Warning – this is partly a Pity party, but the whining does have a point… eventually.
Asking for help is one of the hardest things in the world.
All my life, I was told not to ask for things, “You’ll get what you’re given and like it.” was a common refrain throughout my childhood from a variety of people; not just my parents.
I was taught that if I needed something, I should work for it myself. So I was working from the age of 12 3/4 years old.
Yes, that was technically illegal, I didn’t care and my employer didn’t either.
I sampled lots of menial jobs in my early working life. I was a Chambermaid, a Market Seller, a Paper Girl, a Waitress, a Bar Steward, sold Fish’n’Chips, broke up fights, drifted into sleep doing data entry, tried to sell double glazing, sold computer games, tried to help people with their digital TV…
I got up early and stayed up late in pursuit of the money to be able to live in the way I wanted. I often didn’t have the money to eat from those jobs – I only just made my half of the rent a lot of the time.
It was irritating.
I earned enough (with my partner’s income as well) to be ineligible for any Govt. help (there was no such thing as Working Tax Credit then) and we ate pasta and ketchup way too much. I already had a degree, but it was useless for almost everything I tried to apply for.
So I took a PGCE in the hope that becoming a Teacher. I passed (it was difficult) and got a NQT job to finish my training. I passed that and got a full time teaching job. Which ended a year later.
Ah well, there’s always supply work. I thought to myself when I tried and failed to get another full time or part time teaching job.
I joined agency after agency. I got very little work and was told that it was because I couldn’t drive. But I couldn’t afford to learn to drive… so I was in a Catch 22 situation.
By now, I had two children to support and my partner was driving over two hundred miles a day, just to keep us in the house we were in…
Fast forward to today.
This is my family. My partner has been diagnosed as Aspergers. NOS has been trying to cope with both Aspergers and High School for over two years. And we have the wonderfully entertaining Princess Wriggles to enjoy.
We’re still in the same house. That’s right. 3 Kids, two adults and all the attendant stuff in a small 3 bedroom house. Just about liveable… or it would be if it weren’t for the state of the roof and the plumbing (but that’s another story).
We’d planned to put the baby into the same room as PT when she turned a year old. We didn’t count on PT possibly being Aspergers as well.
What is Aspergers?
“As soon as we meet a person we make judgements about them. From their facial expression, tone of voice and body language we can usually tell whether they are happy, angry or sad and respond accordingly.
People with Asperger syndrome can find it harder to read the signals that most of us take for granted. This means they find it more difficult to communicate and interact with others which can lead to high levels of anxiety and confusion.” – From The National Autistic Society
One of the things that those with Aspergers need is a safe, secure and above all, calming environment to recharge and relax.
Dealing with the outside world causes all sorts of problems. While an adult can find a quiet place to calm down while they’re out and about, a child can’t. Add the school environment to their daily routine and you have daily sensory overload.
So a quiet bedroom / private space is essential to their well being.
We have the space for NOS to have this. The only way we can give PT the same space and give ourselves space (TOH really needs a private space) as well, is to put the baby in our room and sleep in the living room.
Not an ideal situation, more of a last resort.
So why don’t you move?
And here is where the earlier whining is relevant. I haven’t been able to return to teaching since I lost my job. I’ve updated my qualifications and still not been able to get a job. TOH is in the midst of changing career and while he has a part time job at the moment, it’s not an ideal long term solution as it’s only temporary.
We are reliant on Benefits to help us live day to day. There is very little spare cash and what spare cash there is goes on clothes or shoes etc. We’ve not been able to save up the money we need to move.
The deposit, the rent in advance, the moving costs – when I’ve figured it up, we’d need about £3,500 to be able to do it. And every time I manage to save money, it flies out the door again on the wings of an emergency / unforeseen bill.
I’m forced to ask for help.
None of my immediate family can help – they’re in similar straits. We can’t get a Bank loan big enough because we don’t have a big enough income or full time jobs – the banks are suddenly feeling responsible!
So the only thing left (other than sleeping on the sofa) is to ask for help generally.
I’ve started a GoFundMe campaign to this end. If you feel like donating money to help our family move to a more suitable house, then feel free to click on this link – House Move - and donate whatever you feel you can afford.
There’s no time limit to the campaign and I’ll keep it open until either we get the amount we need, or we get kicked out of the house we are in (not as far fetched a prospect as you might think.)
If you feel uneasy about donating to a complete stranger (and believe me, I understand!) then look up my books (under Kira Morgana or A. E. Churchyard) and buy a copy or two – any sales from my work will be put aside to add to the Moving Fund.
If you don’t want to do either of those, then I won’t be upset – I realise it is a difficult world out there and there are people who are worse off than we are. If you want to support the campaign emotionally / promotionally, then feel free to tweet nice things about it and/or share it on FB.
I realise that this is a bit of a pipe dream.
However, I’ve already had four lovely, wonderful people donate to the campaign already, meaning it isn’t as much of a dream as it was.
So there you have it. I’ve bit the bullet and asked for help.