Yulia Vlasova Homelessness

Here are just my thoughts about homelessness, which began during the first long trip, where I experienced this feeling most strongly, and then I observed people, asked questions, and used material from therapeutic sessions.

This is what happened in extremely condensed form.

Homelessness as a chronic mental experience does not arise from frequent moves, for example, in a military family, as one might think superficially, but from rejection by the mother’s body, primarily the womb. In the anamnesis of such clients, one can hear stories about unwanted and unexpected pregnancies, parents’ thoughts on the topic of abortion, and sometimes attempts to induce one.

Homelessness is always accompanied by increased anxiety as a character trait, so anxiety is often not recognized, but is disguised as other conditions, in particular, increased alertness, and in adolescents - aggressiveness.

One of the characteristic markers of homelessness is the habit of taking food to bed, with oneself, which usually begins in childhood. “Homeless people” (here I mean people with a feeling of homelessness - they may have a lot of houses) are extremely sensitive to rumors about rising prices, a change in the political system: they begin to stock up. Ambivalent behavior and fear of spending money are combined with meaningless purchases “in reserve.” A lot of anxiety arises in a situation where it is necessary to make repairs - the repairs will distort the existing housing and emphasize the internal state of loss.

Homeless people have everything they need for life in their pockets and purses; this is their inherent tendency to take with them everything that may be useful (an umbrella, spare clothes, medicine, a knife, a handkerchief), even in a situation of short absence - to work.

On a long trip, people take a lot of things that are not useful. It’s as if they have a feeling of “not returning” home, so they need to stock up on things. Children often steal; research into the reasons for theft will reveal a lack of resources.

Homelessness is a kind of containerlessness , there is no place to process feelings, hence the anxiety. Homelessness is also limitless : there is a tendency to get caught up in manipulative relationships. For a long time they do not understand that they are being manipulated, because, as a rule, manipulators are able to create a feeling of “contour delineation” and integrity in the manipulated person. With manipulators, homeless people feel calmer for the time being.

In therapy, homeless people fear change, especially change of place. They move from phase to phase of the process through regression, which makes itself felt by “withdrawal” and autostimulation.

They really like to read (watch films) about being lost and settling down, like “Robinson Crusoe.” They feel uneasy if, in the story, the hero throws or loses things, or gets lost. For children, the plot on the topic “lost” causes expressed anxiety, they cannot develop it, for comparison: “the boy got lost, walked down the street and his parents found him”, “got lost, other people found him”, “lost, he was found and eaten” – children develop the plot.. Homeless children cannot develop the plot, they stop at the phase of loss, they can cry, they say that the hero began to live alone. (observation by our psychologist, children 4-6 years old). Little homeless people are hiding, building huts for one person, as if they are reconstructing their mother’s womb.

Open space is uncomfortable, they try to limit it. They don’t like to walk on their own and are bad at exploring new things. They are afraid of strangers, they are wary very early, strangers' things can cause panic. Sometimes it seems that these people have “exogenous autism.” The mother could not help form internal boundaries, an internal home - we have to use external boundaries as internal ones. The house is built so that it can calm, protect, and digest resources. Naturally, no external house is capable of coping with intrapsychic work.

In therapy, I work with the archetype of the Wanderer, who does not care about a roof over his head. Opening up access to this figure within yourself usually greatly reduces the anxiety of homelessness. People become able to live more actively in the environment, using its resources; in the deep field this is presented as a transition from the state of “homeless, homeless - I will dissolve” to “homeless - I will be found”. Although here, as in any case, it is only possible to improve, but not eliminate. Too early trauma.

In the Russian consciousness, the topic of homelessness intensified in connection with the loss of housing by many people in the 90s: taken away for debts, sold, etc. There was excellent soil for activation; the wounds of exile and expulsion had not yet healed. By the way, exile and expulsion as a measure of execution of punishment are not accepted in all countries. Here we run into the archetypal theme of Exile, and therefore the Exile. The Wanderer is a resource figure, and the Exile is destructive, although in the plot they perform similar actions.