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Forced to Be Strong

He's 1-years-old now. I can't believe we are still homeless. I remember sleeping in my car from 3 months pregnant to 6 months pregnant. I used to find different ways to block the windows at night to sleep. Waking up to pee and crawling outside in the freezing cold to squat nearby. It was so cold. Being woken by a flashlight banging on the window, a security guard telling us to leave. Or the police shining lights and banging on the windows telling us to leave. We would try to find a place to park every night. Even the church told us to leave. I remember looking at that huge church parking lot and it's hundreds of empty spaces and just only wanting one for the night. Blowing up the air mattress every night and deflating it in the morning. I remember when it got a tear. Then we had a flat. The rain was so loud on the roof.

Then 6 months pregnant and I developed a condition where my pelvis collapsed. I couldn't walk for longer than five minutes without being in horrible pain. He would drop me off right in front and I'd use the store wheelchair to shop. Then once I started showing I told people. 6 months pregnant no more hiding the bump, and we landed a spot on someone's living room floor. So since then we have been hopping from place to place, couches and floors, until we outwear our stay.

My son, he is so strong. I keep smiling for him. He is so precious, always with a huge smile on his face. No one knows what we go through. When people talk to me at work they have no idea that I can't pay attention to their story because all I can't think is "where will we sleep tonight". It's always on my mind. I have suffered from anxiety and depression as well as attention deficit since a child and after a car accident have memory impairment now. Medications and therapy, my cognition just isn't the same. But for him, my baby, I teach and teach and play and play with him. So many parks we've taken him to. So many free events. We always keep busy, libraries, book stores, exploring outdoors.

So many applications and fees. I can't prove that I make 3xs rent. They don't call me back or say a studio isn't for 3. The Bay Area is expensive but my job pays well and my boss is so understanding. Welfare put us in a motel that had bedbugs and I had to throw away all of our clothes. All of his 6-9mo clothes in the dump.

When will I get a break? It's hard enough living with a learning disability, depression, anxiety, and memory issues, but add being homeless with a baby and I can't focus for anything. But for my precious boy.. I am forced to be Strong.

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