Since acquiring severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, I have slept in our car four nights, on our driveway for a couple weeks, in a tent, on piles of quilts on decks, and in a camper with tracked-in snow and ice literally frozen to the aluminum camper floor.
Why? Because sleeping inside would have caused me to have trouble breathing, eating, sleeping, or all three.
For the same reasons, we have had to suddenly leave our home (due to chemicals/toxins) five times. All five times, we did not know where we were going to live next until the day before we moved.
I am not able to stay with family or friends because most of them live in the city (pollution that devastates my body), others live in “moldy forests,” etc.
Since we left our mold house in Indiana (April 2010), I have had to move to a different place 55 times. That includes 8 “true” moves (moving all of our stuff to a new place of residence), 18 temporary places we stayed in between residences, and the 7 places I stayed by myself (in a camper).
In those 55 moves, I have had to go back to a temporary place I had stayed before 22 times. For instance, I’ve ended up at the State Game Lodge campground in Custer five times—twice as a “planned” camping spot and the other three times using their Camping Cabins in emergency situations.
Other times, I stayed somewhere in the camper without electricity a couple nights to be safer/recover a little but then had to move back to civilization because it was too cold to be without heat after that.
Still other times, I’ve been relatively safe one place but then something happened in the environment to make me not safe there anymore (rain/increased mold growth, someone spraying a chemical, burn ban lifted so campfire smoke, etc.)
And other times, I have been staying in a less-than-ideal place (such as right now), and the “load” of chemicals finally built up to make me unable to tolerate the environment anymore.
I also know and/or have read about people with severe MCS—most of them highly educated with no addictions—sleeping long-term on porches, in tents in winter, or in their cars for weeks, months, or even years, due to their MCS.
Let’s be honest—I am probably shocking some readers by what I am writing. How can this be, in 21st Century America?
BUT, I am in good company. Matthew 8:20 says, “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’”
I can tell you this—I never thought much about this Scripture until I got severe MCS and had no place to lay my head!!!
Now I think about it a lot and feel enormous comfort that the Lord of the Universe knows what this is like.
PS I had this post all ready to go a while ago, and this week we are facing yet another housing crisis. But, keep a look-out for my next post for something wonderful the Lord is working in my heart….
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730