Thursday, 30 September 2010

Threats and Fear.

It's impossible to overstate how terrified some disabled people are, in Britain right now.

The fear of benefit cuts is so high, and so real, and attitudes like those of Nadine Dorries add to the climate of terror.

Already people are scared to leave their house for fear of being reported to the DWP for faking their illness, now those who find networks like twitter to be a lifeline are becoming frightened to post.

If you are stuck in bed, and you've found a way to use your laptop lying down, or you can use a phone or iPad, sites like twitter are perhaps the only way for many to actually communicate with others. It may be the only conversation someone has for a week.

One purpose that these threats serve is, I suspect, to keep us all quiet. We can't complain about the process of reapplying for DLA, or of the ATOS assessments, if the very complaints we type will be used as an additional stick to beat us with. Even if typing those 140 characters used up so much energy that we then had to sleep for an hour to recover. Or hurt our eyes so much that we have a migraine for 3 days.

On days that I can't leave the house, and can't use the phone, the internet is the only tool I have to communicate with the outside world. I don't want to lose that. But the fear affects me as much as anyone, and right now so many of my outlets feel threatening.

This is what the threats to disability benefits are doing to me. It is worsening my madness significantly, which, ironically, will make me less and less able to work, not more.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly. My fear of the DWP is high enough already, without MPs threatening to report me if I tweet too often. Its the only way many disabled people communicate with others. People like Nadine Dorries should really try to put herself in other people's shoes once in a while. She seems to possess no empathy whatsoever.

  2. It's hard enough finding acceptance of your own disabilities and the restrictions on your life without having to prove over and over again that you are disabled, especially when the people you need to convince are dead set on proving your faking.... Help? What help?

  3. That's why she's an MP, I imagine! Anyway, the more she tries to portray the ability to tweet as being evidence of sound health, the more she illuminates the lack of genuine evidence of benefit fraud among the disabled community as a whole. The government, both sides of the House in fact, appear desperate to portray the disabled as fakers rather than admit they themselves have no clue as to how to fund the disabled's legal benefit entitlements. This appears to be Nadine's perhaps optimistic attempt to join the fray, her suggestion being that the disabled can't really be ill if they can tweet. Good grief, Nadine, that the best you got? Actually, it probably is, and it's probably the best any of them have got too. If the national media wants to retain any semblance of credibility it's high time they started exposing this nonsense for what it is instead of simply rehashing political press releases.


  4. The pretence at justified outrage on behalf of the average taxpayer really is dropping now. These people just hate the disabled, that's all there is to it. Maybe it makes them feel better about themselves, but with many people I suspect it's just psychopathic sadism, another means to the rush of a power trip. I just hope kicking us at least stops them torturing kittens for a bit.

    I think Dorries could benefit from an appointment with a psychiatrist.

  5. pennyessex - yes, and that's one of the hardest things for me. You can't just focus on doing as much as you can in your already severely limited life, instead you're forced into constantly pointing out to people how much you can't do. My illness is horrible but shit happens, I can deal. The way I am treated, however, is cruelty through deliberate choices of individuals and society and that is what is unbearable. My illness affects my body and my mind but the way I am treated because of it affects my spirit and my soul.

    I don't know how people who started off in the benefits system with mental illnesses manage. I'm plunging further and further into very dark places myself and I was bouncy and positive and certain that I'd soon be able to find a way to grasp some of the many opportunities that life surely offered for years and years after I first got ill. Now I'm despairing and hopeless and fearful and always wondering who is watching and what they're thinking about me, because that is the way I've been treated has trained me to think. The system that is supposed to help me recover myself on the shore until I'm able to scramble up the bank is instead holding my head under the water every time I try to lift it out.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly. My madness too is WAY worse than it had been getting while doing CBT, all that good work wasted. I feel hyper-vigilant, can't sleep, dreaming I'm being herded into a stadium...
    I was once head of maths in a large school.
    Now I'm either a scrounger or a malingering or should be exterminated. Or all three at once. :((((
    and I'm scared and I'm lonely.
    I'm a poet, some of my work is about this, such as
    Peace and Love, people.

  7. I've never been so scared about the future in my life.

  8. Infannity said... and I'm scared and I'm lonely.

    I know just how you feel i am petrified and very isolated, i already have no friends cos people ran off when i started to get ill thinking it was catching. I have nobody in my life bar my very immediate family (no partner) I have nobody to turn to. Nobody. I am petrified that I will end up on the streets or something worse than that!

  9. I know I'm not alone in having a plan for suicide set up ready for if/when I get kicked off benefits. I imagine the Tories will be quite happy about this - after all, you don't have to pay benefits to dead people.

  10. @Anonymous (the most recent one):

    Please write to your MP and tell them this. Make sure they know to fight your corner. You can contact them via:

    It's also worth making sure you know where to go for advice/support if your benefits do get stopped. A few years ago when I had no income my university's advice service advocated on my behalf to help me get the benefits I was entitled to. They serve the same function as the CAB which *anyone* can go to.

  11. suicide anon - me too. I can barely live now, but on nothing? impossible. been homeless before and refuse to go through that again. stashing my meds.

  12. Have stashed away meds also...

  13. my new twiiter account, Employ Me Nadine.

    While I'm waiting around for the inevitable benefit cuts and planning my escape from life, I wondered if Nadine would like a little peek into my life. Maybe she could even employ me, given that as I can use my thumb to tweet, I'm not 'really' disabled, and I'm obviously just idle.

  14. I'm also stashing my meds. I'm terrified. Without the money I get from DLA, we (me and my daughter) would not be able to live. she deserves better. If I could get a decent, rewarding job well, of course I'd work. There's no chance of that. If I lose our means, then I'll be dead, and she will be raised in the States, by her granmama.