When I was first moved to supported accommodation, I spent about three months there and then my son, who couldn’t live with his mother anymore came and moved in with me. It was only a studio flat, and he was there. So, I had to sleep on the floor.
While I was sleeping on the floor…they knew my son was living there, they knew it was only a small little flat, and they knew that it was difficult. But I spent four and a half years sleeping on the floor, and I think this is because I was quiet. My mental health wasn’t good, so it was very difficult to put my point across.
So, I think I said I had no problem accessing the services, but I had a problem with them hearing me because I didn’t cause any problems. I was quiet, I was shy, or I wasn’t shy it was just the mental health that was stopping me. And so, I couldn’t get my message across. They knew that I was sleeping on the floor. They knew how difficult things were for me.
But because I wasn’t causing a storm or anything and I was just asking them, wasn’t causing problems and that, I just got pushed to one side. We had other people in there who were causing a ruckus and a storm, and they were getting things done. I used to say things… my mental health was so bad I couldn’t look people in the eye properly. But I used to think stuff that I said, but I hadn’t actually said it. I’d only said it in my head, but it hasn’t come out of my mouth. So, I wasn’t getting across really well.
And this meant, again, that I wasn’t getting what I should have had. I mean, no one should have to sleep on the floor for three and a half years. It was horrible. It’s uncomfortable and it was awkward. And having my son in there with me, it was very, very cramped. And he was at school at the time. I mean he was 13 when he moved in with me.
They see him going to school every morning and they see him coming back every afternoon and I’ve told them he was with me and I needed something done, but nothing happened because I didn’t cause a storm or didn’t stir anything up, until someone actually helped me and said no this is wrong, he shouldn’t be here.
So, honestly believe me, it doesn’t matter whether you’re quiet and don’t say the proper things or push for it, or just don’t cause them problems so they just push you aside, or someone who shouts and screams and they get told they’re awkward or they get done just to get rid of them. They get what they need to get rid of them. I think it should be done and governed by your needs.
If the person’s needs are there and they’ve been identified, which they do identify with everybody, then they should work it out on their needs. It’s not. A lot of the time it is who shouts loudest, gets it done. And I wasn’t shouting, my mental health wouldn’t allow me to do it. So, I wasn’t causing a problem. I wasn’t awkward. So they just pushed you to one side. I wasn’t causing them a problem and three and a half years was a long time to sleep on the floor, believe me.