Things feel so hard right now. And yet they could turn on a dime.
Tomorrow I might get a job offer. Or even two. One would mean we move, the other we stay.
It’s been impossible to get a rental in Geelong because I don’t have a job. Not even offers of 3 months’ rent upfront have been enough to get us a place. 30 – 50 people turn up at open for inspections – the rental market is so incredibly tight.
My ability to cope ran out yesterday, after my 18 year old had an autistic shut down during dinner out with his grandparents for his birthday. I should have known better than to take him somewhere new. Somewhere so noisy with an unfamiliar menu. I forget that he’s autistic sometimes, he seems to cope so well normally. We live our small life so that it caters for both our autistic and anxious needs, but I forgot yesterday. And then I let it all overwhelm me.
I slept for 14 hours last night. Woke up just before 2 pm when it got too hot to sleep. I heard the 18 yo leave the house around 7 or 8 am to go for a run because he’d been awake for 36 hours. He still hasn’t applied for his TAFE course. He can’t cope with the cantankerous online application system and the writing required in the application.
I successfully applied for NDIS funding for him and we had our planning meeting ten days ago. Hopefully the supports this will put in place will help him live his life and address the challenges he is facing. He no longer listens to me or allows me to help him. His plans to leave home appear to be on hold, as his friends are doing online learning this semester.
My life feels like a shambles. I don’t know whether I’m leaving or staying. Four months of job applications have led to three interviews and now a wait on the outcomes of two. I’m exhausted. I want to move, or not move and just be settled again. And have a steady income coming in. Right now I’m living on my much reduced Job Seeker and Family Tax Benefit payments and my superannuation pay-out.
I feel like I haven’t had a break in years (except for the NDIS funding). I remember when things used to be easy. I’d apply for a job, I’d get the job. I’d apply for a house, I’d get the house. Now I’m playing at a 100 level of difficulty when my skill level is only a 10. Middleage has not been easy for me.
The only bright spark has been my 14 year old, who’s been my constant companion for the last few months. He’s been coming with me to most house inspections and comes and talks to me multiple times a day. He is helpful, funny and reliable. When I leave the house, I leave him in charge, because I know this way they will both be fed and the house won’t burn down.
He is dealing remarkably well with the uncertainty of his schooling, knowing that he will now start back at his current school, but may need to change schools in a few weeks. He often comes with me when I have errands to run and on walks. He’s basically my support person, except emotionally. Well, maybe in a small way he is, but when I’m upset, I don’t unload to him, but when he asks me how I’m going, I do tell him the truth. I want him to understand that everyone feels anxious and upset at the uncertainty of life and that I don’t have all the answers. But he also knows that I have a Plan B for when things really go to shit.
He often asks about my day and it’s so nice to have someone to talk to at home, after years of feeling so alone.
I can’t wait for a time when things are not so hard. When we can afford holidays again. And to buy things other than groceries. And to feel safe.
Also published on Medium.