Disclaimer: This post contains talk of toxic families, depression, poverty and a lot of other nasty things. No names are given in this post.
In today’s third and final part, I’m going to finish telling you about the last year of my life; the great highs and devastating lows. And how I’m taking back control of my own fate.
I had started to look for flats to rent and possible spare rooms. I knew I’d have to give up at least the cats, so I gave them up to Cats Protection. It was so hard. They were my babies who shared my bed with me at night, snuggle on me during the day and nearly trip me over when trying to feed them. I still feel immense guilt but I know it’s the right choice and that they have gone to loving, caring homes.
I still had my dog and struggled desperately to find a place that would allow me to bring her. I also had the conundrum of what I was going to do with a flat full of mine, theirs and mostly my mother’s stuff. I didn’t want to get rid of it because I would need it when I eventually had my own place.
After so many viewings, to-ing and frow-ing with landlords, believing that I was getting somewhere, it all fell through. I was back at square one; on edge in case I was being watched by the council, waiting to be reported by the neighbours, waiting to be homeless. The family member never rang. We rarely had contact, except for me to tell them about letters from DWP and me telling them the consequences of the decisions they were making. They didn’t care.
It felt like everything I was doing to try and stay above the surface and help myself, they were stopping me out of spite. They paid the TV bill and refused to pay it anymore, so I paid that month. What they didn’t know was that they had already paid, so the money I put in went into “credit”. That account closed and I opened my own. My money was then returned to them because it was in their name. I asked them for the money back but because I refused to give them any money for what I was supposedly selling from the flat, they said no.
My mum had this really fancy-ass clock that costs hundreds to buy. It hung in the living room and would sing every hour. I didn’t take notice of it really except in the morning getting ready for work. One day when we were on the phone, they randomly said: “you’re not keeping the clock.” I was dumbfounded. I hadn’t even thought of this bloody clock, so why would they come out with that? They kept saying that I’m not having it, it was mum, blah blah blah. It wasn’t until I hung up that I realised they were scared I was going to sell it and keep the money.
They then came up to get some clothes and things and they tried to pick a fight. When they saw I wasn’t taking the bait, they took the clock. They left and came back three times, trying to get me to react. I didn’t. I wouldn’t give them the pleasure.
After a few more weeks, the call finally came. Someone had reported them to the council for not living there. I freaked out. My mind went into shut down and I couldn’t think clearly. I felt like I was in that split second before a crash, when you know there’s nothing you can do but just crash. After a day of crying and more crying, I made the hard decision to give my dog to my family member up north. I felt so guilty. Every time she jumped up at me or jump on my lap it felt like a punch in the chest.
A week later they, the partner and their aunt came up for a meeting with the Housing Association. At the end of the meeting, they decided to give up the flat. I had four weeks to move out. Four weeks to find a place, pay ALL of the money that comes with it, pack up a whole flat and move.
They were coming up another day to clear their bedroom. We had had a row on the phone earlier, so I left them to it and went to a friend’s house. My dog was luckily at the groomers all day. During the day they called me to ask where she was and I said the groomers. They said “OK” and put the phone down. I came back later that day and was horrified. They had gone through the flat like a supermarket dash. They had taken things out of pure spite, just because they knew I would need them. They took curtains, the lawnmower, wastepaper bins, gone into my room and took the cable extension, lamps, and the toolbox. I rang them screaming down the phone. They couldn’t care less.
It wasn’t until the next day when I went to do some more packing, that I realised they had taken something far more precious than anything listed before. They had taken all of the family photos of my mum. The framed ones, ALL the photo albums and special memories. I was absolutely distraught. I was completely broken. Even now when I looked through the one album they left, there are random blank spaces where they pulled them out. Their answer when I called them about it? “You have the TV and sofa, you can’t have everything.”
That was it. I had enough. I had the absolute enough of them and their implications on my life. I’m not letting them manipulate me, destroy my happiness or take me to their level.
Through all of the horrible and hair-pulling stress, I managed to find an absolute beauty of a flat. I love it. I’m paying all of my bills on my own and I don’t rely on anyone for it. I’m in a happy and caring relationship and am loving my work.
About a month after I moved in, I had heard that the family member had said: “I will speak to her at some point, she is still my…” I felt absolute rage. Who did they think they are, that they will decide when we will speak again? It is not their choice. They do not decide that enough time has passed. I haven’t spoken to them since the photo incident and I can’t see us speaking again at any time in the near or far future.
I’m really thriving at this current point of time and loving it. There are struggles and strifes, but I am getting through them a day at a time. I’m so thankful for all the help and support I’ve been given by friends and family.
If you take anything away from this long-ass saga, I hope it’s the courage to take control of your fate. Don’t let other’s negative, toxic lives impact yours. You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness but your own.
There are two things in life that you have control over; your thoughts and your actions. You have the control to walk away if you think someone’s poison.
Thank you for reading this incredibly exposing (for me) piece. Please leave a comment below about anything you like; puppies, makeup, your outrage about the current US administration…
See you next time.