When I heard sirens, cars and saw people running past my house at around 2am on Sunday 6th December the panic started but I tried to remain positive. After all I was alone in my house with my youngest child. I couldn't sleep for a while after that as I was worried. I frantically ran around the house trying to pack a bag but what do I put in it?! I couldn't think straight anxiety getting worse. Eventually I calmed telling myself we'd be ok, that it would never reach us. I fell sleep again at 4am then woken at 6am by a loud siren outside. Looked out of the window & a police van was driving very slowly up my street it's siren filling the air.
7am a knock at the door the army telling me it's possible my house could flood. Still I thought but it didn't flood in 2005 I'm sure we'll be ok. However, the flood water surrounded us coming in from the left, right & behind us. The realisation & all of us lifting everything higher & upstairs.
Then the point when you surrender & realise there's nothing you can do to stop it. My house was going to flood. Wellies on we left before it came in the house. Stepping outside & the realisation of it all when the water comes up to the top of your wellies. The naivety of packing a bag for one overnight stay. The overnight stay that turned into months.
The effect on your mental state when it sinks in what's happened. Completely displaced & lost. Someone's kindness sets you off in tears.
Forward 4 months later Myself & my children living with my parents squashed but warm, alive & grateful. Although the flood hasn't helped my health as I have M.E, anxiety & chronic back pain. It's definitely taken its toll. But I'm one of the lucky ones. I have an amazing Landlord & landlady who despite being flooded themselves & living upstairs in their property have gone above & beyond to get me home as soon as possible.
The strength of my children amazes me. They lost their beloved Grandad on 30th November -my eldest sons 13th birthday. Such a heart breaking time then to lose our home to the floods days later after which we attended his funeral. The immense pride I felt watching my eldest,(an air cadet) despite losing his Grandad on his 13th birthday & losing his home, helping out at the university to help other victims of the floods.
The amazing love, support & kindness of the community was simply overwhelming! In such a short space of time so many emotions felt - hope, fear, sadness, heartbreak, pride, gratitude, hopelessness, & love.
It's been a rollercoaster ride I'd rather not repeat. We sit tight waiting to be home again. It will take a while to make our home our home again but we'll get there & feel complete again.