I got my first donation this morning! Thank you so much, SummerRain75! It helps a lot. You basically saved our whole day with that.

Kate and I were leaving the storage unit the other day. We were dawdling a bit, so we had the opportunity to watch a hatchback pull up and a family get out, two adults and a small girl clutching a blanket and a stuffed animal. That little girl stared at us the whole time we were backing out to leave, pretty much until she couldn’t see us anymore, and the adults kept glancing at us suspiciously.

Kate turned to me and said, “I bet those people are living in there.”

Sure enough, their car didn’t move again the rest of the night. The never left. They’ve been there two nights in a row now.

Being alone is hard. You’re lonely. You’re bored. It’s tempting to turn to drugs and alcohol to ease the mental pain. When you have even one companion, you have someone to talk with to ease the solitude and the long hours. But in exchange, you give up personal space. Your time is no longer your own. Everywhere you go and everything you do must be part of a joint decision. And, yes, that includes sleeping, too.

Kate and I have to go to bed at the same time. If, say, Kate is still awake when I crash for the night, then she’s just sitting around bored waiting to fall asleep herself. She has to be quiet so as not to wake me up so that I can get the sleep I need to function.

And that’s going to cascade into me waking up before she does, and then I get to be the one sitting around bored. I can drive us around if I want, and sometimes I do. But every bump and road noise risks waking her up, which means she’s not getting the sleep she needs to function.

It’s a delicate balancing act, which is why it’s so important to have boundaries. Sometimes, you absolutely need to say, “I know you’re trying to sleep, but I have to park in this noisy parking lot so I can get a shower.”

That was actually the specific event that spawned this post, in fact. I don’t have good boundaries, so when Kate protested the parking lot, I gave in and left. Then I brooded for an hour. Then I exploded at her for it. And that is the danger of being homeless with someone else. If you don’t have good boundaries and support with each other, it’s going to wreck your relationship.

We’re doing OK, by the way. We’ve weathered much worse in our six or seven years together.

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