to ask how I should move my life forwards

(19 Posts)
mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 10:27:34

I posted in the work section, but nobody replied...posting here for traffic
I have a medical degree from Cambridge but was sacked in a disability discrimination case which I won. However after that I could not return to medicine as I hated my job and never wanted to train as a doctor in the first place, I was pushed into it by my parents. I wanted to learn physics.
Over the last 4 years I have set up a commercial cleaning company. Things were going really well and I was earning good money, before splitting from my husband due to domestic abuse and becoming a single mum to a 4 year old. Now I cannot do early morning shifts, so one by one lost my customers. The final nail in the coffin for my cleaning business was when my ex took me to court, making all types of false allegations about me (I was allegedly on drugs, violent, learning difficulties, dog poo all over my house). I was terrified the courts would take my son off me, but they saw through the lies and Cafcass fully exonerated me. However I was too stressed to continue.
I do not know what my next step will be. I could do a physics degree, but would need financial help off my dad for the tuition fees. It would be a very tough option.
I have depression at the moment, exhaustion from the fear of thinking I was losing my son.
Can anyone advise me how to move forwards? I do not want a job where there is a lot of dealing with people as I am not good at that due to Asperger's.
I just feel like a total failure.

BrandNewAndImproved Sat 14-May-16 10:30:00

You wouldn't need financial help from your dad.

My friend went to uni as a single mum, got a student loan plus child tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit and council tax benefit. She now has a job and is very successful thanks to her degree. Do what you love.

mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 10:32:37

there are no student loans for a second undergraduate degree.
still annoyed to this day about the medical degree. I was even threatening suicide as I wanted to leave the course but my mum said "you are too selfish to kill yourself"

BillSykesDog Sat 14-May-16 10:35:07

Brand, the OP already has a degree so presumably has exhausted all the student loans available to her.

OP, I wonder if perhaps there is a cheaper, shorter postgrad option which could convert your med degree into something practical but not actually practicing medicine?

What would you think of some type of lab work? Where you are working with chemicals and samples rather than people. Might that suit you? Have you looked into bursaries for women in science etc to see if you might qualify?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 14-May-16 10:35:30

You wouldn't need financial help from your dad.

OP already has a medical degree though, so I don't think she could get a second student loan for a second degree - you can if your second degree is NHS related but I don't think it works the other way round.

OP What would the aim of your second degree be? Do you have a job in physics in mind? Are there some near you, that would be convenient to get to and suit your childcare requirements? Are they difficult to get or do you think with a degree you'd find it okay?

I'd look at your end game - you've got a medical degree, so you could work in medicine if you wanted too, although you seem to have ruled that out - that's okay, if you don't want too, but it's an option.

You've got experience running a company. Now that your son is getting older and will start school soon, would you want to go back to cleaning or self employment?

You're not a failure but the way to move forward is to find an end goal and then plan the steps towards it. That might be a physics job, so check it's realistic to get one, then look at your options for funding - your dad, saving up, etc.

You've been through a lot, don't be so hard on yourself.

confusionis Sat 14-May-16 10:37:53

Take time out from work. Can you get enough on benefits to survive? If so, do so for a while. six months or a year. Then get a job. You say you have a medical degree. What is it? Do you mean you have a bachelors or are you a doctor? You should have transferable skills. Once your dc is in full time school, you might even be able to restart the cleaning business.
and stop interacting with toxic people

BrandNewAndImproved Sat 14-May-16 10:40:53

blush forgot about that

BillSykesDog Sat 14-May-16 10:41:10

How about something like biomedical engineering:
www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/biomedicalengineering/

Much more on the physics side and you could do an MSc conversion.

ricketytickety Sat 14-May-16 10:41:52

Do you need to do anything yet? Is it money or your need to fill your day whilst dc is at school?

It's just you've had such a stressful run of things: the forced degree against your wishes, the discrimination case, your abusive ex, the court case, the collapse of your company. It all sounds horrible and you need time to recover from it all.

Maybe think about what you would like to do rather than what you should do. If you are able to live without a wage and you want to do physics because you just want to, then ask your dad for the money and do it whilst your dc is at school. It will open doors and lead to work in all likelihood.

All school hour work is people based eg support in school, cleaning etc and fairly low paid unless you are running your own business and that might be too stressful

mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 10:42:14

I am 40 now, so if I go down the physics route to be an academic that would be 4 years for the MPhys and 3 years for the PhD. That will be 7 years of being stony broke and relying on sociopathic father.
Just struggling so much atm. The court case has really finished me off. It has been the worst experience of my entire life. My ex warned me if I ever left I would never see my son again as he would make sure he was put in care. Spent every day of last 6 months thinking I would never see him again

mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 10:46:14

I was going to do the physics degree as my son's child psychologist advised it, but my personal psychologist advised against it. I cannot afford psychologists any more as spent all my cash on solicitors

wannabestressfree Sat 14-May-16 10:48:29

Maybe instead of doing another degree it might be wiser to just find something non taxing that fits in around your son and give yourself time to heal. Personally I wouldn't be going cap in hand to your dad.

TheWindInThePillows Sat 14-May-16 10:49:53

Oh, Op, you poor thing, you have had such a hard time lately, I am not surprised you feel battered and bruised by life. But the thing to hold onto is that: your son is with you and all the lies and crap they told was proven to be not true.

I do see why you want an independent career and an independent life. I would post asking for medics to tell you what they do if they don't do medicine, as lots of ideas will be out there, I'm not a medic so can't help you on that score.

I do think though, that being an academic is a very long and probably not a very fulfilling career move though if you feeling battered and bruised. If you want to do a Masters for interest, fine, but doing a Masters and a PhD and trying to get a job afterwards is not for the faint of heart at the moment, there are far more people with PhDs than with relevant well-paid permanent jobs. You would probably end up in 8 years time with a 1 year post-doc with no permanence, nearly half the people in the sector are on contracts. It is taking much longer to move on to permanent posts than it used to do, so the chances of becoming a lecturer/professor are fewer. Sorry to sound negative, and perhaps you will be that person it works for, and I do know someone who was 50 when she started her PhD and has found consultancy work, but she was not reliant on it as a full income, which you would be.

Can you not restart your cleaning company with someone else doing morning shifts? I hear there is huge demand for cleaners, and it's hard to find good workers, but it might be more straightforward.

I think being dependent again on your 'sociopathic' father is a very bad idea and I can't see the promise of a golden career at the end of it either to be honest. that doesn't mean you don't have good career prospects, I would imagine there are lots of jobs in medicine which aren't so people- oriented that might be open to you.

mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 10:54:33

I think I just need a total break at the moment. I am struggling to even do basic things like clean my house. My ex has done his best to get our son removed. He went to social services, but they refused to get involved, so his next port of call was the family courts. personally I think he should be done for perjury, but they do not seem to do that in family courts.
I am doing some self employed science tuition for extra cash at the moment.

TheWindInThePillows Sat 14-May-16 11:16:12

It sounds like stabilizing your life, lifting your mood (no wonder you are depressed) and doing this tuition is actually a good plan for right now. It does not have to be for ever, although good tutors can often make quite a bit of money, and combined with top/up/benefits could be a good way forward for you to have that independence and stability you seek. You will always be able to increase your hours, or get people to come to you as well, as the demand for tutors in science and maths is really high.

Your own psychologists doesn't think starting a new degree and long career path dependent on your dad is a good idea and they probably know you much better than your son's psychologist who may have simply been wanting to encourage you generally and not really have too much insight into what a career in academic physics would involve.

Good luck with it all.

mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 11:31:57

I should imagine when the depression lifts I can come up with a decent business idea to take me forwards. This degree thing sounds like a disaster. I have already done academic research in neuroscience and did not really like it. I enjoy business and am so proud I built up a business from scratch with no experience in business.

mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 11:32:26

my psychologist suggested I do a tech based business, so may do something like that

TheWindInThePillows Sat 14-May-16 11:58:51

mrgrouper I don't think it's a good idea taking ideas from other people on this, you know yourself best and what you do and don't like doing.

What is stopping you returning to the cleaning business and getting a load of new clients? You could do tech based stuff, but it's a huge amount of training and outlay and you have to have a clear idea of where the gap in the market it is (as lots of others are in it too).

I think you are fixing on this new career/business as a new life, but be careful that it isn't more stress on you at an already stressful time. Do you need to do something else than what you are doing? (money-wise I mean).

mrgrouper Sat 14-May-16 12:06:25

contract cleaning is all early morning out of hours work. Customers want their cleaning done between 5 am and 830 am before office staff arrive. As a single mum to a 4 year old with no family support, and a dad who was deemed unsuitable to see son unsupported/unsupervised, there is no way I can do it.
I did try domestic cleaning but hated the way customers treated employees. There is far more snobbery in it than in office cleaning.
I think my best move is take some time out. I never had one day sick when running my business and need time to come to terms with what has happened.
Still not had an apology from my ex who claims his mum wrote all the court statements and he merely signed them and had no idea of the contents.

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