Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Message from the Universe?



I've tried several times to write this post. I don't really ever know where to start. It's hard to explain because I mostly don't really understand it all myself. I think the emotions are why it's hard to write. The problem with the emotions is that I think they are locked inside either in a state of shock or acceptance. Well that's my current hypothesis.  This is a post with a story but also a realisation so bear with me.


The past 12 months has really been something else. I daren't wonder aloud if the universe is just trying to see how much we can handle because there may be yet more in store. I've got to stop shaking my head in disbelief because people might start assuming I've developed a tick. I find myself just standing still and closing my eyes, right hand raised in mid air, in an attempt to brush some of the stress away. I said to TCM tonight that if we can weather this we can get through anything. I thought the universe was finished with us after the miscarriages but it seems another shakeup is required. 

It all started 6 weeks after we moved from our home to start the build and refurbishment. We were excited about the period ahead, of reinventing our beloved home; of creating more space and having my business at home. It was stressful because Katie didn't cope well with the move and her behaviour was challenging. We knew we'd be home within the year though so felt optimistic. 

Then Pops died. 

As if that wasn't upsetting enough, he died without a will and without provision for my Mother-in-Law who has Alzheimer's Disease. 

We were plunged into chaos. 

I went over every day to coordinate nursing care, Pip in tow. We had a funeral to arrange (well I did as TCM was in total shock). No-one in the family came to help us so we were left to fend for ourselves. We couldn't access any of my MIL's money because she doesn't have mental capacity so paid for the funeral out of our building fund. We learned about applying to the Court of Protection and found a solicitor to help. We stressed a lot about the care of my MIL and worried about her state of mind. We had Social Workers and nurses and care agencies, the coroner and a funeral directors to manage.

And we also had a house to build.

My phone rang constantly. The builder rang with daily decisions to be made. The funeral director needed decisions. The Social Worker needed decisions. My MIL took to her bed and refused to leave or wash. I wanted to do the same.

Winter came.

After three months I was even more exhausted than I was before all this started. TCM had shut down emotionally and was struggling to manage the demands of his enormous job on top of everything else. We were in crisis.  We had talks about the way forward for my MIL whose Alzheimer's had further deteriorated. We worried about whether my daily interventions were sustainable because she was living 10 miles away. After she locked herself out of the house in her nightdress in the middle of the night in winter it became clear she wasn't safe at home and a residential home was found.

The build continued.

I started to hate the ring of the phone. 

I started to really hate the house we are living in. Claustrophobia was kicking in. The winter months were dragging on and the house felt like a prison.  I spent the days feeling guilty that I wasn't doing enough for my MIL and I wasn't mentally engaged enough with the build. 

Katie's behaviour continued to deteriorate. The stress continued to build. I continued to feel disconnected with it all. 

I just wanted to walk away from it all if I'm honest. 

To keep ourselves motivated we bought an amazing kitchen in the January deals. It was on a buy now and pay in a year's time deal. It seemed like a great idea. We felt the stirrings of excitement amongst all the stress and distress.

We continued to fire fight my MILs estate whilst applying to the Court of Protection. 

The spring arrived.

We realised the build was getting behind schedule and we wouldn't be home in April but continued to plough on. The building pot of money diminished due to rising building costs and the sheer scale of the build. We needed more money so went back to our mortgage adviser to apply for more. 

The answer floored us.

"We can't give you any more because of the finance you have for the kitchen." 

We explained that part of the reason for extra money was to pay off the finance but after three weeks of debating the bank decided they couldn't give us the money until our credit file was clear of the finance for the kitchen. 

It was suddenly getting scary. What do we do?

After much searching for alternative options we decided to cancel the kitchen finance on the agreement we would buy the kitchen for cash when our money came through. That should have been easy except that the store didn't know how to implement its own policies. The store thought Head Office should cancel the finance and Head Office said the store should cancel the finance.  To cut a month long story short I eventually implemented a complaint with both the store and the finance company. The matter was finally resolved but it took another week of checking our credit file daily for our credit file to be cleared. 

Relief.

We went back to the bank to borrow the money we needed. It was in the nick of time as the building pot was almost dry.

After another week of waiting the bank said they could only loan us a smaller amount. We were confused. We had asked to extend our mortgage term and it took another week for the mortgage adviser to realise that they can't extend a flexible mortgage without a new application. Probably another two months wait but we can have the smaller amount in the interim. 

The pot runs dry. If we use credit cards to fund the build we won't get the money from the bank. Catch 22.

The story is almost up to date.

Last week the washing machine and the oven the broke down on the same day. We had to wait for a new oven and a part for the washing machine so I went to my MIL's house to do the washing every day.  The first day there I discovered the local council had given my late FIL a parking ticket, despite me emailing them in May. A hurried letter of appeal was sent. Two days later a notice was left on the car threatening to remove the car for demolition. I phoned to appeal and explained the story.  There's no way I could have made up this story but of course the council want proof.  We will need to send them a solicitors letter because we still don't have approval from the Court of Protection to manage my MILs affairs. I could literally pull my hair out.

We're still waiting for the loan to come through.  The building pot has run dry.  

We now have no money. I can't remember the last time I've not had any money. It's all a lesson from the universe I'm sure. The stress of it all is terrifying. TCM looks pained. We just want to get home but there's no chance of that now for quite some time. 
I see links, messages from the Universe. If the washing machine hadn't broken (and also my sister using her washing machine on the day she had said I could use hers) then I wouldn't have been at my MILs at the point when the council put the notices on the car. I'm sure there is a very good reason (other than running out of money) why we're not supposed to be home just yet. It means Katie can move schools without the disruption of a house move. It probably gives us time to sort out the fright that is my MILs house. It needs to be cleared and sold and we've now received a letter from the court confirming an order has been made to appoint us as Deputies for my MIL. We await the full order before we can start to sort out the financial mess that is my MILs estate. My landlady very sadly died a few weeks ago and her poor husband is trying to sort all their affairs out. I wonder if the universe is giving him some breathing and grieving space. Staying here in the house will help him at a very difficult time (although obviously it would help if the oven hadn't broken down and the hot water failing this week as well!).  The message from the car and the washing machine is that there is a bigger picture and a path that needs to be trodden for some, as yet, unknown reason.  There are some interesting lessons I am learning about taking our lifestyle for granted.  These school holidays will be lived on an incredibly tight budget.  This will open up opportunities to visit places in our locality that we've overlooked previously.

On a more concerning note, I can't conceive of how much there is to do if I'm honest. I don't know how we are going to sort it all out. I hate living here. I want to be home where this would all be easier to manage because I'd have room to think. We all would have room to relax. We'd save a lot of mone because we wouldn't be funding two houses. The frustrating part is that we're on the home stretch with the house. The extension is built but there's a lot to do (including the kitchen) and first fix electrics and heating. There is about two months work for it to be liveable. It will look amazing when it;s finished.  I'm worried about the builder whom we have now employed for over a year.  I want to make sure everything is right for him.  We have learned a lot of lessons about building and this situation has taught us that we should have thought through the order of the build more thoroughly and insisted on that.  Instead we have floated along, in a daze and in shock from all the other stresses in our lives accepting the timetable of our builder.  He's a good man and has helped and supported us enormously but we've forgotten who's in charge.  

We feel like a Grand Designs cliche.

To top it all off I have two blocked ears with water after my lovely relaxing floatation tank this week (a late birthday present from May). At least we have an oven and a washing machine and hot water again though.

I'm very dry eyed at the moment.

When I say I don't know how I feel, I really mean it. I can't work out if I'm just emotionally shut down as a protection or depressed. I feel positively like my resilience is high (mostly). I wish I knew when it would all be sorted out. I wish I could have a good cry but I just can't. I feel like I've lost me somewhere in all this. I'm fed up with feeling guilty every time I see my MIL and know I've not seen her as much as I'd like. The build terrifies me. I don't want to go to the house as I feel I can't connect with it currently. I've got to find some creativity and impulse to organise the school holidays on an unexpected shoestring.

We will get there. This blog post isn't a complaint really. More of an explanation to myself of why I feel like I don't know where my life has gone. This is my life but I feel like I've stepped into someone else's life. Sliding Doors!  I was hoping that by writing it I'd understand myself and my feelings more but I'm too distracted by my popping ears to be able to focus really. 

I'll turn the iPad off and attempt to get some sleep before Pip wakes up again. Of course these past few days he's decided to start waking up again in the night.

See I'm shaking my head again......

Tick Tick

Can I just finish with a request for the universe.  If you're reading this, can you give me a heads up about the reason for all this please?  I'd be grateful if you could light a neon light that points to the answer.  Hopefully it might help keep the resilience levels up........




3 comments:

  1. Woa what a year. I saw quite a bit of positivity in this post, dotted between the crisise. It does seem like the turmoil is coming to an end. Could you move into your MIL's house for a couple of months to save on the rent - especially as one month of that will be school holidays? Or could MIL's house be rented out to cover her care costs rather than selling? It's just a few months more and you'll beh ome at least. Hang in there. It will be worth it in the end. xxxxx

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    1. It has been a ridiculous year. I'm trying hard to find the positives and keep the faith. We're terrified we're going to lose our house at the moment. The bank seems to be taking forever and we're going to have to shut the build down I think. Living at my in-laws has been touted but it's a terrifying idea because the house will need to be cleared. My FIL was a bit of a hoarder and there is stuff everywhere. I'm not sure we can legally live there under the terms of the court of protection either and my MIL is unable to give permission. A caravan is a scary concept with my children. Katie gets anxious enough and Pip is so hyper. At least they have a good garden here. At the moment I wish we'd never started this build if I'm honest. Still hindsight is a fairly unhelpful concept and we're in it now and have to ride it out. It will be lovely when it's done and hopefully the bank will come through. They really are the most unhelpful bank though and their lending protocols are now so tight. We can easily afford the repayments even with raised interest rates (we're running two houses for heavens sake) but it's painful as it really all seems to be computer led. I'll be glad when I don't have a permanent stomach ache anymore I can tell you xxx

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