The Host Awaits

People would think I was crazy if I claimed that the woman who spent the night in my guest room two nights ago was an “angel.” But in a way she was. One definition of angel is “messenger from God.” I think I needed to receive the message that this person may have come to give me. If she did not consciously want for me to receive that message, this is even more beautiful. Somebody wanted me to get the message all the same.

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6 thoughts on “The Host Awaits

  1. I think couch-surfing is generally lumped in with the broader issue of homelessness, as it’s not absolute/street homelessness, but it’s still only temporary shelter that’s at the whims of whoever’s allowing the couch-surfing. If it was a deliberate short-term roommates situation, I wouldn’t think of that as the person being homeless, but if the person lacks their own home due to social barriers, that has more to do with the issue of homelessness.

    While stigma might be an issue, and it’s good to be able to have that insight. Letting a stranger into your home, which is a very personal space, takes a lot of trust. That’s different if you actually know the person, but even if you do know someone, there’s a level of intimacy and dropping of boundaries in allowing someone to stay in your home. For someone with PTSD, to be able to do that is pretty impressive.

    I think there are more factors at play. You had stuff stolen regularly when you were outside, didn’t you? If someone is in a situation where they’re at least somewhat desperate, needing to put survival needs first may be conducive to behaviours that would otherwise be out of character.

    Talking back to one’s hallucinations usually happens when there are significant hallucinations combined with a lack of insight. That could happen in schizophrenia, and the paranoid subtype tends to have the most prominent hallucinations. It could also happen in drug-induced psychosis or in mania with significant psychosis.

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    • Last I checked (as of California laws, as of about ten years ago), couch surfing for any length of time is not considered homelessness. Living in a residence hotel, however, is considered homelessness. Outside of laws, a person obviously is not “inside” or “housed” as of one to five days. If you were commenting on my paranthetical insertion, I sorta leapt to that, because it seemed a good chance to insert that the homeless person is primarily a human being, and that to identify as “homeless” does not obviate that. This may seem obvious to you and me, but it did not seem obvious to many people who encountered me when I actually was homeless. It’s an experience of dehumanization that’s very difficult to describe, even if one has lived through it.

      “Impressive” seems a flattering description of what many others would characterize as “foolish.” It was an odd thing for me to do. I didn’t feel particularly compassionate, nor needy of company. I did it sort of automatically. On the PTSD level, I wonder if a homeless woman has ever triggered me. I think not, because I usually felt a responsibility to protect them — which I think may itself be a symptom of PTSD.

      What you say is true on the issue of theft. Theft was almost expected, due to the factor of desperate need. On the other side of that coin, there was an unspoken rule on the streets that the thief would have to make it up to the person from whom they had stolen. This was accomplished without either part ever identifying the thief, even though both knew. Also, it applied only to homeless people who were victims of theft by other homeless people. IF someone stole from somebody who lived inside, no effort would be made to atone for it.

      Interesting about the conversations with invisible entities. I saw it a lot, not only on the streets, but often in hospitals.

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  2. Very interesting. After listening to your talk, I looked up Hebrews 13:2 in all the different translations on BibleGateway. I particularly like the CEV version:
    Hebrews 13:2
    Contemporary English Version
    2 Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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