Since I was served my section 21 notice I could count on one hand the number of good nights sleep I have had.
I am full of good intentions. I start to get ready for bed at a reasonable time – usually around 10 pm. I get comfortable. I try to turn off the tv or the computer and read. I have a relaxing bath. I sit in silence with the cat! I listen to hypnosis cds about deep breaths and calming influences lulling me to sleep. I settle into bed – complete darkness, cool and quiet.
None of it works.
Sometimes I come close – I can just be on the cusp of sleep with my eyelids drooping when some worry jolts me back wide awake. I lay for hours. I toss and turn throwing off my covers and then dragging them back up again. I try to focus on happy thoughts but my mind slips back to the lists of things I still have to do. Or the conversations I need to replay over and over.
I think a lot about the kids. I feel the guilt over the poor excuse for a happy mummy they have right now. I get upset when I remember my son has never known another home. Or when I count that my daughter has known 6 homes in her short 11 years. I’m scared for them. For what Bed and Breakfast accommodation might bring. I think about the timing of it all. A few weeks into a brand new school where she knows no one (luck of the school lottery) and she will be shoved goodness knows where for goodness knows how long. What if the other kids find out and make fun of her for being poor or homeless? What if we are placed far away from her school with no buses or an even longer journey? Will she get enough sleep for those busy days? Where will she get peace to do her homework if we are all in the same room? So many uncertainties. I can’t reassure her things are going to be easy because I don’t know that they will be. I think of positive spins and the fun we could have. I’m not sure she is buying it though.
And my son. Most of his toys packed away. He’s happy. He’s starting to chatter and understand and he knows where we are. He has that confidence that comes with consistency. This community, with the local shop lady who chats to him and the old lady at the end of the road that waves out the window. With the park he’s grown up in and celebrated his birthdays in. Trivial maybe but at 2am these things hurt my heart.
So I don’t sleep. I mentally list the furniture I will have to sell and decide which boxes should be stored in my mums damp shed and which will go in the corner of her bedroom. And what will we take with us? And the cat. My god the cat – possibly staying with a friend if her Landlord agrees. And if he doesn’t? Rehomeing Bob will just about finish me off! How will I tell the kids?
And 3am comes and exhaustion sets in and my puffy eyes finally close.
And at 6.30 a little body slides in next to mine and parks a toy car inches from my nose and my day begins. And I know my biggest fight will be keeping an even temper when my body is aching and exhausted. And the guilt when I shout at the kids in frustration lines itself up ready to creep in come bed time.