Coming to the decision to move back to Scotland wasn’t an easy one to make. I had already lived in Edinburgh twice in my life, once when I was 16 and again when I was 25. Both times didn’t make me particularly happy and both times ended in me moving back down to England.
When my marriage ended my parents wanted me back up straight away…wanted to wrap me in cotton wool, to take care of me and make everything ok. But, I didn’t want to.
Portsmouth is my home, I feel happy there…know what bus to catch to different places, times of the trains etc. My life is there, so even though my husband no longer wanted to be with me, I still wanted to remain in the place I felt at home.
As time went on, after Phil had moved out, it soon became apparent that I couldn’t afford to keep the house we had lived in for the past eleven years. When you claim JSA and own a house they only pay so much towards the mortgage, not like if you were in a rented property and the whole monthly charge is paid. I started to become more and more in arrears with the mortgage, so made the decision to sell the house.
Luckily the house was only on the market for 20 days before we got an offer. It was a good, solid offer so we accepted.
Things progressed very quickly from there…I started looking for a house to privately rent, but that was proving to have issues of it’s own.
Even though I was in receipt of benefits, I would have to find the money for one months rent and deposit plus the Estate agent fees…nearly two thousand pound. I just couldn’t afford this. Also, as a benefit receiver I would also have to have a guarantor, someone to pay my rent if I found I could not…I had no one.
Homelessness was a real possibility at this point.
I went to the council to explain my situation, but they were less than helpful, stating they could only step in and help if we turned up at the offices, with our suitcases, with nowhere to go.
So after sitting, and thinking, a lot I came to the decision to move back to Scotland to be nearer my family. I needed their support right now even though it really wasn’t the choice I wanted to make.
My parents where obviously delighted at my decision, as were my brothers…
My children and I are currently living with my brother and his family. My parents live five minutes down the road so I see them everyday. On Monday I go to sort out my accomadation as I need my own space. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to my family for helping us out, and I will never be able to repay them, but they have their own lives to live, their own routines and I am finding fitting around that, without being a burden very difficult.
I am determined to make this work, to make a new, happy life for me and the kids…it’s just very early days and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.