What Happens when You Take in a Street Person to Live with You

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 16th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

The following article is the beginning of a series on a young girl who came into my home, captured my heart and then left abruptly.


Written January 21, 2006

"I fill the paper with the breathings of my heart and...... I listen to its fear."

My stomach sank, my heart was heavy, my life in turmoil. I had to move. I was evicted from my home. I had three weeks to find a new place to live. I combed the papers and could find nothing. The rents were way out of my range. Yet I was forced to take a house that I knew I could not afford. This option though desperate seemed better than living on a park bench for the winter. It was with much anxiety that I moved into my present dwelling. Somehow I just had to believe that I would be able to make it.

Note: I have moved twice since this article was written

Unwanted characters

My adult son who lives with me made the moving arrangements. My stepfather drove the truck but his friends would actually be moving the furniture. Because of my ill health, all I had to do was go over to the house once my bed had been set up. I was reluctant to leave my old house and stayed the night alone sleeping on an old coach with only my cats for company. The next night I had to put my fear aside and just accept the new place for what it was.
I was surprised to find a young girl there when I arrived. My son told me she had helped them move and clean up. She was actually washing all the dishes when I entered the house. My normal reaction when my son brings strangers to the house is to be very reserved if not indignant at times. In the past, he invited home some pretty sleazy characters who needed a place to stay. The last girl he brought home to escape the cold was a street prostitute who had just came out of prison. The girl only stayed one night because she did not have a place to stay. Frankly she scared me to death.

However there was something about this new girl whom I shall name Darla. I took an instant liking to her. Something inside me said "give this girl a chance. She needs you and you need her." The feeling was so strong and so strange that it confused me. I knew she had nowhere to stay. I heard myself offering to have her live with us. I couldn't believe my own ears as I was saying it. She accepted without giving it a second thought.

Fighting for her children

Afterwards she briefed me in on her past. She was 23-years-old, had four children who were placed in foster care. The courts deemed she was not capable of taking care of them at this time in her life. The father of the children was 16 years her senior. He was a crackhead and a pimp. Darla had left him and was afraid for her life. He had beaten her up on numerous occasions and she was afraid if he found her this time he would do the same or worst.

The first two months that she stayed with us, she was happy and I was happy. Darla cleaned the house and did everything she could for me. She called me mom and I treated her like the daughter I never had. I had really grown to love her. I never regretted my decision of taking this virtual stranger into my home and my heart.

My fears about paying the rent were put aside. The money she paid for her board took care of that. Darla and I got along really well and she was fighting to get her children back. She wanted to have them come and stay with us. I loved the girl so much that I would have agreed to just about anything. I wanted to see her happy. It hurt me that she had such a terrible life and I wanted her to have the best life she ever had with me. I provided guidance for her and she was doing so well. I was proud of her.

Signs of restlessness

Towards the end of the second month things began to change ever so slowly. We had moved in on September l, and by the end of October, Darla was beginning to show signs of restlessness. I knew she had been "a street kid" all her life. She was a product of the juvenile social services and ran from any home she ever lived in.

Darla was not allowed to bring into my house any unsavoury characters. We had many discussions on what it would take to get her kids back and one of the issues was the company she kept. Darla did drop these friends for me in an effort to change her life around. But when the people stopped coming to the house, she was bored. She started to stay out over night, each time coming up with an excuse about why she couldn't make her way home. I could not sleep when she was out.

In the beginning she would call to let me know where she was and then the calls stopped. Her absence from home grew in length and the stories for her staying out became more elaborate as she went along. My son asked me was it possible that so much could happen to one girl? I had my doubts back then, but I could not prove or disprove her stories.

I had taken all I could take when she went to a nightclub with a friend and when I called the friend's house the following day the friend said she was not there. She had sent her in an ambulance to the hospital and had not heard from her since. The story Darla gave us two days later when she finally called was that someone spiked her drink with Crystal Meth and she nearly died.

Even though it was hard to be angry with someone for that, I was angry that she never called or had someone call on her behalf. She came home and we had a long talk about her actions and how she was incapable of taking care of herself. I had a friend to chaperone in place for her from that point forward. He guaranteed that he would make sure she got home the same night safe and sound whenever she would go out again.

She did come back

By November lst, she moved out on the pretense that she was going to be a live-in babysitter for a couple who worked all night. Both my son and I were hurt. We begged her to come back. My son was thinking about the financial help and I was thinking about how much I loved her and missed her.

Darla came back 11 days later after claiming that she gave the couple a two weeks notice, but the woman threw her out on the street immediately after hearing that she planned on leaving. I could not help but feel bad for her.

I thought that she would settle down now that she was back, but she didn't. There were still excuses for staying out all night. By this time my son and I were used to the excuses and we lived with them. One thing I did ask of her was to let me know in advance if she did not plan to come home. She stayed two nights in the hospital when a friend's child had an accident and split his head open, then she stayed away for several days when the same friend had another child that fell down the stairs and died.

By now I no longer believed her stories. I just went along with them. She was paying her board, helping me with the rent and she was an adult, what more could I do? We had endless talks about the behaviour that was expected from her in order to get her children back and nothing seemed to get through to her anymore. I was tired of worrying and getting sick every time I did not hear from her. I couldn't put myself through that anymore.

And then she left

In early December, she had a fight with my son. By the evening my son and I thought it was all worked out once they had a heart to heart talk. She even cooked his supper for him.

Darla had just had an operation the week before and she complained to me that puss was escaping from the incision. The hospital had prescribed painkillers and antibiotics; she did not purchased them because she did not have the money. I didn't have any either or I would have gladly bought them for her.

I was worried she may have an infection and I sent her to the hospital. She called me that evening to say she had been admitted and could possibly be kept until the following Wednesday before being released. The hospital visit occurred on the Monday night. I asked her to call me by the Wednesday so that I would know what was going on. She agreed.

I did not hear any word that Wednesday. I did not hear any word the entire work week. On Sunday afternoon a friend of hers called to announce that Darla was moving out, "Could she come by to pick up her belongings"?

I was shocked, hurt, and dumbfounded. I said yes. She came, got everything, and barely looked at me. On her way out the door she said she would call.

The friend said she was getting her own apartment, yet she told her mother that she was moving in with the friend whose child had died. I called her mother on Christmas to wish her a merry Christmas. Darla was over at her brother's house across the street. She couldn't even pick up the phone to wish me a Merry Christmas. I hadn't heard from her since she had left my house in such an ungrateful manner two weeks before.

Just after New Years I got an important call for her and since I had no way of communicating it to her, I called the mother. The problem was the mother never heard from her since Christmas Day either. Her mother and I got to talking and I explained how I still cared for her and still considered her as a daughter. I was hurt by the way she left though. She did not have the respect to tell me she was leaving; she got someone else to do it. We had a good talk and her mother suspected like I did that she was back with her abusive ex boyfriend.

A few days later I got a call from the mother. Darla had called from a payphone sobbing her eyes out. The story was the friend moved away permanently and she went over to talk to her ex about the kids and they got into a disagreement and now she was stranded. The mother told her about our conversation. She said to call me since I had no issues with her and possibly she could come back and stay with me. She did not have to bother with my son if she didn't want to; it would be just her and me.

I didn't know what to say. I was put on the spot. The mother said she hoped she didn't say anything wrong. After I got off the phone I told my son about it and he said he didn't want to see Darla ever again.

Darla called and wanted to come over and I had to tell her that my son didn't want to see her. He was just as hurt by the way she left the last time as I was. I said perhaps in time they could talk about it; I didn't know. She said she understood and she promised to call me. She would go to her mother's house now since she had no where to go.

I felt so bad when I got off the phone. I did not want to hurt her. I would have loved to take her in my arms and cuddle her but then what? Part of me wanted her to come back so badly and the other part is saying what will be different this time?

I felt that I was emotionally incapable of making this decision so I will left it up to my son who is the other person who lives in my house. Whatever he decided would be the way we go on this issue. I love her and I miss her. I also hurt for her and I fear that she will get herself into big trouble. My heart is racing as I write this story for I know that she will continue to repeat this pattern, destroying every good that comes into her life for a brief encounter with her ex. I pray that one day she will leave him for good before he completely destroys her life.


Abuse, Crackheads, Female Abuse, Fighting For Your Children, Getting Your Children Back, Pimps, Prostitutes, Shelter For A Street Person, Social Services, Street People, Street Person, Taking In A Street Person

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Apr 2015 (#)

Carol, you are a very caring, compassionate, and understanding person but sometimes there is nothing else we can do. This girl needed help but clearly you did everything you could. Blessings.

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