Living Here

Having left it late in life to buy a place to live I was limited to what I could afford as it would be a 15 and not a 25 year mortgage so the monthly payments would be higher. With a combination of luck and using my initiative I was offered this fabulous big 3 bed flat across from the park, cheap and off market.

The reason it was a low price is that is it’s next to a relatively poor and deprived area. I’ve never lived in such an area before. Maybe student ghettoes in my 20s. I don’t like it much. Though I mostly focus on the positive aspects like the proximity to the park, good parking, nice views out the window, easy access to other areas. Great plus points.

There’s a lot of distress around me though, and I feel it….many neighbourhood locals are struggling in various ways and I feel the stress of that. And it’s even worse in the housing scheme across the road. There’s health problems, using violence and regular disputes every few months, a periodic police presence, lot of alcoholism and other substance abuse. Broken horrible childhoods. It’s not a positive thriving place. It’s a struggling place. A hopelessness is here, along with the litter.

My building has 8 apartments. 3 of which are government housing and 5 privately owned. I think because there’s a higher ownership level, it is quiet, and no drugs or violence. No sound proofing either though as I’ve mentioned many times here. I hear nearly everything from toilet habits to conversations and then there’s the insanely loud floorboards…Been using it as tolerance and reactivity training.

I’ve done my best to make the inside and out as nice as possible and had the whole interior of the flat alterered remodelled and redecorated and the communal entrance area redecorated and it’s now in most ways a fine place to live. Big windows and views of trees out every window which face in every direction of the compass. And there’s great parking which is unusual for the area.

I don’t relate to any neighbours around me much, such completely different backgrounds, values, behaviours, confidence levels, attitude to life, education level, ways of speaking. Not that the latter matters all that much. I do what I can to listen and support and have heard some childhood horror stories of abuse. I’ve made casual friends in a sense, exchanged number with a few. Then I bump into one the other day who tells me she spent the night in jail for physically attacking another neighbour for feeding her dog when she asked him not to. Inside I’m horrified and she talks as if it’s normal. I’m stressed hearing this is going on 3 doors down the street.

I’ve had working class boyfriends, many friends. They moved away from that like my dad did. He came from a working class background then went to University and got out. He ended up middle class through education. The friends and my dad are kind of classless. I thought I was a bit classless too, since I didn’t really notice or care about the backgrounds of friends. Until I moved here and saw how some people live.

Living here has been an eye opener. I know people don’t talk about this as it sounds like snobbery. It’s not really. I don’t feel superior. It’s just a clash of nearly everything, and because we are all closer together I interact more and get to know them as I’m an open chatty person. I hear about how they behave, the distress, the aggressive way they deal with each other. Their appalling abusive childhoods and trauma which set the course for their lives. Tons of compassion for them.

And here I am. This is what I can afford right now and here I’ll be till that changes if it does. I want to just be honest about what it’s like. And I look on the bright side as much as possible. Being across from a 360 acre park makes it an amazing place to be.

This post was sparked off by reading this article, and while I would not remotely class myself as upper class and elite as I’m not rich. I do have a degree which in the article is their definition of elite. Though think they are more referring to upper middle class. I can relate to this below though.

“For the upper class, living around poor people is unpleasant; they tend to be louder and more criminally inclined, and less appealing as friends, conversation partners, and potential mates. Hence when those with money can afford to do so, they move away from them. “

I don’t behave like those in that community though and don’t just seek out other middle class people to mingle with. I am accepted into the middle class elite as one of them due to my upbringing so know the social rules, have a middle class voice and high confidence level characteristic of that class.

I’d love the class distinctions to not exist in society and for us all to be non deprived and thriving and confident and happy and fulfilling our potential. But vast numbers aren’t and it is what it is for now.

As you can see most of the city is pinks which is classed as deprived. The dark greens are pockets of the wealthier areas. I’m living in a number 3 next to a number 1 area, the most deprived, and across the road from a number 7. It’s an edge. I always said I like edges in life!

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