Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.


(179 Posts)
Bluemoon1 Wed 15-Nov-17 00:12:04

Ok..... I think that it's about time that this year and life in general gave me a freaking break. I've had enough and not sure how much more I can go on before I have a complete breakdown.
Approx 4 months ago, I lost a job I liked and had been in for almost 9 years, but I was struggling financially (minimum wage, too many bills etc) as well as physically...... lots of time off sick due to a very severe back prob and severe asthma which meant frequent chest infections (I don't smoke, never have) Following the loss of my job, there have been financial issues and things between my partner and I deteriorated further.
He was abusive and threatening, demanded sex and when I was too tired, not in the mood or my back hurt he would not speak to me for days and we'd have a huge row and he would accuse me of cheating.
The final straw came when he had been out watching the football, came home drunk, tried to 'force' me and smashed lots of my belongings. The following day whilst he was out I left and came to a refuge.
I have been here for 6 weeks and i hate it here. There are no children involved.

The thought of spending Christmas in this place is killing me.... My back pain is even worse due to the stress, steep stairs and the thin mattress, the people here are a nightmare (i understand that they have difficulties too) and I have had enough.

I don't have any savings or any property. The property I lived at with my former partner was rented and only in his name. I left almost everything I owned from the house behind. The police have arrested him for assault and criminal damage etc etc....the court case is at the end of November and I am so scared that he will get away with what he has done to me.

I was offered a 1 bed support property (flat) with the people who run the refuge; but it's only available for up to 2 years and it won't be available until after Christmas.
I had reservations about accepting it anyway as I am worried that I am still in the assessment phase of ESA and if I get 'sanctioned' or whatever it is called I'll have no money for the bills etc.
I don't know what to do for the best - i have so much going on at the moment that I can barely think straight.
I have been considering getting a private rented, shared house although that too is a hurdle as few landlords will accept those who need to claim HB..... I have had an email from someone this eve who will.
The house looks nice and it's in a good area with 2 other tenants in there. I have a real dilema and conflict going on in my head now
I am totally stuck as I don't know if I want to go into a shared house situation and if I give up my place here and rent privately, I will drop back down the list on the priority allocations for a council property and lose the supported flat.
The advantage of the shared house is that the landlord will accept HB and all bills are included in the rent payment so if I am sanctioned on ESA, I won't have to face weeks with no income and bills mounting up....all I will need is food.
My head is spinning.....i honestly don't think that I can tolerate another week in this place. I am so sorry for waffling
......i am completely stuck.

Grrrrr my muddled head.....forgot to add that I don't have any family or anyone that I can turn to. I feel so alone, lonely and isolated. I think i was vulnerable, my ex took advantage of that and exploited it.

I just want to have a life and not for my life to be on freaking hold which it is here. I cant begin to move on from the trauma and emotional pain and make the physical pain lessen a little (swimming and physio etc) and get my life back while I am here being constantly reminded of what happened and having to listen to the experiences of the other residents..... that prob sounds heartless, i don't mean to be, but it's soooooo depressing and it drags you down and makes you feel bad....its preventing me from moving forward.

Jellyheadbang Wed 15-Nov-17 00:29:25

Sorry you're having a shitty time.
I know how it feels to be so overwhelmed by life that it's hard to make any decisions.
I have spent time in places that sound like where you are now, I totally understand why you might struggle with it.
My advice would be :
Take the supported flat. Two years is a long time, let the refuge sort it, get back on your feet then reconsider options when you're able to.
Hopefully you will be well enough next year to consider working then you will have less worry about bills.

Jellyheadbang Wed 15-Nov-17 00:30:26

Ps I have no close family too. I'm sure it's made me stay in relationships which were damaging to me.

Bluemoon1 Wed 15-Nov-17 08:50:40

Thank you for your message and support.
I agree that when you are lonely and vulnerable you make poor decisions. It's pretty shit actually.
I still don't know what to do. I honestly can't tolerate it here any longer especially over Christmas.
I am worried that I will be in the support flat a short period, I will get an unsuitable offer from the council and that will put my tenancy at risk in the flat (you can stay up to 2 years but if a council prop is offered, and it seems suitable you have to accept it)
I am also concerned about the bills there. If I am santactioned on ESA, the bills still have to be paid. That could mean up to 16 weeks with no income.
My thoughts are that in the private rented house, the rent will be paid and the bills covered. Then if I am sanctioned i would be able to manage ok because it would just be food that I would need.
In terms of support, I can access counselling services myself and take part in various courses such as the freedom prog etc and also by mindfullness and yoga etc.
I want to work, I try to be as independent as possible, I was before I met that Arsehole, but as I get older, my back is getting worse and worse. At times the pain is unbearable and I can't even get out of bed so I don't know if working anything other than part time would be an option certainly not atm it isn't unfortunately.

Offred Wed 15-Nov-17 13:43:20

I would take the council property (housing association?). You will get much more support in the long term.

This is one of those situations where every option is a bit of a shitty one but actually what you need to do is pick the option that potentially offers the best springboard for you to make your life better.

IMO that is staying in the refuge until after Christmas and going into the LA housing after.

It won’t be wonderful but by doing the privately rented route you are essentially trading away a better chance of long term security for an environment that may be a little nicer but is a huge amount less secure.

You also will not get HB to cover the proportion of the rent that goes on bills. Your HB will be calculated to exclude bills and you will have to top up the money yourself out of your income benefits.

Offred Wed 15-Nov-17 13:47:37

Most HA/LA housing comes with many additional services along with the housing, they are also public services which have a stronger legal framework governing how they must act.

Private landlords are virtually entirely unregulated and you would not be able to benefit from other services like welfare rights, vulnerable tenants services etc

Jellyheadbang Wed 15-Nov-17 14:18:54

I have chronic pain and disability and have no choice but to work as have two kids and mortgage as a lone mum.
I'm under a hell of a lot of pressure to juggle everything and it's extremely stressful. I come home in tears most days and fall asleep on the sofa most nights as am too fucked to go up to bed.
Other nights after putting kids too bed I'm so sore I can't get up or down stairs so end up sitting on the stairs for hours which is why I take my phone everywhere so I'm not stranded with nothing to do!

I'd give ANYTHING to get into social housing and qualify for rent support but unfortunately it's not an option for me.
If you've got the chance of social housing you should grab it with both hands, you may never get this chance again.

The support with the move on flat is just what you need.
Hope you can make the best decision for you. Good luck.

Offred Wed 15-Nov-17 14:27:38

Yy, I’m a disabled LP who can’t work because of caring for disabled DD who isn’t in school ATM. I live in privately rented which is expensive and insecure even though it is through a really reputable estate agents. Fortunately for my the actual landlord is wonderful. I had a terrible time re DD and my neighbours had been phoning up telling the agent that I was a drug addict who swore at my kids every day but I only found out it was going on when I got a letter from the agent saying the tenancy wouldnt be renewed because of it.

The landlord was super amazingly fab and has even offered me first refusal on the house when he wants to sell, I send him updates re how we are getting on with photos of the kids etc, he always asks my tenancy manager how we are now.

But privately rented is scary when you are vulnerable, you never know how long you will be able to stay, whether the LL will abide by the law, you have very little you can do if they don’t...

Bluemoon1 Wed 15-Nov-17 21:03:16

The landlord of the private rental place has indicated that he is ok with HB. I can't stay in this place, the bed and other issues are absolutely killing my back and it's affecting my health so badly. There is 1 resident who is a nightmare, drinks heavily and is a real cow, food and money has gone missing and the managemt won't do a thing.
I can't do it anymore.
What do you think my chances are of getting a council prop if I do go to private rented?
I feel totally trapped atm.
I thought that if I keep on and on to the council, and keep telling them that my accom is insecure etc maybe they will
Even if I don't get one for a year or more, by then my ESA will have been assessed and I may be able to work part time which means that I will be more financially secure and ready to move onto my own property.
Decisions are so difficult, don't know what to do for the best.....what if I get an offer of an unsuitable property or one in a rough area or something?

GriefLeavesItsMark Wed 15-Nov-17 22:23:05

You should be aware you don't get housing benefit for ineligible services, e.g., gas and electricity. This means if your rent includes bills you will not get enough housing benefit to cover the full rent.

As you have the promise of a long term tenancy I would try to stay where you are; could you buy a cheap mattress topper or a quilt from somewhere like primarily to put on the mattress?

RosaRosaRose Wed 15-Nov-17 22:55:16

I've been there.
6 weeks in and you are understandably not seeing your future clearly.
It is so hard, I know.
Refuges are not necessarily a cosy place full of supportive women all in the same boat. They are full (often rammed to the gunnels) of damaged women in pain.
To get to a secure housing offer, you need to stay away from the private sector. Once you go there, you lose your status of ' homeless' which you are. You are now homeless.
Asked a person fleeing domestic abuse, you have the right to apply to any unitary authority to house you. I moved three counties away to be protected. My identity and details were kept private and secure. I stayed 6 months in the refuge and was supported to move into a one bed bungalow.
I had escaped with nothing more tnan a single bag of clothes, aged 58. It was hard, but charities helped me with furnishing and the local council provided a cooker, a fridge and bedroom. These things will be available to you. This is built into the support system. You need to know that this will be available to you too.
Contact Women's Aid. They will guide you. Your refuge will have a list of people you can contact.
My advice would be to look at the long term.
Social housing will be available and you do not have to accept the first place they offer you. Here, I had a choice to 'bid' (express a wish to see) on any properties that I saw on the council list, visit and view, and was able to turn down the first two with no sanction.
I now have changed (in 3 years) from a stuttering, agoraphobic mess of anxiety into a resemblance of the confident woman I was 20 years ago.
Bide your time.
It's hard.
Refuges don't seem like a refuge sometimes.
But it will get you back on your path.

Offred Thu 16-Nov-17 09:38:41

It doesn’t matter that the LL is willing to accept HB....

It would be benefit fraud if he or you failed to declare the portion of the rent that is for the bills for services.

If he is willing to defraud the government the chances are that he is not a particularly scrupulous landlord.

You need to, as others have said, try to make the refuge more comfortable. It would be so much better for you in the long run to go into council housing, even if it is in a rough area etc

Offred Thu 16-Nov-17 09:41:08

Also, if all you can afford is shared housing be aware that a shared house can have alcoholics, people who nick food etc in it....

Bluemoon1 Thu 16-Nov-17 19:17:14

I just don't know how much more I can take. I want a nice home and my life back.
My life is empty and on-hold.
I feel so run-down, at breaking point.
I wanted a good Christmas, I've had enough shit ones to last a lifetime.
How much can 1 person be expected to go through ffs.

Bluemoon1 Thu 16-Nov-17 19:18:26

I feel so isolated and down..... I have no-one and nothing. I want a life and for my health to be better. Fed up of it.

category12 Thu 16-Nov-17 19:24:55

I think the supported place is a better bet and far more secure than going private. I know you're feeling desperate right now, but it's only a matter of weeks. Get through it, take the council place and you will have a safe place to rebuild your life.

f83mx Thu 16-Nov-17 19:30:50

take the flat, get through the court case and Christmas and treat the flat as a brand new start. its only a few weeks to hold tight, your own council place will be better than sharing and going private - all the best - stay strong xx

Mirrormirrorotw Thu 16-Nov-17 20:23:47

I'm in a similar position to you. It's so hard to know what to do for the best, your trust in your own decision making and your trust in others has probably been seriously shaken.

Take the supported accommodation. It will give you two years respite, which you sound like you need.

You're not alone, though I can understand you probably feel it - it's hard not to.

Greedynan Thu 16-Nov-17 20:48:04

I'm sorry I can't give much advice re the housing situ.

But your back - have you had a diagnosis? Have you been given pain management? Is there any treatment available? I'm just wondering about ways to make your current situ a little more tolerable.

Ragusa Fri 17-Nov-17 00:28:15

I really, really think you need to hold on for the supported flat. If you take the private rental and have no children you are not likely to ever get back into the social housing system. 2 years is ages and you may get a decent secure council tenancy. Even if it's only an introductory one that has to be better than a private rental.

I feel for you, I really do. Do the the refuge do anything for Xmas?

Could you ask the refuge or council if they were able to provide emergency financial help for Eg buying a memory foam topper for the bed? Ear plugs/ music to block out noise, keep most food I u our room if stealing is a problem.

Bluemoon1 Fri 17-Nov-17 01:37:28

@Greedy, I take strong analgesics for my back. Gapapentin and Naproxen plus paracetamol when needed. Also omepraxole because the Naproxen plays havoc with my stomach. I need to be brave, face the pain and go to physio, but it's too painful atm and I am scared that it will get worse before it gets better. If it was any worse I would not be-able to tolerate it atm.
I've now got a lock for my cupboard that only I have got a key for. I feel a bit mean tbh, but I resent people not asking and I should not have to subsidise them.
There is no fridge in the rooms so chilled stuff has to stay in kitchen plus my room is tiny which does not help.
I just want a life and a safe home. Why is that so much to ask.
It could be ages before a property becomes available and what if the local authority say that I am not eligible or something?? There is a massive shortage of housing in this area.

Jellyheadbang Fri 17-Nov-17 03:30:04

I gave up social housing for my exdh who thought it was beneath him. So we bought together and now I'm left managing a house I can't afford with no rights to housing benefit.
Giving up on social housing is one of my biggest regrets.
You have a golden opportunity here and are putting up lots of barriers and what ifs.
It sounds as though you're letting anxiety make the decision for you.
What if you get offered a lovely little flat which is all yours plus get your rent paid by the local authority?
Even if you don't like it the social housing exchange network is huge.
You have a golden opportunity here, please don't look a gift horse in the mouth (whatever that means).

Pannacott Fri 17-Nov-17 04:24:23

Please take the social housing, you will have a secure home for life that you cannot be evicted from (they may move you to another property, but unlike a private landlord they cannot make you homeless). If you went for the private renting you have no chance of ever getting back on the housing list again, unless you again became homeless, or street homeless, or ended up in a refuge etc. Sorry it’s so shit in the hostel for now though.

Kittymum03 Fri 17-Nov-17 05:00:39

Hi OP I'd also say try to hold on & take the council property. I have just had (only a minor one, but still) an operation, I've just split with my partner, my housing benefit is being a nightmare to sort out. I applied at the end of August, thought it was all sorted but it is now 'On hold & we don't know if it will be reinstated in time for your next rent payment' !!! The estate agents did an inspection & have said there are loads of things wrong with the house, loads of building work needed, I'm having loads of hassle with the LL as housing benefit is paid at the end of the month & he wants his rent paid at the beginning.. so he is saying I owe him a month. Because of HB fuck up I need to find £575. HB aren't interested in helping me & nor are Income support.. I am terrified he will say 'Sod it, she isn't paying rent properly let's kick her out & fix the place up & get somebody else'
I know alot of that is waffle & doesn't apply to you but my point is, I am very very scared every single day that I will be chucked out of here. I am so worried about it.
Please take the secure rent.
You don't know what will happen in the future but you can chose for now. Remember you dont know who you will be living with if you take the shared house. (Even if the LL tells you they are lovely) & start a countdown of when you will be out of there.
As for Christmas, sorry if this sounds absolutely ridiculous to you but it just occurred to me, could you 'pretend it's not happening' ? As in, do your every day routine, & don't even aknowledge the day, as I think you are setting it up to be this 'but I wanted a nice Christmas that's why I need to get out now!' Whereas if you ignore it, then it's just another day to tick off the calendar.. then when you move, you can do yourself a nice celebration then. It is only a date on the calendar.

I hope my post has at least not made you feel worse. You sound so absolutely drained & I hope you can hold on & I hope there is a better life waiting for you, once you get part this extrordinarily tough part flowers flowers

Greedynan Fri 17-Nov-17 08:47:03

I'm just wondering if there's any grounds for medical priority for you? You struggle with stairs etc... wre there any advocates that can help? Do you have an actual diagnosis and, if so, are there any associated charities with advocacy support available??

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now