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Just some of my thoughts

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Writing this here because it isn't really a post for anyone to follow, just some of my own thoughts written down so they don't burst my head to pieces...

So, we are now 4 weeks in to searching for a new home with now only 6 weeks left till we find ourselves literally without a roof over our heads.

Many things have gone through my mind over these weeks not least that I am glad that my old chappy Zaphod doesn't have to go through this with us. Another move would certainly have been too much for him at the age he was. I am also hugely conscious of having to possibly part with my other cat Kira for a while if things come to the worst case scenario and that is proving very hard to deal with.

So, what have I been doing these last weeks? House hunting mainly. Searching every website, calling agents, speaking to private landlords and trying to negotiate with the Council... not a fun task at all! There has been much packing going on and having to part with much loved items which we worked hard to afford but we can no longer keep because no matter where we end up there won't be space for it all.

I have had to put my own small handicraft business on indefinite hold because I don't have the time to devote to it, nor do I have the mindset to work on it. The insurance for this has now lapsed since I completely forgot to renew it.

We have managed to find a shop which we can use as offices for the other business just now so we can at least try to keep that going and not find ourselves unemployed and even more of a burden to society. It also means that we will at least have somewhere to go during the day should, again, the worst case scenario befall us. The shop will hopefully double as working premises for my own business if and when I am able to get it back on it's feet.

House hunting - the most mind numbing and dreadful task when time is not on your side!

Seeing houses that suit your needs but are way beyond your budget. Finding homes that would easily be mistaken for a dog kennel they are so small, but they are all you can afford. Being expected to pay extra on your deposit or extra every month because you have a pet, and one that has never caused any harm to any house, garden or even a carpet or fence. Not being able to fulfill the requirement to produce an employers reference because, well, you are your employer! Finding that the prices have skyrocketed since you were last in the market to rent somewhere. And if all this isn't bad enough, being told by the Council that you should lie to potential landlords about having a pet or working from home and also being told you can just find somewhere else and that there are far more needy cases out there that come first (cause I would never have thought of that!).

Packing - watching your possessions being packed in to boxes is bad enough but when you can't keep them all, you start to feel like a hoarder who is hellbent on keeping everything because you are emotionally attached to everything! As much as we do have loads of stuff, we paid for it all, we worked hard for it all and now we are having to virtually give it away because we could have to go from a 4 bed sprawling great bungalow to a tiny 1 bedroom flat and we currently have enough stuff to fill about 3 x 2 bed houses!! Watching all our things leaving the house and knowing you are never going to see them again is really hard. There is also the fact that (worst case scenario again), we may have to leave them all in storage for months on end while we wait to be re-homed.

Dealing with the Council - Beside the lies they wanted me to tell potential landlords, the Council have messed up more than I could imagine they ever would. Four weeks in to this nightmare, they have managed to lose all my documents twice and even after involving my Councillor and getting my case assigned to a particular Homelessness Prevention Officer, handing in all the documents again, I am still no further forward. I have heard nothing from either the team or from my Councillor for a week now on whether or not the latest set of paperwork has reached the right person or is yet again, missing! I have my first meeting with them on 20th April (some 6 weeks after I made the first call) and that is purely to discuss housing needs, not homelessness. That would be a further meeting and would take another 2 weeks beyond that and even then, there is no guarantee they will help other than to put me up in a hotel and put all my belongings in storage for me (Worst Case Scenario!!). The more likely scenario is that they will tell me to refuse to leave this house therefore sparking the landlord to raise a court action to have me removed. This would entail me possibly having to pay their court costs and give me a reputation as a bad tenant after all these years of being classed as an impeccable tenant... I cannot risk that - my reputation has always meant so much to me.

Putting everything back the way they want you to leave it - We used our permission to change decor, garden etc while we lived here to make it feel more like home. However, now it all must be put back the way it was when we first arrived. Walls must be repainted to neutralise them. Raised planters have to be either removed or left in a condition that would not cause the house to be "unsellable". On top of all that, we moved here with a large number of plants in pots which remain in the pots to this day. None of which can go in to storage so we are also going to have to give those away and many of them are ones I have brought on from almost dead and nurtured to full size. Having to spend the time repainting is also a real pain. The walls of the house were dreadful when we moved in. There was food down several and the colours were (although reasonably neutral) absolutely awful!

Health & Mindset - My health is suffering, no question about it. I am sleeping on average, less than 4 hours a night. Most of this sleep is broken with many restless periods (far more than usual) and hours of lying awake trying not to think of the things I have to do in the day ahead. Most days are spent with so much going on in my head that I have almost persistent headaches and I am permanently tired.

This is leading to very bad food and drink choices. Eating whatever I feel like, having wine virtually every night again and basically just not even thinking of the consequences. It really is all I can do to get through a day without wanting to scream or cry all day. Having to tell my kids I am fine when I really am not because they would just bother me all the time checking up on me and I am really not good with that sort of pity... Telling everyone else that it will all work out well in the end when my brain just can't see beyond today, this moment!

Having talked so many others in my family and friends circle through the trauma of homelessness, I now find myself helpless and forgetting everything I know about it and not having the voice to get anything sorted for myself and my husband and our wee cat...

How did I find myself here again?!?

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  1. Christelle's Avatar
    Oh Anne, my heart is breaking for you.
    It doesn't matter how much you "know" about the situation, it is still very hard to work through.
  2. Kira2767's Avatar
    [QUOTE=Christelle;bt15102]Oh Anne, my heart is breaking for you.
    It doesn't matter how much you "know" about the situation, it is still very hard to work through.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks Christelle. Short update is that there is no real update... FINALLY, they appear to have received the paperwork and they aren't going to argue that it is all in order. My leaving date remains the same, my appointment on 20th April at 2pm remains the same and the likelihood of me being offered a house remains much the same.
  3. Lindam's Avatar
    Hi Anne, I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you get to see a chink of light at the end of this tunnel soon. All my love, Linda
  4. Jaki's Avatar
    Hope something turns up for you.
  5. roseymary's Avatar
    Anne I just cannot imagi e how you feel. I hope my prayers will help in some small way. And that "something" will turn up. Surely you aren't the onle self employed tenants in Scotland?
  6. Kira2767's Avatar
    Thank you everyone. There is light Linda, it is just that it is still just a pin prick and so far away right now. Rosey, prayers appreciated... we certainly aren't the only self employed tenants, but the rules make it far easier for the landlord to be choosy and there is so much demand for each and every house (half decent one anyway) that comes available, that we are not being chosen for some of them. The cat is still the biggest problem we seem to have. However, the business not doing well these past few months means that we have to be very careful what level of rent we go up to. Should the business not pick up, our savings will be gone soon and then one of us would have to find other work somehow (or both of us). If we go for too high a rent and find ourselves unemployed, we could lose our home altogether or find the rent level too high for DWP payments and then have to find the extra rent ourselves.

    These are indeed uncertain times
  7. Gilli's Avatar
    Sending you a big Hug Anne. I hope you find somewhere suitable very soon and that business picks up.
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