I had a tough time as a single parent with an ex who has always been allergic to putting his hand in his pocket, but things sorted themselves, out as I was lucky enough to have relatively cheap rented accommodation. When that came to an end, my life changed. Thankfully, my son went off to university at that stage but I have been struggling ever since. Due to excessive bullying by my line manager at the time, I chose to go part time in order to preserve my sanity. I had already had 5 months off work due to stress caused by this woman, and in order to be able to return to work, I elected to change from full-time to part-time, changing my line mangager and avoiding the courses she oversaw and taught on so that I could still be in work and remain sane. Note that she was never fully reprimanded, despite union intervention. Why are bullies allowed to get away with it? That aside, it happened to coincide with my change in accommodation due to the flat I had been living in being sold. This was in 2008. I am battling to afford to pay rent (I am now lodging) and have changed my job and location, still part-time, but with more contracted hours. I am struggling to find full-time teaching and am faced with a Christmas with no place for my son to stay, He is homeless during the university holidays. How does that make me feel? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and had I known that this would be the outcome, I would have done a vocational qualification and been a legal PA, earning £42,000 pa, instead of working like a dog, earning pretend money. (I kid you not, my landlady is a legal PA and earns this...) What would you do in my situation? I am turning 52 and cannot afford to retrain.