There is a man in my SZ group who is pulling himself together rather quickly. Good for him. Like so many others, he has expressed an interest in becoming a therapist. Good for him again.
The guy and I were walking through the Green Lake park and some homeless people were begging some coins and trying to sell us an empty bottle. The guy from my group cussed them out. Then he shook his head and said… “I hate these losers. I should have kicked their ass”
As a person who has been homeless, has lived in a park, and has been beaten up by people who have come into the homeless camp for no other reason then to kick a beggar. This really did upset me.
I tried to tell him… If your going to go into the psychiatric field in any capacity, you will be coming across many many homeless. Where do you think a lot of the mentally ill end up? I told him… I used to be homeless. I used to be off meds, unstable, and living in a park.
Myself, other guys in the homeless camp, we were all mentally ill. A lot of the mentally ill end up homeless. Some were mentally ill first and did drugs second. Some were drug users who became mentally ill… it doesn’t matter if the chicken or the egg came first… we’re all in the same boat now. Some hide in the park because they are ashamed of themselves and don’t want to burden their families. Others are sure their family is out to kill them.
But every time some young punk would cuss me out for being homeless, yell at me to “Eff off, and get a job” try and kick me… that didn’t help my trust of anyone who tried to get me off the streets on stabilized on meds. How was I going to get a job? I couldn’t get a job until I got stabilized. I couldn’t get stabilized until I got off the street. I couldn’t get off the street if I was too afraid of everyone to do so.
Abusing homeless just makes us more scared, more distrusting and more unwilling to come out of our homeless situation and seek the help up. If we are treated as scum and untouchable… we will believe it and not come to anyone for help.
One old lady wandered into our park and she had Alzheimers. She got lost out of her care home and couldn’t remember how to get back. She would walk up to people as they passed begging for help to get home. Young punks would push her and yell at her to Eff Off. She wasn’t begging change… she was begging for direction. This is someone’s ill grandma who accidently got through a door she shouldn’t have gotten through. She was finally found by the cops. We took care of her while she was with us.
But having young punks cuss us out for asking a question didn’t make it any easier for us to get help. She probably could have been found by her family almost two weeks sooner if people would just listen to what we were saying about this old lady instead of just assuming we were all druggies begging change.
I’m in NO WAY saying you have to give all your coin away to a homeless man. But just a “Sorry dude, nothing on me.”
Or just ignore us… then the fear level starts to drop. Really… ignoring me is far easier to take then cussing me out.
Please… just walk on by.