Family Ties

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Christopher, 1986-

“There is that recurring dream that I used to have about my mother. When I was a kid, my mom used to let me sit on her lap in the car, she would use the gas and break, but would let me stir. I used to have dreams of driving, essentially on her lap, and I’d be going through our neighborhood and streets that I didn’t go with her.”

These days, I still talk to my family, but have limited communication. They always want to commit me on 5150* because they are very confused. They find my decision to live on the street crazy. I really was a straight A student. In my senior year, kids were doing college applications, and I was working already at Wells Fargo. My family always knew I would amount to something. Then when I just packed everything, let my house go, let everything go, they thought I was crazy. Maybe I am, he smiles, but I think they are crazy.

I still consider my mother an important person in my life. While growing up, I looked up to her and my father both. But probably my idol was my oldest brother Joey. There was something about him, I just loved him; he was an amazing soccer player, and I wanted to be like him. I loved both my older brothers and thought they were the coolest people to walk the earth.

There is that recurring dream that I used to have about my mother. When I was a kid, my mom used to let me sit on her lap in the car, she would use the gas and break, but would let me stir. And I used to have dreams of driving, essentially on her lap, and I’d be going through our neighborhood and streets that I didn’t go with her. But I haven’t dreamt in a long time. I know I dream, but I just can’t remember.

My biggest regret probably is not being able to get my family to understand, my siblings, my mother and father. I wish there was a way I could explain to them why I made the life change I made. There are a lot of people who think I’m kind of crazy, that I’ve lost my mind. You can tell I’m well-educated, have a relatively good personality, I get along with a lot of people, and they just don’t understand how someone like me can sleep on the streets night after night for three years. They are confused, they see so much more in the world for me, but I just see the world differently now. It’s not the world I grew up in. Their ideal of what this world is about is having a job, making a lot of money, and have a wife and kids. But I am grateful I don’t have these, it allows me the freedom to do what I want. I wish we could have a mutual understanding between us, but we just don’t. Everyone sees the world differently and everyone has an idea of what success is, what living a purposeful life is, and I just don’t agree with their views anymore.

* 5150 stands for an involuntary hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital/ward.


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