We've been in our new home for nearly three weeks and lately I have spent some time reflecting on our homeless journey.
My very first blog post after becoming homeless, Life in B&B, was my knee jerk response to our emergency accommodation and from there I blogged further posts describing the ups and downs of our time in bed and breakfast until we were finally housed.
Looking back I'd have to say that my knee jerk response was tame in comparison to what it was really like; the negative effect on the children; the pressure on mine and Gary's relationship; the overwhelming feeling of failure, of not belonging to a community as you do when you have a home; and the battle everyday to get up out of bed and carry on life as "normal".
At the six week point we were nominated for a social house, but had to wait a further six weeks in bed and breakfast until our house was ready. This was cut short by a week due an incident which made us feel the children were unsafe in the bed and breakfast and we managed to beg the council to allow us to stay at my mums house for the final week before moving into our house.
Gary and I have remained strong together and since leaving bed and breakfast our relationship has become closer in a way - we've survived a torrid time and have found ways of dealing with disagreements that we'd never had to face before.
Oliver and Isabella are settling back into routine. Their sleep routine is almost back to normal and that is helping calm their behaviour. We are having to gradually reduce their TV time, something that we relied upon heavily in B&B and I'm finding that I am having to teach Isabella to play again - she spent so long with so few toys at an age where play is developing, she seems disinterested in toys much of the time and needs to be shown how to play with them again. They both also need to ditch their dummies - but Gary and I are struggling to take away their comfort item just yet.
Samuel is an angry and unsettled ten year old. We have worked hard to get his room nice for him and he has chosen his own theme. He's not sleeping well and behaviour is an issue. We've had daily battles with him, sometimes for no apparent reason - he just becomes angry, agitated or upset. Last week we had an incident of him screaming, and when I say screaming I mean really loud persistent screaming. He lashed out at me several times. He had to be carried out to the car with no shoes on when we were due to go out. The meltdown that day ended with more screaming followed by him sobbing in my arms. Well, more than a sob actually, a proper cry, a long tired cry. I wanted to cry with him. I feel guilty.
We still have lots of work to do to the house; we need carpets upstairs, curtains downstairs, upstairs needs decorating and we are desperately trying to grow a lawn in the garden, but all of that can take a back seat now.
For now my efforts will be put into settling the children, making them feel secure in their new home and as always making sure they know that I love them with all of my heart.
|We survived Homeless and will stay strong together|