Archives for category: Class

I’m absolutely incredulous at the amount of time it is taking to move out of this phase. I can tell you how I got here: physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, philosophically, sociologically, economically… I have done the reading as a means of trying to find my way out of it.

The last time I healed an emotional wound I looked back and I could list accomplishments like ‘got a degree’. I clearly could not have been doing ‘nothing’ in that time. It’s just that then, as now, I did it all in a haze of dissociation. I was completely overwhelmed by my circumstances whilst refusing to bow to them.

I have to some extent let life wash over me. Sometimes believing that I was giving myself a kind of spiritual once over. I think that’s probably bunkum. I’m just immensely lonely, and very sad. I can not tolerate how deeply I feel that life is passing me by. One year rolls into the next, and I think with each passing year, “you’ve never been so fat”, “so lacking in energy”… and think of all the things that I could have done.

I was the first in my family to get a degree, I was the first to have a career, I went sailing, I engaged in the arts, I actively threw off the shackles of poverty and went to get mine. And now capitalism is functioning like it aught to, the middle and upper classes are squeezing me out of work and maintaining their privilege. And I miss my life.

Knowing this is what’s happening doesn’t make it easier to cope. It highlights the injustices and reinforces my lack of confidence. It successfully gaslights me into compliance. I am the only one complaining. The only other person that understood how this feels, declines to talk to me.

So here I am. Equally loathing myself for feeling sorry for myself, and trying to pep talk myself into taking the least awful routes out of this impasse. I already gave up on taking PIP to tribunal AGAIN, because of the fucking psych evaluation that I had done. The one that confirmed that other than depression (because of my circumstances) I am in fact perfectly sane.

In the long run, this long line of CPN’s and psychiatrist’s and counsellor’s stamp of sanity will be beneficial, but right now, it feels like chains. I am running out of ways to defend myself self against the social. I am living in terror that eventually they are going to sanction me, and that my worst fear will come true: I will end up homeless again.

I can’t handle the pride I feel, and the shame that lives with it. I hate to admit to anyone that knows me that I am out of work. It’s the worst kept secret I’m sure everyone knows, but it’s my Achilles heal. I got a degree, just to end up on the dole. Just who did I think I was anyway.

I was supposed to have a medication review for some anti-depressants that would not interfere with my IBS. A routine referral, has turned into a full psych evaluation. Thanks, tory government. Thanks.

After many years of managing my depression, anxiety and/or PTSD on my own, I’ve finally hit the wall I hit back at the beginning. How do I survive. Where do I draw from when the well is dry. I don’t know. I don’t. Let me tell you how it came to this…

I’ve been told by the government that I am well enough to work, but I know I’m not well enough to do the work I’m trained to do, and no one will employ me anyway. I look for work. As a dyslexic person, I find this very difficult. As a dyslexic person with mental health problems, it’s painful. Honestly: painful.

I broke down in my PIP assessment, not that you would know it according to the assessors write up. She was more interested in this (allegedly) massive IQ I have. I’m having to ask for a reconsideration. After only two days, they are ringing me and I don’t know why. That is hardly enough time to mount an appeal is it?

In December and January I had a ton of doctors appointments, and three were missed. Despite the fact that I did not DNA at least one of those appointments they kicked me off the service. They did this before I could appeal, despite the letter saying that I had time to appeal if I thought the decision was wrong.

The mental health team rang, to tell me they had cancelled my appointment and would rebook in a few months. I rang to tell them I didn’t have few months, in short. They then told me they wouldn’t see me if I didn’t have a doctor. I rang the doctor to complain and beg to be reinstated.

The practice manager said that they would bring it up with the doctors at a meeting. My mother and my nephew come to visit and my mum decides to have an alcohol induced break down. By all accounts, she was jabbing her finger at my brother and calling him by my name. My nephew witnessed this, and my brother opened whoopass.

I’m still ringing the doctors to find out why the practice manager has not been back in touch. My counsellor was away for a week and so called First Response, is unresponsive. What ever energy I gain, I lose. I take a step forward and then I’m plunged back into fuckery. I finally get through to the practice manager and she reveals she forgot to ring me back. And she’s been on annual leave.

They have discussed my case and have decided that I can appeal… by letter. I just imploded. Its like telling a wheelchair user there is pain relief available, but they have to get up and walk to the other side of the room to get it. They want me to write down what I have already told them three times. With each telling the injustice of the situation creates more distress and hopelessness. And now, I have to decide what appeal is more important, AND look for work.

I have to skip some steps, you wouldn’t believe them. Today, I rang the mental health team to let them know that I have a doctor and want an appointment. They said it would be months. I said I didn’t have months. One of the managers rang me within twenty minutes and I said I couldn’t go on, being managed off of lists because of my intelligence. She said it was time for me to have a proper assessment, and I laughed.

I told her that every assessment I have ends in reactive stress or depression, “go get counselling”, was it worth wasting everyone’s time. I said I never thought I would beg for medication, after refusing them for so many years, but that I was begging now. (SSRI’s do nothing for me, except give me a bunch of side effects). She said she thought it was time for a more in depth assessment, and that they would find a medication that didn’t fuck with my IBS.

“When?”, I said. With out pause, she replied, “A couple of months”.

This is a longer post than usual. I am quite agitated. My electronic world is beginning to impinge on my right to peaceful enjoyment. My stomach is in uproar: I do not know if this is anxiety, antibiotics I’m taking for a nasty water infection or the cream based raspberry compote I ate yesterday (it was tiny!).

I suspect it’s a little of all three, though I suffer the latter two with fortitude. I do not, however, suffer the former with any thing other than dread, anxiety, a sense of impending doom, the desire to flee conflict and the utterly infuriating insomnia as a result of mentally writing letters. Fine! said I, and roused myself from bed.

Time was when one could read ones emails on an evening and find nought but fun and smiles. Now it’s a Temple of Doom. The worst offender being The Letting Agents, but we’ll save them for last. Let us deal with a person who recently befriended me on-line; we play scrabble. As a result of our conversations, he says he would like to meet me.

Whoa. I did not sign up for this. What do I want? You might be satisfied about me as a person, but I remain unconvinced, even though you do pleasantly surprise me… He is the uncle of a friend of a friend, and when I approached the mutual friend about this, she spoke positively about him, saying she was meaning to introduce us as we have similar interests. Indeed we do.

But I’m not in a meeting people frame of mind. I’m in a paranoid and anxious frame of mind: unwilling to make myself feel vulnerable to any extent. I have enough going on with out adding ‘new people’ to the mix. To his credit, he hasn’t pushed since I said I would think about it, but today, I had to show him my feminist credentials. After I shrugged at his baiting and replied ‘three strikes and you get relegated’. He admitted to feeling a little hurt.

While I have no desire to hurt anyone – I do not have the desire to massage any mans wounded ego. Whether I like them or not. This is my motivation for all to witness: I am not allowing any form of external fuckery to dominate my life.

Which brings me on to the woman who is coordinating volunteers at a place I have expressed interest in. I have the feeling that as a former volunteer she is eager to show that she has the capacity to lead and coordinate. However, she is going to have to apply her belt and braces approach elsewhere. I find a phone call, a text message and two emails somewhat excessive. If I have missed a call, an email OR text would suffice. Please, step back, sister.

And then The Letting Agent. Dear Letting Agent, Section 27 – 33 of The Housing Act 1988 (Right to peaceful enjoyment). This is the thing that is keeping me awake. This is the thing that is creating an undue sense of insecurity. Today, I received two emails, from two different people, seeking access to my property on two separate days one week apart. One of the emails states the landlord will let himself in if I aren’t home.

No. He will not. No, no, no no. Hey nonny no!

They want to inspect the property, as is their right. Only, this will be the fourth inspection in 17 months. Enough. If The Landlord wants to remortgage the property, he can have the valuation done while I am present. There is no reason in my mind why they can not combine the two.

Before you get to thinking that is all… When I first moved in, I had a subcontractor try to gain access to the property, both with out permission and with out warning. Worse, I was in bed at the time, and in a state of dishabille had to call out to get him to stop trying to force entry. The door is not jammed, it is locked!

I thought that I had made myself clear at that point: I would always insist on Myself or an Agent Acting on My Behalf being present for any repairs, inspections or other requirements needing access (emergencies excepted as per The Housing Act 1988). I am therefore most upset to see in writing “the landlord will let himself in”. No. Just no.

Also, on the subject of inspections, it is not the job of contractors to carry out ad hoc inspections when they come to do a repair. I knew at the time that I should have raised a grievance, but you know, I’ve had a bit on. Furthermore, the contractor was asked to look at a none existent problem with damp. I have never had damp. I believe the previous tenant did, due to a hole in the roof, but it was successfully fixed.

What she is talking about is mold in the bathroom. Mold which I was told to leave untreated so they could check the progress of, and if necessary treat with another coat of anti-fungal, anti-mildew paint. Which I did. Which was then subsequently signed off as satisfactory. Which I am now worrying about.

This all needs to be put in a letter. But as several people have told me I seem angry, I am even more keen to get my tone right, lest it lead to eviction for antifuckingsocialbastardbehaviour. Of course I am angry, and legally, in this instance, I have a right to be, but still: I am tired of living embattled. I am tired of living under the threat of poverty (worse poverty) and homelessness.

I whole heartedly refuse to believe that my behavior is some how unreasonable, or unwarranted. I am feeling particularly vulnerable at present, and I do not have a constant ally on whom I can rely “to act as a buffer”. There’s just me and some boundaries. I am adamant they and I, will be respected.

You run out of steam. Where once it might have taken you 18 months, suddenly, it’s six weeks. Or worse, six days. The things you want to do are continually put aside in order to have the reserves to invest in your health and well being. The doctors appointments, the dole appointments, the job interviews…

You want to keep up with the house work, but it crowds you out. Moving the bedrooms round so you can minimize noise pollution from your neighbour is more important than washing up: because you need to sleep. The tablets the doctor prescribed affect other health conditions, so the ten day respite you’ve had, becomes a painful nightmare and the sleep train is brought to a halt.

You phone a ‘help line’, who is there to support you in your time of need… They fire off so many questions it’s plain they are not listening to your answers: they have their own agenda. Basically, that’s to punt you onto the online forums so you can have a whinge and a moan with other people in your situation. No thanks. With my level of skill and self awareness I become an unpaid support worker. Fuck you, pay me.

Having a minor panic attack you phone the Samaritans and hope to god that you get to speak to someone who is not going to patronise you. GOLD!!! You strike gold. This woman is clearly born into money, but she has empathy in spades. She’s intelligent and humorous and sees you. I mean, she really did see me. I felt held. I felt encouraged. I felt less of an alien for her observation of “You’re clearly quite cultured”.

I have described myself as a working class person with middle class tastes. I internalize a lot of snobbery and inverse snobbery and all kinds of other class war, class consciousness issues. I am pained sometimes by the things I like. The things that I am unable to access, to participate in, and enjoy guilt free. If I had money, these pleasures would not bring pain. It’s perverse.

Then you start to thinking about what kind of pet project you have been and have become. I want to take this lady out of the equation, she was fully congruent, she knew some of the emotional battles I was going through if nothing else. And there have been poorer (in every sense) people than her to not get the fact that £3 to get to a free community event is not free.

I am not putting blocks in my own path. I can not afford to pay for clay. I can not afford to pay for travel to doctors appointments, let alone social gatherings for the poor and dispossessed. And I do want to go, I do want to engage, but it takes energy and money both of which are finite. If you work in support, can you be more mindful of the realities of the people you are trying to support.