Homelessness And The Internet
I’ve only been off my sleep schedule once this week, and that was yesterday. I stayed up until 3am reading this one thread
It chronicles the life of sk8r_rat as a ‘streetie’ in Australia over the span of six years, starting from when she was 17 in 2005 through to the end of 2010.
Apparently she left home because her twin sister would beat her every morning and the psychological torment of having to interact with her sister all day at school, work and home while pretending nothing was wrong and being unable to tell anyone else in her family about it under the belief that they wouldn’t believe her.
She first tried staying with friends, until she wore out her stay after about two months. Then she went to a camp which lasted for a week, but was unfortunately kicked out at the end after the director called home and her mother denied the domestic violence and claimed she could come home anytime she wanted to.
And hence she ended up on the streets. She found a guy who was willing to give her free internet access at the net cafe where he worked, and thankfully found homelessforums.org and started posting. Dominic, the director there, is such a cool person that she kept posting and pretty much filled the world in on her life for six years, most comprehensively in the first few months.
Very admirably she managed to stay off ‘chroming’, or sniffing paint, for about three months in the face of an environment where literally everyone else chromed. She had been hoping to go home during the summer when her sister would be away with her boyfriend overseas, but her mother actually apparently didn’t believe her claims of domestic violence and didn’t let her back (there was some strange dynamic where her mother figured out a way for her to stay with her aunt, but the collective nagging and preaching of her family drove her away again). At some point during the fallout her mom decided to send her dog to a shelter and she was rather affected, as the dog had meant the world to her. In her weakness, she was offered a fill and took it.
Over the next few years she eventually found her way into shelters and off the street, but retained her drug habit as a nasty side effect of that time. The last mention of her is at the end of 2010, by which time she had become a moderator at homelessforums.org and was actively contributing to helping others. She appears to have been doing alright – still struggling with drugs, but off the streets and with a job in a call center. It’s uncertain how she’s doing now, but I sent her an email to her last recorded address inquiring. There’s something about reading a story like this that makes you feel involved in their life and want to hear the conclusion.
There was a similarly tragic story I’d read some time earlier on an entirely irrelevant game forum here,, but unfortunately the forums have shut now.
I’m not sure if there’s a moral to this story. But it sure is sad.