Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Falling Through the Cracks: My Struggle to Survive as a Homeless Youth

The sun has only barely begun to peek over the horizon but the faint brightness of the early morning sunrise stirs me in my sleep. I start to wake and for a brief moment I feel almost normal -- perhaps even happy -- suspended in a blissful state of ignorance as the sleep begins to leave my body and my mind wakes and adjusts to its surroundings.
Almost within the same instant, I am paralyzed, I can't move or breathe, and an overload of anxiety begins to fill every fiber of my being. Reality sets in and I am suddenly all too aware that I am under a bridge and surrounded by cold concrete ringed with the piercing smells of asphalt and urine.
There were always moments like this, moments where I'd have to remind myself where I was and who I'd become. My mind seemed to be going through this process of rejecting its surroundings -- unable to fully accept the present -- I would constantly find myself lost in vivid memories of my past as if my psyche was trying to remind me of who I was, and then within the same breath, I'd feel the harsh pangs of depression arise as I remembered my reality.
I was homeless, forgotten, abandoned, and alone. A product of the Texas foster care system, I had no one.
My life was reduced to two pairs of cloths, a well-worn backpack, and the streets. By day, I begged strangers for their change; and by night, I was turning tricks for a place to stay, a shower, a hot meal, or whatever resources I could trade my body for.
That was my reality.
READ MORE:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristopher-sharp/falling-through-the-cracks-my-struggle-to-survive-as-a-homeless-youth_b_7147872.html

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