I meant to blog earlier, but I didn't know what to say. I feel like I have said it all. Multiple times in fact. I think everyone has grasped that I feel like shit and want to die. For anyone new, or who hasn't picked up on the situation, that is it. I mostly write as a way of trying to get all of the thoughts out of my head, but they don't appear to be going anywhere even when I do write, so it seems quite pointless from that point of view, and I am just really lacking motivation. There are a couple of specific things I wanted to write about though, so I will try and write about those, rather than just generally rambling.
I got a letter yesterday, which stressed me out. From the DWP, wouldn't you know? It says, and I quote (anything in red is an addition by me),
'Dear Bippidee (of course addressed to my real name, or it would just be weird)
We need to see you in order to discuss the benefits we are currently paying you because a query has arisen on your claim. What the fuck?! We need to ensure your payments are correct and it is important that you are available so we can discuss the matter further. What matter? I see no matter to discuss. Please fuck off and leave me alone.
You should note that where there is doubt about whether the conditions for entitlement are met, we can suspend payment of your benefit. Thanks. Please fuck off, again.
A Customer Compliance Officer, Mr Nosy Fuckwit (not real name) will be calling on Thursday, 24 February 2011 between the times of 9:30AM and 3:30PM. Please note we will not be able to state a specific time. Helpful. Thanks for that.
Some irrelevant crap like stuff they want to see, none of which I know where to find etc etc.
Mr Nosy Fuckwit
Customer Compliance Officer'
This fairly naturally sent me into a complete tailspin. Firstly, what on earth is there to query about my benefits?! The only thing I am claiming is old Incapacity, although due to lack of NI contributions it has always been paid as Income Support with illness/disability premium. I live at home with my parents, which they know, I have some savings that are within permitted amounts, which they know, I don't work, I am not going out partying every day and claiming under false pretences. I don't claim Housing/Council Tax benefit as I live with my parents. I am not even claiming DLA, which I have been told by multiple people I am eligible for. So what is there to discuss? What can possibly have been queried? I asked on Twitter yesterday, and also did some Google research, and it seems like they are essentially the overspill of the fraud department, and are generally sent around when someone has said you are making a fraudulent claim, or if they suspect you are living with a partner and have claimed you are living alone etc etc. A few people have said they occasionally make random checks, but I would seem a bad person to make a random check on, given that my claim is so straightforward to most people's - I claim one benefit. I am not at all happy about them sending a man around to my house. I don't want some strange man in my house making accusations that I am a benefit fraud. I don't want some strange man in my house full stop. And them not being able to give a time is completely shit. I wasn't planning to go anywhere, but it is very rare at the moment that I get to sleep before 6am. I will have to be awake by 9:15am in case they do come in the morning. And then what if they don't come until 3pm. I am meant to stay awake all day having probably had 2 or 3 hours sleep, waiting for them? That won't happen. And what if I wanted to arrange for someone to be here with me for support - are they supposed to stay for six hours?? It seems totally unreasonable. I tried phoning the number on the letter that it says to contact immediately if you are unavailable etc to a) find out what the hell it is about, and b) try to pin them down to a more precise time, for example morning or afternoon, but I got no reply. And it didn't even go to answerphone. This stress was absolutely the last thing that I needed right now with how I was feeling. It actually made me even more determined to kill myself before then so I didn't have to deal with it. I don't know where my driving licence or passport are, I have no utility bills, I have no rent agreement - all of which they want to see. I have a bank statement. But I have two bank accounts and only have a statement for one of them. They will hate me. I just really didn't need this stress. I know I have done nothing wrong and so I have nothing to be worried about, but my experience with the DWP has shown me that you have to be worried even if you haven't done anything wrong, as they will treat you like a criminal regardless. Fuckwits.
Right, onto a nicer subject. Today the most beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived for me. It was from La Reve and I can't say how much it meant to me that she had done that for me. It was completely unexpected, and nearly made me cry. I can't believe that someone whom I have never met, and have only known a relatively short time, would want to do something so sweet and generous for me. The madosphere is a wonderful reminder of how many fabulous people there are out there, who really do care for others, and will do things to try and help. She knew she couldn't stop me feeling like this, but she showed me she cared, and that meant so much. And does every time I get a supportive comment or email or tweet. It reminds me that people care, which is a really big deal when you don't feel you are getting any care from the professionals, whose job it is to care. There will always be people who say it is a bad idea to talk to people you have met on the Internet, that you don't know who they are, that you should never meet anyone you meet online, that talking to other people with mental health problems is a bad idea etc etc, but I have never found any of this to be remotely true. I started meeting up with people I met online, on theatre and dance messageboards, when I was 16, and have since met others from all sorts of sites, and whilst I haven't kept in touch with everyone I have met from the Internet, I have met some of my closest friends online, and I can quite honestly say that I think it would be very unlikely that I would still be alive if it weren't for people I have met online - both those in person, and those who have supported me on here. The support is absolutely invaluable, and I wish more people would realise how wonderfully supportive the Internet can be. Here is a picture of my beautiful flowers;