When things aren’t going to plan, it’s easy to forget what life is about. In my last blog, I wrote about my issues. Things could only get better, right?
Obviously, someone didn’t get the message about my luck changing, so another year has gone by, with things only getting worse. Every cloud has a silver lining though! You just have to dig through a lot of grey to find it.
Over this past year, my partner and I got our own flat, beautiful! I had a job, working all hours, any I could get. Things were finally starting to look up. And then the semester started again, with everything better than it had been in a long while. I was on cloud nine.
Late October, the in-laws came to visit. We were in lectures, but it was a nice break for them, and it was great to spend time with them. But once they went home, my partners mother got diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was heartbreaking. She was given three to four months. Two weeks later, she was gone.
I don’t know if you have ever had to try comforting somebody who is determined to stay so strong it makes them ill, but it’s not an easy thing to watch.
My partner had withdrawn (on a temporary basis) from university in order to help care for and spend time with his mother. As if we didn’t have enough on our plate already, the system began to fail us.
I lost my job, due to illness and lack of communication (I was obviously grieving too, but I was stupid), and because of his withdrawal, my partner was no longer being funded by the student loans company. The rent wasn’t cheap. Neither were the bills.
He decided that we needed help from the government, in the form of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), whilst he searched for a full-time job to fund us through until he re-joined his degree in September.
They refused his claim, on the grounds that he was still enrolled at the university, meaning it was their job to lend a hand. No matter how hard we pushed, there was no leeway.
Back to the university. They told him, “We cannot help you, you are not a student until September”. Neither were willing to help. Back and forth between them, six months later we are still no closer to getting any of the money we deserved.
My partner has a paid job working seven hours a week, and a “Work Experience” job adding another thirty hours of unpaid work onto that.
The rent is going unpaid, the bills are piling up. All this time I am struggling to find work. Application after application with no success. Until today.
After months of trying to find work as well as studying, I got a reply for a “chat” and to organise a trial period.
This still doesn’t change the debt, it doesn’t erase the trauma that the government has caused. How can they be so heartless to someone who is working so hard for nothing.
This is possibly the most degrading experience of my life. Knowing that I can do nothing to stop us spiraling out of control.
All I know is, we still have each other. And one day, things will get better. And I am not going to stop fighting until we get what we deserve. Until we get help.