It was a bit touch and go whether or not I’d get this place, I didn’t have a bank account and very little to prove who I was!
Finding a bank that would allow me an account was difficult, luckily I’d had some important post a friend allowed me to use their address, and being that I’d lost everything I didn’t even have a birth certificate or passport etc, I then had to go to my GP and get them to write stating that I was a patient at their surgery at the cost of £25.
With that in place I was able to secure my studio flat, next on the list was I didn’t have anything and I mean apart from the clothes on my back and several bags, no bed, furniture, kitchen stuff, sheets towels, chairs, plates etc.
A duvet was donated, and some towels, so basically I rolled up in that as a makeshift bed for a week, until I could buy a blow up mattress, which helped, though difficult to get up in a hurry.
My case worker came to visit and listed what I needed just to get me started, well everything lol, when you housed after being homeless your given funds to buy what you need plus an order is put in for basic furniture, I had to wait just over a week for it to be approved, and what they were going to give me.
I got a card with £170.00 which was to be used for house hold items, kitchen utensils, towels, bedding, curtains, crockery, things for the bathroom, we have to keep the receipts as they do check from time to time.
I found it difficult to make the choices and had several anxiety attacks, it appeared I’d forgotten how to make a home, the shops being so crowed and the array of merchandise, was confusing I didn’t even know what kind of colour scheme I wanted, I’d set my mind to never having to set up home again and now it just seemed scary as opposed to it being a happy time.
In between all of this therapy continued S(therapist) having asked f I was happy that I was now housed, my answer was NO I just found it overwhelming, I explained I’d finally made all the purchases and they were just sitting there in their packaging, I felt that this good fortune was all some terrible mistake and I would have to give it all up.
I’d taken to staying out as late as possible, avoiding in what I so desperately wanted for so long, S said to take my time and try to be positive, shaking my head no I didn’t think I would feel settled anytime soon.
Talking to N(key worker on the mental health side) I’d explained that I wasn’t happy and the very real fear that this was temporary and would be taken away from me if I made plans to settle in, she got it straight away, and said that I wasn’t connected to anything, because 4 years ago I’d lost everything, I had no memories attached to anything, it was alien.
She was right I had nothing from my past, I’m talking about my record collection which took years to gather, books, DVD’s, photos, letters items that belonged to my mother and gifts she’d given me over the years, all the things that had meaning to me, I would have to start this new journey from scratch.
I thought about this for a long time, and decided to embrace a fresh start, firstly with the belongings that I’d accumulated over the last four years which was stored away, one night I went through it and literally threw everything away from my homeless bags, including the bags, I just kept a few books, even the clothes I was wearing I stripped of and threw them away.
I have to admit I felt much lighter, and started to unpack, finding places for my new memories, the furniture arrived about a week later bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, sofa, coffee table, gradually over the last few months I’ve added throws,pillows, found colour schemes for the rooms, and it’s starting to feel like home I spend much more time here, my anxieties have diminished somewhat and therapy continues.
I’m still taking baby steps and learning not to beat myself up, mostly facing events in my life and doing something about it, and here’s the biggie asking for and accepting help, because I am rebuilding I’m starting to find peace, to be truthful I’m not as afraid as I used to be.