Thursday, 19 June 2014

HOMELESS IN WINCHESTER 2010 CONTINUED


  • Back to the story, Winchester October 2010.
  • I was in a mess, wearing these ragged clothes and shoes that were worn through, walking all the time in these soft unsupportive shoes which were causing my ankle to struggle, the shoes were so worn that I could feel the ground, the holes in the soles let in water and sharp things, so I got a pair of trainers and some jeans, I was extremely worried about money and spending as I only had what wages I had in the bank from my last wage packet, and I knew that I could never get through the rigmarole of applying for benefits especially as I had just come back from Jersey and felt sure I would be entitled to little or nothing. I didn’t think I could explain to anyone why I had ended up homeless and I felt sure that anyone I tried to explain to would soon have the diocese along contradicting it.

  • The shoes I had when I arrived in Winchester were the same soft house shoes with holes in the soles that I was taken from my home in Jersey wearing, they were only suitable for indoors. Bob Hill mistakenly describes them as tatty trainers.
  • So I had new trainers and trousers, but I was walking so much that I was getting into difficulties, I was walking stiffly, completely tensed up all the time, my legs and arms were stiff, and my ankle was awkward, I didn’t fully know what my problem with walking was even though the doctor in Jersey had mentioned it, the doctor at the Trinity centre checked me over and made sure my reflexes were ok and said she thought it was to do with anxiety among other things. She said regarding the trauma of what had happened in Jersey, that I would start to recover in 3 or 4 years. She was a nice helpful doctor.
  • I wondered about my back aches and stiff legs and if the egg sized lump on my back by my spine was anything to do with things, but she said it seemed to just be a lipoma, which was a relief, I felt so ill that I wondered what was wrong with me. But I was ill because I was so badly damaged mentally and emotionally by what had happened and my situation.
  • The trainers were useless and my feet got blistered and infected, it was strange because I had never got blisters before in my life, not even when wearing army boots and running, not from running, not from wearing work boots, but now I was getting blisters and infections that made me walk all the more badly, I walk in a way that puts pressure on the outsides of my feet, it is not correctable even with special insoles I have to balance me, they do very little because of how pronounced the incorrect alignment of my feet is, so  it was a struggle to get anywhere.

  •  The nurse at the Trinity Centre gave me antibiotic cream and padding and bandages to help me cope, but it was early days then, I had not learned to cope with homeless feet and in the early stages of being homeless and very traumatised, I didn’t know what to do or where to go, how to settle down to do anything, being street homeless is something you have to learn, you don’t come from a home to knowing exactly how survive on the streets, and so you suffer,  you feel cold and lost and traumatised and tired, you crave a warm quiet bed and a home and a kettle and a purpose in life, you lose your purpose when you come from the safety of a home and a job to the endless nothing and pointlessness of homelessness. 
  • (written in 2011, obviously)Though now after 6 months I am so well looked after that no-one knows I am homeless until they see me diving in the rubbish bins with the boys for food, yes I do indeed do this and I am not ashamed.

  • my friends came back from Jersey and I suffered fresh trauma as my friend tried to make me talk, tried to tell me about how she had talked to Mark Bond and Judith Davey in Jersey, talked about talking to Shirley and Andreamy landlady in Jersey, I told her not discuss me with Shirley or Mark or Judith any further please , I was humiliated,  She said something about what had been covered up in Jersey being wrong, but it was no good saying anything to me it just caused me huge distress, I ended up in collapse at St. Bartholomews church with the fluffy headed curate there making a token effort to ‘help’, but Jane Fisher soon set her right with the diocese’s side of things there. There was never any point in me talking to a priest since I returned to Winchester, even though what I needed most was a priest to help me to come to terms with what the church have done to me and help me find God among the terrible things that have happened and find a way forward with God, but sadly the diocese have ensured that that will never happen.
Well since writing this in 2011, I have found God because I realised the Church of England are nothing to do with God, and God is in other churches and places.

  • In the nightshelter I had nightmares and was scared, one morning in the early hours I was suffering distress from massive nightmares about the police manhandling me and throwing me into court, I got up and the nasty piece of work supervisor, the only nasty one out of four, because the others were ok, was awake and working, he approached me with hostile attitude and went on at me for being up in the night, it was between 4 and 5am, I wouldn’t go back to my room so he let me sit in the lounge while he went back to his work, I had some hot tea and watched the pouring, pounding rain outside, then the supervisor came back and told me to go back to my room, he could see I was distressed and crying and he was so cold, I went to my room and got my backpack,( I had got a cheap backpack since I had returned to Winchester) and I went out of the nightshelter, it was very early morning and pouring with rain, this is the ‘considerable help’ that Tim Sledge jeered at me when he was smashing me down for Jane Fisher and the diocese when he told me I had simply walked out of the ‘considerable help’ provided by the Nightshelter? Maybe Tim should have asked for my side before trying to shove me back into the nightshelter for the diocese!

  • The nightshelter reminded me of prison and I was frightened of the narrow corridor that people were always walking along and passing each other too close, it was too much for me, the shower didn’t work in the girls bathroom and the little room I had did remind me of a cell, especially when I had to lock myself in and endure the noise outside just as I was locked in and endured the noise outside in prison. So it kept the prison and the shame alive for me.
  • The girls shower didn’t work, and every time I went in the bathroom there were people in the corridor or computer room making a noise and laughing and I felt exposed and anxious.
  • My hair was a mess and I had a cheap haircut that made it more of a mess, it looked terrible, and I couldn’t wash it very well in the bath, so I had the shoulder length messy hair completely shaved off, I do not know if there was something psychological in that as well as physical, but most people were not happy that I had done this, and the rumour mongers who I will explain in a minute, had a field day. I was happy about no having dirty messy hair any more.

  • Anyway, back in the nightshelter it was tough, there were good and bad people there, the good people – (names redacted) and any others I cannot remember, helped and supported me, (names redacted) were as unsure of me as I was of them for a few days and then we got talking and got on well, all homeless people are traumatized in one way or another, homelessness is nothing ok or good, (name redacted) is a nice man who had had a breakdown of some kind and knew how nervous I was and made an effort to support me, he is a very tactile man, he expresses his friendliness and concern through touch, sometimes sudden and anuexpected, but he means well so I never reacted too sharply, the others warned him to be careful with touching me, (name redacted) was an angry person with a lot of concerns, but he also helped me by being friendly and inclusive, and talking to me about things and encouraging me to join in with things, including joining him for the first part of a walk he was doing to Southampton.

  • Other people came and went from the Shelter, but it ended up that there was a group of people there who were mainly offenders, it horrifies me that I am ‘the same as them’, these people were not ashamed as I am, some of them had tags and ASBOs, they liked smoking and alcohol, and were miffed about the nightshelter rules against these things, they shouted and quarrelled and made life difficult for us less able and quieter members of the shelter, *** said she was terrified to come out of her room sometimes, I had a little single room, so did she.
  •  the group of noisy people would gather in the room opposite mine with the door open, and they would be shouting away, there would be five or more in that room all evening and they would be shouting away, the place echoed and that made it worse, I was suffering so much distress from what had happened and the diocese that I could not cope with all this distress and the noise that went on until 11pm in the evening, 11pm in the evening was very late indeed for me and I was exhausted every day from being homeless and trying to cope with what had happened and hold myself together.

  •  I made several complaints to the management, and the manager wasn’t interested, one of the supervisors showed an interest and tried to help, one of the other supervisors who is a nasty piece of work went in there and joined in with the noise, but the good supervisor, Phil, who had been the one rambling about the politics of city church, managed to temporarily make the situation a bit better after I walked out and slept rough for a night, I went back and things were better while Phil remained on duty, and he told me that *** had also made complaints about things happening there, there were also other complaints from rows about who had the telly remote and other things unrelated to this, but the manager wasn’t bothered, I went to her with the complaint, unaware then that the diocese had been able to intervene – and can you imagine the diocese not intervening, considering the story I took to the nightshelter of what the church had done to me to leave me homeless and on the nightshelter’s doorstep?!
  •  But anyway, the manager was unhelpful and sharp and told me that the noise was acceptable, I asked if she had heard it and she said no but it was acceptable, I said that in that case I was better off sleeping rough somewhere quieter where there were not frightening people outside my door, and I walked out, I had to leave a lot of stuff behind, but I have found as my time as a homeless person has progressed that you do leave a lot fo stuff behind and that you cannot place value on possessions if you cannot keep them with you, if you have anything of value it needs to stay with you in your pack, if it is too big or of no value it has to be stashed and left at risk of theft, I have had my things lost and stolen a number of times now.

  • The Trinity Centre and the nightshelter work so closely together that thay are almost the same unit, when the support worker at the Trinity centre were told that I was sleeping rough, they created a very unpleasant and frightening situation, the support worker told me I should go back to the Nightshelter or she would call social services, I said no I wasn’t going back there, she said that if I walked out she would call social services, she said she could phone the nightshelter and we could discuss it.
  •  I said that the manager had made it clear that nothing would be done about the noise and disruption and that I was not going to see social services, she said I could speak to them there or she would alert them anyway or I could go back to the Nightshelter, I said no, I was not going to be grabbed and locked up by social services, she surprisingly said that she agreed I had been through bad things that were not my fault (which shows that the diocese were not influencing the Trinity Centre yet), but she persisted that I had choices, but to me there was no valid choice.
  •  she did not deny that social services might involve the police, and  I went out of my mind with terror because I did not want to be trapped at the Trinity Centre any longer or be on the run from the police and social services, fortunately the Trinity Centre doctor came downstairs and took in what was happening because by now I was screaming at this support worker that I had had enough of being trapped and in trouble and I had done nothing to deserve this, the doctor took the support worker aside, and when she came back the support worker said that she would not phone social services.
  •  another support worker came and sat with me outside and got me a cup of tea, I was not going to go back to the Trinity Centre but this support worker persuaded me that I could. She told me that the other support worker had simply been concerned. So I didn’t abandon the Trinity Centre at that point.

No comments:

Post a Comment