Everyone has a story. I believe that some things in life happen to us for a reason. I also believe that by sharing our stories we can heal other’s who may be in the same situation. I’m finally ready to share my story about how the beach saved my life. It’s something I have kept a secret for far too long. But it’s a story of survival that I hope will one day inspire someone.
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Just two short years ago, I was homeless. I lived in my car for about a year. I still can’t believe that I’ve had this experience. I always thought having a good job and going to college would protect me from being homeless. I also felt like a huge failure as my world all of a sudden spiraled out of control. I currently own my home and my experience makes me appreciate it that much more!
You may be wondering how could an educated person with income end up like this? I was simply the victim of a bad rental situation. In 2018 I rented a tiny, one bedroom in law apartment that was attached to a two bedroom main house to save money. I always paid my rent and bills on time, so you would think there would not be any problems. Right? Wrong! What I did not know at the time, is that the landlord was completely mentally unstable.
For the first month everything was ok. But by the third month, I was subject to this landlords advances demanding that I “spend time” with this person. I politely declined and then the advances became more aggressive. I was also subject to daily harassment and threats on my life from this person and their acquaintances. I was no longer able to sleep or feel safe in my home. But, that was the problem. It was not my home, and this person made sure that I knew this.
The police were called at least twenty-five times, even when I was not at home. I am not a criminal but the law states that they have to respond even if there is no crime. This landlord also began to refuse my rent payments in order to start the eviction process against me. I had to get a protective order until I was able to move, all because of my rejection.
We went to court three times and each time I had to take valuable time off of work. I won all three cases. The judge clearly saw right though the games, and ordered me to remain in the apartment for six more months rent free. By the time the last trial date came, I had already left the apartment for my safety. I only lived there for seven short months.
Why Mental Health Matters
Do to the stress of the situation, I developed PTSD. I still suffer from it to this day, but now I can live in peace and try to forget the trauma of having my life threatened daily. I managed to search for a new place to live, but would have severe anxiety and panic attacks. When the time came to view a new apartment or meet a new landlord, I would start to feel dizzy and begin to panic, so I canceled all of the appointments. My PTSD and mental trauma made me believe that if I rejected the next landlords advances, they would actually succeed at killing me.
There is huge problem with getting access to mental healthcare which is why so many people are suffering! Mental health matters because this horrible unstable person had also managed to affect my mental health. This was something new in my life that I had never experienced before, people know me as a kind and genuine person.
I never had my life threatened before. Just being around people stressed me out. My trauma caused me to isolate myself, and I didn’t share any of what was happening to me with my friends. I was too embarrassed and I didn’t have family near to live with. I also could not imagine living in a shelter. The homeless shelters are too overcrowded. Yet sadly half a million Americans are currently facing this crisis.
It Can Happen To Anyone
I have never judged anyone who has been homeless, because I can attest to the fact that it can happen to anyone. Everyone has a different situation as to why they become homeless. It’s not always drugs or alcohol as the news media and most of society will lead you to believe. It can happen to the nicest person, someone with a job, college educated, or a family.
In my case, it wasn’t for lack of a job or money, I was just the victim of circumstances in life that were out of my control. I decided that I would do everything within my power to take back control of my life. Within one year I managed to pull myself out of this situation, and was able to buy my first home where I could feel safe and in control.
How The Beach Saved My Life
During that tough year, I spent a lot of time at the beach. It was like free therapy for my soul. Staring mindlessly at the ocean waves, gave me peace of mind and the clarity I needed to pull my life back together. If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would be strong enough.
Sure I was in a bad situation, but the freedom that I felt while staring at the sea for hours on end is what helped me to heal. I would camp out at my favorite beach all evening and all day on my days off. No one ever knew that anything was wrong. I showered at the gym daily, went to work and right after work, I would go back to the beach.
During the night I would find safe places to park so that I could rest a little. You always have to be on watch for your safety. Some nights I stayed in hotels, but it becomes very expensive and I wanted to save up to buy a home.
My mind was at peace and I automatically went into a state of survival. I met so many wonderful people along the way that gave me hope and encouragement. I knew then that God had placed those very people in my path for a reason. That reason was to help me along this journey called life.
My advice to you is that if you ever find yourself in this situation, know that you will get through it. It’s not easy but humans have incredible survival skills. Those skills will automatically take over in any of life’s unpleasant circumstances. I now know the reason that I had to go through that experience. Not only did it push me onto the right path in life, but it also put me on a path to help others and home ownership.
The beach is where I started my blog. I had no idea it would grow into me owning my very own business. For me it was a way to escape my stress. It helped me to dream of a better life and express myself while going through a tough time in life. You may not understand why bad things are happening to you at the time, but keep the faith that life is taking you down this path for a good reason.
I know it was God who protected me from a world full of predators while I slept in my car. I never felt alone. I also am very passionate about helping those who are homeless and somehow strangely grateful for the experience. Although it has lead to my success, but I don’t wish this experience on anyone. I am crying as I write this because I feel like I have been carrying this heavy secret for so long. Now that have revealed it, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted, and that unfortunate chapter in my life is over.
Thank you reading this, I hope my story becomes someone else’s survival guide and will help in some way. I don’t consider myself to be brave, I just tried to make the best of a bad situation and the beach was my escape! I believe God created the beach because he knew we would need a place of peace and refuge in this world! For me it was definitely the thing that saved my sanity. Also see 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me