Are you ready for this?

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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!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Picture perfect.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hello Lola.

No matter how dark a night can be, the smallest light can break it.
Sometimes there is the most glorious flash of light that lets you see right into the future.
Lola-Mae was such a light today. She was born, on her due date at 5pm. How very timely of her.   
Truth be told she has been a bit of a stinker, she has had her mummy believing everyday for the last 3 weeks that THIS is the day. Oh poor Mel, contractions and back aches and every sign under the stars that THIS IS THE DAY. It is a SIGN!
We have been back and forth to the hospital, we have waited for midwives, she has had sweeps and more sweeps and has, I suspect, the cleanest and most well kept and swept cervix in all the land. A cervix made of steel that was not letting that baby out early, nope, no matter what you try ( reflexology, hot spicy food, walking for hours and miles) That baby was not for shifting.
Until today.
Mel went for her midwife's appointment at 12.30 and she had another sweep, at 1pm she called me and she said " My waters just broke in the shop..I can't walk, can you come and get me?" So I did, although she waddled  damply back to her midwife who said that indeed her waters HAD broken ( although there was no doubt there was a veritable flood) she said that she didn't need to go to the hospital yet, not until the pain was bad and she was contracting every 5 minutes or so.
We drove to Mac Ds and her contractions had already started, she laughed as one finished just as we got there and said that she was happy that had ended in time for her to have a cheeseburger. By the time the cheeseburger arrived her contractions were every 3 minutes and she was really feeling them, no messing about or wondering if these were real, we had time to run into a supermarket, grab some drinks and some new clothes and drive to the hospital.
We arrived about 3.00 and it was obvious that at last this baby was coming, for real and soon. We looked at the clock at 3. 30 and said " We'll expect her at 5 then"....and laughed because that was quick, wasn't it?
At 4pm she was 8 cms and she asked for drugs, anything, something just give her anything because this was so awful, at 4.20 she said that there was no point in having drugs because she wasted to PUSH AND SHE COULDN'T NOT PUSH! She was fabulous and Jordan was fabulous and I wasn't needed at all.
I am so proud of these people. I am so honoured that I could watch that little girl be born. I love to see how my son loves his wife, I love how gentle he is and how kind he is, how he truly just wants whatever makes her happy. I loved seeing how he knew by just a hand signal what she was telling him. ( although to be honest, some of them were pretty easy to understand!) I loved watching how she held onto him as she pushed and as she tried not to push.
Watching that huge man cry when his daughter came into the world is something that is priceless to me and I am so grateful that they let me see that. I did feel, today, as if I was somehow intruding, I tried not to and I stayed out of the way taking a few pictures that I knew Mel would treasure later, they made her cross at the time as she yelled "What are you doing? What are you taking pictures OF?" and I would say " nothing awful, you'll be glad later" and I think she will be.
So now I have a grandson and a granddaughter and I know just why they are called 'Grand' Oh they are so grand. There is nothing MORE grand let me tell you. I had no idea and then Josh was born and I was so gloriously surprised and I am still endlessly thrilled with just how grand it is to be a Gramma. He adores me you see, that little man and I so hope that Lola does too, as she gets bigger. I drove past their house this week and I tooted the car horn and then I had to drive past a little way to park. As I opened my car door I could hear his bereft sobbing because he "saw gramma, where IS gramma? Josh saw gramma's car, I WANNA SEE GRAMMA!!!" and he is always SO pleased to see me. People don't need dogs to get that unconditional love thing, get a grandbaby.
Do you want pictures? What?
Ok, here they are......

Laughing gas...which did not make her laugh, this was a fast and furious labour, no laughing allowed.


Can you see that love? Look how she needed him and how he held on to her as tightly as she held onto him.

Brand new and daddy cutting the cord.

Sweet Lola-Mae, we love you so much already.


All 8lbs 4oz of you.

Anybody able to resist tiny brand new baby feet does not have a heart.
I have a heart and this little girl is already so deeply wrapped around it, Hello Lola-Mae, welcome to our family. We love you.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The thing.

Here's the thing. Wait, the thing? What's the thing? Oh it's that thing you can't quite name, that fills your life and inconveniences you and swallows up your entire everything but you still can't quite name it. That thing. And here it is.
The thing is still here and bloody hell I am shocked and mad about that.
I had the melt down and I saw the doctor and another one and then a mental health person and they all looked at me like 'that', like I had 'the thing' and then they sent me to another person who did the same and eventually I ended back with my GP and she gave me the look too and she told me she was worried and gave me some medicine that should help me and told me if it didn't help she could give me some more and then I was done.
I was quite pleased with how that all went, with seeing all those helpful people and seeing that I was clearly not making this all up and it is, most definitely, all in my head and they have some more people they want me to see, to be evaulated by, perhaps they can deal with this thing.
I did all that and I told all those people and I cried a lot and did what they said and I assumed it would be over then. 
I think H thought the same because he has been so understanding and patient and kind, seeming to understand that the thing that is all in my head can't be helped and is real.
I find, all these weeks later that I am both cross and embarrassed that it is not all over.
I see that H is feeling the same.
It got the better of me last night, something I have fought hard against. We all knew that at some stage, in fact at several stages it might and most probably would get the better of me and I think we have all been tip toeing around in the hope that it wouldn't show itself, or misbehave, that it would stay in my head and have a little escape when everyone was asleep and not make itself all SHOUTY AND IN YOUR FACE!
The thing, it would seem, is acceptable and understandable and 'there, there, you're doing good, we understand', as long as it stays in my head, where it belongs, Bloody thing.
I took the meds and I saw they were working a bit because I cleaned things and felt good about it. I started to think that in-patient care was a scary thing instead of the thing to be longed for. I told my Dr about that she she said that WAS good because in-patient care where we live is pretty much an impossibility which took the wind out of my sails and the rug from underneath my feet, they told me a plan and if I needed it, I just had to do this, followed by that and  I would be safe, which made me feel secure and more able to not need it. Now I know that was just something they told me, to stop me needing it, I sort of feel like I DO need it and they LIED and so NOW WHAT?
The Dr told me to double the dose and see how that goes, well it goes in a way that makes me feel as if ants are eating my face but I am starting to care less, so does that mean they are working? I don't know.
They didn't work very well last night and so here I am, scratching my face while the ants eat it and wondering what to do next.
I'm not at church and neither are the boys.
I fought with H last night and he is a sulker so he is still showing me the error of my ways by ignoring me and he walked to church an hour and a half before he needed to and I showed him that he hasn't showed me anything by sitting here in my pyjamas. Consider us well and truly shown.
I have this niggling voice in my head saying "This is not showing the boys anything good" and another one replies with " So? I'm crazy, crazy people can't think straight, what do you want me to do about it?" and so I sit here in my pyjamas and fight with myself in my head.
I think, today, that I am feeling sort of stunned and cross because I realised that this thing isn't a fleeting hiccup that someone handed me so I could take a break. I feel like I ought to be getting over it and be back to normal. The thing is, nothing has changed, has it? I am still here with uncertainty snapping at my heels. I am still having to deal with all the paperwork and phone calls and appointments and answering questions and more questions and getting letters telling me what is being taken away and what we will have to do without and nothing is coming back to tell me what we will have in it's place.
I am still here trying to balance it all and keep it all running for everyone else, trying not to have THEM feel any of what I am feeling.
So I lost control last night and it wasn't over nothing, it was perhaps out of proportion and I will admit that ordinarily I would be appalled at the way I reacted, but here's the thing.'s right HERE and didn't you hear when I told you about it? What the hell?
All that explaining, what was that about?  It was to try and prepare you for the fact that maybe, there will be times when just keeping my mouth shut wouldn't be possible. Just keeping it in, this thing, wouldn't work. It was to try and explain that when something horrible is kept stuffed down, for 20 years or more and then it starts to try and escape, chances are some of it will come out and it isn't going to be in an orderly, 'I say, here's the thing, I do hope it won't inconvenience you or make you uncomfortable' kind of way. I thought that's what all that explaining was about, all the trying to recount what Drs and mental health people said to me. I thought as I explained and you saw me leave for another appointment with another person and as I showed you the drugs they gave me and then as I tried to describe how those were making me feel, you would grasp that this thing isn't something I made up to get me some attention, it isn't a cunning way to get us a house quicker, it isn't a plan to get the government to give us money for nothing, it's a real thing.
So when I lost it because it seemed as if someone was going to hurt one of my children and the reaction wasn't pleasing to you, how wise was it to call me the hysterical mother?
I didn't even lose it. I just gave it a moment to show itself, it's still here, right where I can find it. Not lost at all.
Here's the thing. It's here, wherever I am and yes, it is making me hysterical.
 If it's any help to you at all, it's no fun for me either. It's my party and I'll cry, even if I don't want to.


Monday, June 06, 2011

As clear as mud.

The landlord is sending an Estate agent here tomorrow to value the house, we were supposed to leave here on Friday and oh, how I wish we had. The agents called and said that they had received  my email telling them that we had, as yet been unable to find alternative housing and that the Landlord was disappointed to hear that. Shame, my heart bleeds for him, imagine the trauma of having tenants who are still in your property, paying rent and cleaning it. He was so kind and said ( via the rental agents naturally) that he will not take further action as long as we understand that this is not an open invitation to stay indefinitely. He wants an update in a couple of weeks and if we are still here he will have no option but to take matters further.
My care is still broken which is handy in this case.
I am pottering, the house looks as though something is going on, pictures are down and some are packed, the rest are piled up waiting for the fairies to bring boxes. Ornaments are packed, apart from the ones I forgot to pack.
I have sorted through clothes and taken piles to the recycling centre, our bedroom doesn't look any different but it is actually pretty much packed up, apart from the stuff that isn't packed up, which is most of it.
I am so organised I'm meeting myself  coming home, before I've even gone out.
The thinking I have done about packing and getting this house ready to give back is impressive, I am convinced that when the time comes I can put into action all the plans I have made and it will run like a well oiled machine, it will be effortless.
The kitchen really looks good. There is a big fan in there that has been moved from somewhere else and whenever I walk into the kitchen and see it, I know we are getting ready to move and that fan will either be coming with us, or not.
We have been eating the food from the pantry to save money and also to get rid of it so we don't have to pack that and take it. Have you ever read 'The magic porridge pot'?  Good heavens our pantry is like that. We are ploughing through it and it is staying as full as it ever was. It is a marvellous work and also a wonder because I knew it was a great pantry but ye gads will we ever use it up? I suspect there will still be an awful lot of packing and moving of food stuffs when we leave here. Even though we have ALL THIS FOOD we all seem to stand in the kitchen and stare at it wondering what on earth we can eat and wishing we could just have Fish and Chips because NO MORE PASTA AND SAUCE FOR THE LOVE OF STORE CUPBOARDS!
I am sort of scrubbing as I go along, which is testament to marvellous drugs  ( prescription only of course) I want to say that there is no change despite the new meds because I still have several gulping and panic stricken moments a day and one huge one every night but there are noticeable differences. Yesterday I saw how dirty the kitchen floor was by the back door and I CLEANED IT. Right there and then, I actually swept and sprayed and cleaned and then looked at it and thought "that's better"
That may sound unremarkable to most people but to me, it is a glorious and miraculous thing. I cannot remember the last time I did anything like that.
 I have looked and seen dirt and mess and I stare at it and then walk away because 'what is the point?' I could clean it and some bugger will come along and undo it all withing 20 minutes, guaranteed. I will think about the mess that I saw and be completely overwhelmed by how exhausting it would be to clean it and then feel shame that I can see it and leave it and so then I will plan when I will clean it, eventually, I will half heartedly and extremely grumplily bloody well do it because no-one else will, will they? Nope, it's always left to me and THERE it's clean. Ish. It'll do.
Most evenings, when everyone has gone to bed I will stare at this room and sigh, it can be a nice room, albeit small and cluttered. I will tidy it and pick up toys and I'll put them on the stairs ready to take up when I go up, then I will walk past them for days until Eli just brings them back in here anyway.

I started this post a week ago, so that shows just how great those meds are doing! Heh. Bloody hopeless.
Sloth. I am a sloth, with the energy of slug.
I did ask H yesterday if he has noticed a change in me this past 2 weeks, since being on the new meds and he said he rather liked that cleaning I did last week. It was a glimpse of how I used to be, apparantly. I don't think I'll be getting taken for granted any time soon, so that's good.
I picked up some boxes to pack more stuff today, they're all staring at me from the back yard, if it rains tonight we'll be unstuck, I may move them inside the workshed, just in case. I shall be thinking of what I can pack in them in the meantime, this thinking about moving is positively exhausting I tell you.

It's Joshua's 3rd birthday tomorrow, dear Josh. I have managed to get his birthday presents together which has impressed even me, they are even at his house so he can have them when he wakes up, the boys are back at school tomorrow and so it's anyone's guess when I will get to see the birthday boy. Oh, even the smallest thing is so HARD, so overwhelmingly steep.
Lola is due any day. A granddaughter. She is already such a light in the darkness, such a hope and thing of joy, something to look forward to and already, even before she is born she has done so much for me and my grumpy, slothful self.
Mel's mum is in Turkey, she lives there and is supposed to be moving back here at the end of the summer, enough about her, the only reason I mention her is because as she isn't here, I am being the mother. I love this daughter in law of mine and I don't think I could love her more if I had given birth to her, she is the sweetest of girls and I know she makes Jordan happy, they are glorious together and a joy to see as a family.
The pregnancy is not fun for Mel anymore, she is having all kinds of signs that birth is imminent, shows and pains and more show and more pain, contractions and no contractions and rarely a day goes by that I am not down there keeping her company or taking her out, driving her to the hospital, sitting with her while she waits for the midwives and every time I do that, I feel closer to her. Every time she calls or texts or sends a message on Facebook, I feel less like her mother in law and more like her mum.
I am beyond excited that she wants me there when Lola is born. Watching Joshua being born  3 years ago tomorrow was such a blessing, something that I will always remember. I have given birth 6 times and so none of the mechanics of it was a surprise but I have never been an 'outsider,' a witness before and it truly is a miracle. Oh, I am so excited to see Lola being born and to know that she is a part of this lovely family. There is an enormous sense of greatness to be the Matriarch of this family, to be the 'old' one.  I don't mind getting older at all, the treasure that comes with age is so much more valuable to anything that we think is important when we are young.

I really hope that this sadness I have inside is not being passed on to any of my children, or their children. I am trying so hard to keep going, to keep being who I am to them all and not allow this awful sense of heaviness to show. I think that's why I am so tired, so bone achingly tired.

Next week we have a pediatrician's appointment for Isaac, my GP is concerned that since his initial diagnosis we haven't seen anyone, have had no support and indeed, have managed to limp along working it all out for ourselves. Now he is nearly 10 we are seeing things that we may need more help with, he has gone from being the most placid of children to being quite volatile, his anxieties are affecting him more because he is older and is aware that his reluctance to try new things makes him noticeable, he hates not being able to just go with the flow and really hates the fact that he stands out when he is hiding or unable to do what his classmates are doing effortlessly.
Seth has 6 weeks left at primary school and so we are already preparing for his starting at Senior school in September, this has Isaac feeling very nervous as he will be in year 6 in September and knows that this is the year he will prepare for this huge move. This is another reason we are going back to the pediatrician, so that we can have a more up to date diagnosis and get help and support for Isaac to help him when he needs it.
I've flipped from one topic to another in this post, sorry about that, welcome to my head. I think I have made my thoughts as clear as they come to me, which is in a muddy kind of landslide kind of way. Clear as mud. You're welcome.


Sunday, June 05, 2011

The good dad.

Sometimes, we appreciate our husbands when they do what we want them to do, when we ask them to do something and they do it. That's a good thing, we like that.
As mothers we particularly like it when our husbands do what we tell them. I mean ask them, we don't *tell* them to do anything, do we ? That would be dreadful, imagine *telling* your husband what to if! So, we, as mothers, know our children and we naturally know what is best for children because we are the mother, there's even a saying, isn't there? "Mother knows best"
When I was raising Dan, Jordan and Sophie, I was alone, so of course I did things my way and if I say so myself look at those people! Didn't they turn out just as perfectly glorious as it is possible to be? I did that, me, just me. I'm good.
Now I have these 3 little boys and naturally I know that I can do it, I know how to raise them and do a good job but hmm,this time, I'm not doing it alone and even though I have been with H longer than I was ever on my own I still find myself looking at my life and feeling quite surprised that here he is, doing what he does and doing it so beautifully and quietly and without much a-do.
Then, we have days where he will do something without consulting me ( I know! Imagine, he is a brave and fearless man) and today was one of those days. We were at the park, it was Joshua's birthday celebration and we had cake and played and just as we were thinking that maybe we could leave and go home and sit and stare at a wall, as older parents like to do sometimes, Jordan decided that he would take Joshua on the lake, in a canoe!
Thanks Jordan.
Jordan has one son and this was an exciting plan! Hoorah! So there we were, Jordan with his one son and H with his 3 and a little tag-a-long called Alfie, I say little but he isn't, he is a sturdy fellow, the same age as Elijah, in fact he was in Eli's class at school. back when Eli went to school and even though he doesn't go to school anymore, he still has friends! It's a miracle and I suspect that the lady who comes to do the home educuation checks will be surprised and even a little unbelieving when we say " actually, we do teach Elijah at home but he has FRIENDS, real ones that aren't animals or imagined " and when she looks at us askance we shall say PICTORIAL EVIDENCE! Take *THAT* you unbeliever. Oh, I digress.
So Alfie was with us and there were 4 boys and 1 Howard and all 4 boys were jumping and doing that little boy thing "PLEASE! PLEASE! can we go in the canoes? Can we? Huh? CAN WE DO IT?" and I, in my maternal wisdom tried to explain that this wouldn't be possible, would it, how would 4 little boys fit in a canoe with one daddy? Another day maybe, we'll do that another day.
H though, said , well look, lets think, we can go and ask how long each session is and maybe we can swap out and everyone will have a turn, it's £4 each person so that's £20, that's pretty good, we'll do it, it'll be fun, everyone will have a turn and off they went, while I did what I do so well, which is get the camera ready and sit in the sunshine recording it all.
I sat in the park with Mel, who also could not get into a canoe, and I had my camera ready and was intrigued when I saw that all 4 boys and H were kitted out with their life jackets and paddles or whatever they are at the same time. Isaac has yet to get the confidence to try these things alone and wherever H is, there will Isaac be also. Alfie is not our child and so we knew he would also be with H because you can't decide with someone else's child that he can BE A MAN and TRY! Hmm, so how's this going to work then? And then I realised what was happening. H and Isaac and Alfie were going into the 3 man canoe, the larger, more boat like vessel that is roomy and sturdy. That's good.
Seth, who has more confidence in himself than I have ever seen in a person in my life, is always 100% sure that he a) can do it and b) will do it better than anyone else who has been canoeing before and so we knew that he could do it and also that he would do it as well as many other people.
So that's OK then, H, Isaac and Alfie and of course Seth are set, lovely.
What's this?
Look....Wait! WAIT! There has been a MISTAKE! H!!!! HHHHH! This thing that is happening! Is this WISE? And H looked at me and nodded because yes, it is wise.
Elijah is climbing into a canoe.
Elijah Henry with the clumsy thing, with the inability to walk from one side of the room to another without tripping or falling or just throwing himself down to see what happens. The whole 'if there is something to fall in, under, over or through, Eli will do it. Always. If there is a puddle, Eli will find it, if there is mud, he will fall in it, if there is dinner, he will drop it, a drink, spill it. That Eli.
This is when I turn my back and walk away, or hold my breath and watch through squinty eyes and every time. every single time, I kick myself for doubting H.
I watched that little man grab the oars or paddles and off he went, straight towards the bank and a clump of trees ...and then steer away before he went into them, I saw him look for Jordan and paddle right out to the deep bit, say Hello to Jordan and Joshua and then paddle away, then he did a couple of trips to and fro and then headed back. He wanted to get out, enough and 10 minutes for a little chap is more than enough when you are 7 and your arms get tired and you are absolutely the captain AND crew of your vessel.
I know what is best for my children and sometimes that means I know that I have to step back, swallow that smothering instinct and let H do what he knows is best for his children.
He's a good dad, is H.
When these boys are men and we look at them, we will say " We did that" and I am pretty sure it will feel every bit as satisfying as saying " I did that" I can say without doubt that a child can be raised successfully by one parent but truly, now I am living this life, this one where my children have two parents who know what is best and who do what they know their children need, the difference between doing this alone and doing it together is unbelievable and I know that this is by far the best way to do it.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Prove it.

It's that time again. One of my least favourite times as a person living with depression and being in receipt of government benefits, it's time to stand in front of those who will not be fooled and prove the crazy. Answer the questions that will show them whether I am fit for work. In fact the way this is done has changed somewhere and today I received a questionnaire that I have to fill in and return, I can take a few days to complete it, in case it is difficult. The questions are clear and there are multiple choice answers.
Do you have trouble controlling your bladder or bowels? Yes. No. Sometimes.
Can you lift an empty cardboard box? Etc, choose one answer.
Can you lift a carton containing a pint of liquid ( eg Milk)
Can you reach and touch a top pocket when you are wearing the jacket?
Can you learn to do something new, like set an alarm clock?
Can you learn to do something more complicated like using a washing machine.
I think I'm in here, I can do ALL those things, clearly I should be out working, because I can lift an empty box, set my alarm clock to wake me up to put my pants that I have not shit in, in the washing machine that I learned to use ALL ON MY OWN!
 I am going to start looking for work in brain surgery or head office of Tesco because frankly, I see now that I am capable of most anything, there is not stopping me.
Apart from the fact that I can't stand to be around people, burst into tears when I go somewhere and forget how to drive on the way home and sit snot crying in a lay by because for the love of crazy what the hell? The so small it seems ridiculous to even mention point that I often, when feeling overwhelmed by huge tasks such as having to answer a question about oh, what now, oh, I know, anything at all these days, will find me answering with a bellowed "WHAT?!" that leave the questioner stunned or perhaps shaking wouldn't matter at all, would it?
 If say I had a job in Asda, or somewhere and a customer were to ask me where the high juice is and I bellow "WHAT?!" at them, would that matter? I mean it's not like I pee myself at all and I can easily remove a handkerchief from a top pocket even if I happen to be wearing the jacket or blouse at the time, so dexterous am I. I am beginning to understand the governments way of thinking because I think that matters. Shouting is OK, crying...go with it, release those emotions, do not release bodily fluids from anywhere but your eyes though and you'll be fine and also, if you can move an EMPTY cardboard box, you can practically restock the shelves at Sainsbury's single handed, couldn't you?
And, look, I an get places, I ran away even, didn't I? All the way to Plymouth, on my own without even worrying that I was going to crash. I took forever to get home though, what with all that forgetting to drive stuff. Did I even tell you about that? About how I was driving along the Embankment at tea time, which is rush hour of you work, tea time if you don't, because you may be ill, or depressed or just lazy and claiming benefits because it's so EASY to get money for nothing. So I was driving until quite out of the blue, I forgot how to drive and started to kangaroo and rev and stall and jump and WHAT THE HELL? But, BUT I was on the way HOME you see, so that wouldn't, in theory, stop me working, would it? As long as I could get there and get through the day, without forgetting how to control my bladder and retaining my ability to lift the carton containing a liquid, such as milk. It would be fine.
I've filled in the form and quite quickly too, I have included a copy of my impressive mental health testing, where I scored higher than the highest score because we must not be afraid of blowing our own mental health triumphs, or trumpets whatever the saying is.
It won't matter anyway because let's face it, I am still going to have to find my way to the latest office of choice where I will have to go in and speak to the very bored and probably semi retired doctor who is impartial ( my arse) and answer the questions about whether or not I can watch a TV programme and how many steps I can walk before I run out of breath and, if the past is anything to go by, the impartial doctor will write to the benefits agency and tell them that I am perfectly able to return to work because our government is excited to be helping people 'like me' back into the work force. People like me. They don't even know people like me. The very term is insulting. There are no other people like me. I am unique and no matter how far they look they are never going to find a whole group of people 'like me'
They will stop the incapacity benefit component of my benefits which, last time I looked, was about £30 a week and they'll add my number to some statistic and publish it saying that they have succeeded in increasing the number of people on benefits back to work. Which is a lie because I won't be back at work, I just won't be getting that benefit, until I go to tribunal and I sit in front of 4 people this time and I tell my story and they listen, instead of ticking yes or no answers on a set form. Then, if it goes the way it has every time before, they will overturn the decision of the Dr and they will tell me that I am not a liar and I am not a parasite on the taxpayers of this country and I am, indeed in capable of working. Then I will leave feeling relieved that I am not looked upon as a lower than low leech of British society but am an actual broken person who can't do every day things to support my family financially and I won't feel even a jot of satisfaction or pride. Just relief that it is over again, for now, until next time.
How much simpler would it be, for the government to write to my GP and ask her if she thinks I am capable of work, if she thinks that the unseen and unprovable sickness that is all in my head is genuine. How much kinder and easier and more effective would that be? Someone who is feigning depression would be so easily caught out if this were the way to check up on us all. Someone who is faking will not see their doctor when they cannot function another day without help. A scrounger wouldn't refill prescriptions, would they? I don't know, I can't fathom why anyone would do this if they didn't have to. When your mind works like mine it is easy to feel that this is secure, whatever money is coming in is regular and if you know how to live and budget you can do it, you know week by week what will be coming in and you do it. One week at a time.
If your mind works like mine you can't imagine ever doing anything better or bigger or braver because new things don't work out.
 Brave is getting up and breathing and  going through a whole day without making everyone else miserable. Brave is going out when you really just want to stay in, with the curtains shut and the phone switched off. Going out to work isn't brave, it's impossible to imagine and it's something to watch other people do with a sense of being amazed.
Usually, when I get the letters that tell me it's that time again, I start to think and worry, this time I feel like I can't even find the energy to do that. It is what it is, so what?
 I don't have the sense of burning indignation or a feeling that I must show that I am not faking it. Meh, let them think what they will and do what they will and I'll just keep waking up and breathing and putting one foot in front of another. 
H is away for a couple of days, I don't like it when he is away but I do like missing him. I like being reminded that he is as splendid as he is and seeing what he does every day that just is, all those things that we don't realise anyone is doing until they don't do them and I really love the feeling I get when he comes home.
I love H and I don't have to prove it.