maarmie's musings

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I believe in yesterday

Things are getting so much better all the time.

Elliot and I have settled into a fantastic routine of day care/work, fun activities either alone together or with friends and plenty of picnics in the back garden while the weather is decent. I love spending time with her, and I love being a single mother.

The veggie seeds I planted in the yard have sprouted into lovely plants these past few months, and I'm already enjoying two types of lettuce and enough radishes to choke a horse. Still waiting on tomatoes, peas, courgettes and brussels sprouts to make an appearance and looking forward to growing even more produce next year.

I had a fabulous chat with my brother the other night that turned into a huge conversation that lasted until 3 am. I had not been awake that late in ages, and I paid for it dearly the next day, a full day of work and mommy duty. So tired! But it means everything to me that we get along so well and have enough to talk about to fill a five-hour time slot.

The parents are another matter, entirely. But I'll not bore you with that.

I don't know what's wrong with me, but it seems my creativity and writing flair have just gone right out the window. Seems my brain has ceased to function as well as it once did, or maybe I'm just boring now. Possibly, though, I just have other things to focus on right now and am woefully out of practice where writing is concerned. It doesn't help that I am completely out of touch with anything going on in the world as I seem to watch mostly American sitcom reruns on TV.

A recent election here brought the conservatives into power, and I don't really know what that means. I 'm sure I could write all kind of scathing/sarcastic/angry things about the people who are now in charge and what they plan on doing to this country, but I just don't know enough about it all. I couldn't vote, so I purposely didn't learn anything about anyone or their policies. Shame on me.

Oil in the Gulf: bad.

That's the extent of my knowledge about current events. I will try to do better in the future.

In the meantime, let's come together, right now, over me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When pigs fly?

I seem to be out of the dark woods now and am simply treading water while crocodiles wait lazily on the riverbank licking their chops and hoping I get a cramp.

Tax credits came through almost a month ago, and child care is all paid up. Unfortunately, even with tax credits, I am bringing in just barely enough to pay all my monthly bills and buy groceries. I seriously need a better job, and I need it now.

I registered with an employment agency that reiterated what I already knew: I will not be finding a job in my field in this godforsaken backwater of a town. I might get some slightly higher paid, full-time secretarial job if I'm lucky. That's if I'm really lucky. Because there are hundreds of other skilled and educated people out there who are un- or underemployed and applying for the same jobs I am.

Seems to me that if I want good employment I'm going to need to move south, at least as far south as Edinburgh. I'll probably be looking into doing that in 9 months at the earliest and three years at the latest. Doing it sooner rather than later would obviously put me in a better financial position earlier. Doing it later has its advantages as well as Elliot would be in school full time, thus making the childcare burden a little less burdensome.

I'm still battling an on again/off again depression and these horrible voices in my head that tell me I don't deserve love, a good relationship/marriage, a family or friends who care about me. Some part of me feels that I'm continually having to pay for some past misdeeds by being continually mistreated and screwed over by those I care most about. But maybe everyone is in the same boat as I am in some way, shape or form. Maybe everyone has important relationships that aren't the way they want them to be, important people in their lives who don't give them the consideration they feel they deserve. A crappy boss? Mouthy kids? Friends who disappear? A family that abandons them in their time of need?

Do people suck, or are my expectations simply too high?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I don't think I'm going to make it

I've been on my own with Elliot for only a month-and-a-half, and I don't think I'm going to make it. Public assistance isn't being very cooperative, and I'm actually beyond broke. Luckily, the daycare Elliot goes to has agreed to let me slide on the actual paying part of the deal for now. I applied for public assistance nearly two months ago and...nothing.

C* and I had a joint claim for what are called child tax credits and working tax credits. The working tax credits have a separate part for child care, and, if you qualify, the government pays up to 80 percent of the child care bill. C* and I were getting this together, but, when he moved out, I had to cancel that claim and file individually. Since C* was a UK national, there was no problem with claiming these benefits together. But, since I'm not, the government is deciding to take its sweet time with processing my claim.

A full four weeks after submitting my initial application, I received two more forms and a request for my passport as proof that I am not subject to immigration control. I sent these in three weeks ago and not a word. I phone the office every week asking for an update and get the same spiel: We are working on your claim which may require additional checks, blah, blah, blah.

Any idiot can look at my passport and see that I'm not subject to immigration control in five seconds. Why has it taken nearly two months? To add insult to injury, my council tax and housing benefit can't be processed until the award letter for tax credits is produced. It's a neverending circle of despair.

I'm down to my last bit of money, and I owe day care three weeks' payment. My monthly pay covers just the rent and just barely. The rest of the bills are being paid using child support money at this point, and there's very little left over for food.

I know I need help, but I don't know who I can ask. C* has said he can do no more for me. I don't know how long I can stay here on my own with Elliot. I don't know what to do. I need monetary help from my family, but I don't feel like I can ask. No one - except for my grandmother who said we could come live with her - has offered any kind of help, and I think everyone knows what kind of situation I'm in. Does anyone care?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is it really a scarf?

My good friend, Jane, started teaching me how to knit today using the big needles and thick wool she bought me for Christmas. I did a few rows for a scarf but must have dropped something somewhere along the line because a huge hole opened up in the middle of what little I had already created. Unravel. Start over. My wrists totally hurt!

Good news! I am going on a mini vacation this weekend - without baby. Three nights and four days in a suburb of Glasgow without Elliot. Bad news: I will miss her. This is the first time I will be away from her (besides a day at work) and I'm sure I will be imagining all sorts of horrible things happening to her every day that I'm away. It will be so great to hang out with my friend and sleep all I want and relax and do what I want without a screaming toddler hanging onto my leg, though. I've been needing this for so long.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here I am (but they don't care)

I'm still working at TK Maxx part time and reading a bunch and spending lots of time with my daughter but I'm not doing anything else.

Christmas was OK (not great or even good - chalk it up to circumstance) but I spent WAY, WAY too much on Elliot. In the end, I set aside six of the gifts to give to her on her birthday in February. I have been eating WAY, WAY too much as well and have gained back some of the weight I lost when I started my job and began walking almost two hours on working days. It is the coldest winter since I've been here - lots of snow and ice now - and I can't even walk around outside without the threat of tumbling down these days.

Elliot is talking more and more and more and is getting more and more sweet and lovely and conscientious. Her afternoon naps are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Here's hoping she decides to potty train real soon. I've got a plastic toilet ready and waiting for her. I could look at this photo for days: