Monday, 30 January 2012
Psychological effect of being branded a scrounger
This was written by me a year ago, what has changed in that time? It is as true today as it was then.......maybe more so......
I have stayed away from the benefits debate (and I use this term loosely) recently, not because I have no interest in it, quite the opposite, I possibly have too much interest in it, to the exclusion of much else these days, but more because I am at a loss as to what to do next.
I have blogged about it, personally and generally, e mailed MPs, met with my MP on several occasions, put as much information out there as I can find, donated to a fighting fund and RTed others inspiring and factual blogs and articles until my fingers wouldn't work anymore.
I watch with both interest and dismay as the whole sorry saga unfolds, disbelief at the Governments heartless approach to all the evidence and pleas being put before them, proud of my fellow 'spoonies' actions and courage in the face of too often the most hurtful of attacks on our lives. Mostly now I feel quite despairing at the changes that ARE going to take place that right and good seem unable to stop.
That was despair until I read a blog this morning, you will have to forgive me for not being able to point you to the blog itself but I read so many and it didn't impact on me straight away so unfortunately I didn't make note of it.
But it must have struck a chord with me because as the day has worn on my despair has become anger, anger that is spurring me on to write my feelings down.
Is all that is going on, all the media spin, all the government rhetoric on disability, sickness etc impacting on our psychological well being?
I believe it is, maybe not even consciously but it is drip feeding our own insecurities and building on our negative views of ourselves.
Let me explain what I mean...
Most sick/disabled people will tell you how hard they find it to come to terms with how their life is or how it has changed. They may have had to adapt more than once as their condition progressed or even improved.
Many will say the loss of a previous lifestyle, employment career, relationships was hard to accept and move on from. Even a positive such as a new relationship, career or lifestyle takes adjusting to when you live with sickness/disability.
Every time the condition changes you adapt all over again, some do it quietly alone, some share with friends and family what they are going through and some shout it out to the world, you may be angry at the changes, the unfairness of it or despair over your future as the illness moves on, whatever it is and however you deal with it deal with it you must.
Then you try your best to get on with life as it is now as best you can.
So what happens to us when we are bombarded every day for months and months with these issues surrounding benefits and sickness and disability?
When you are called a scrounger even though you know your not?
When you hear of more and more disabled being abused in the street?
When you are told again and again that surely you are capable of doing 'some' work
When you have to prove again and again that you really are sick/disabled
When you become conditioned to expect the dreaded brown envelope?
When no one appears to be listening to you?
Do you find yourself acting differently?
Maybe just that little bit more disabled when you go out or even when you are indoors?
Is your hard fought for independence now a noose around your neck in case her next door thinks just because you can walk to the car today you are faking it?
Are you scared to do things that you were actually proud of yourself for still being able to do before all this?
Do you look at yourself and question if you are entitled to the support you get?
I only ask this of you because it is what I have found myself doing and I realised today I am allowing myself to be dragged down, allowing myself to stop being the complete me I can be through fear.
I am buying into the scandal that is trying to make all sick and disabled people feel guilty and a burden on the rest of society.
I AM behaving differently, I AM less confident, I AM afraid to do things even on good days. I AM becoming paranoid about who may be watching me.
Well it stops here, I WON'T be bullied by this government or the media,or indeed any disbelieving public, I AM disabled with a long term progressive condition but it won't stop me from doing as much as I can do for as long as I can do it and if this condition won't be allowed to stop me then my fear caused by what is being done to us won't stop me either.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad