This is what I am.
It’s taken far longer to assimilate this fact than it should have done, but the brain is slow. And of course it isn’t actually a fact until I receive some benefits but I live in hope.
Five years since the breakdown, give or take a couple of weeks. One year since the relationship ended, give or take a couple of weeks. Half a year since employment ended, give or take a couple of weeks.
It clarifies lots of things. Work, for instance. I don’t stand a hope in hell of getting a full-time job well enough paid to cover the childcare expenses incurred by the act of going out to work. Assuming I had the mental resources to deal with full time work. I don’t stand a hope in hell of getting a part time job that would pay well enough to cover the childcare expenses incurred by the act of going out to work and cover the extent of the benefits I should lose if I started working even part time. Freelance work? as above but more so.
It’s called the benefits trap:
Lone mothers in the UK trying to get off state handouts and return to employment could lose money because of the extra taxes, the loss of benefits, and the huge cost of childcare.
The OECD found that, of all the world’s major economies, Britain has the worst benefits trap for women. A single mother moving back into work would have to forfeit 101.3 per cent of the extra cash she earned because of the extra tax, childcare costs, and relinquished benefits payouts.
So it’s time to hunker down. Cut my coat according to my cloth. I am lucky to have a house to call my own, possessions acquired during the days of affluence. Lucky too to have local friends for the first time in my life, as well as good friends further afield. I am lucky to have the internet as a creative and social outlet. I’m trying not to think about the future.