Its been almost 2 years since I wrote here.
Life has been tough… My last few Blogs in 2014 hinted at the fact I was feeling unwell & over the last 2 years I have rapidly declined… Multiple health issues meant leaving a lifetime of work behind & becoming one of “Great Britain’s” (notice the inverted comma’s) many Scroungers & Skivers who claim the dreaded ESA.
It wasn’t without its battles, believe me, 3 consultants, numerous hospital admissions, trips in ambulances was not enough. Dropping plates, fainting, crying for days on end, wasn’t enough…… Letters confirming diagnoses, additional 12 tablets a day which took my daily intake to 26 wasn’t enough, regular iron infusions & steroid injections wasn’t enough….
I had to have an assessment…………
The first one was dis-guarded mid way through as I had a “episode” at the meeting… No shit, The travel to the meeting was fraught as I am in constant pain, I was then kept waiting 3 hours past my given appointment time which meant I needed to take round 2 of my daily tablet routine… That never happened & so I became very tomato-esque as my BP went up & I keeled over.
They were most helpful (not) & I was told to go home & “recover” & come back when they could re-book…. LOL I wish with all my being that I could “recover”.
The second meeting was taken by a young girl, who really didn’t know what to do with me.. So she forwarded me onto a “qualified” person….. (I feel bad for all those who were assessed by the girl, she was pleasant but very un-schooled on the basics of many disabilities, let along in anyway qualified to make life-altering judgements).
My “qualified” person was very matter-of-fact, very disciplined in the stupid questions she had to ask. After the hour long tick-box exercise, we sat & spoke… I think up until then, I was “fit for work” according to them lol.
That last conversation was the most important one of my life, I now realise.
I asked for a glass of water & took my tablets (I bought them with me this time). I then proceeded to explain my life.
She never had a chance not to listen.
I told her I want to work, I always wanted to work; My dreams had been many, I wanted to be a Vet….. I studied hard, I went to college, only dropping out when I couldn’t fund the course. I left college on a Thursday & had my first job on the following Monday & NEVER looked back…
The only time I had been unemployed was 3 pregnancies (Only taking 6 weeks or so off for each baby) & a brief spell of illness (Cancer treatment).
I’ve been in middle management roles since my early 20’s & have been made redundant numerous times due to “downsizing” & “economic climates” – BUT I still worked, I took admin roles, sales roles – anything I felt would pay my way & provide for my daughters….
Then came the tiredness, the black exhaustion & the diagnosis’s that started to come thick & fast from 2012……….
None of which was my fault in any way – in fact one consultant said clearly I have “jolly rotten luck”.
I sat in front of “ESA qualified lady” & cried… I explained I had purchased some voice recognition software for my PC & found this to be invaluable, as my hands seize up (something the standard questions didn’t discover).
I have a software which checks my spelling & grammar now as the illness causes brain-fog (again something the standard questions didn’t cover).
I also told her, I was sending CV’s out still (against my Dr’s & Consultants advice) as I need to feel worthwhile & valuable…BUT they have a proviso on the application letter- I Must be able to install the 2 aforementioned software’s, so I can function in an admin capacity….
I’ve had NO positive responses… to be honest, why should I, there are people out there, half my age & twice as fast & competent applying for the same jobs………
I explained to her – I should be sitting in your chair, I should be doing a job like you, I feel bloody terrible that I am not.
I sobbed the whole way through this diatribe..
I haven’t written here for a while, as I feel awful (literally & figuratively) thanks to the turn my life took. I feel bad for claiming a “benefit” (Who the hell calls these things benefits….Its a bloody stupid name for something many don’t want but are forced to use). I feel bad for turning from “supermum” running around, working 3 jobs, being the go-to person for help & advice, to now being stuck in my house, behind a PC – talking to it – pretending to the world I am fine.
I help regularly with online charity marketing – I can do this from my bed in PJ’s and it makes me feel worthwhile… Its unpaid but it makes me feel a little valuable…
Us Daniel Blake’s are real
We are NOT the parodies that Ch4 & others put out… You know – The chain-smoking, drinking, fat layabout figure they poke fun at in a sickening display of smug elitist condescension.
We are hard working, once proud people who have paid in & now need some help.