Hi… I’ve been staring at the screen for what feels like 20 minutes or more, not wanting to do this.Pride? Embarresment? Yes. All I can do is try put it as simply as I can. I’m in trouble… Financially… And it started in 2006. I met my ex wife, she fell pregnant and naturally gave birth to my daughter whom is my pride and joy. Shortly after the birth my ex wife starting showing some troubling symptoms and was soon diagnosed with Stage 4 Aggressive Thyroid Cancer. I worked for a charity (prior to that a hospital) which as many may know, don’t pay the best salaries. We struggled along and sadly got no help from the government. We ‘slipped through the net’ according to them. We struggled through. My ex wife was not doing well and I became a stay at home dad for just over 2 years till my daughter was 3 and returned to work during a financial crash. I returned to the charity I had left. After some time and not receiving an increase for over 4 years I was forced to take on agency work which helped me progress my career as a chef within the care and medical sector, charities, care homes and hospitals. During this time my ex wife continued to spiral despite being clear of the cancer. Little did I know, she had become addicted to alcohol (red bull… The loss of energy from the thyroid disorder and the energy kick it gave and pharmaceuticals making her feel good) We split up shortly after the discovery. Mostly due to ‘the voices in her head’ The Thyroid Madness as it’s called. Of which, at the time one of the symptoms was ‘absolute mistrust of loved one or partner.
I returned to the relationship 2 years later as I missed the family life so badly. She had a child from another man by now and I took the child on as my own and the other guy did not pay a penny to her upkeep. We still struggled as I was still working jobs that paid poorly. She was soon diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. During this time I had progressed my career and was now working as a Specialist Medical Chef catering for some of the most profoundly disabled folk in Kent. My work was endorsed by the lead speech and language therapist for Kent, I had many accolades behind me. We lasted another 3 years and split up for good thereafter. 11 years of marriage down the tube. Soon after our marriage breakdown, I tore the miniscus in my right knee… Scans showed further that I actually had 3, which explained the knee pain I had suffered with for years. I had an operation which left me unable to bend my leg yet was discharged as being perfectly fine, after a few months a stroke of luck had me see a private specialist who agreed to operate further. He explained how he had been training the original surgeon but had the training cut short and was fixing his mistakes a lot lately. After my 2nd operation, he explained that the damage done was that of a 77year old (I’m 47) and he had done what he could. I had mobility now but I must leave my career… 16 years of dedication and hard work gone. In 1984 I was attacked by a dog and had the muscle in right leg ripped in half and the muscle in my left left completely ripped out of my leg so it was inevitable that I would get osteoarthritis (trauma based). The surgeon explained that my osteoarthritis was now beyond being graded.
I have struggled to find work lately and am struggling even more to get the help I need from doctors or organisations. I was put on Universal Credit during my recovery which gave me £650 a month. My rent alone is £550. After bills I was left with about £30 for food. I had to park my car in my sisters garden as I could not afford to run it, I had to walk everywhere despite my knee issues. Unfortunately this has all taken a toll on me. I am single, struggling to find work that does not impact my knees with little experience in anything other than catering. I can only drive certain types of vehicles.
And now the debt from my marriage has caught up with me. I owe the council and £3,800 and they won’t leave me alone. It drains me and I just want to be solvent again like I was before I met my ex wife.
I live on egg sandwiches, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas and pate on toast. I spend about £28 every 2 weeks on food. I can’t remember when last I bought a slab of chocolate. I save what I can for when my daughter is around. I live beneath my means because I have to.
I know I will find work I can do one day, the law of averages denotes it, I just have to keep on seeking it and one day someone will say. Yes. The job is yours. But at the moment I feel destitute. I cannot pay this back and it gets me down. I also owe my step dad £220 for helping to get my car back on the road when I found a job that required my vehicle. It cost me £1,220 to get back on the road. I’ve managed to pay back £1000 before this Covid issue and losing my job. I’ve also slipped behind on my rent… I was paying that one month back until the work stopped….
I know there are others out there who probably need more help than I do and there is a lot of incidents I’ve not explained here as it would take a long time
I don’t even know if this place actually works…. All I know is that I’ve done my best in jobs to help people and I’ve hurt myself doing it. I understand that it’s important for us to struggle sometimes in. Life as that is how we grow and by our nature we are designed to grow from struggle. But I’ve hit a wall.
There are small consolations for the struggles, like my ex wife saying thank you, that if it were not for me, she would be dead and despite being grey and damaged and wondering why this was the way it was, I realised that I was meant to be there…. That was my purpose.
All I can say with the deepest sincerity is that if you decided my situation deserved help. That I could never express truly how grateful I am. And hopefully I can find that fire inside to get back to helping people again too.
Please forgive the mistakes and formatting. I’m doing this on my phone as sadly my laptop broke, and there is no way I can get another right now.
Stay strong, keep smiling and thank you for taking the time to read about my situation.