Friday, 30 October 2009

Oh I CAN Wait For The Weekend To Begin...

Well... today was... stressful to say the least. Started off with the doctors where I got a letter to support the housing stuff by outlining my history with depression, self harm and attempted suicide over the years. As I'm clearly such a risk to myself, my doctor wouldn't actually prescribe me anything. Kind of a pain but at the same time, I would probably just down all the stuff in an anxiety attack anyway.

I recieved a phonecall from Shelter who have agreed to reopen my case. Appointment with them is next Tuesday. Went onto MAP where I spoke to Tandi again who says that Sarah has decided to take on the finances side of the Dartford tenancy as well as the rehousing situation. Karen (my old keyworker from the refuge) has also agreed to write a letter supporting my case and backing up the history of DV (domestic violence). This should in theory make my case stronger.

I left my stuff at MAP while I went and begged for a crisis loan (least I have some cash for food over the weekend now, all £20 of it), cashed it and then went up to CAPS to present myself again. They have this system where you go in every day that you're sleeping rough so they can keep track and send someone to go check that you actually are.

Came back to MAP after that and Sylvia decided to ask me how things were going since she last saw me. I explained and she offered to try the YMCA again for an overnighter. Apparently I "lied" on my HAF form to them before as I didn't know at the time that I still had the Dartford tenancy until I went to the council who called them. As this tenancy has now ended, I don't see how it would be an issue now, but they do. SO, Sylvia and a few others at MAP were quite pissed off that my case was being considered to be a load of bullshit as they've been dealing with me for months on this, plus there's the backup from my GP and the refuge. They're actually going to lodge a complaint against the YMCA for how they've acted over this. Doesn't solve the immediate problem but... Well, at least I know SOMETHING is being done.

So.. back to tonight... I've got little over an hour until the library closes, then back on the streets again. Least I managed to find somewhere that's sheltered so I won't get rained on.

Plans for the weekend? Continuous job searching as much as I can at the library. I've got my diary booked up for appointments with Shelter, CAPS and various other peoples. Had two emails today regarding jobs: both refusals. Wewt... Still, perseverence and all that jazz.

Where Do I Start? Where Do I Begin?

Hmm, I've been struggling for a title for this post... So much has happened since my last update.

I guess starting with the basics is a good one:

Long story short(ish):

2001-2006 - Bad relationship with a guy who I saw at the time as my knight in shining armour rescuing me from the evil awful clutches of my alcoholic abusive mother. Moved down to London to be with him. He turned out to be a tad violent.

2006 - 2008 - Second bad relationship with another guy who mentally and psychologically destroyed me, threatened to stab me, meaning I moved into a Women's refuge and was rehoused in a flat in Dartford. While I was there, the first ex found out where I was living and I basically tried to off myself. Having miscarried in that August, I wasn't exactly in a sound frame of mind, plus still recovering from all the crap that I'd been through over the past 2 years. My mother told me to move back up to Norwich and stay with her until I sorted stuff out. So I did.


Well, this year has been the worst I've had so far. My mother basically hadn't changed at all, was still drinking, taking it out on me, was the same prejudiced and narrow minded bitch she's always been, meaning nothing I said or did was good enough, I got all the stick for whatever went wrong in her life... Basically, back to the same abusive ways that she'd had before I left home in 2002. It came to a head one night when she came back drunk from a staff work party and started hitting me, followed by throwing me out with nothing but the clothes on my back. I went to the only relative I could think of, my maternal grandmother, not realising that she was still full of bile and hatred towards myself as well as my mother (my family doesn't do well at letting go of things...), meaning my time there ended up being pretty much the same as staying with my mother. With my mother it was me doing endless housework and then being told I did nothing, that I wasn't looking hard enough for a job (you know, because the economic climate has been SO great) and complaining that my housing wasn't moving forwards. Problem with my housing was that by my mother telling me to just walk out of my flat, it's not making them see that I was fleeing from my ex partner. Hence the Council turning round and saying I'm intentionally homeless.

Ok, trying not to get ahead of myself...

From my nan's, I went to the council where I got the whole "u still hebs flat in dartford, we dun caer u tried 2 kill urself u go bak dere ke?" to which I understandably said "lolno". Yeah, I realise I'm being rather flippant in writing this but it's kinda the only way I can cope with it all right now. I knew I couldn't go back to the flat there as it'd just send me back to the same mental state that I was in before. So... I took Richard up on his offer of a settee while I tried to sort my shit out. At the time I had Shelter trying to help me as well as a seperate advice centre. What I kinda didn't expect to happen was for me to fall in love with him. Not because of my situation but... just because he's so damn amazing. Hell, I'm more than happy to sit there and watch him playing stuff on the PS3 etc. Most women would find that incredibly boring and stuff. I don't. Well, obviously because I'm a gamer myself but... you know. Anyways, him still living with his ex (shared tenancy, can't afford the place on his own) caused a few problems. I felt like I couldn't leave the bedroom while she was in the flat. He told me many times that she hated me, therefore I stayed out of her way as much as possible. Then she complained to him that I was anti-social. I mean, WTF? Why would I spend time with someone who hates me? I've done enough of that in the past with my family. I'm fairly certain she was taking credit for me doing housework (although to be fair, I had a few patches where I would just refuse to wash up or clean the kitchen as I had no word of acknowledgement for doing so, making me feel a tad... eh, can't find the word but... It just annoyed me. I don't mind doing stuff if I get a "thanks" every now and then or something. As for me cutting the grass out back, I got sick of being bitten by ants. I was waiting for them to die off but as I was asked to leave at the end of September, I can't say I really had a chance to finish the job. Hand shears are not fun for cutting 3 foot tall grass at the best of times anyway). Yes, I should have been more open with him about when my money was being screwed around with and the setbacks in my housing situations, but the problem was that I didn't want to upset him by telling him bad news incase he got mad at me. Turns out he got mad at me for not telling him. Sometimes we really are damned if we do and damned if we don't. He resented me being there all the time as well. As I said, I felt like I couldn't leave the bedroom. Had a third person not been there, I'd have happily buggered off into the lounge and left him be when he wanted alone time. I can honestly say that all the money I had to give, I gave him. Sure, I kept say £10 here and there to top up my phone and for tobacco, but the majority of what I had, went to him. The problem was that my money was ------ up so often. I can even show him this with the damn letters from them. Anyway, the upshot was that with pressure from the ex (a not so stupid assumption on my part there although it wasn't confirmed by him) along with the various problems between ourselves with communication and finance, it all kinda fell apart at the end of September. Since then I've been sofa-surfing for the past month (not as fun or cool as it sounds) with stays in Leicester and Lewes.

I came back to Norwich on Weds 28th October (yeah, a couple of days before this was written) and spent that night and last night sleeping rough on the streets. And I mean actually on the streets. Trying to find a small little place which is kinda sheltered and quiet is actually really hard. As I got in late on Wednesday night (just gone 10pm), there was little I could do about my situation then. Yesterday I was prepared with numbers and stuff that I'd looked up from Lewes and hit a few places. First stop was a place called CAPS where they assist homeless people find housing as well as actually checking up on them on the streets. They completed another HAF form (something that's like an application for for hostels) with me and submitted it to their own place in Norwich as well as a women's hostel. They also have me booked in for a hostel in Yarmouth from the 5th onwards, so basically it's roughing it until then. Sure, it's not in Norwich, but it's a start at where I need to be.

Second visit was to the Jobcenter where I've been given loads of information about work trials and a jobfair coming up on the 3rd November. They've also offered to pay off my library fines as it'll help me find work due to having no computer/internet access otherwise. Also found out more about the ADF grant towards me getting clothing for interviews (which I do still kinda need...). My appointment for that is on the 10th November at Norwich Jobcentre.

Third place I hit was MAP. Technically Shelter was my first visit of the day where I requested that they reopen my file. Thing is, my tenancy has now ended on my Dartford flat, so Norwich Council can't use that as an excuse with me anymore. All I need cleared up is the whole "u owe us £3k in overpaid benefitz", which I CLEARLY don't as I never recieved any of my housing benefit or council tax benefit directly, plus I was only in the property for a month. Tandi at MAP has already got Dartford Council to confirm this and -crosses fingers- it'll be simply just the shortfall for that month that I'll have to pay as I had to leave as a result of domestic violence. She's going to try and contact the refuge I was in who can back me up over my ex and my past history with abuse, while I'm going to obtain a doctor's letter today to prove that I ain't right in the head. Well, more that I had issues coping with situations that cause great amounts of anxiety, that I have clinical depression, a history of selfharming and have tried to off myself quite a few times. Maybe next time I'll just go for the jumping in front of a train. Just hard to find one going fast enough round here.

So yes, plan for today is Doctors in about an hour, then onto MAP in the afternoon to follow up my stuff there, then presenting myself at CAPS again so they know I'm still on the streets. If you're asking where eating comes into this, it doesn't. I have literally no cash until Tuesday so... Eh, least I'll drop down from a size 14 to something smaller.

But yeah, my main issue has been with how a lot of people have been so blasé about my situation. Sometimes just a small text/message of support goes a long way. Though right now all I really want is a shower and a hug...

And bacon.

Also realised I maybe shouldn't swear QUITE so much as the library seems to get a bit annoyed at that ¬_¬ Stupid filters.