The council, despite the fact they had robbed me of the option of returning to my old apartment, classed me as being 'intentionally homeless'. So they would provide me with nothing. Social Services gave me no option but to go and live in a halfway house for women with alcohol or substance abuse problems who wished to attain a state of 'abstinence', which was to be achieved by attending a minimum of eight hours a week of 'structured activity' based around 'treatment' and 'recovery'. This was like a red rag to a bull as far as I was concerned. Firstly, I did not consider my drug use to be problematic for me but rather my drinking by that stage, excessive drinking that I had turned to during my stay at that refuge in all it's isolation, and the fear of what would happen did he go to jail. No 'treatment' would change those circumstances. So I refused and was preparing to couch surf, until I met the people themselves and they prettied it up somewhat. At first they said whoever I had spoke to before referral must have heard from me that I wanted abstinence else I would never have been referred there in the first place. I maintained that I had said no such thing to anyone, that what I was in fact told was that all the other supported houses were full. I made it clear that I did not believe in total abstinence, at least not for myself, what others choose to do with their bodies and lives is their choice.
So ok, I was told the first four weeks were for 'contemplation', to decide what I wanted. To avoid homelessness, I agreed to that. But I was not allowed that contemplation. For the first week or so it felt like a luxury having my own front door key again, being able to come and go as I pleased once more. My drinking level in fact decreased. But it wasn't to last, as I was bullied by an inexperienced support worker, who tried to force me to take part in groups etc, and spoke to me like a retard. I was offered no support with my real problems, and any issues I did have with drink or drugs were made worse by her attitude.
I was given lectures about cocaine use by someone who had likely never tried it. I was also told I should not use drugs as they are illegal....if that fact has not stopped me by now, when I am nearly forty, it is unlikely ever to, is it?
The fact that I did not mention a few alcoholic beverages I had during a couple of mornings automatically meant that I must be lying about other things...the logical thing meaning I must be using heroin, seeing as I must have been addicted to heroin to be prescribed methadone. That was in fact not the case, it was mainly illicit methadone I was using to come down with in the absence of tranqs when I had a heavy cocaine habit. But that was not good enough for the bitch, she then asked me what the paraphenailia was that they found at that refuge. I told her that it was an empty coke wrap, why the hell was she asking. She replied that she 'was curious, thought maybe it was cans'. For god's sake, cans are not paraphenalia, she knew that as well as I did. After being spoken to like dirt for the second time, I had a panic attack, phoned their office and said I could take no more of it. The person on the end of the phone agreed I would be better off elsewhere when a space came up as my drinking was 'unmanageable'.
Yet it had not been when I moved in there, it had decreased, it only increased when I was being bullied by someone who was supposed to be helping me. I said I had been thinking, it was not the right place for me, but it took something extreme to make them hear me.
So I was put in a halfway house for vulnerable adults, homeless people deemed to fucked up to be in the night shelter. Of course I could couch surf, but being me I need my own room, something I can put my mark on to resemble home. So here I am.
4 years ago