Spartacus Stories

Here is a collection of Stories written by many different disabled people about the impact that DLA has on their lives. It also includes stories of fear about the proposed changes to personal independence payment.

Admin: benefitscroungingscum, Lucia and Lucy
to add your story email us at spartacusstories @ g mail . com (without the spaces) (your posts are there, just being scheduled throughout the day) (can you add how you want your 'name' to appear ta)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Today I feel #spartacusstories #spartacusreport

I have a postcard on my fridge door. I have had it for years and it came as a birthday card a long time ago. Somehow while I was making tea in the early hours, it got me thinking about this post, and this DLA disaster about to happen, the big society idea etc. I like the sound of the big society in some ways, the idea of communities coming together, working together, increasing tolerance and understanding. But, providing services that otherwise will be lost due to cuts, relying on volunteers to excess, no. I don't understand how the party who dreamt this Big Society up can genuinely look people in the eye and say that they were also the party whose leader in the past said "there is no such thing as society". 

The postcard: A long dining table with benches on 3 sides, each with  many small white rabbits sitting on them. A larger (adult?) rabbit is standing at the 4th side of the table, holding a very large carrot in one paw, and is about to cut up the carrot with a knife, presumably to feed the many other smaller rabbits. 

This may sound strange, please forgive me. But I got to thinking, always dangerous. The bigger / adult rabbit who is standing up -or the one that seems to be in charge (she looks kind and friendly so not sure I can make the leap to a comparison with the ConDems but anyway...) seems to be providing for the other, smaller rabbits, who are waiting to be fed, they don't have any food of their own. They are looking expectantly, but none of them is grabbing for the food or fighting for it. 

I am not too well at the moment but I am not a small white rabbit, that I do know. And I can go and get food. I can cut it up. In that respect I am absolutely fine. However, I am not able to work at the moment, supported by several mh professionals. I live on ESA and DLA. This isn't what I want or what I planned to happen for me. I have lost four jobs (so far) due to my mental ill health. I want to work and get to a place where I can do that sustainably without lurching between crises. I want to be independent. I want to be able to provide carrots for those who cannot provide them for themselves and one day I hope this is achievable. But I do need time to be able to get there, and without DLA I doubt that I could keep my tiny HA flat or get to appointments, activities that aim to support me.

What if one of those rabbits (or one in four) is accidentally missed out, or missed out on purpose and doesn't get his/her slice of carrot to sustain him/her until the next meal? What if s/he lacks confidence to ask for help, what if s/he is too ashamed to ask because others might say s/he doesn't deserve the carrot? What if  what if what if. I am trying to make a point, and failing, but on I go...

DLA is the carrot. It is necessary to provide for those who can't provide for themselves, whether this is long or short term. I fear that for those with mental health issues, issues that we can't see and which many do not want to see or acknowledge, DLA will become "unnecessary" as of course many of us are mobile or not deemed to be in greatest need. 

I have gone on long enough. The idea made sense, I doubt the post does, but, there, I tried.

 Originally posted as part of the One Month Before Heartbreak Campaign Jan, 2011

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