Wednesday, 21 December 2011
It may sound clichéd but it has passed so quickly, yesterday i was genuinely convinced it couldn't have been more than a week since i clicked 'publish' on the post about the house. I think i am still in shock to a degree, i still cant believe all this has happened to us!
I have been trying to think of a suitable way to thank everybody for everything they have done so far to help us and im sorry to say i have come up lacking. To be honest, im not sure that even skywriting you each a personal message of thanks could convey the depth of gratitude i feel, nor could it explain how much this has changed our lives, and my own world view with it. I guess a simple thanks will have to do ( i am disappointingly low on pilots, planes and sky writing equipment), so thankyou all, so very much x
Things are on the up! We have found a house, a 4/5 bed in a town near here, i have met with the estate agent and the owner (both of whom are really nice) and have been to see the house. It really is lovely, it has a downstairs bathroom (Goodbye you awful toilet chair!) and a separate dining room which can be my bedroom until i can move upstairs. The owner needs to get it let to someone who wants to be a long term tenant and is fine with Housing Benefit paying the rent while i am unable to work. I told the estate agent and the owner all about you guys, i think it is safe to say they are almost as stunned as i am!
And thanks to the incredible generosity of everyone who donated financially, we have now got just enough (after the site have taken their 5%) to pay the estate agents fees, the security deposit and the up-front rent! So we will soon be moving house. In fact, very soon! The initial 6 month tenancy will begin on the 9th of Jan, so i have three weeks to get us organised and packed! Eeep! (Anyone who has ever moved house feel free to offer advice in the comments, i am sure i will forget to do something very important!)
So! Now i am trying to pack and sort and de-clutter as much as i can without pushing myself too hard, but i am impressed with what i have got done on my own. And the children are excited and want to help too. I think we will get there, a few kind friends have offered to help me, and i know a man with a van who has said he is happy to move bits over there on the day. My best friend is already bringing empty boxes from her work for me to start filling up, so despite my being convinced otherwise, this really must all be real!
I am also keeping my eye out for any second hand furniture i can get for the new place, am joining freecycle groups and so on. The town we are moving to has a few charity shops which could also be an option. I have three beds and a sofa to find but if all else fails we will camp on our mattresses and sit on dining chairs!
What else? We are all ok mostly, aside from the ill effects of the mould. The baby seems to be faring worst at the moment, it makes me so angry and sad to see him so poorly. I am counting seconds until we are out of here!
Oh yes, i met with a very lovely housing solicitor on Tuesday. Despite his sat-nav he managed to find his way here and i have to say it was good to meet him. He has taken our case on, but i don't expect to hear much for a while as it is so close to Christmas. The poor man, he sat and let me waffle on at him for what must have felt like hours, and was very polite.
Talk about timing, but who should show up (unannounced) while the solicitor was here, but a man from the council?! I didn't catch his name, but i thought he said he was from the company that fitted the vents initially (that could have been me mishearing him though). Anyway, he looked at the vent in the kitchen and at the front wall from the inside and outside, blamed me for having the front garden paved (i didn't, it was like that when i moved in and i told him so) and then left, telling me he would be in touch.
With all that i am a little surprised that i haven't met myself coming backwards yet!
There is more i would like to say, but things being as they are (the blog has now had over 23,000 views) it probably wouldn't be wise, it is fairly safe to say that is it is no longer just my close friends* reading my brain sludge on the page.
I will update as often as i can, i wish you all a properly fantastic Christmas and a brilliant new year!
Broken Single Mum xx
* On this note, i would like to address the unsavoury comments which have appeared on the mould post over the last couple of days. As i have said before, i am happy to answer questions (and to that effect i have changed the blog slightly so that i can now respond to individual comments) and i remain happy to do so. However, i will not tolerate ill-informed (and in places clearly fabricated) accusations and name calling. If you wish to use the anonymity of the internet to vent your spleen please feel free to start your own blog, i can personally recommend blogger as a platform, i have found it quite straightforward to use. However, before publishing anything which you choose to state as fact, i strongly suggest you check your source. It may prove to be no more than idle gossip or fairy tales.
Also, if you have nothing better to do with your time than seek out good, well meaning people and try to bring them down, would you consider perhaps finding a hobby so that something more positive may come of your spare time and energy? I am sure there are plenty of charities around who need volunteers, or you could take up a craft? Knit hats and booties for premature babies? Collect litter from public areas? Feel free to come up with your own, but there are lots of worthy causes to choose from. Whatever you decide to do though, please know that any future spiteful comments you leave will be removed, as have your first ones.
Thankyou for reading, i hope your day is a very pleasant one x
Friday, 9 December 2011
I have received a lot of questions in the comments section of the blog and i want to reply but i cant figure out how to do so directly (or if blogger even has that option). So i will go through the questions and answer as much as i can here x
I have had suggestions of Freecycle etc, yes, and this is a really fab idea. Unfortunately if i was to get another sofa it would likely end up with the same problem as this one - the mould would get in it. So i will keep this in mind if and when i do get to move, because there will be a few things i will need to find then x
I would like you to do three things for me;
1. Try and establish why you have damp. Is it rising because there is no damp proof course (usually a line of rubber 3 bricks up from the ground) or because the walls are thin and there is no cavity. Is it in a particular spot where something - soil, a wall, is bridging the damp proof course.
2. Write to your MP pointing out the cause of your damp, how you should be a priority and nothing seems to be happening. Can you include a letter from your Dr confirming the effect this is having on yours / your children's health. I would also badger Citizen's Advice with the above, they usually have a housing team who will act on your behalf.
3. Have a look and see if you can bid for any houses that aren't quite your ideal. The most popular houses always have everyone bidding for them so you might have a better chance if you compromise on one or two elements. Try and spot the gems that others may have overlooked.
...Oh and this is a bit random but are you a knitter, spinner, weaver or crafter of any kind?...
Edited to add, after many kind offers of financial donations i have opened a 'fund me' account. Initially i will be trying to raise enough to use as a deposit to get out of here. If there is anything over that, it will be held in the account until i can move and then will be used to buy furniture for myself and the children.
Here is the link https://service.mail.com/dereferrer/?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gofundme.com%2Fb40ls&lang=en thankyou guys xx
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
When i sent my blog post out into the great wide world of Twitter i kind of hoped for a bit of advice and maybe empathy, at the very most i hoped somehow the universe would take a bit of notice and maybe sling a bit of good luck our way.
As i said, wow.
I have been totally floored by the warmth and kindness of the responses i have had. Offers of legal help, advice, even offers to purchase furniture for us have poured in, much to my surprise! I never expected such a rush of love and understanding. Last night, trying to catch up with all the tweets, DM's and emails i found my self actually shaking, such was the depth of the reaction i received and how much your words of encouragement have affected me.
I would like to point out here, just for the more cynical of those reading, that financial gain, furniture and so on, was never the motivation behind posting my struggle. My ambition was nothing more than a hope for advice, and maybe help, to get my children and myself out from this mould-ridden house, and to get the council to live up to their responsibilities in repairing this place before making another family go through all of this.
I still don't know if i will achieve my goal, but i feel i have to try my best and explore every avenue available to me. In that vein..
I have also had some offers to help my cause through publicity. I have had to think this over a bit, i am not the most confident or eloquent of people in real life, but i am desperate to get our housing situation improved. And maybe hearing about my experiences might in some way help others who are having a hard time living in unsuitable housing.
So, i guess we just see how things go from here, if anything comes of this you guys will know as soon as i can get to the laptop.
Right now though, I am trying to think of a way to organise all the offers of help with cleaning off the mould and repainting the house. I figure if i can get everyone together at the same time we could really make a big difference in the minimum amount of time. I doubt i'll be much practical use, but i am totally down with making tea, coffee, sandwiches and biscuits as needed! My blog email is Brokensinglemum@mail.com if anybody would like to add their voice to the crew, or help me arrange this all!
In the mean time i am still pursuing help from my mp (Nick Gibb), i am writing an email for him outlining the issues i have had with this property/council and what i hope to achieve from all this (unexpectedly sleepy toddler and baby giving me laptop time FTW!).
I am also hoping to speak to a solicitor tomorrow (i hope he doesn't call while i am at my toddlers Christmas play!) and while i have him on the phone i will ask him what is the best course of action with regard to the offers of financial help you have so generously sent me - i am concerned that any donations be all above board and used for their purpose and i want to make sure that anything that is sent to help us isn't swallowed up by a subsequent deduction to my current income. Confusing, but i hope you guys understand where i am coming from, i really wasn't prepared for all this, it never occurred to me that people might want to donate to help us!
Really, though, above and beyond anything else i want to say Thankyou all, so very much.
Please keep sending out links to this blog, help me get as many people behind me as possible, and help raise awareness for other people struggling with landlords who aren't fulfilling their obligations xx
Betty Broken x
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Thin tendrils, wisps, around your feet
Rising up, your soul to meet,
Darkening, surrounding frail
Illusions of control
Pulling, constricting, suffocating,
Weight of gravity and black sadness
Draws you back toward the chasm gaping
Til you hang by one finger
Looking up from lowest point
Afraid to look down
Friday, 11 November 2011
Well, it may not technically be a real word (borrowed from @latentexistence) but it certainly feels real enough. My pain meds tend to wear off around 3am so I thought i'd share the joy with you. Aren't you so lucky?
I'm currently writing from my phone, laid back on my sofa (which is also my bed). I have my most coherant blog post ideas this time of day so it's handy to have finally got Blogger for Android figured out.
I am aware i've not posted for a bit. It's because i'm wary of creating that pressure on myself to post for the readers, rather than because I need to. It's what killed my last blog for me and I don't want it to happen again (though i'm actually considering resurrecting that, now that I have this seperate blog going).
I'm also aware that i've not mentioned my children much. Though they are indeed my purpose for existing i'm still not sure to what degree they will feature, mainly because this is my 'me' blog, about my shit and I don't really want to drag them in here.
Which brings me on to the other reason i've not posted, my 'personal' life. I've kept quiet about my decayed marriage but it is such a heavy feature in my life right now that if I don't get it out somewhere it's likely to drive me batty. So hey, lucky reader, you get to hear me piss and whinge about being disabled and you get to hear me piss and whinge about the Ex and all the crap involved with that.
Don't say I never give you anything.
Hugs n kisses n all that.
Monday, 24 October 2011
Sorry for the tears guys, but this is what it is like. I pay a hefty price for even getting out of the house. Not that i begrudge doing it, i know how important it is for us all to be out of the house in the fresh air and it really did the children good to be able to run about and ride their bikes and scooters properly.
Taking the nasty medicine now, hoping for a doze.
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Friday, 21 October 2011
So, yesterday we went to the Fair on our village green. Myself, all five of my children, my friend K and her two children.
It was the first time i had been out in the village in my wheelchair and i was so self conscious as to actually feel nauseas. You see, since the SPD kicked in at week 12 of Johns pregnancy (18 months ago), i have rarely been able to leave the house. There have been a few hospital appointments, some trips to the library while we had the motability car, some food shopping trips, but all of these things were in the nearest town or further away.
And in all the time of me being mostly housebound i can count on one hand the visits made to me by 'friends' (other than K and C). So, understandably, i feel a bit awkward going out around here.
On top of that, I'm in a wheelchair. It draws attention and i really don't like it.
So, back to the fair.
The children had a great time, we were cold, overexcited and half deafened by the noise. Just like a fair should be really. Tommy spent most of the time with his (girl)friend and her Mum, trying on some pre-teen mock independence. Nathan, Ellie and Lottie had a fantastic time, going on any ride that would allow them on, as many times as i'd let them go. John was bemused and very patient with our frivolous activity, only wanting freedom from the pushchair just before we left.
It was the first night time excursion in my chair and the green was quite dark, not to mention criss-crossed with cables and such. I pushed myself about 90% of the evening so I'm pretty impressed with myself - i still don't have any gloves for wearing in the chair (mental block i think, buying accessories to use with it is like accepting it's here and i have to use it, you know?) and the wheel rails got pretty damned cold.
Candy floss was consumed by all, i love those sticky grins when i (very rarely) let the children have junk and i think it completed the experience. By the time we left we are all pretty frozen (except John who was rather layered up) so we bought fresh chips to eat, just perfect.
There were a few uncomfortable moments, bumping in to (or being pointedly ignored by) people i'd rather have not seen (gossips, friends of Ex Husband) and i have paid heavily today for the exertion - my pelvis crossed again last night and the pain of it uncrossing had me openly weeping this morning, and in turn it has set off my back again - but it was worth it to be out, to see the looks of delight on the children's faces, and the triumphant glee on Lottie's face as she scaled the highest inflatable slide and threw herself down it.
I'm only sorry i forgot to charge my phone and the battery was too low to let me take any pictures.
I am Becki, i have five amazing children and i am disabled. There are, of course, plenty of other facts about me but these are the most pertinent for this moment.
I had another blog (Pelvis, Interrupted) my first ever, but i never managed to get into the feel of what i had made for myself. So, after a particularly turbulent time in my life i have decided to leave my caterpillar blog and move on to a new place, which i hope will become my butterfly blog (if you'll forgive the clumsy nature reference).
My youngest child, John, is now 13 months old. He is crawling, trying out speech and days away from his first proper steps. During my pregnancy with John i suffered (though never officially diagnosed) with DSP (the more severe form of SPD). By 12 weeks i could barely stand, and yet somehow i carried on. I couldn't accept what was going on, the horrid pain or my increasing dependence on my husband. By the time John was born i couldn't lie to myself any longer, i needed help and i needed pain relief.
Over the following 13 months very little has changed for me physically. I am getting around a little more, but that is simply through sheer stubborn stupidity. My pain is constant and sanity defying. I am on a cocktail of pain killers but still the pain is often enough to have me heaving and in tears. I live on the sofa as i cannot make it up the stairs.
People have a lot of trouble understanding my pain and the mobility difficulties that have arisen from the damage to my pelvis. To try and give you an idea of just how loose the relaxin made me, my shoulders are still loose now, as are my knees, ankles and neck. The main areas of injury though were my pelvis and my back. The doctors are at a loss to explain to me what is going on but i think ive managed to figure it out. I think my loose pelvis did something to my back, it makes sense if you think about it.
I had an MRI and the doctor that read the results was insistent that i have "an old injury" to my spine. I've never had a back problem before so all i can think is that he misunderstood the scan somehow.
It's all academic anyway, as whatever the doctors say, whatever anybody says, i'm still in pain. I still can't bear my own weight, i still cannot sleep for the pain, cannot do what i need to get done.
And now, i am single again.
And it is hard.
These are my experiences.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Thankyou everyone who has followed me over here, i appreciate your patience and commitment.
Pelvis interrupted was good for me for a while, but so much has happened and so much has changed over these last few months that it just didn't feel like 'me' any more. It got harder and harder to post, all the while i was more and more determined to have somewhere to express my views and experiences and chronicle my (our) life.
So, this seemed the best option to me. To quote a good friend; "A change is as good as a rest".