Totally Mental : Tory Torturers

The day before yesterday, I received a threatening letter from the DWP.
I was in the WRAG (Work Related Activity Group) group, and it informed me of the financial sanctions that I would face if I did not comply with whatever the Jobcentre told me to do – including working for £1.63 an hour on Workfare.

Yesterday I received another brown envelope from the DWP.
It told me, in an oblique way, that I had been placed in the Support Group! Success, my challenge to the original ATOS and DWP assessment had been successful! I would no longer have to go to the Jobcentre, or be faced with workfare! I could plan to recover, go forward.

Today – ONE DAY after being told I was too ill to work! – I got a white envelope.
It was from ATOS Healthcare.
It was notice of a new assessment of my ‘abilities’ to work. The whole process was to start again from scratch. The whole process, which destroys, kills, disables, was to be enacted upon me again.

If you ever believed that the ‘fitness to work’ assessments were about simply removing fraud from the system, you can now think again – and above is the proof.
ATOS assessments have nothing to do with fraud, nothing to do with enabling disabled people to find employment – and everyone to do with torturing the disabled until they either give up claiming their rightful benefits, have a worsening of their illness leading to death, or kill themselves.

The process – started by Labour but rolled out much more comprehensively by the Tories aided by their LibDem quislings – is about stopping the welfare state, removing benefits from those who have insured themselves to receive them if unwell.
They will stop at nothing. They will harass, demonise, and, eventually, obliterate the disabled.

I am beyond consolation – I am in shock. I do not know how to bear this, I do not know how to survive it; it is difficult enough keeping safe with a mental illness, without this constant stream of vitriolic political harassment thrown at you.
Staying alive is difficult.
Despair sets in.
Despair and a tiredness that seeps like rot into the muscles, into the fibre of your being; a weariness that does not allow for recovery from one of the most painful illnesses that can be imagined. Or not imagined, in fact.
I have so much frustration and pressure within me, I want to puke it out, violently assault that which threatens me, commit myself to their physical destruction. Yet, through love of my family, I cannot, for it would hurt them beyond hurt, remove me from them, and the victor would only be the Tories and their ATOS torturers. They would remain, and I would not.

Where is the justice? Where is the justice?
Our country has been taken over by barbarism; a friend remarked that the veneer of civilisation has been rubbed through, and the awful spectre of what this country has become has been made plain for all to see.
Black crows with torturers as evil-minded as Those who took over Germany with twisted swastikas have invaded our land.

And I am left, bereft.
Trapped between the rock of the calumny of disability, like so many of my disabled friends, and the hard place of ATOS and their weapons; weapons paid for by you and me, millions and millions of pounds’ worth of weapons at their legal disposal.
I am helpless. Lost in a sea, lost and rudderless, pushed hither and thither by strong forces, whose aim is not betterment, but annihilation.

Help me.
Please, help me.

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Brown Envelope Day – A Blast (And Buggery) From The Past

It’s not something that I care to come home to, is the brown envelope.

It’s something that I never think will arrive, and always catches me on the hop.  Take today, for example.

We started it off in a muted way, the wife and I, with a cup of tea and a bowl of cereal for me; I was neither feeling well, nor particularly poorly.  In fact, from the night before, when we had done some arty things together, I was probably a 4 out of ten.  Which is quite bearable, if not positively wonderful.  

I hied myself off to the charity that gives me an outlet for poor days, Towers Above, a place of healing though art.  I arrived, chatted and started about my latest ceramic masterpiece – meh – and had a damn good boost to my general mood and ability rating; off I toddled at the end of the session, and managed not just to go to Hobbycraft alone, but to chat to t’girlie from the knitting section about knitting, life and art.  She intimated I should contact the manager-type person who dealt with demonstrations, as I seemed able and interesting, to set up a date to come in for an art day for customers. And I damn’ well thought, at that point in time, that I might be able to, as well; I made a note to look at the possiblility for the new year.  If I could get through that, I could see a bonus in it for me of health-sense.  Worth trying to do it.

All in all, I now rated probably 7 on the ability and mood scale.  I’m pretty happy, looking forward to going home and getting on with some art.

The Brown Envelope was waiting for me.  

Threats from the Government as to what would happen if I was unable to comply with what the job centre were going to be telling me to do from the 3rd of December – yes, I an Duncan Smith, a merry fucking Christmas to you too – to whit, ‘sanctions’, a gradual reduction in my benefit until I came to heel.

Now, following the assault by the police, and handcuffing, in Wellington (see this blog ), I’m not even going to get into the Job Centre, because I simply cannot go into Wellington any more. Being scared of a place is no longer an ‘adequate excuse’ – if you think about it, if severe illness is not a good reason not to go to the job centre, then very little else (except, maybe, death) is going to cut the mouse turd, is it?

So now I am at a 2. I have very little but gradual, but accelerating, impoverishment to look forward to, and eventually the loss of the house.  Sure, there are people in the world worse off than me in the poverty stakes, but most of them do not live in a rich country, or have paid into a social insurance for their working lives.  Indeed, these poor people are going to be much worse off, ironically, since the aid Belinda and I currently give them will soon be cut off.

Threats from a Government – whatever the flavour or colour – toward ill people is a sign you are living in a very poor country indeed; not poor in resources or financially, but a country that has reached rock bottom in the way it treats the most vulnerable of its citizens.  A country so lost, so spiritually and morally bankrupt, that it is willing to put up with propaganda and strictures against the disabled, the like of which have not been seen since Germany of the 1930s – and thought that, with the sacrifice of lives that people  in WW2 suffered, we would never see again.

Threats in the post from a Government.  I shall soon be forced to wear a Black Triangle on my clothing.  I may preempt them and wear it anyway.

I’m unable now to see forward, with the remainder of people willing to let people like me die, some at their own hands, some at the hands of the DWP and ATOS, and this (Tory) government.  

I’m sort of lost.

I’m sort of afraid.

I’m very, very alone.

My World, Gone Mad: Epilogue

It’s been a few weeks since the incident where I was set upon by the police and handcuffed for nothing; other than I was having an internalised panic attack in a small provincial town.

At first, I was hopeful that I had coped with the experience, but, as time has gone on, it has become obvious that I am getting quite, quite worse. Anxiety levels are heading into the terror category; and a dread hangs, pall-like, over me and everything I try to do.

I am trying to maintain a pretty sound exterior, and throwing myself into the art charity work. I try and seem ok, but it is becoming obvious that I am not myself. The pressure builds inside, the more I act out the mask, it is becoming more and more difficult to appear reasonable and I afraid.

Every thing I do, good or bad, seems to be out in the open for all the world to see; and I expect to be assaulted and handcuffed again at any moment.
It has taken 30 years to reduce the almost permanent terror. Now it is back as bad as ever. No, worse. It has been ‘proved’ that I am not safe from such incidents, however near or far apart they are. I cannot rest, I cannot work, I cannot concentrate. The fear pervades everything.

The news is full of horror that does nothing to lessen the tension. Abuse victims ridiculed in the press and on TV by politicians and commentators. Disabled suicides and death brought on by the stress caused through ATOS and the upcoming DLA assessments. Homelessness and the rise of the food bank in a rich and liquid economy. NHS being dismantled. CMHTs removing patients from their care.

I’m going down slowly.
In all of this, one CMHT has changed me over to another, who have failed to give me any care; I am four weeks since I last saw anyone, and they are not interested in my recent experience with the police. They are not interested full stop. With seven nurses off long term sick – presumably with stress – in the local CMHT, the rest are overworked to the point of not giving a monkey’s toss.

I’ve had to fight hard to keep getting my prescription from a new surgery that seems to be mostly staffed by locum doctors. There is no continuity. I have won the struggle for my drugs – they have at last found the letter from my consultant. But it has added to the stress.

I’m not sure just how long I can manage at present.
We fight on, in the face of indifference and hostility.

I have to check the front of the house..
It’s been an hour.

R.