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Loneliness Drives People Crazy

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Loneliness Drives People Crazy

Loneliness, which is a common plight for all the homeless, represents for them a reality to suffer that not everybody gets used to.

This does not mean that the homeless who have close relatives desire to re-stitch relations with them. It is a fragile aspect, which cannot receive mechanical answers. Attempts of reconciliation with no positive solving often are more painful than memories and longings with which perhaps they are used to live.

How do the homeless live existentially the experience on the street? Which kind of consequence has the life without roots, living from hand to mouth, managing every day?

Someone suffers from psychical problems. Is it the street which produces psychical inconvenience? Or, on the contrary, are the people living on the fringe of normality driven towards the street? Anyway the presence on the street of people suffering from psychical problems is the expression of general life hardships in the big towns, which not always the public structures and services can deal with.

Surely the plight of being homeless gets into yet fragile human situations. Uncertainty of the future, loneliness, isolation, shame, difficult life conditions: these are trials to which not everyone can stand up. Some types of psychosis or obsession of the homeless can really be recognised as the fruit of their life condition. In fact, the forms of these different psychical diseases affecting the homeless in different way and for different reasons appear to be the same.

How many enemies!

Life on the street is a daily struggle for survival. So the homeless must learn to defend themselves from a big number of enemies: pilferers, hoodlums, the other homeless, policemen, cleaning staff but also cold weather, rain, illness, holidays when all is closed. They must find the right weapons, in order to defend themselves and to be on the alert. They pay hard a mistake, an ingenuity.

In the mind of someone, difficulties in defending themselves and fear magnify real enemies invading thoughts to such an extent that these adversaries become real everywhere and in everyone. In this manner, someone sees a danger on every side and a possible aggressor in each person. All around them it rises something like a wall and they become unapproachable, sometimes shy, not able to answer to a question, or to accept a help, other times aggressive. This is like a prison from which to exit is difficult.

Manias of persecution or real danger? Anyway, and it is of most importance, the "mania" is a concrete touchable problem, which let people suffering and that also compels the homeless people to make choices.

There is who for example does not accept anything to eat from anyone and does not frequent meal-kitchen for poor people, afraid to be gifted. There is also who seats alone with the shoulder against the wall, afraid to be attacked. Furthermore, we encounter who becomes obstinately mute, afraid to ought to discuss with someone. These are excesses of defence but not unreasonable madness. Exasperation and terror to live again negative or painful experiences well explain this.

Living Without speaking

We often encounter women and men speaking alone, sometimes with an imaginary interlocutor, really present for them. We can imagine what does it mean to spend whole days without speaking with anyone: to invent someone is necessary. In fact it is possible to discuss with this imaginary person about things which do not interest anyone or it is possible to give vent to the many suffered wrongs.

If one person stops and speaks with them, he or she sees that they just need a real interlocutor: someone who asks, who answers, with a real voice. So a great desire emerges, it is the desire to express themselves that not always coincides with the capacity of letting other people hearing them, the capacity of putting together memories and situations in a consequential manner. But if one person pays attention to the hearing and tries to enter into dialogue, then the speeches in appearance senseless acquire a logic "miraculously".

Sometimes the stories seem without a temporal collocation or, better, it seems that time has stopped in a moment of their life. On the contrary, speaking becomes an effort for others unused to speak: so they can say just some words.

Shout in order to be listened to

Someone can speak only shouting. They not always shout against someone; sometimes just the ton of the voice is higher than the normal, other times initially it can be an aggressive manner to express themselves. All that represents the desire for attention and a form of defence against a hostile world. This rises their isolation, like a vicious circle. We often see, behind those cries, frightened people, victim of the fear of the others, of the world, of the loneliness. In many cases, to stop and speak with them let people discovering a capacity of entering into dialogue which seemed impossible. Shouts stop or the ton of the voice became normal again.

Many other things are lacking to the homeless, referred to social relations, and this fact is not without consequence. In fact, the human stability of each person is intimately connected to stability of affections, home, uses and datum points. From the absence of all these things, normal condition for the homeless, strange behaviours spring. Each odd thing has often a story burdened with suffering.

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