of adultry?”
    I answer that in this post.
  2. The other most common I’ve heard, is that “Homeless people should be round up and shot.” I even hear that sometimes from friends today and always wonder why you didn’t seize the opportuntiy when I was suicidal. I would even have done it for you.
    But you know, most right-wingers are all talk and no balls. Talk like the President of the Phillipines and then invite me to a party the same day. Once you grow out of misery, you learn how easily most people break into submission to ignorance.

The problem with shooting me to save the mentality of the weak and judgemental, is that by killing a homeless person, we lower the average level of IQ, because research shows that those at the very top and bottom of society, have the highest levels of IQ. If you meet a homeless person, chances are that person is both more generous and intelligent than you, it just doesn’t show when people are dealing with PTSD with alcohol.

My biggest fear was if someone I knew would see me. People that claim to be close friends today, have no idea, that if I saw them in public, I would hide or change my route, because I was so deeply ashamed of not being a proper “snob.” What hasn’t changed, is that I still feel outside of society. And I don’t think it’s a problem, I know how to keep a poker face to get paid and stuff.

“Hey Hölli, how’s things?”
“Oh man, quite good! Been playing some music.” (Except for I don’t know where I live, haven’t eaten much for a week and nearly fainted last time I was with my kid, whom doesn’t care anymore if I show up or not and I think I took a shower this week, otherwise I’m getting a toothbrush soon and I hope I will sleep atleast 6 hours over the next four days and last time I was hoping to die, I realized I can’t talk with anyone, so yeah, quite fucking great life I have.)

The thing is, when you’ve gotten out of the gutter, you don’t waste time being honest about serious shit with most people, because either way, 99% of the time you get judgement or too much baby-pampering and never any understanding, because this experience is so unique, it has to be tried for quite some time, to be understood. In a way, it was so nerve exciting, that returing to society, is, to be honest, very boring.

So few people left to talk with about things that blow my mind and in social situations I usually just please by talking about things that don’t exceed other people’s level or will of understanding. My level of understanding is too much for most people, as it seems every time I go deep. It has it’s merits being a new personality every day for a few months. I had to destroy my ego completely to get through this.

Still to this day, I sometimes eat two cheese burgers at McDonalds, only to remind myself of the day it was my breakfast at ten in the evening. I still have problems eating sometimes and can go on for hours on a very empty stomach, not being able to decide what to eat, so I pass another hour or two, with blood sugar levels going into anxiety.

And then there is the deletion of one’s own personality.

This is how it felt for me. It was an extremely painpul period, on like month three, because everything I knew, held on to and understood, began fading away, turning against me and becoming weird. It starts with the people you know. First it’s the judgmental ones that say we should be shot because we’re ugly. Then it’s things like furniture, cups, sinks, clothing cabinets. One day you realize that you don’t have any connections in your head to your past or current “official” life and your life becomes “Here, Now.” Eventually I couldn’t rely on anything else than the word; “Here.” I’m here,more complications and a suicide is waiting around the corner.

Eventually, and this was by far the best period, I adjusted to being a true natural and a primitive human being. I was no longer a part of society. I loved this period and grew so strong, yet cold, that nothing could take me out of balance, except for not being able to be a solid dad, and a certain woman I fell for during this period.

Adjusting back to society has proven to be so difficult, that deep inside, it feels like I won’t and will eventually lose welfare, and just go full time homeless again. The fear we generate when we have no security over months, years, decades, is so real and so powerful, that it has changed me such, that I almost anticipate the worst, so I must plan for the best.

“Real” men don’t handle this defeat very well.

In the past, I used to do 50-60 hours a week, blue collaring, eating all meals at precise times and usually the same food, pretty much until January 2015, from birth. That is 39 years of predictable routines. I would do all these concerts, Gummi Pálma would be helping me each time, we were like an atomic clock on the execution of things. I did PR, posters, flyers, walking with these, play the guitar, booking the shows, recording the concerts, mix maste and edit, get the CD’s pressed, write the bio and edit the YouTube videos. This coming saturday I have a very little concert that requires almost no work, and it scares me quite a bit how badly I am fucking up, compared to how bad-ass I was in the past.

I was sometimes so super organized, I produced a short-film with 40 people as staff. I knew with a few months advance, what they would be eating on day three of shooting, before they even knew we were planning a film. During shooting, I worked from 7am – 3am, yes, both am, almost 24 hours, for seven days in a row, producing, recording sound, calling out contracts, steering a group of teenagers, reading the script, helping with the lighting and so forth, and lost a lot of money on it too. THAT is my natural ambition, to be the best.

Now, after only 8 months without a place to call my own, I’ve lived in the same apartment for 13. months and I still wonder if I’ll ever be able to do the groceries, dishes and laundry in less than 10 days. Let alone performing the electric guitar again…This slaughtering of my independence and masculinity, has been quite harsh to accept.

When you have no one to rely on, eventually you find one.

Ever wondered why homeless people are always in groups? We don’t have ANYONE else, at all, because the majority of society, compared to us, are like echoing sheep “Get a job, get a life or otherwise choose to be a loser.”I don’t like to be judgemental, but the majority of society, I think, is ignorant. Maybe more intelligent and smart than me, but it’s as if deep understanding is a sin amongst us. So many of our believes are shaped by politicians, and most of those, for reasons of life experiences, will never have my respect.

We become the average of the people we hang out with most. I knew that, so I kept myself to myself, knowing that if I began having friends among the homeless, there would be a very hard way out, from a neuro-scientific point of view. It’s called “Neuroplasticity,” if you want to understand our amazing brain better.

None of my friends or family had a clue about how I was doing, what I was up to or how close to a suicide I was, from day to day, month after month, because the shame, guilt and worthlessness factor, together with months of only thinking and not talking with anyone about the issues, simply became a routine and if it wasn’t for socialism and socialists, I would now be having my morning beer with my closest friends, the homeless, maybe easing into heroine, I hear it’s quite good, this blog wouldn’t exist and most of you that know me in real life, would be wondering when the funeral invitation was coming. And ofcourse the prejudice factor, mostly from my right-wing family and friends. The good thing about being totally defeated, is you learn what kind of people you ask for help.

If you want to know what a homeless person looks like 16 months before the process begins, check out this recording from one of our old bands. I’m the guy on the right, playing that monsterous guitar 🙂 And I miss it so much. One side-effect from being a homeless Bi-Polar, is severe stress and still to this day, I have issues with loud noises, not playing live much atm., just watching the old recordings, hoping to do this again one day, for real, like those 4-6 hour concerts we used to do so easily. 🙂

And that’s the bottom line.

Thank you for reading and may today bring peace, love and happiness to your and yours.

Hölli.

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