Where do I even start? My goodness. It’s taken me over a year to build up the courage to write this. I wrote it once, I even published it to my older blog, but I took it down before too many people could see it. Looking back, I think it’s definitely a shame trigger for me, so it’s been something I’ve needed to work through. Now I can safely say that I’ve worked through it enough to see when I am being triggered, and I can pull myself out of it before it controls me.
Shame cannot survive being spoken…and being met with empathy.-Brené Brown
I think it’s important that we talk about the things that make us feel shame, shame cannot survive being spoken. It will help us better understand ourselves and others. I am here to tell the story of how we ended up in a travel trailer. Even though we had talked about how amazing it would be sell everything, move into an RV, and travel, but this isn’t what happened.
That is where I became ashamed of it. We were pushed into it, but it wasn’t a negative thing. At first I was so nervous, but I was so excited. I had people, many friends and family, make me feel like it was something I should be ashamed of. I now understand that feeling as one of my own, but its still important for the sake of empathy to realize how our comments affect other people.
So, in October of 2017, the owners of our triplex apartment sold the complex and moved out of state. They were seriously the most amazing landlords, ever. It was so sad to see them leave, they were friends, too. The new owners contacted us, she introduced herself, and followed that with “we’re raising rent $300, it’s due on next months rent payment” which was only 12 days away at the time. I argued with her, explained she had to give us 30 days notice before changing the rent amount. She agreed, and pushed it to December’s rent, but there was no getting out.
We had just gotten a puppy, and she made us get rid of her in exchange for letting us stay there, with the rent increase. We re-homed the puppy to an awesome family, and a week later she sent us a “no-cause” eviction notice. One of the amazing things about living in Washington State. She also lived in Texas, had never met us, or even took the time to try to get to know us. We had been there 5 years.
It was the middle of November at this point, almost Thanksgiving. We had until December 1st, but she was making us pay Decembers rent too, and we couldn’t fight it, it was in the eviction notice. She expected us to up and move, find a new apartment in less than 15 days, and have no money to do it. She refused to give us back our security deposit, even though there was no need for her to keep it. We later found out she used it to put in fancy flooring, and fancy appliances that the apartment didn’t need.
A friend of my moms heard the story and told us he had an RV in storage that he wasn’t using, and was looking to sell anyway. He allowed us to take it right away, move into it, and figure out payments later on. We were out of options. Once we moved the RV to my grandparents driveway, got rid of almost everything we owned in two days because we didn’t have time or space to try to sell anything, packed up a few boxes, threw it all in the trailer, and left for our family Thanksgiving 2 hours away. We hung out and enjoyed our Thanksgiving, but we knew what we were going back to, and that was a scary thought. To make matters even worse, it was almost Christmas, and my husbands boss had decided to start taking money out of paychecks for random reasons, so his paychecks were cut in half. What a stressful situation.
When we got back to the RV after Thanksgiving, we had to clean it. It had been sitting forever, and half the inside was missing. It wasn’t super nice, or pretty. Actually, as grateful as I am that he gave us such an amazing opportunity, and saved our asses, it was a mess. We spent hours cleaning, and organizing, and putting things together to try to make it work. It took an entire weekend of non-stop nonsense, but we got it to livable.
But…we had practically nothing. The RV had broken bunk beds, and no table. Our appliances didn’t fit, and we had to get rid of most of them. I know it might seem like I’m complaining, but let me be perfectly clear here, I am not complaining. I am so grateful that we got this RV dropped in front of us, and that we were not homeless thanks to the quick-thinking of my moms friend. And looking back now, things could’ve been worse, but that’s the thing, just because it could’ve been worse doesn’t mean it wasn’t really intense for those of us going through it at the time.
We obviously still live in this same RV, but we’ve had over a year now to really embrace it. Which has been extremely difficult because most of the people in our lives are constantly making us feel like we’re a charity case. They act like we have no money, and can’t do anything or go anywhere, or they randomly tell us about sales at stores, and how the food bank works in our neighborhood. They act like we’re living this terrible, homeless life, and we should be reaching out for help, and be ashamed of how we’re living. That is not the case in anyway. We have learned to embrace this, and we have made it to a way we enjoy, and we are truly happy. It makes it hard to be happy about something when everyone around you has an unfounded pity towards you.
As it says in the title, this is a series. I will be making one post a week until it’s done. I am going to be completely honest with you, I don’t know how many posts this will end up being because there is so much to say.