I know you're all gagging to know what drama has befallen me this week ~ I mean it's not as though it's going to have been quiet and uneventful is it? When trying to describe the last few years the only words that spring to mind are "Car Crash TV".. So we'll crack swiftly on shall we?
So.. I've lost my job for being too posh (understandable really) and am back to the world of no money and fear of the unknown. If I am honest, the job thing did knock me badly ~ Having struggled out from the abyss of suicidal depression, I felt myself sliding backwards and the old insecurities rearing their ugly heads. And then the killer blow ~ an eviction notice from my Landlord, thereby realising the ultimate fear ~ the inability to protect my kids and keep them safe.
For months now I have been trying to claim Housing Benefit ~ something I have dreaded as it seemed to me to be the sign of ultimate failure, but needs must at certain times of life. Anyway, it would appear that people like me don't get things like that, and many months and several different applications later I was so far behind with my rent that I blush to admit it. Every time I applied I was asked for everything from bank statements (embarrassing, all those minus signs) to Completion Statements for the house I sold over 2 years ago and everything in between. Every time I provided those details I was asked how I managed to survive on no benefits and my standard answer was "very badly" ~ which becomes more and more accurate every time I get asked. However the Great Grey Monolith that is the Housing Department round here decided that I obviously have money stashed away somewhere and kept turning my down ~ month after month. Earlier this year I was reduced to pawning my jewellery in order to make some sort of dent in the arrears and the next step would be selling my car - unfortunately it's still dead as I can't afford to get a new starter motor for it, which means I can't sell it ~ another thing on the list of things that I can't afford.
Anyway, I buckled again and saw the darkness gathering ~ ironically I need more antidepressants but the lack of car means I can't go and get a repeat prescription ~ and just could not see how to get out of this situation. I felt bitter that I had managed, somehow, for over 4 years and yet was ultimately doomed to fail at this stage. I have no family and my friends list is sadly lacking in millionaires so there was no-one to ask.
Guardian Angels come in many forms, and mine is 5" nothing and called Tina. She has felt bad because she didn't recognise the signs of my last breakdown (nothing to do with the fact I am so good at hiding things) and has appointed herself as the person to help me get back on my feet. And so, this week she and I have been to the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Job Centre, the Housing Office, the Job Centre (again) and anywhere else I needed to go. She has also stood up to my Landlord and explained that bullying me wont help as "If I end up topping myself he still wont get his rent" ~ now THAT was magnificent to watch!
So we reach the end of the week.. we have walked maybe 40 miles this week, and it's a uphill slog back home after crying at the Housing Office I can tell you! I am told I qualify for a "Good Cause" backdate of my rent and I have finally been awarded Job Seekers Allowance. I still have no car and some serious rent arrears, and the dark clouds are still hovering, but I have my kids and my dog and my Guardian Angel. In my life so many people have let me down, or not been what they said, that I have almost forgotten how to trust anyone ~ and so to have a tiny little Guardian Angel with a Heart as big as the world is amazing ~ despite everything I can't help but think how lucky I am.