Hey all,

I just want to say before I start this, thank you to those who have been in contact, wondering where I’ve been. For those who may be new, or maybe don’t know where I’ve been… I’ve actually been in the midst of a move. I thought I’d just use this post as an update on what’s been going on with me and plans for the future, both personally and with the blog.

Pre-Move Issues 

Photo by Alex Perz on Unsplash

Heating

I haven’t been overly vocal with this on social media, but before the move to the new place I had been living in a private rental property in Belfast. I had been living at the property for 3 years, the house was a three bedroomed semi-detached in my hometown, and despite all my best efforts I could never keep it warm. My partner and I spent over £4,000 throughout the 3 years living there on oil. That’s a lot of money for someone who only works part-time, is a student and doesn’t even use a lot of heat. 

We found out around six weeks before the move that there was absolutely no insulation in the house. The roof space was damp to touch from roof to floor. there was ripped insulation covered in black mould in random piles in the roof space. The only reason we found this was because I’d woken up one morning in December to find the ceiling dripping water onto the floor and down three out of the four walls in my master bedroom. It was the same in the box room, we’d had bad weather in NI and I assumed it was to do with that, so I called the landlord, who we will refer to as, Mr. Useless. 

He came to see it the next day, this guy doesn’t have a clue at all. he asked me what I thought was wrong, he clearly had no interest in being there. I was always quite rude and dismissive to him as I’d learnt two years earlier that being nice and patient just meant nothing got done. I told him to go and look, he did and had the audacity to tell me it was bone dry and he’d no idea what was wrong with it, and made a comment about there being little insulation in the roof space. He left and nothing was done, the damp eventually dried leaving black water marks down all the walls the damp had been.

Photo by yip vick on Unsplash

Shower

On top of a freezing cold house, the shower was leaking into the kitchen. If I went for a “longer” shower to wash my hair, I knew I’d be created with the scene that looked like a toddler paddling pool had been emptied onto the kitchen floor. Every time I got into that shower I just had to hope I didn’t fall through, or that Tank wasn’t in the kitchen in case the ceiling caved in.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The Move

The new place is way better, gas heating, carbon monoxide detectors, A BATH, no leaks, no damp, no mould and everything works. Not as big as the old place, but anything would be better than entering a house that was colder inside than the temperature outside. 

The move came with other issues, though. It’s further away from my family, which is sort of hilarious because I’m an introvert and never leave the house unless I’m walking my dog, at uni or working anyway. I dunno, it’s just that feeling of knowing how close by they are and knowing that if you really needed them, they’d be there in a heartbeat. Just not the same and it’s made me feel very homesick. I have reasons for moving which I’m keeping private, but homesick, very homesick.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

University

Uni has been an absolute shit-show to be honest. Most of my readers know that I transferred to the Open University, thinking it would be ideal as it meant I could work full-time and do the degree in my spare time, but still have it done in 3 years. Which would be great if I was enjoying it… I’m not. We have group chats that I created for students in the NI region for our modules. The majority of the time it’s us talking about how most of which we are reading has absolutely nothing to do with psychology. For example, one of our most recent assignments was about consumerism. This wasn’t from a psychological point of view, either. it mentioned recycling and other pointless information.

This has left me feeling very frustrated, I don’t feel like I am learning anything, I find the assignments themselves patronising, as do the majority of our student group. We didn’t expect to be studying Ian Bradly or Myra Hindley, but we expected we’d at least be learning something about psychology. If only Youtube did psychology degrees, I’d have my PhD by now.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Jobs 

I had to leave my job in Belfast as where I moved to meant I’d no longer be able to travel to it. I loved my job and miss it immensely even though I only left on 16th January. It was just one of those places where everyone was just so lovely, everyone got on, there was no drama and it was just such a nice place to work.

I have applied for a few roles, but now my health is declining I could really just be doing with paid freelance work. Means I could work from home, but the problem is every site has this competitiveness to it, where it’s all down to pitching, or buying £50+ to secure work. 

As someone who deals with body dysmorphia, low confidence and low self esteem I find it hard to compete against people that may have more writing experience than me, and often think I wouldn’t be able to compete with people that have degrees in Journalism when all I have is my brain, fingers and keyboard. I know who I would go for.

Mental Health

It’s been up and down, the move was hard, coupled with the university issues I’ve had a few days of tears. I’ve also had a lot of issues with NI Student Finance and DSA so it’s been an exhausting, never ending battle with them asking more information on my mental health than I’ve ever been asked in my life.

I’ve also had a lot of people coming to me seeking advice, feeling low, threatening suicide and other personal issues. Whilst I want to do everything I can to help them, there comes a time where you think to yourself, “I can’t keep doing this. It’s too much.”

That came today, after a particularly frustrating day of panic attacks for no reason, trying to read university textbooks I’ve no interest in but have an assignment due tomorrow which means if I don’t get it done I’ll get in trouble. There was also an issue with someone close to me which I’ll not get into, but when venting to one of my friends, thinking it would make me feel better, but in fact it made me feel worse. I can feel my mental health slipping, and the symptoms of my PTSD returning. 

It angers and frustrates me as I’ve worked so hard since my attempted suicide in April 2018. I thought I was getting somewhere, but despite everything I’d usually do to cease the feelings, it’s still coming back. I picture it as like the scene in Harry Potter when the dementors are bombing towards Hogwarts. I feel like I’m Hogwarts and the dementors is my negative mental health.


That’s all for now as I’m sure I’ve depressed you enough. I’m off to eat my weight in ice cream. Posts should be back to weekly now that I’ve wi-fi, I’m in the sticks so depending on the weather it can be temperamental. 

If you know anything about NI rights in relation to private rental properties then drop me an email which you can find on my contact form. I did try Housing Rights NI and Citizen’s Advice and didn’t get anywhere with them.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve been up to and if there is a particular cold case you’ve heard recently that you want me to look into as I’ll be working on them once I get this assignment in.


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justabelfastgirl
northernirishgirlonline@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “I’m Back: An Update”

  1. It sounds like you have been quite busy with so much going on! The rental struggles are the worst. I’m glad you were able to leave your old place and get many upgrades, though I know moving can be very difficult with all the change and adjustments. Thinking of you! I hope that things turn around, and that stuff like school and missing your lovely job get easier. Cheers!

  2. Oh cuz what a nightmare. I am glad the house is sorted. There is nothing worst that idiot landlords that don’t care. The rest will all fall into place I promise. Stay strong – you got this girl! <3

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