it starts off as a wee wonder…

Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?

Will those questions get me the answers?

Probably the question I ask most often is a variation on  theme of ‘what?’: What’s going on? What do I know? Eh? WTF? What on earth?

As if I had no input. As if the circumstance had nothing to do with me. As if I could avoid taking responsibility.

There is a lot going on. Resting is more difficult than you’d think.

Girl2 is nearly finished the horrible selection process for secondary school, remarkably, unexpectedly calm. Good woman. Spurs Fan and I are still anxious for her, and struggling not to let on. We’ve had some sort of crisis every Saturday morning, while Girl2 sails on buoyed by luxury baths and hot chocolate.

I doubt if I’ll ever write a novel. That’s ok. Maybe I could build up from my short, self centred blog posts to a short story. I’m going to keep going to the class and try to remember to do the exercises. The girls are always very entertained by me sitting down to do my homework. A house full of hilarity and learning can be no bad thing.

Chairperson is probably being overwhelmed by mixed messages from me.

“I’m stepping back. I can’t do any more for now.”

“What do you think about…? We need somebody to do…”

I’m an interfering voice from the side, as if my opinion needs to be extra loud when I’m not doing the work- what if somebody else does it wrong? I can almost hear my Granny talking about needing to do things herself, on her own two bended knees. I need to sort my head out, to learn to switch off. And to do that without disengaging totally from work I care deeply about. I’m hoping to happen across a middle way sometime.

I’m in the middle of having my sickness benefits reassessed. I have a date for my medical; the appointment where they look at my appearance of health and decide that I’m a scrounger, choosing to avoid paid employment. (I’m currently sleeping 12-14 hours a day, and am rarely noticeably ‘awake’. I’ll happily be employed if they can find someone to take me on.) The date is that of my late mother’s birthday. I’m not so distant from her yet that I can take that one in my stride. Grief with added scrutiny. Something to look forward to.

from pinterest
from pinterest

My legs, arms, ears, back and throat ache. I have a mouth ulcer the size of an orange  a grape  an apple seed  sore. A 25 year old knee injury is reasserting itself.

I’m right to be in temporary retirement, I know that. You know that. My GP knows that.

But next week, somebody in an office will tick boxes to declare me a liar and a fraudster. They won’t see ‘unwell, but trying to contribute’. They will only see ‘should have a job. Wastrel.’

Remember bloggy buddies, that so called ‘benefit scroungers’ are not Other People. They are me and people like me, trying to do our best with the cards life dealt us. Nobody chooses chronic illness or disability. A coalition of minority parties suggests it’s a lifestyle choice, like going to Eton, perhaps, or not paying appropriate tax. It seems that only the ‘choices’ that are not a choice get penalised.

Dave, his mates and their demonisation of the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable have no conscience and no shame. National debt has increased on their watch, and still they blame the demands of supporting you and me, our children and our parents. This is an unelected government, stripping the UK of its greatest assests- health, social care and education. But sure those things don’t matter, do they?

Don’t be mistaken; this is not about dealing with fraud (official figures show the rate of fraud in claims for sickness related benefits is well less than 1%), but about a matter of principle. Some people don’t matter. There is no constitution to say that all are created equal; there is no recognition of ‘brotherhood’. the powerful and the wealthy pursue policies to benefit themselves and care nothing about the impact on others. Despite protests, moral outrage and court rulings, the elite barge on, not knowing or not caring about the rest of us.

Some people don’t matter. I’ve worked hard, paid taxes and national insurance, done what I was supposed to do, but now, because I can’t make an economic contribution, I have no value. The sick, the disabled, the poor, the vulnerable, the children: we don’t matter. We are easy targets.

They will undermine me, my health, my decisions, how I’ve tried to live my life in the past 7 years. Because, allegedly, that will boost my skills, health and confidence and motivate me to get a job… If there were jobs to get.


Will I matter then?


8 thoughts on “it starts off as a wee wonder…

  1. “Probably the question I ask most often is a variation on theme of ‘what?’: What’s going on? What do I know? Eh? WTF? What on earth?

    As if I had no input. As if the circumstance had nothing to do with me. As if I could avoid taking responsibility.”

    Who? What? Where? Why? When? How? – All these questions are interchangeable…:)

    Not easy, I am aware of that, but find the “Why” and you might get a tangible answer 😉

    Or better yet, let the Why find you 🙂

  2. I do hope your interviewer is not as you envisage him/her. However, my experience, via Mother and Aunt, of how the forms are worded is that steer you to answers that mean that benefit will be refused. With the attendance allowance Mother had some guidance which meant not asking the questions asked as they were designed not to elicit the information she needed to give to demonstrate need. It worked, so when Aunt’s turn came, we kept writing ‘I am in constant pain’. Even then her GP was unhelpful and I had to write the endorsement. No surprise that ‘my aunt is in constant pain’ was repeated like a mantra throughout my statement.
    Aunt got the allowance.

  3. You certainly matter. Sometimes we build these confrontations up bigger in our mind, more threatening. Hopefully you get a compassionate type who hasn’t lost her humanity to red tape.I have a family member in a similar predicament and the injustice is alarming. Thinking of you.

  4. I think this is where your voice comes in loud and strong. You are a writer with a voice, and you do contribute to society. You have a social conscience, and let’s face it, that’s not validated in any country right now. You express what so many of us feel and know intuitively–value isn’t in what we contribute economically, it’s about our character. And again, there is no validation being doled out for character either. You carry much more strength with you then you feel, Fiona. I can see it clearly. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like a wastrel. If you do no more in life than raise to capable daughters, you’re a success. ox

  5. I hope the reassessment is okay and they don’t find half a dozen pretexts to penalise you. The way the government is trying every trick in the book to cut or refuse benefits to people who obviously need them is appalling.

    “It seems that only the ‘choices’ that are not a choice get penalised.” How horribly true.

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