Moving House with ME/CFS part 2

mermaid

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I know that some on here have a much more difficult experience of moving, given that social housing with a disability is hard to obtain, so I I am lucky to have choices to be able to afford to buy. I am 70 this year, currently living on top of a very steep hill with no transport - beautiful view but I am trying to look to the future and how I will cope. I am moving from a low cost ex-Council property in Cornwall into one bedroom retirement flat, near London - so not I am not at the luxury end.

I posted a while back about moving house (UK) but it stalled badly and has added to stress and exhaustion re the process. My husband of 47 years died 2 years ago (anniversary coming up on this coming Mon 7th), and so I am doing this alone and with no relatives nearby. The plan being that I can move nearer to a supportive son, many miles from where I am now.

I am lucky that my ME is not severe, or I could not do this but last year I got quite exhausted following mild Covid at the end of 2020 and felt I had gone backwards. I have increased my thyroid meds a little, (T3) which I can do without much challenge at present, but in moving I will no doubt open a can of worms on that score and could lose my NHS supply. I am also trialling some supplements in case they help - NT Factor Energy very expensive, for one...

I changed agents about a month ago and my new one sold the house for me within 2 weeks to a cash buyer who is paying £40,000 above the asking price so I am hopeful again and trying to get organised as anxiety began to rise. I have a removal firm booked who will do all the packing for me and dispose of anything I fail to rehome before the day - this has taken a huge stress from me as I don't drive and some things may not get rehomed.

In the process of all of this, along with still trying to process grief, I decided to get some support in the way of therapy, especially as he is cheapish and comes to my house. However although Week 1 went well, Week 2 was a bit of a disaster, given that he called me a negative word at one point, and I had to call him out on it afterwards (by email), and he has apologised. I will give Week 3 a go and see... but don't want to cause myself more damage - on his website he says one thing about how he operates with listening, but in reality it felt like he did another (called me at one point a 'chatterbox') and I found myself being defensive in my communication after that. I had years of being 'shut down' by my husband, as it wasn't exactly a marriage made in heaven, and I sure don't want more of that. He told me he suffers from ADHD and I do wonder about if counselling is a good fit for someone who has that?
 
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Something I simply found difficult, having moved recently, is the ME makes things like organized and where did I put that, so much harder. Just be aware of that. I"m not sure what you can do about it.

but in reality it felt like he did another (called me at one point a 'chatterbox') and I found myself being defensive in my communication after that. I
how frustrating....this sounds rather familiar. Heaven forbid you have an opinion or anything further to say.
 

mermaid

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I last moved house in 1996. I can still recall my first thought when I woke up that morning. " What the effing hell have I let myself in for"
Yes, it's a big adventure I guess starting anew. I am moving a long way to a place where I know just 2 people (son and his wife). At least I have the internet to do some research on the place, and find out things in advance.
 

mermaid

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Something I simply found difficult, having moved recently, is the ME makes things like organized and where did I put that, so much harder. Just be aware of that. I"m not sure what you can do about it.



how frustrating....this sounds rather familiar. Heaven forbid you have an opinion or anything further to say.
Re the first point - I always find it exhausting on any rare break away trying to find things. The first few weeks will be hard going getting unpacked and making the unfamiliar into familiar. I will try to break myself in gently.

Yes, the therapist..... not at all sure about him to be honest. I think his 2nd visit went badly in several ways. I have found info on his FAQ on his website which I have printed out to discuss next time, as it feels like he broke all his own rules!
 
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Yes, the therapist..... not at all sure about him to be honest. I think his 2nd visit went badly in several ways. I have found info on his FAQ on his website which I have printed out to discuss next time, as it feels like he broke all his own rules!
maybe give him another chance. However, its likely he might get defensive if you go direct confront, holding his own Philosophy Printout.

Oh why do we have to be clever and outwit those who should try to help us?
 

vision blue

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Pay more and get someone whos a better fit?

What are the retirement one bedrooms like? One big building? High rise with elevator?

Wow cornwall. Maybe we can all just trade houses.

Too bad son cant help with tge packing and other stress reductions

Anyway am not saying anything useful. Bringing back the memories of an awful cross country move - almost forfot- and dashing hopes i will be able to pull off moving which id like to do.
Congrats to you on doing it!!
 

Judee

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I would say to trust your intuition on the therapist. They're paid to listen (and maybe direct a bit) but to actually call you a "chatterbox." ?? Yikes.

Also please be careful with cash offer companies. Maybe do some investigating on yours to make sure everything is on the up and up.

I'm not sure of demand in your area. Ours is a seller's market right now. Still I would be just a little suspicious of a cash offer that is £40,000 above asking price. One scam I read about today talks about getting a seller to sign a contract with a company at that higher price and then using delay/panic tactics to get you to keep going lower. Just be careful. There are just so many scammers out there.

(A bit off topic but I'm dealing with email spam bombing right now and was surprised to learn that's actually supposed to be a cover for something worse. Here is a link for anyone else who might be going through that right now. https://www.howtogeek.com/412316/how-email-bombing-uses-spam-to-hide-an-attack/)
 
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Retirement flat? wow that exists?

That sort of does not exist in my country. Instead sometimes we call some type of housing- Mother In Law...guest house....

It more or less would be a separate little place, maybe in the back yard, where you'd put your mother in law whom otherwise you'd never want to be living with, it seems.

I wonder where my son in law would like to put me?
 

mermaid

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well then, enjoy the adventure aspects. If you view it all as a Grand Adventure, it could be fun and invigorating.
Yes, that's the idea - trying to see it all in a positive light. To be honest, I am trying to think with my head (and a bit of heart) rather than just my heart which would maybe say stay for the view and forget the rest! The view being in my profile pic on a bad day, though admittedly taken with a Zoom lens as the Mount you can see isn't quite that close. And 'the rest' being my increasing vulnerability living on top of a hill with no relatives, no transport and ME and 2 dodgy knees.
 

mermaid

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maybe give him another chance. However, its likely he might get defensive if you go direct confront, holding his own Philosophy Printout.

Oh why do we have to be clever and outwit those who should try to help us?
Oh ha ha re the Philosophy Printout!! It my union rep background - which says get them on their own policies! There are a couple of things that are important to quote I think to help begin again, as he writes in his FAQ about 'what happens in therapy' and then proceeded to do none of it. Week 1 he did lots of listening and didn't say much and then Week 2 he did the opposite.

And it's funny you should use the word 'defensive' as I made a few notes on what I could remember had happened in Week 2 and by using the word 'chatterbox' and also suddenly at the start him sounding slightly irritated with me and asking me to come to the nub of what I wanted from the process, and making a negative comment about me thinking too much (forgotten exact words), it put me on the back foot and made me defensive for the rest of the session.

He is very big on 'person centred therapy' and I have had some before, but never experienced something like Week 2. It's supposed to be centred around the client's needs and not your own. I did give him a large mug of black coffee at his request - maybe the caffeine hit him and he went 'off piste'?
 

mermaid

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Pay more and get someone whos a better fit?

What are the retirement one bedrooms like? One big building? High rise with elevator?

Wow cornwall. Maybe we can all just trade houses.

Too bad son cant help with tge packing and other stress reductions

Anyway am not saying anything useful. Bringing back the memories of an awful cross country move - almost forfot- and dashing hopes i will be able to pull off moving which id like to do.
Congrats to you on doing it!!
@vision blue yes, though I am not always sure it's the cost. Funnily enough his published price is quite high, but he said he did do 'sliding scale' so after the first session I asked him and he offered me a low rate. It's difficult for me to get to people from here, but if he doesn't seem right for me, I will certainly stop and think again. I was in a low place for much of last year and had been thinking about it a lot, but with the move coming up, this is likely to be short term anyway now.

In the town I am moving to there seem to be a lot of retirement flats. Most of them come in blocks of various sizes - some are very large which I wasn't keen on. This one is medium sized with 42 flats no higher than 2nd floor and there will be an elevator. The one I am buying is on the ground floor and looks straight out onto a shared garden with a french door that goes right out into the garden. There is a non resident manager and some social events which will help me to meet other people in the complex. Otherwise I am independent there. I haven't actually been to the flats as initially I saw another one that I was thinking of buying but it was rather small, and my son took photos and video for me of this one. The thought of travelling to this place a 2nd time in a few months with Covid raging was just too much for me! It's about a day's travel from Cornwall to Greater London.

Are you also in the UK vision blue? Yes, Cornwall is a lovely place but not my original home though I was brought up by the sea in Sussex where I still have a relative, and relatives by marriage. I am near Penzance looking straight out over the bay. Suddenly people in my family died (mum and husband within 3 months of each other) and I was alone apart from 3 sons who all live at distance. Suddenly relationship seemed more important.

Yes, re the son... mind you he is the one who will do most when I am there. He is my youngest. He will come down the day before the actual move and take me back to be with him the day before the actual move into the flat. He doesn't drive so any journey is difficult and he's dependent on his wife driving who will probably come too. It's better for me to have someone else taking on all the packing as it takes the worry off me. With limited energy I am trying to reduce the stuff now and that's taking it out of me.

Oh yes, memories of moves - I have a few of those when I was young and fit and found them exciting. We moved 13 times in 13 years I think at one point. Sussex to Durham was the most interesting as we were on the road with no confirmation of accommodation at the other end. In those days we were literally 'living by faith' but my thinking is a bit more down to earth now.
 

mermaid

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I would say to trust your intuition on the therapist. They're paid to listen (and maybe direct a bit) but to actually call you a "chatterbox." ?? Yikes.

Also please be careful with cash offer companies. Maybe do some investigating on yours to make sure everything is on the up and up.

I'm not sure of demand in your area. Ours is a seller's market right now. Still I would be just a little suspicious of a cash offer that is £40,000 above asking price. One scam I read about today talks about getting a seller to sign a contract with a company at that higher price and then using delay/panic tactics to get you to keep going lower. Just be careful. There are just so many scammers out there.

(A bit off topic but I'm dealing with email spam bombing right now and was surprised to learn that's actually supposed to be a cover for something worse. Here is a link for anyone else who might be going through that right now. https://www.howtogeek.com/412316/how-email-bombing-uses-spam-to-hide-an-attack/)
Yes indeed. Over my years (70 this year) I have seen quite a few therapists/counsellors - some good, some not so good. Like any relationship it's much about the chemistry I guess, and I am not at all sure so far with this one. I chose someone more on the older side, as I felt he would be a better match. He has told me that he has ADHD and I think maybe it explains why it felt that he wasn't listening well in Week 2. I told him a lot of sensitive stuff in Week 1 and felt a bit clobbered to hear this comment at the start of Week 2 along with suddenly wanting me to try to clarify what help I needed. It's about listening and reflecting back and nudging you gently to your own conclusions, at least that is how it's usually done with Person Centred Counselling.

It's OK, I am not selling to a company but to a single person. I think the £40,000 above the asking price came about because of a different selling technique - more like the US and Australian model I am told. High St agents tend to name a price and then people offer lower. This model they use a term 'offers over' ......and then do an Open House where they see maybe 5 - 10 people on the same day in 15 min slots and then invite offers over....

In my case I had already sold the house via a High St agency to a person outside my county back in Nov, and then her solicitor found a covenant on my house that I was unaware of, that restricted sale to anyone other than a person who had lived/worked in the county for at least 3 years. It's an ex-council house and the covenant applies to ALL ex-council in rural areas, from the early 80s when they got sold off. As I live at the far end of Cornwall it made selling it more difficult.

I felt let down by the agents over this as it wasted me a lot of time and risked me losing my flat I had bought STC, though I gave them 3 mths to try and sell, and then switched to this new agent who works differently and he is a one man band but supported by the structure of the National org whose model he uses, (The Agency UK ). By that time I had already reduced my house by £10,000 as I was worried I would lose my retirement flat I had bought STC. So my house had gone from £200,000 to £190,000, and so my new agent had to drop the asking price to 'offers over £180,00' because of the way the prices work apparently and he couldn't put it at 'offers over £190,000' as it had already been advertised at £190,000 which would invite even lower offers. This woman really wanted the house and so he clearly persuaded her that therefore she must put in an offer that was high enough that I would take her offer and no one else's (no one else knows what anyone else has offered). All rather strange to me as a selling technique but it can work well for the seller if done well and on this occasion it was done so. There was one other offer on the table but she didn't know what that was....

The woman buying has sold her house elsewhere in Cornwall as she wants to come back to the village where I live which was where she was brought up, and where she still has family. She's an older person, coming back to her roots, and having sold already and living nearby with her niece is a cash buyer.

Anyway, yes, I did get a lot of letters from national companies (not emails), who want to buy your house, but in my case they would have not been able to do that due to the covenant. I did enquire from one of them who I checked out on Trustpilot, and though they were OK as a company, even they agreed that it couldn't be done in my case though they could have operated as a usual estate agent, but done in a national way. They would still have been using the same pool of people to draw from, and I felt that local was best in my case.
 

mermaid

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Retirement flat? wow that exists?

That sort of does not exist in my country. Instead sometimes we call some type of housing- Mother In Law...guest house....

It more or less would be a separate little place, maybe in the back yard, where you'd put your mother in law whom otherwise you'd never want to be living with, it seems.

I wonder where my son in law would like to put me?
@Rufous McKinney for some reason I thought maybe you came from Wales.....(profile pic!).
Which country are you in, if I may ask?

Yes, we would have the kind of thing you talk of in your message - Granny Flat they tend to be called! Sometimes 2 families will pool their resources and buy a big enough property to get something suitable.

There are various models for retirement flats here I think. It's useful way of feeling a little protected whilst having full independence. So all the people living in them together will have to qualify by being over 60, or over 70 in some cases. They will have a manager who is usually not resident but there during the daytime. The one I looked at originally she was only there for a couple of days and yet the service charge was dearer. In the one I am moving to, the company own a lot of them in the UK, and the service charge is payable each month and covers payment for the manager, water rate is included and also maintenance of the whole building and grounds. It also covers a centralised alarm system if you have an emergency medical issue so you can call someone.

It's not like a care home, where you might go if your health really deteriorates. You are expected to be independent, but it seems that as you get older, some people do have carers coming in to them in their flats. If you don't want to participate in the communal life then you don't have to (they have various things going on in the communal room there). So it's not a place where you get 'put' but you choose to go there for support if you need/want it. Both of my sets of grandparents lived in purpose built flats for older people, but this model means that there is more support on hand by having a manager there. Of course the price of the service charge can rise which is a bit of a worry, but they know older people are on fixed incomes, so not in their interest to raise it too much.
 

mermaid

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Just posting an update, though there is not much to say it feels in the way of progress but I don't feel that most people who know me (even my sons) understand how much this process is taking out of me, but I think people on here will do. It's now a case of waiting for the solicitors to do their job, and the not knowing when it will come to an end is causing me stress and I am struggling with the extra energy loss.

This house moving lark has already gone on too long and I am beginning to wobble. My ME is worse than it was 2 years ago, (possible due to post Covid effects), and the amount I have done alone with this house move is really hard but there is no one else to do it. I have tried to start clearance and sorting out really early so that if I did a small bit it would slowly get done, and the worst of it I think is now completed. I am moving to a smaller place, but it's only one bedroom less so not too bad, and the main sitting room is bigger than my current one.

I live on top of a steep hill with no car so how to get rid of things? My wheelie bin has taken a lot, plus recycling bags, which are taken away, and also a friend took me to the recycling centre twice with bigger items. I have given numerous items away via a local Facebook group when you advertise items for free. The energy involved has been huge, and I have now reduced my volunteering job to one day a week to manage it better as I was getting more ill. This feels like the right time as I am hoping that the final exchange of contracts might be the end of April but I don't know for sure.

I feel a bit low at times and lonely and hoping that I will find a welcome at the other end. I buried my husband's ashes under a tree here about 10 days ago with a friend, so leaving here is kind of cathartic, but also it's a huge jump to somewhere miles away and new. My youngest son lives very nearby so I will have more support, and I will be in a community of other older people so hopefully they will be understanding.
 

vision blue

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I think you are doing amazing. Since i want to move ive been wondering if I would be ok just taking absolute essentials. But that causes angst because i really like all the stuff worked hard to accumulate. Yet the thought of packing even if i hire someone to do it seens like too hard and damaging. And i think once stuff in boxes im never going to take tgem out, so why bother? Feels almost one of those dreans where you got something really cool only to wake upmand realize it was all just a dream. What was the point of it if i just have to give it all up.

Hope you bounce back faster than it seems now when you finally make the transition.
 

hapl808

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I'm in my 40's and relatively severe these days (not bedbound, but can't stand without assistance). I dread the idea of moving and can't imagine how I'd complete it, so definitely understand how much it can take out of you. Even on a good day, moving is extremely difficult and slightly traumatic. And unfortunately few of us here get good days.

The internet really does make location less important. I've thought about that a lot as I like where I am, but likely will be forced to move at some point for financial issues (aka going broke). But if you're somewhere where Amazon delivers and you have reliable internet access, that makes up for a lot.

Also are there people you can hire to help? I needed some things done around the house pre-COVID, and even organizing my clothes was beyond me. It wasn't ideal having a stranger do it since I couldn't find a friend to help that much, but I never could've completed the task.

I hope the move allows you more relaxation in the end.
 

wabi-sabi

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I live on top of a steep hill with no car so how to get rid of things?
Don't let the stuff weight you down. Your health (whatever remains of it) is so much more important than physical objects. I'd recommend (take it or not, as you like) to free yourself from the burden of rehoming everything. Trying to be funny here- but a set of old books or plates is not a pet that needs to go to a good home. It's just a thing. The removal people said they could get rid of whatever you didn't give away, yes?

This is on my mind as I will be moving soon and looking at getting rid of most of my things. For so long, they symbolized my identity, but now I must let them go. I can try to hold onto my past self as an intellectual, but maybe the wiser course of action is to admit that I can no longer read and let the books go. It's painful, and one more loss in a series of losses this illness inflicts. But they are, after all, just things. I try to ask myself, what will I really need when I am bedridden? My family.