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To hate living in what isn't practically solitary confinement

(240 Posts)
user1490990350 Sun 02-Apr-17 08:14:46

I have no idea how I've managed to end up like this. I've been at university most of my life. I've not worked in paid work during that time. When I finished my course I was unemployed for almost two years but have managed to get two days work (at most, im bank staff) working each week. Sometimes I get no work for upto three weeks.

I moved to a hell hole of a place when I got pregnant, to be nearer to His family. I was 21. We split shortly after my Son was born and for 7 years I have basically wasted here.

I don't fit in. I have a PHD and apparently a 'posh' voice which is laughed at regularly. When I do get to know people I'm more a point of amusement than anything else. I've never had this problem anywhere else I've lived.

My ex and his family moved 40 mins away.

So now, I have a council house, in a rough area, where I literally know no one. I see no one. I spend almost every day on my own in a small 2 bed house surrounded by only my 6 year old for company (and he's not really any company even though I love him).

I do have two friends who live in the nearest city but I am so poor I can't afford to do anything. Visit them, go to soft play centres, go to any of the facilities in the nearest city. I don't even have a supermarket round here so get my shopping online.

There is very little round here. Not even a supermarket and I can't afford to travel around.

My son is fine as he ha school and then goes to his dads where he does fun things at the weekend.

I'm keeping going by applying for full time work and once I have a full time job I will be fine. Adult company, people I have things in common with to make friends with and a reason to get up in the morning.

Right now I spend almost every single day alone. With nowhere to go, no one to see. I'd rather be in prison!!!

I feel like I'm serving a prison sentence in solitary confinement and spend all my days listening to music and going on my phone as I have to do something for stimulation.

I know I'm not the only one who lives this sort of isolated life. How do those of you in similar situation cope?

Aibu to feel like I'm going be from lack of mental stimulation? I'm so so so bored.

highinthesky Sun 02-Apr-17 08:18:37

You are a poor fit for your environment. In other places you would be a sought after commodity!

Think about what you want to do carefully and develop plans in that direction.

In the interim why not get in touch with your PhD supervisor and see if there's any post-doctoral work you can be doing remotely.

acornsandnuts Sun 02-Apr-17 08:19:42

I would look at volunteering. It will look great on job applications and it'll help you meet people. Our council has a list of current vacancies. This is a moment in time that's shit but things can and will change for you.

zzzzz Sun 02-Apr-17 08:19:51

Time for a change smile
So what are the options?
More education/academic work?
Finding work elsewhere?
Starting up your own business?
Claiming elsewhere and house swap?

What do you want it to be like?

ShowMePotatoSalad Sun 02-Apr-17 08:22:28

Have you considered the possibility that you might have depression?

CBT might work for you. You seem to be thinking about things negatively (I'm not blaming you for that at all - it's just an observation). You are an intelligent, educated woman (I would absolutely love to have a PhD). You have a 6 year old son who you have raised well and is now in school.

Do you lack the confidence to use your PhD? You've got a great education but it's about translating that now in to a career. Have you thought about private tutoring for A Level or GCSE students in your field?

Can you apply for administrative or junior research posts in nearby universities? A foot in the door and opportunity to network with people in your dream jobs? Universities have buddy/mentoring programmes for staff members, so you can get some one to one guidance on building your career from the ground up.

I also think it may help you to join a social app like MeetUp - you can find friends in your area. People go out in a big group and do an activity. It may build your confidence.

Girlincognito1 Sun 02-Apr-17 08:23:07

Look for jobs all over the country and move away if the job is right. There's no reason to stick around. Your son will adapt to a new setting.

Batteriesallgone Sun 02-Apr-17 08:25:40

I'm guessing moving would be too expensive?

Have you looked into the possibility of swapping your property?

SisterMoonshine Sun 02-Apr-17 08:27:25

It might be worth keeping an eye on council exchange

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 02-Apr-17 08:30:56

Why hav you stayed there? Are you applying for jobs anywhere and everywhere? When I looked for my first job, I was living in the north and ended up on the Welsh borders - I just went where the work was.

What is you degree in? Can you become an examiner? You don't necessarily need to be a teacher, and marking is all online these days. Look for volunteering opportunities. You say for mental stimulation you listen to music and go on your phone - do you read? Write?

BillSykesDog Sun 02-Apr-17 08:31:17

Volunteering, get involved with school, go to church if religious, join a reading group or women's institute. I think having a bit more of an open mind to the people surrounding you would also help. They are all individuals with their own qualities and not a big amorphous blob.

I suspect your own attitude might be holding you back a little in terms of making friends as there does appear to be a bit of snobbery in your approach and people will pick up on that and withdraw from you. Not everybody you meet will be a good fit as a friend but keep going and meeting more people with an open mind and you will find some.

user1490990350 Sun 02-Apr-17 08:34:09

There's two reasons I've stayed this long in this living hell.

1. I have a Council house and would be insane to give up a secure tenancy/the right to buy.

2. There are a lot of work opportunities in the nearest city. So if I'm going to find work I'm most likely to find it here. I have no networks to get my foot in the door but I have consistently got job interviews and feel I will find work.

3. Unless I can get someone to house swap with me (which believe me no one wants to do) I would have to private rent which I can't afford.

If I didn't have my Son I would just spend all day in the city volunteering and finding a way to get my face known and build friendships. But I don't have the money to even get into the city!

Crumbs1 Sun 02-Apr-17 08:44:08

You're just a fish out of water - a bit different to where you live.
Would you consider teaching in an independent school where accommodation was offered? Your son would get reduced fees to deeded preps. Most independents don't insist on QTS and you're more likely to meet others with similar education attainment. Teaching might not be your dream but it might get you on away from where you are.
In meantime local library book club or volunteering which would build a reference and get you contact. CAB might be interesting or local museum. Volunteer in a school- offer tutoring/mentoring to aspiring older children who want to go into higher education.
If it's just money at moment then something below your education level as a stopgap? Shopwork for money and adult contact? Can you earn a certain amount before losing benefits? Is the father contributing financially to a sufficient level?

user1490990350 Sun 02-Apr-17 08:44:29

My family are from Wales and I would love to work there. i have friends and family there and when I find the money to visit I feel like a completely different person. I'm so so happy.

I have a job interview for a job there next week and it would change my life forever if I got it.

My PHD would be identifying but people with my degree are certainly desireable in the workplace and I get a job interview for every job I apply for.

There is a lot of competition for each job though, eventhough Wales in probably the area that has the least competition. But I'm hopeful I will eventually get something.

I'm not snobby at all.
I'd never ever have considered my accent would be the subject of ridicule but unfortunately that has been my experience in this town and I feel like a fish out of water. A complete outsider. Almost like I'm from a foreign country.

user1490990350 Sun 02-Apr-17 08:46:35

I feel so down as I was offered a job in the independent school I went to as a child and turned it down. That's was 5 years ago and I've regretted it ever since.

There's a teaching assistant job going in that school, my dad works there so I'd just be given it. I wasn't sure whether to just take it. Depressing but I'd probably be given a teacher job as a result.

MudCity Sun 02-Apr-17 08:47:46

How much does it cost to travel into the city? I assume you claim benefits? Getting voluntary work would be my first step.

If I hated where I was living, I would definitely plan to move even if I had a council house / right to buy. Why would you want to buy somewhere you feel so isolated and where there are no facilities?

chocatoo Sun 02-Apr-17 08:48:24

Contact the exams officer at local high schools to see if you can pick up any work as an exam invigilator but be quick as the exam season is about to start.

zzzzz Sun 02-Apr-17 08:50:08

Well I think you need to rethink the value of your council house frankly. Something that stops you having the life you dreamed of and your son having a childhood with a happy sociably supported mother doesn't sound like an asset to me.

I'd rather live in a teeny flat in Wales and work in a spar than wait any more.

MudCity Sun 02-Apr-17 08:50:32

If there is any chance of a job, then take it! You need the work experience on your CV. What's wrong with a teaching post?

bakingaddict Sun 02-Apr-17 08:59:01

If the one thing that's stopping you from making changes is your council tenancy then let it go. If you get a good job anyway you'll hardly want to staying living in a rough part of town. Put yourself on a transfer list, see what you could afford privately renting. Dont keep hold of the council flat at all costs because it may be stopping you from making important decisions

JsOtherHalf Sun 02-Apr-17 08:59:14

It might be worth looking at some charities for financial help regarding travel costs to the city?


lizzyj4 Sun 02-Apr-17 09:03:09

You are very highly qualified, so please consider remote working. There are all kinds of possibilities - online teaching (think Open University, National Extension College, etc.), writing, editing, abstracting, marking ... Once you have more money coming in, you'll have more choices too. Check out freelance marketplaces such as to see the sort of thing that might be available in your area of expertise.

Maybe you could get a house swap with someone who wants to move into your town? (They might not mind the area so much if they are keen to be in the town for other reasons.)

ScarlettDarling Sun 02-Apr-17 09:06:09

Right, so you need to be brave. As zzzz said above, you're putting far too much value onto your council house. What's the importance of right to buy if you hate where you live? Surely if you buy and stay there forever, you'll be miserable forever.

So be brave. Move to Wales. Take the job in the independent school. Start your life over again!

user1490990350 Sun 02-Apr-17 09:09:11

If I got a job I would leave this Council house in a heartbeat.

I just haven't been able to secure any permanent employment since qualifying.

While I'm not employed I think it would be insane to leave a secure tenancy to private rent a grotty place (which is all I could afford).

The problem is not this place. If I had full time employment I'd be the happiest person alive. There brilliant independent schools nearby that give children nurseries so I'd be able to educate him away from here. So moving isn't the most important thing. Looking for full time employment is.

But right now, I'm stuck in a state of complete isolation. It's awful. I wasn't even looking for advice.
Just a vent.

Vegansnake Sun 02-Apr-17 09:09:40

You've got a PHD? Wow,that's some achievement,you must be incredibly clever...clever enough to get out of this don't need that council house.its tieing you to the area...start by looking for areas where there is people with yr PHD needed...if it's medicine ,move near a big hospital for example..look for a council swap.or look to rent .you need to move to where the work is..then start applications for jobs,while you volunteer..your son will adapt,choose a nice area and start again...x

Spudlet Sun 02-Apr-17 09:10:20

Why do you want to keep your right to buy somewhere that you hate?

Let it go. It's not making you happy. It's a millstone holding you back.

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