This is why I can’t manage another year of shared living, no matter the result of the PIP application:
- When I first moved in here, the house was in great condition and for the first few weeks it was peaceful and clean enough, especially as I was regularly cleaning. However once Lamin and Julie (who had severe alcholism problems) moved in it gradually became more stressful.
- It was extremely depressing with Julie wandering around the house in a zombie state, spilling drinks everywhere.
- Lamin was incredibly selfish, playing music so loudly I could hear it from two floors down. Julie often complained to me of how loud the music and stamping on the ceiling was above her.
- None of the other housemates did any cleaning at all. For the first 9 months I was the only person doing any regular cleaning. For those 9 months I spent a very stressful hour each day cleaning up from the previous day’s mess, just to keep my sanity. My OCD problems only made that even more stressful, and often it took much longer than an hour each day.
- It was really stressful cleaning the toilet after others who left it in a horrible state many times.
- I had to take on responsibility for all communal tasks including communicating with the letting agent (about repairs that needed doing for example), because nobody else would help out. This was despite multiple emails sent to everyone by Rebecca McNulty after I complained about all of this over those 9 months.
- Living here only became survivable once I completely confined myself to my room— doing all cooking and washing in my room and buying a portable camping toilet. Since September 2020 I’ve only left my room to fill up containers of water or to leave the house, or to empty my toilet once a week.
- Those first 9 months caused me to have multiple mental health crises, with me terrified of being evicted because of it. 2 of those incidents resulted in me going to hospital A&E.
- Then I was subjected to 2 months of abuse from the letting agent and landlord, completely out of nowhere and illegal. That put me at one of my lowest points and left me feeling totally insecure, even in my own room.
- Much of the time here there’s been constant traffic of people going in and out of the house— housemates, large groups of friends of housemates, families of housemates, the letting agent and landlord. This has caused so much noise as well as making my room shake. It’s also made me feel totally insecure especially after the letting agent/landlord abuse and intrusions. I’ve been afraid to leave my room and therefore to leave the house since December 2019.
- The stress caused by this living environment and the lack of security prevents me from making progress with everything else— with trying to write on my blog in order to process traumatic events and to help others and have some sense of purpose each day, with trying to join any support activities. I cannot handle any additional demands at the moment beyond just doing the very basics— eating and washing each day, and trying to accomplish something useful. Sometimes I don’t even manage to eat properly.
- I am in danger of losing support from Universal Credit, because I’m unable to meet even the most basic commitments such as writing on my blog. The pandemic has really helped me because they didn’t bother me for 18 months, but just before the pandemic I had a Capability For Work assessment which deemed me to be capable for work. I soon have another one coming up, and if they don’t recognise my situation and sympathise with my inability to do anything I will be screwed.
Everything I’ve just described about how difficult the last 2 years has been has come after being made homeless by my aunt, 7 months of living in my car and both my brother and my parents making me homeless within 2 days (January 2019). I’ve had to dig so deep and be so resourceful to make it this far, but it’s all piling up and at some point I need to process everything that’s happened. In that time I managed to self-diagnose myself then get the professional diagnoses I need. I simply need the chance to feel secure and to start to recover and rebuild my activity, as well as my social/support network because I’m very socially isolated.
Thank you for your understanding,