During some of my childhood we were homeless (I’ve talked about this on here before) and at other times we lived with friends, in hostels, B&B’s etc.
Some of the places we lived were high rise builds and in some of the places we had just one room (bedroom, living space in one, shared kitchen etc. for the four of us).
This is not a sob story. I don’t want any tiny violins playing. I want some people to open their eyes to what people are experiencing and then maybe we will judge less and be a little bit kinder.
We don’t all have the privilege of a garden, or even a balcony during lockdown.
When I was a child and we lived in the hostels and B&B’s we only ever had one room. My Mum, my two brothers and I. It was hell at times and my brothers and I fought like cat and dog, driving my mum insane. My brother even stabbed me at one point.
We weren’t even in lockdown. We were allowed out when we wanted. We could have lunch in the park; some space from one another. However, it was still hell some days.
I can only slightly imagine what it must be like in those conditions at the moment. Especially for those living with violent/abusive partners, parents or family members.
All I can offer you right now is my prayers and hope/knowledge that this will pass.
There are babies, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly up in those high rise builds
I’ve seen reports in the media and on social media about this very issue. “Staying at home is better than dying, right?”
For some people it might feel like it isn’t. For some people it will be absolutely hell on Earth.
I just want us to think about that a little more when we’re shaming people on social media. No, I don’t want anyone to break any social distancing rules or interact with people they don’t live with. But, should we begrudge a single mum of 3 living in a one room high rise building the opportunity to sit alone with her family and eat their lunch on a field?
It’s something we should maybe be talking about. It could save a life, it could be the difference between that good and bad day. The difference between those children being beaten or not. I know how some parents can react when cooped up in a small space.
How can we help these families?
All I can suggest is kindness. Reach out to people who are living in these conditions. A token, a gesture, a message, a smile.
Covid-19 has, and sadly will kill more people; but so will loneliness, stress, violence and mental health problems.
If you’re in one of those positions and reading this, please ask for help. Please remember that this will pass. It might not seem like it will now, but I promise you it will.
I’m living proof.