The night of November 16th 2017 – I was in the kitchen with my mum and sister drinking copious amounts of Prosecco and dancing to Paloma Faith with party hats.
I barely ever drink, so there had to be a good enough reason for me to get completely pissed and share my love to the women who the mean most to me.
‘Cry baby’ was the highlight of our night, I’m pretty sure I downed Prosecco out of a measuring jug at one point.
Despite us having a blast, dancing as if I was on stilts and having fits of giggles; I still found myself running upstairs every half hour, screaming into the bathroom towel and sobbing.
I woke up the morning after with a blasting headache and I felt the room spinning, but the event of what was to come was much, much worse.
I packed up the last couple of boxes and cleared a few draws. I saw my son walk out his bedroom for the last time and watched my daughter play peacefully in our bare living room.
We were moving 100 miles away to live with my Dad in Oxford.
Although this didn’t exactly come as a shock, I had been waiting anxiously for this very moment for months.
As I got into the car I burst into tears. I shouted at my mum “Why did this have to happen!”.. weeping into my tissues.
I couldn’t quite believe that the town I had grown to know, to love – the town I had given birth in twice; I was leaving it all behind.
Without going into too much detail, this wasn’t an easy decision. To be honest I wasn’t given much choice.
We arrived in Oxford and I was completely exhausted – perhaps the Prosecco Party the night before didn’t help; but overall I was exhausted from spending the entire journey to Oxford just sobbing.
My eyes were bright red and I remember wanting to go straight to bed when I got to my Dad’s.
We were now homeless.
Although we weren’t sleeping on the streets – we were very fortunate that I had family that were kind enough to let us live with them, but where society is concerned, we were considered a homeless family.
The months leading up to this moment, my son questioned why we were having to leave; I tried to tell him that I wanted to be closer to our family.
But I knew deep down he spent most nights sat on the stairs and listening to me cry on the phone to my sister for hours on end.
The first couple of months were the hardest; adjusting to living with a parent again when I’d spent the last year living in my own house with my own rules was pretty difficult.
It took weeks talking to the council, sending them eviction letters and numerous telephone calls to finally be placed on their housing register.
Over 3 months I wasn’t getting anywhere with the online council house bidding. The fact that I hadn’t been homeless long enough played a big part as to why myself and my two young children weren’t top priority.
However, sleeping with my two children on a blow up bed on the living room floor seemed doable, apparently.
Months went by and I felt useless – mine and my children’s futures were in the hands of somebody else deciding if we were in need of housing, which we were, desperately.
I upped the anti-depressants which was advised by my doctor and started to feel a bit better after a few weeks; but the anxiety I felt every Wednesday at 12pm when the new bidding cycle opened was still there.
Some weeks there was no properties to the area I had local connection to, better yet, some weeks they had none at all. I started to lose hope.
It has now been 9 months since we were deemed homeless by the council. In May this year, we were finally offered a property by our local council and it was such an overwhelming feeling knowing that my children would finally have a home to call their own.
We moved into our new home last Friday and I cannot put into words the feeling I felt signing our tenancy agreement whilst my children ran around our house exploring.
It has needed a lot of work, but after a week it is finally feeling like a proper home.
I shared this story because I would like to think this could give someone the hope they need – that there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is always a rainbow after a little rain.
Thanks for reading!