Five years ago, I found the strength to leave an abusive marriage of over 14 years. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I was faced with parenting two daughters experiencing the trauma of separation and the impact of being raised in Domestic Violence.
For 10 months following my separation, I continued attempting paying market rent, bills, food, clothing, car registration, internet bills, school fees, uniforms and activities for my girls. After 10 months, my poor mental health became so acute that I was scheduled for three weeks.
Desperate, full of shame, suicidal and exhausted, I [couldn’t] what I’d been doing. I needed help. I needed supports to recover. I need secure, affordable housing. My beautiful daughters needed a stable, secure environment.
In 2014 I began the process of applying for Social Housing (Priority, At Risk). I cannot emphasise how difficult the application process was. The amount of documentation, evidence, letters, reports and statements required was completely overwhelming and exacerbated my mental ill health. I was so busted, broken and unwell that the process of applying simply for a T Number seemed beyond my capabilities. My application was denied. It’s now 2018, three applications for housing later, and my daughters and I haven’t had secure, stable and affordable accommodation.
Issues of Mental Health (Bi-polar, PTSD, BPD, Complex Childhood Trauma and Bulimia) have diminished my capacity to function and remain stable for long periods of time. My daughters are incredible. They’re beautiful human beings. They’ve experienced so much in their lives already. The reality that I’ve been unable to provide stability and security for them is heartbreaking.
Over the last 4-year period, I’ve continued to pro-actively seek affordable housing. The documentation I needed to provide was extensive. I often felt ashamed of who I was and how I lived in the world. I felt shame that my beautiful daughters ended up with me as their mum.
My darling girls and I are not alone. There are so many people in need on the Northern Beaches. Poverty and homelessness exist and continue to grow amidst the affluence present on the Beaches. I meet people often at Food Banks, Community Centres, Hospitals, Counselling Rooms and on the streets. I am one of many homeless mothers. I am one of many mothers whose sons and daughters need and deserve a safe and secure home.