It sucks. There’s not much you can say about it really. To walk back into the place you call home and find that you’re life has been violated is a terrifying experience. No words can describe the emotions you feel when you walk around your home and see the mess that has been left and the sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you realise what’s missing…laptops, cameras and jewellery. Things you take for granted and memories you can never replace. My laptop was my life. Materialistic of me I know but it contained my stories and photos. Useless to anyone but me. A video camera containing videos of Australia, pet rats, my boy (worse still, his christening). Physical items that can be replaced but it’s what’s inside that can’t.
I shadowed the scenes of crime officer as she forensically examined the property. Fascinating subject, despite the horrible thing that has happened to us, I learnt a lot and she was kind enough to show me various examples of prints, sadly the only ones found were my partners as they were wearing gloves. We cleaned up after everyone else went home and things started sinking in.
The aftermath is the worst thing as I’ve been left with the fear that they may come back. All the “what-ifs” going through my mind. What if they come back while I’m by myself with Mackenzie? What if they come back while we are out again? I’m scared to be here and I’m scared to go out. I watch people walk past, paranoid that it could’ve been them that did this to us. Things made worse by the PCSO that came round for a chat and made out like it was our fault that this happened, that now we have been targeted it could happen again. I’m now so scared that I just want to move away from here but we could never afford it as we have no extra income. I don’t get any help from the government as my partner works even though 100% of his money is tied up in other things. All they look at is incoming, not outgoings. This country sucks as it helps illegal immigrants and lazy people who cant be bothered to get a job but refuse to help those who work hard but need that extra help to keep their heads above water. I can’t afford to go back to work as there is no one to look after Mackenzie and we can’t afford child care as we can’t get tax credits. All I can say is fcuk you David Cameron.
This year has really had its ups and downs. January I was diagnosed with an incurable, degenerative condition (down), February I was made redundant (down), July Mackenzie was born (up), November we got engaged (up), December we get burgled (down). Now, if things come in threes can we have another up to balance out the equation? I dont know if I can take anything else bad happening to us…
Me again in a very rare two blog posts in one day situation. Thank you for your lovely comments about Help For Heroes, so many have come in I will go through them and post the best ones in due time. Update there is I’m expecting a phone call today from Lizzy at H4H to find out what else I can do to help so will keep you informed as that progresses.
A lot of you have been interesting in my condition, Ankylosing Spondylitis and how I’m getting on with that. To be honest, every day is a struggle, and some days it gets so painful I have difficulty in moving. Which sucks really considering moving is part of the pain management, but how can you pain manage something that causes pain? Bit confused there really. The problem with being pregnant (apart from the sleepless nights of money worries) is that my rheumatologist can’t prescribe me with any steroids or anti inflammatory drugs to help take the pain away. All I can take is bog standard paracetamol which doesn’t do a thing, but they say keep on taking them, so I’m going through 8 pills a day for no reason in my opinion, the only thing it helps to ease is the constant headaches I get.
I’ve taken another blow today though after my trip to see my physiotherapist, Elaine, I also have a condition called trochanteric bursitis, otherwise known as trochanteric pain syndrome. Again all I can do is try and manage the pain with paracetamol and movement. Though this is extremely painful in my hips to do this and putting any weight on my left leg is excruciating. Sleeping is difficult as I have trouble laying on either side and because of the AS trying to lie on my back is just as bad. I can’t win really. My next appointment with Elaine is in three weeks time so we’ll see how I progress and then see what else she can find wrong with me. What makes me worry more about having Ankylosing Spondylitis is that it is incurable and will get worse as time progresses, eventually leading to fusing of my spine rendering me, well, I hate to think really, but useless is the word that comes to mind right now. The two bottom discs have already started that process as revealed in my isotope bone scan I had in January this year.
January wasn’t the greatest start to the year it has to be said, I found out I had this degenerative disease, got made redundant and found out I was pregnant. All in one week! Talk about everything happening at once.
So what good things do I have going for me people ask, that’s my burning question too really. However, Six Months to Live is finally nearing completion and just needs a few tweeks here and there then I can move on to my next project Murder On The Shop Floor, which’ll please my ex colleagues at Patrol Store who I’m still good friends with as its based on them 🙂 Not forgetting that The Ghost Writer, The Forensic Killer and Words Don’t Come Easy are all available to purchase on Lulu as well as being on Amazon and other online retailers so although I don’t generate any revenue from them at the moment, the potential is there (hopefully), just need to work on marketing them a bit I guess, although its nice that I’ve already got a little fan base boosting my ego every now and then, without letting it go to my head.
Elvis Presley has become my inspiration while writing recently, as well as my Red Bull Racing F1 “thinking” cap! It may not give me wings but certainly can make the words fly 🙂 I have my dad to thank for my love of The King of Rock N Roll as he always used to listen to it when I was growing up and I plan to carry on that tradition with this little munchkin when he or she arrives. At 27 weeks now so getting there.
Anyway, speaking of writing I shall get cracking on that and wait for my phone call from Help For Heroes.
Until my next blog, I bid you farewell and good luck in whatever path you choose to follow.
I may have mentioned on here before about the well-worthy charity that is Help For Heroes, but now I’m in the process of becoming involved in it, the need to promote Help For Heroes more is part of my reasons for signing up as a co-ordinator.
Seeing what these amazing individuals do to keep us safe is unbelievable and unselfish. Army personnel, past and present, have protected our way of life for centuries and its time they deserve some kind of reward for their efforts.
To become a volunteer for Help For Heroes gives me a feeling of being able to contribute to helping this become a reality. I will soon be distributing fliers, magazines and arranging collections for them.
Until then why not head over to my ex-employers, Patrol Store, where they sell Help For Heroes Pin Badges with either Police or 999 on the classic motif design and all proceeds go to the charity.
Finding a job in these difficult economic times is hard and having a disability like Ankylosing Spondylitis and being pregnant makes it even harder. I’d rather fill my spare time in between trying to become a writer and photographer by doing something good and giving something back to good people. I urge you to do the same and give these wonderful people a chance.
Thank You for your time,
Writer, Photographer and Help For Heroes Co-Ordinator
Its been over two months since being made redundant now and times are really hard. To spend day after day applying for jobs, not hearing anything back from anyone is extremely demoralising and depressing. Yes, its that dreaded word again, depression.
Having battled through it just over three years ago now, I had that light at the end of the tunnel. I stopped taking my anti-depressants, which were Citalopram and life was looking a little more rosy. I’d started a new job, made some new friends and moved in with some lovely people in Merstham. I was dating again after splitting up with my alcoholic ex and was meeting some nice guys out there for a change after years of random assholes. For a month or so I was dating a different guy twice a week. My confidence had grown. I’d got over my aunt trying to steal my identity and though I was pissed at it, it didn’t depress me. Work was great, I loved every minute of it and used to joke that I’d work for free as I liked it that much. The pay wasn’t fantastic but after a few months on Job Seekers Allowance it was a lot better and it paid my rent to my awesome landlord. I was getting on well with my mum too, which is something that didn’t go too well the years preceeding. Life wasn’t bad.
In June 2010 I met up with an old school friend that I hadn’t seen for over ten years, and we became good friends because of a mutual interest in photography. My friends kept nudging me to say I should consider dating him but at the time I wasn’t looking for a relationship as I didn’t trust anyone after my ex. It was at my mate from work’s hen party in July I decided to take a chance and I have no regrets since then in doing so as he has been my rock, saving me in more ways than he can ever imagine. Things kind of developed quickly, a lot faster than I expected, especially after I made a point of saying to take things slow and see how it goes.
I moved in with him January, much to my landlord and housemate’s disapointment as for some reason they would miss me! Work was still going well but getting ridiculously busy, I was working stupid hours but not getting paid for them nor accruing any lieu time. I was getting stressed and the thought of going to work each day was putting a strain on my emotions. I was disciplined for my “attitude towards work” a few days after my grandad died (how considerate!), work was beginning to suck but I stuck with it and kept on going.
I was struggling with pain in my lower back and started going to the doctors. My GP kept giving me various painkillers and anti-inflammatorys including Tramadol and Diazepam. Nothing worked though. I had blood tests every few weeks as my ESR and CRP markers were up. I had an X-Ray on my spine and it was noted that the discs at the base of my spine had started to wear down. It took them three months to refer me to see a specialist as they didn’t know what the problem was, all I kept hearing was “there’s something up, but we don’t know what it is,” very reassuring.
My employers were starting to get annoyed with me for having to take time off to keep going for appointments. I saw the Rheumatologist in December last year and he sent me for an Isotope Bone Scan. A couple of weeks later I found out I had a condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I’d never heard of it and wasn’t sure what that meant. Basically part of the base of my spine has fused together and is putting pressure on my hip and pelvis, causing severe inflammation. I was off work for a couple of weeks with a number of things at that time, including norovirus and the onset of Chrohn’s Disease, coupled with the pain of this arthritis that was kicking me down. I could barely move and struggled with sleeping. Not only that but a few days later I found out I was pregnant. Everything was going on at once!
I went back to work and found out on the day of my return that I was being made redundant. All I could think was, WTF! Why? Business is booming and the staff were struggling as it is. Their excuse was they were having role reshuffles and decided that I was no longer needed. Of course this had nothing to do with them getting annoyed as I had to keep going off for tests and couldn’t work in the warehouse anymore because of my disability or pregnancy. Yeah right! I was let go towards the end of February and since then they’ve been advertising for more and more staff, including for the role I was doing. I don’t feel pity towards them that I’ve been told that things have gone on a downhill spiral for them since I left, I feel good about that. I hope that doesn’t make a bad person, but after what they did to me I can’t help it.
I went straight down the Job Centre and was turned away by a very rude lady who said I need to phone or apply online for Job Seekers Allowance. I only wanted advice. I walked away with my head hung in shame. That night I sat down at my partner’s parents PC and filled in an application form for JSA. I had an appointment a week later and two weeks later the process began. Having to go back every other week to prove that you are looking for work, knowing that no one wants you because you’re pregnant and have a disability is very demoralising.
I explained to an advisor this morning that I was feeling depressed because I apply for jobs everyday and don’t hear anything back. She said I shouldn’t take it to heart and its not personal as hundreds of people are applying for one job. I know she’s right but its still hard not to take it to heart. She suggested if things get really bad then I should see my GP and try and get a medical certificate for depression and my disability as she could see I was struggling to walk, especially as I now have to walk around with a stick because my right hip as started to wear away now and its agony to move. I never even thought about it but she made a good point, it would give me a few weeks off to get my head together and I wouldn’t have to attend meetings for a little while. I said I’d have a think about it. But I don’t want to give up, I’m not that person anymore.
As depressed as I may get, as painful as things may get, I can’t give up. I may carry around a lot of burdens but I’m carrying something more important than that, and when he or she comes into the world I need to be strong for them!
Life has to get better, surely there’s not much else it can throw at me. God only knows its done that over the last 15 years already. I can’t handle anymore, please, whatever it is give me a break.
Its been two months since being made redundant and I hate being unemployed. Applying for job after job, not hearing anything back due to the amount of applications they receive can be rather demoralising. Attending the job centre (aka hell) is a horrible experience, especially when they look at you as if to say “why haven’t you got a job?” Well, it wasn’t my decision and my ex-employers were clever with their words even though unofficially I could’ve had them over a barrel for unfair dismissal because of my disability.
That’s another thing, Ankylosing Spondilitis is one of the most painful things to have. People don’t understand that. Some days I can barely walk a few yards without screaming in pain, don’t even talk to me about trying to sleep. Having the base of my spine fused together and knowing the bones of my hips are grinding away with every move I make doesn’t make me look forward to what’s to come.
Despite having no money and no prospects at the moment though, I have a family that loves me, friends who care about me and a wonderful boyfriend who thinks the world of me. The future may seem bleak and our little munchkin may be being born into what feels like poverty but at least he or she will be loved, which is more than anything money can buy, and to know I have my family in these tough times gets me through the day.
This is my genuine thank you to my amazing friends and family (old and new) for the support you have shown me over the last few months. Without you guys I couldn’t have done this, I love you all!