Friday, 15 November 2013

Who Cares?

In 3 weeks and 5 days Evan & I will be officially homeless.
I am so stressed I cannot think straight and it is taking all my neurons to write about what has happened, but I am so traumatised I need to get it off my chest.

In 1961 my parents were living in a thatched cottage with no mains electricity and no running water. My eldest sister Tina, had been born there in 1960.  Mum found out she was expecting their second child 18 months later and in January 1962 Rita came along. Living with a toddler and a baby in a cottage with inadequate facilities made it sensible to go on to the council housing list, and in October 1962 they were given the keys to a three bedroom house back in the village where my Mum was brought up.

I came along - born in the house in 1972.

Tina sadly passed away in 1999 and was followed by my Dad in 2000, her illness and subsequent passing affecting his health severely.
Mum managed for a couple of years, initially not liking living on her own for the first time, but eventually settling in to her own new routine.

At this point I had moved into a 1 bedroom flat after a wait of 11 years on the housing list. I had my only child in 2002, and we visited Mum most, if not everyday, to make sure she was OK.

Mum suffered a severe asthma attack and was diagnosed with COPD and heart failure in 2006. She was also dangerously overweight and could no longer go upstairs or walk any distance.
So to prevent her having to go in to a nursing home, I moved back into my birth home with my son and I became her full time carer.

It was hard. Having two such extremes of generation to appease I found it mentally, physically and especially emotionally exhausting.

Her health continued to deteriorate and after 7 and a half years Mum passed away 4 weeks ago, suddenly but peacefully in her sleep.
I am still grieving and as yet haven't touched her things - I can't quite face that and didn't believe there was any hurry.
Until this week when I was first informed that I would not allowed to succeed the tenancy, and that bombshell was swiftly followed by yesterday being handed my notice - stating I have until December the 15th to vacate the premises.....

I am dumbfounded and in a state of complete shock. I never thought I would have to leave, I realised I would be over housed but as I had given up any chance of having more children of my own by looking after my parent;  I was going to foster, so I could help children in my area. 
I understand that somebody with a larger family would take priority and I understand that I have an extra bedroom, but the speed in which this is being done astounds me, as does the fact I am not being offered anything but to go on a list where "you should be given priority". Should?!

 I haven't told Evan yet. He is still incredibly saddened by his Nanny dying - so telling him we have lost our home too is just so cruel.
I understand I am a statistic and people in offices don't have columns on their screens titled 'sympathy' 'understanding' and 'compassion' I am 'STOCK' that needs to be moved, but I need to grieve. I need time to get myself in that place where I can sort out Mum's clothes and FIFTY TWO years of possessions.

I understand I can appeal, but what I don't understand is that the appeal goes to the very same person that has already said no. Surely the whole point of appeal is so your case is seen with fresh eyes and an independent opinion?
I gave up my own tenancy to care for my Mum, so put a home back into council stock at that point. And caring for my Mother in her own home saved my local authority thousands in nursing home fees, which she would of had to have lived in had I not taken on the role.

So where do I go? What do I do? I'm seeing Shelter on Monday for advice.
I never in a million years would have thought that giving up my life to look after my Mum would leave me and my son with nothing and nowhere to go and only 4 weeks to get there........
Xxx