Tag Archives: Eastbourne

Government scrounger rhetoric isolates you, crushes your soul and worst of all, stamps on your hopes and dreams

I can’t speak for anyone else. But this is how, why, I often feel suicidal these days. Not actively but contemplatively.

There’s a difference between a major, catastrophic event triggering it and a slow pervading realisation that it might be your only genuine control in an unbearable situation. To alleviate suffering. The kindest thing you can do for yourself. That knowledge is often the only way you can face tomorrow.

I’m actually NOT depressed. But I am trapped in a mentally and physically exhausting environment. That’s damaging my health. That’s all but destroyed my quality of life. That promises only to get worse. And I personally do not have the financial or energy resources to fix it myself. Being single, isolated, without a supportive support worker or advocate, I am finding it so hard to get anywhere.

The government likes to portray people who are unable to hold down regular, meaningful employment, due to fluctuating health, as fraudsters, fakers, cheats and scroungers. Despite the law saying we qualify for ESA. [Employment and Support Allowance that replaces Incapacity Benefit]

Even if we don’t get enough immediate points to be found unfit for work, under DWP regs 29/35 we qualify if anyone would be at risk if we were found fit. Therefore we should be found unfit. That’s their way of covering the ECHR bit about a “state should not make a natural illness worse”.

Someone with a fluctuating condition, would have lots of absences. Pressure/fixed appointments/lack of autonomy in the real world of work, prevents us from pacing ourselves. And so our health and life quality deteriorates. Pacing is the thing that gives us a life quality. It means not overdrawing on energy. Staying just this side of moving line, always holding something back.

Just a £16,000 win on lottery or Premium Bonds and I’d be out of the system altogether. I’d no longer be in their statistics. I could move. Get proper rest. A win is unlikely but it’s the only glimmer of hope that keeps me going at times. I could develop paying hobbies. Doing as much or as little as I felt able without constant fear of losing everything.

A quarter of that and I could afford to move. Hire storage for a few months, hire a van for a week. Pacing, remember? Afford the month’s deposit. A month’s rent in advance and the current month’s rent, not to mention all the utilities, food and living expenses and the next month to keep a new landlord off your back until Housing Benefit was processed. Stress is exhausting. Exhaustion is dangerous.

Alone, without transport, without a credit card and little savings, but no debt thank God, the logistics are overwhelming. Try that when your health is adversely affected by pressure.

Oh they said on Twitter last night “if you’re hurting there’s help out there just ask”.

In Aug 2011 I desperately, and at great risk of eviction, asked Eastbourne Environmental Health for help with two neighbours, destroying my quality of life so much I was living ON MY KITCHEN FLOOR all winter.

They did nothing. I wrote again in the New Year, graphically. And again in Spring and Summer with thousands of logs. And still they did nothing. Meanwhile my ESA reassessment began in March and I was suicidal 247 for the entire period. An ATOS reassessment , is a terrifying and lonely place. [ATOS is the company charged with delivering the government’s evil work capability assessment]

In Sept 2012 in desperation I wrote to my MP. Finally 48 hr later, Environmental Health turned up, unannounced. But still they did nothing practical to help me escape my housing. They didn’t even give me a form. No noise was dealt with until Jan 2013 after multiple attempts to get recordings with dodgy equipment.

It lasted a few weeks and then new neighbours moved in and began slamming their door into my stud wall many times a day. The new neighbour is the son of the woman above who had previously made a death threat against ME. Because HER shower was daily, pouring through my ceiling and live cables, causing the ceiling to collapse after months of black mould and mushrooms growing from it.

By luck one night I caught her son (mid 20 s employee of UKBA I think) on video attacking MY letterbox whilst noise and door slamming was going on in the hallway below.

In Nov 2013 following 3 days of no rest due to having to be up waiting for an electrical inspection, day/time unknown .. I got a shitty bullying letter from Southern Water saying they were cancelling my budget card. Even though I was in credit. They demanded an immediate £14 which destroyed my budget until next payday. It sent me into a meltdown on Twitter.

That night, the guy next door slammed his door one time too many and locked himself out. At the time I could hear commotion and anger but no idea what was being said. Next thing a door was being broken down. My door was shaking. They are an arm span apart , closing into my perpendicular stud wall. With the anger and rage I could hear, and the shaking I could see, I froze in my chair. I thought he was coming through MY door any moment. A threat to that effect had previously been made when I asked him to close doors with a key.

The next day with microwave still on the floor, and boxes all over the place, as everything had to be away from the wall, two PCSOs turned up to do a Welfare Check. Never had them turn up before.

Although friendly, they were patronising and dismissive. “You can’t possibly be evicted for speaking out” they said. Despite having a s21 that has been in force since the original 6 mths. My having MEcfs is no reason I can’t cope with moving. It’s just in my head. Not because it’s a mammoth energy task. I told them the hassle with the neighbour was frightening, the noise was hell, and it probably had a disability hate/homophobic element. With MY copy of the CPS Homophobia guidebook on my desk …the PCSOs told me to “contact Terrence Higgins Trust”.

They claimed they’d go back to the station and do hours of referral work. Homeworks, East Sussex County Council Adult Social Services, GP, Comm MH …. Finally I thought maybe some joined up support would result in action. Getting re-housed.

By Mar 2014, a friend in the housing support sector elsewhere in UK, asked if I’d had a referral yet, and took it upon herself to refer me. (None of the other PCSO referrals materialised). A meeting took place, HOMEWORKS said they’d support my housing application. A few emails exchanged and I was told my case was closed by them…as their manager “insists on regular face to face meetings”. Something that is so disruptive to me when I’m struggling on bad days just to survive the #noisehell here.

Noise is incredibly distressing to people with MEcfs. I am surrounded on all sides pretty much 247. At times, because I can’t walk away the distress causes an aspie style meltdown. And yes, at times like that, if I had a gun, I’d blow my f**ing head off, just to make it stop. Action for M.E Noise Sensitivity – Sense and Sensitivity

And in April 2014, a few days apart, next door was yelping outside my door and his mother pounded her fist on my door

So I am back to square one. Unsupported, trying to get the hell out of this place before it kills me. With little energy to even submit a housing application file. Whether it kills me through heart attack, stroke from the stress, or whether I decide I simply can’t go on like this, alone with no prospect of re-housing and therefore no future peace, love, or happiness….

The government’s scrounger/faker rhetoric really takes its toll. It exhausts you, prevents you from following hobbies and passions. It isolates you, crushes your soul and worst of all, stamps on your hopes and dreams

How do you meet a soul-mate, life partner, new lover, if they’ve been exposed to government rhetoric . It’s exhausting justifying your existence to yourself on a daily basis, let alone *sell yourself* to them as someone who is worth their time. Someone who can support their hopes and dreams . Someone to hold them, love them and calm their fears? Someone who might not be able to hold down a full time formal job. But who might just be an ideal housewife, back room support for a professional? When so far, it’s taking me this long to try to get re-housed because I simply don’t have the energy to kick ass when I’m  in the middle of surviving it .

Oh and I ran out of time if I to pursue an Equality Act claim for the support charity failing to make reasonable adjustments….

Update:
As at March 2016 the hell is ongoing and in Nov 2014 the woman in the flat above subjected me to a disability hate incident which I recorded at the time. Sussex Police took NFA despite a string of other videoed incidents and clear pattern of harassment towards me. I told Julie Hickling of Env Health who reported me to the Safeguarding woman at ESCC, who in turn told me I was lying when I told her how long everything had been going on “In my experience, Environmental Health react quickly to noise issues.” Another missed opportunity.

So I have now compiled a file of all the related correspondence since Aug 2011 to the current time, including each time an agency let me down and it will soon be submitted to Local Government Ombusdman. Eastbourne Borough Council is responsible for failing to recognise their lack of action has prolonged my distress, put me in harm’s way and may yet cost more.

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Filed under Cameron welfare reform, ESA, MECFS, Noise Neighbour, WCA