Faded Spring Moves House (Again!)
I am drained and can feel the energy seeping out of me, sapping my strength like a leech. I wake up feeling disorientated and my motivation to leave my house is drastically waning. But I have no choice, everyday I get up and go to a job that I despise and work day and night to keep myself afloat. At night when the children lay low and the house is silent I come alive, free from the prison that I am meant to call my home. The house is spacious and the room is big but when you feel like you are unwanted and you don’t belong, all those attributes don’t seem to matter. Its toxic, I wait until midnight to start cooking and even then I am wary that they are watching, judging me like they always do. First comes the texts , persistent enough to put me on edge and then comes the looks and the fake smiles. I know they don’t like me but what can I do? I sleep for four hours a night, get up in the morning when the frost still sits on the window sill and the cycle begins again.
Some days I only have one meal a day, if I have a day off I am working on my blog, waiting for when they leave the house to eat some food. The hunger pangs deepen and my migraines worsen. Its toxic, I have to get out but why up-root myself again, when I have already moved house twice? I remember leaving behind my previous home, excited to venture into the big city, fooling myself into thinking that life would be better. In some ways it has, I found new friends and new beginnings and my blog was going from strength to strength but the Reality Of Living In London was another matter altogether. When I first came to London I was poor and sick and moving to a cheap little box room was hardly a suitable choice but I needed a roof over my head fast. There was no contract and the landlords were nice, at least at first. I discovered that I had been living with bed bugs and the trauma of having to deal with that every night, when I was working long hours was enough to put me on edge. After two months I packed my bags and left, to a bigger room, at a similar price and in a location of East London that I had fallen in love with. The landlord and his family seemed nice at first and even made me food on the first day but then things got progressively worse…
Within five days I was asked to leave but I stood my ground and told them I would not be moving. You see, like the previous landlords it became clear to me once I had moved in that they were illegally renting and were due a ‘council inspection’. They touched my stuff without my permission when I was at work and offered no apology when I confronted them. But still people make mistakes and I knew at heart that they were good people, even if their intentions were a little misguided. So I stayed, in my beautiful room and would make conversation without a care. It must have been about a month later where I noticed that things began to change; conversation became stilted, constant messages complaining about me and even face to face arguments were part of my daily routine. I no longer felt comfortable being in the same room as them and even the children would ask ‘when I was leaving’. It wasn’t a very nice thing to say and remembering how the family were with me in the beginning in contrast to now made me feel broken inside.
I was never specifically told that I couldn’t cook at ‘certain times’ but the snide comments and looks were enough to warn me away from the kitchen. Even taking showers was something to complain about so tired, hungry and upset I would take showers when everyone was sleeping and cook well into the early morning. It is little wonder that some days I hardly ate anything at all because I was too drained to even leave my room. The messages were continuous and despite wanting to scoff my face, I would come home and go into my room to work until I was certain everyone was sleep. It was no way to live and my illnesses got worse, I was throwing up again and didn’t seem to be able to keep any food down for at least a month. My stomach shrunk and my appetite weakened and it became difficult to focus. Yet despite all the horrible things that were going on at home I was given recognition in my social and working life and that was the support I needed to get through each day.
It was the new year and I was typing a post, when I heard a distinctive beep that notified me when I had received a message. It was the landlord saying I had a month to find a new place, as their ‘mum’ would be taking my room. I started frantically searching for a new place but then two weeks later, their grandma had died and I was told I could stay. I was genuinely sad to hear that the grandmum had died and wished them my deepest condolences but their attitude towards me got worst. Even breathing in the same space seemed to irritate them and I truly felt like a prisoner in my own home, until two weeks ago. I was told that the mum was coming and I had two weeks to find a new place. In some ways I felt stressed but in others I felt relieved, I knew after two failed rentals what to look out for and this time I was prepared to go into battle. After what seemed like a never ending search I found my perfect room; it was a similar size, still in East London and best of all the landlord did not live there. It was nearly double what I was paying already but quite frankly I knew that if I didn’t take this room someone else would and I needed a place to stay fast. Plus it was contracted, excellent location and the amenities were plentiful. In short it was my dream home.
I texted my landlord and was immediately interrogated about the room, location and how much I would be paying. This is the same landlord who sent me messages everyday asking if I had found a place yet and now suddenly they seemed to backtrack. I was cornered in the kitchen and asked a multitude of questions that quite frankly was not any of their business. I was literally counting down the days until I could move out- 5 to be precise- when I was bombarded with another text, stating that the mum would no longer be coming and that ‘again I could stay’ but there ‘were a few things that we needed to discuss’ before the final decision was made. I was torn, the rent was cheaper and I loved the location but I knew ultimately I had made the right choice when I rejected their offer. I don’t want to be in a house where I can’t even use it when I want, where some days I cry because I feel trapped and where even basic life necessities like food and hygiene are on their terms and not my own. I want to come home and feel like it is a home and not worry about more messages threatening to kick me out. I couldn’t even have friends round and to me that is no home at all.
Have You Ever Dealt With Housing Nightmares Before?
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