Hi Mixed up Mum I’m not offended. I often think through my replies and I also wanted you to hear from other people (Lisa can you give some guidance also?) not from my perspective only.

Although our lives are different we struggle from the same emotional issues. My life is definitely not sorted. I too sit around in my robe all day past 13.00pm. I struggle with my self esteem and confidence. The night before my trip I got all tearful, anxious and paranoid. I stayed up the whole night. I only work 2 days a week because the rest of the time I struggle. Even on holiday I’m struggling to be very active.

I have been diagnosed with emotionally unstable/borderline personality disorder. I almost wasn’t allowed travel insurance because I’m under a community mental health team and I was sectioned before Christmas. I’m legally homeless. I live half on my salary and half on benefits with most of my rent including bills paid by housing benefit. It took me over 5 years and debt defaults to finally this year pay off my debts of over 10,000 completely and pay cash for this holiday upfront.
Food banks, homelessness,sectioned,physical injury, constantly moving, disciplinary at work and deaths of my relatives where I was unable to attend the funerals.

I eat a lot at community centres with free food (1) because I struggle mentally with the task of buying, cooking and eating food before it goes off and (2) because I’m paranoid about running out of money so much so that I seem to obsessively hoard money. So I buy these things (1) to practice self care and self love, (2) to reward myself for working so hard at saving money and paying debts and (3) to challenge my obsessive paranoia and anxiety that something bad will happen if I spend money! I suppose my income is regular as an employee and even if they stop your benefits by mistake, when you win an appeal they always backdated it so that you get a lump sum.

I’m not saying I don’t have help. I have help from professionals who are sometimes better at things because they have watched other people’s experience of what you are going through and they are most of the time unclouded by emotions.

Just because you don’t understand what I write doesn’t mean that I am more educated or intelligent than you. Please don’t compare yourself negatively in that way. Maybe I talk this way because of my parents, or the schools I went to or the people I interact with a lot.

As for age, my mother went back to college in her 40s while I was doing by gsces level. We would be up drinking coffee and studying at the same time while everyone else was asleep. I think she was the oldest person in the class. She failed the first year but kept trying and made it.

My father built a property in his 40s. My grandmother attempted to move with her 6 children to another country as a single parent once settled there she remarried in her 40s. My mum’s cousin decided to study to be a doctor in his 40s and 20 something years later he is a doctor still paying off his student loans and mortgages.

I’m not saying any of these things are easy but it’s about being assertive enough to take the one baby step.

Even though it’s been a few years, I don’t know what professional or peer support you have had. Freedom Programme? Power to change course? Pattern changing course? Specialised domestic violence and abuse counsellor? Specialised rape and sexual abuse counsellor? Womens group? Which books have you read on abuse? Jerk radar? Why does he do that? The battered as parent?

If you have done all of those then maybe you need to see a counsellor or therapist for PTSD, self esteem and depression issues.

These are all suggestions that have helped me or some of the other women to move on before turning to a new relationship.

Also if you are on a low income,employed or self employed you are entitled to benefits. Often, benefits agencies get the calculation wrong so it’s worth getting it checked by a welfare advisor, CAB or the website Turn2us.org.uk. also if your business isn’t profit making you might be able to get a tax rebate.

My favourite website for saving money is moneysavingexpert. They have things on there about lowering your bills.

I also get the feeling that you are isolated because you work from home and struggle to do social activities away from home or work. Try to do some activities as foggyhere suggested. I was referred to the gym by my go for two pounds each time I go. Some places now have an outdoor gym. Running outdoorand swimming are one of the cheaper activities particularly if you are on benefits. I play football with a group of women from the food bank in my local area. When money is tight, they don’t charge me to play. When my finances are ok I play the full price.

My mum used to say where there is a will there is a way, you just need to find your will. 🙂 We all do.

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