On returning from Sainsbury's on Sunday I picked up the vast pile of post that had arrived for me on Saturday; two things from the bank, one from Centro.
Firstly, a bank statement, politely informing me what I already knew - i.e. I am skint and, before getting paid, was just over £1000 overdrawn. Thanks, Lloyds TSB, I really needed to know that...
Secondly, a letter from the bank informing me that my Graduate account will expire on 3rd January and be turned into a Classic account, meaning that my vast interest-free overdraft is no longer interest free. Given my current state of debit, this is not a good thing.
And thirdly, my bus pass is going up to £51 a month. Which I wouldn't really mind so much if they improved the bloody service when they put the ticket fares up. I remember the good old days (i.e about 7 years ago) when a 'short hop' was 30p, and the off-peak full fare was 80p. I also remember when bus fares were calculated by how far you were travelling. It's all very well having the 'short hop' fare, but I resent paying a quid to go two stops, quite frankly, and think that the fares should be relative to the length of the entire journey. So, for example, a 'short hop' on the 11 route would be from Selly Oak to Acocks Green, or Bearwood to Winson Green, not "one fare stage", whatever that equates to these days...
Bollocks to Centro, anyway; I might just go back to a TWM pass even though I can then only use half the buses on the 50 route without having to pay 50p.
Anyway, after reading all of this I set about cooking breakfast (one of those potato saute things from Sainsbury's because everything edible was frozen) and after lots of banging around and sighing from the general direction of the kitchen, Paul came in to give me a hug, at which point the floodgates opened.
2007 has kind of sucked as it is, so I didn't really need the bank adding to my current money stress by getting rid of my interest-free overdraft. Also, them similarly reminding me that it's been four years since I graduated and I've done nothing of any value with my life (and the general assumption that degree = high-paying job) really wasn't what I needed right now.
So that rather put a damper on things, to say the least, although it was good to get it out of my system. Now I've just got bloody Christmas to get through. It's three weeks away - how the frell did that happen?
For some reason, lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the counselling I had back in 2005, which was around this sort of time in the year, and how completely useless it was... I now realise that it didn't help other than to make me realise what tipped me over the edge in the first place, and I'm fairly sure I could have worked that out on my own without the horrible aspect of having to talk to someone about it.
There are three things which spring to mind that stick quite firmly in my memory:
- She was quite determined that I should talk about my father. At the time of the counselling, Annabelle had come to the UK and I had stopped seeing him about five months previous, mostly due to wanting to spend more time with Paul, and my father's lack of interest in that new development in my life at the time. In fact, as I recall, I stopped seeing him about a week or so after I'd been sent the letter offering an appointment, which would have been about July.
Anyway, my counsellor was quite determined that making amends with my father would be a good thing, despite the fact that I had made it quite clear that I stopped seeing him for my own good. Mind you, she seemed very family-centric for the majority of it. When I was stressed about our lack of Christmas tree and also (at the same time) the possibility of a reunion with my uncle, she decided that family was the most important thing for me. Which I'm sure is true in some respects, but family were also making me kind of crazy...
- She didn't know what 'angst' meant. I made this discovery about halfway through the sessions and pretty much gave up on her at that point. Even if she didn't know the exact meaning of the word, she should at least have heard of it...
- She made an assumption about me (and my relationship) which wasn't true at that point; given it was quite a big issue at the time, this also didn't help with my perception of myself and what I "should" have been doing. In some ways, it made me ashamed of myself for what I had / hadn't done, and yeah. Counsellors aren't there to assume; they're there to listen. As it happened, it was also an issue I would probably have eventually brought up, but her assumption made me keep it inside, when talking about it would have been better.
I don't know if it did help or not; at the time I thought it had, because there was a break for Christmas before the last two sessions (the second of which I missed) and I came back in the New Year full of joy and feeling more positive - I now know that's because I'd started taking hormone-suppressing contraceptives, so obviously I was feeling more clear-headed.
Last year I managed to achieve things. I moved out of home, I got a new job, I joined the choir. This year has been something of a set-back again, not least of which because of money and completely unnecessary job stress (talking of which, the WPOs are appealing en masse so I'm probably going to get dragged along for the ride, even though I'm perfectly happy with what Single Status are offering. If we end up with less money because of this stupid appeals process, heads are going to roll; at the very least, I'll have to find another job, which is a royal pain in the arse considering I quite like this one.)
So yeah. 2008 to be improving, please.
I think I was going to say much more than that, but it's bloody freezing in here. The heating broke last week at work from Thursday morning to Friday afternoon, and it's apparently back on today, not that you can tell... I am eating cupasoup (or, technically "Cup of Soup", from Aldi...) in an effort to keep warm and fend off my hunger.
I shall now sign this off.