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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The customer likes to surf the internet for 2 hours every day, watch soaps and go out with friends from church..

Yesterday Or last week or some time recently, I received a copy of all the paperwork that has been sent to the tribunal about my incapacity benefit, £35 a week in my benefits, given because I was deemed incapable to work. Last June I had to travel to see a random doctor, one I have never seen, heard of, or spoken to in my life. In august they stopped the £35 a week.
I had to go to Exeter which is 14 miles away, my appointment was just after 1pm so I left just before 9am, to drive 14 miles because I might get lost, or very lost, or so lost I would never get there.
When I arrived, I was called into a non descript room with a desk and some chairs. One side of a desk was a man, small in stature, who looked bored. He was ordering new tyres for his car while I sat opposite him and waited.
He asked some set questions that I answered in my own rambling way.

Q.Are you able to watch television?
A. Well yes, as long as it's rubbish, soaps maybe, I can't watch films or anything with a plot, I am completely unable to follow documentaries, so I suppose if I watch television it would be soaps or something that doesn't matter, that has nothing in it that requires thinking or concentrating.
( customer likes to watch soaps)

Q. Can you drive?
A. Yes, in fact I only feel safe in my car and my house, my space, the 2 places that I choose who can come in and who can't. I can drive it's when I have to get out of the car that the worries begin.
( customer is able to drive without problem)

Q. Do you have friends, can you enjoy going out?
A. Well, yes I have one or two friends that I have known since I was little, they understand me, if I can't talk, or talk too much, they understand. If I can't remember what a plate is called or where I parked the car, they help me laugh about it. I see them once or twice a week and if they ask me to go out, I can go, with them.
( customer enjoys meeting friends from church once or twice a week)

Q. Do you go on the internet?
A. Oh yes, the internet has saved my soul. I have a blog, it has been my saving grace. I write whatever I feel on that and tell complete strangers my deepest fears and saddest secrets, I can tell them because there is no pressure, they read, they sometimes say nice things and they are able to continue on with their lives without feeling obliged to help or solve my problems. My problems can't be solved but I can manage to express what I feel and feel some relief, it helps me get through another day,
( customer likes to surf the internet for 2 hours every day)
He wrote that ELEVEN times in the report. ELEVEN times.
First of all, can I say CUSTOMER? What? What am I buying? What service was I trying to obtain? Some kind of understanding about how my stupid head works? A modicum of compassion for how much pain is in my head and heart every single day I wake up and keep breathing?
Well then is there a customer services that I can call and complain because I certainly didn't get what I was after, did I?
When I got that letter, back in august to say that Dr Random had deemed me fit to work and that he had diagnosed me as mildly depressed, I was so incensed. So righteously indignant. I want to explain why. I wonder if I can.

I probably have to go back many years.
Back to when I was so gloriously ignorant, when I thought that the world was a nice place and terrible thing were in newspapers and in other peoples' lives.
In 3 months I had a baby, lost a husband to his need to find himself and have a selfish phase, moved house and had 2 children abducted and abused.
18 years ago, get over it.
You don't, get over it. You learn to accept it and force yourself to do every single tiny thing that life makes you do. Or you can curl up and die.
Most of me did die.
I have worked through so many ghosts and worries and in many ways I am better. I have come to accept ( though not like) that my head does not work the way it used to . Every single thing I do is enormous.
I do everything I should do, I do what I need to do, I do some things I want to and every single thing I do is an effort.
I have chest pains all the time, the cardiologist is sure that they are all due to stress, I agree. When I am worried about something ( which is all the time, every day) I hold my breath, I don't realise I am holding my breath until I do that exploding GAH! sound, ouch, hurts, must remember to breath.
For 5 months now, while I have been living in that stinking house with it's boarded up windows where some creep tried to break in the very first night we were there. I have been holding my breath, breathing in tiny little quiet breaths because then I will be able to hear.
My child woke me and told me someone was trying to get in. My child. What if he didn't hear? What if he didn't wake me, what if we didn't scare the creep away? What if, what if, what if?
So for 5 months I stay awake until 3 or 4am because then I know H will wake up soon with his poor neck, if he is awake I can sleep because then no-one will get these little boys.
While I am awake I breathe so quietly, so softly and take those gasping little breaths and I hear every sound. For 5 months.
When I moved here, I started to breathe again. Not consciously just did it, great big painful gulping breaths, but my lungs can't seem to get enough air in them and my chest hurts so terribly. My back hurts so badly. I can't breathe enough. No matter how hard I try.
And I am still doing. Still talking, still cooking, dressing, watching television, driving, making phone calls, even going out with a friend and thinking about that damned man who said I am mildly depressed with unkempt grooming . Unkempt??? When I read that little nugget yesterday, I was mildy annoyed and mildly entertained, today I am incredibly insulted. Stupid curly hair, can't help that although I try to tame it into a ponytail.
Also, he ticked the 'average build' box. Average my arse. I wish.
Who was he looking at? Who was he listening to?
Why do I mind so much that he didn't hear ( or care) what I obviously failed to say. I think because I don't want to be like this. I don't want to get through every day as though it is a battle. I don't want to be afraid of everything and everyone, I wish that I was mildly depressed and just blagging the whole unable to work thing. I wish it was as simple as that.
I am so good at convincng everyone that I am fine, that I am average and managing. I wing it, every day I do it I pat myself on the back and high five myself.
My body is trying to prove it's all a sham. When I grit my teeth and get through another crisis my skin erupts, the form says Urticaria, posh word for itching. If I don't take medicine every day, twice a day this happens.

and this


How about a bit of this...


Or some neck itching...

And the shoulder...

So, urticaria.
I have to go to a tribunal and have an oral hearing. Maybe I will be able to explain what my life is like, maybe I won't. I just know that my life is hard for me, even when it's good. I am endlessly waiting for the next nightmare. I might convince everyone I meet that I am hunky dory and just as peachy as can be. I just can't convince my own stupid self. Enough to make one mildly depressed I imagine.



Blogger noname said...

I do that, too, convincing everyone that everything is ok. For an example, Mike took me to the ER for a broken foot once. We walked back to the exam room, AFTER doing the whole triage thing on ME, and once back there they ushered him quickly to the cot and asked him if he needed help taking off his shoes. Me? They pointed to a chair and told me I could sit there while they helped my husband.

That makes him so mad, too. Not that they mistook him for the patient but that I never let it show. I don't know why I do that but I'm compelled to, even to him sometimes.

As someone who knows what you're on about here, and I do understand a lot of this, you owe it to yourself to let it show some. Not all the time, but sometimes. Having to take a back seat, especially as a parent, happens from time to time. It's not right to force yourself into it though. You don't always have to be the strongest. Or the 'ideal' you may have in your head. Just be you.

9:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The title sounds like my life minus the church friends since I am a heathen. those welts are awful. I couldn't go to work everyday with those.

11:54 pm  
Blogger mom of 2 said...

Wow...those welts look terribly painful! I hope that you are able to get the money back. I would like to see little note-taking man trying to write nasty notes with welts like that all over his body! Take care!!

1:01 am  
Blogger TN said...

Oh, that looks painful. I know what my Mother would say, "Bless your Heart".

2:56 am  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

it makes me so angry that they're making you jump through hoops instead of actually helping you the way they should be!

3:21 am  

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