Can You Tell a Green Field From a Cold Steel Rail?

Published August 11, 2016 by Bellatrixa

This link has inspired me to get off my backside and write again.

Wheelchair-bound woman refused entry to Croydon disability centre

What grinds my gears is people who judge what being on ESA (Employment Support Allowance) or being long term sick/disabled is like without any knowledge outside of the Sun and the Mail. This is going to be tl;dr for a lot of people but I want it to be known from someone who’s been there what it’s like first hand to go through this system.

I have hypermobility and lipodystrophy – a nasty combination of conditions which make getting around really difficult. I can’t stand for periods more than 10 mins at a time, can’t sit for periods of more than 30 mins at a time (on average, some chairs make it more painful sooner, others I can sit in for longer). I didn’t ask to have either of these conditions. I did nothing to cause myself to have these conditions. I’ve had to go to Addenbrookes for my lipodystrophy, have over 12 vials of blood taken and they don’t know why I have it. But I do and nothing can change that.
Contrary to what the media might tell you, some of us on ESA have worked before. I worked for 10 years in low paid retail jobs, starting when I was in high school. During my GCSEs I did 20 hours a weekend, during my AS Levels I was working 24 hours a weekend. When I had to ditch my A Levels because of shit at home going down, I went into full time employment and was working 40 hours a week. At one point I was working 52 hour weeks on average. Can you even begin to imagine what it feels like when you have ‘all benefit claimants are scroungers’ said to you? When you’ve had to stop working through no fault of your own and want to take out of the system that you’ve already paid into? I got myself into serious amounts of debt a couple of years back when my mental health became the worst it’s ever been and felt I didn’t deserve to claim benefits because there were other people out there worse off than me. I almost lost my flat in the progress – the one stable home I’ve been able to have in my life.

I’m one of the poor sods who has to go through an ESA medical and have had to for the last few years. The first one I was put in the WRAG (Work Related Activity Group) after a ‘healthcare professional’ from ATOS was forcing my joints to move in my medical. My so-called support from an advice service had filled out my DLA (Disability Living Allowance) form for me, omitted a load of information which I never saw as he asked me to sign the form first and I was told this form was used in conjunction with my medical to determine my ESA award. When I attended the Jobcentre, my advisor told me I shouldn’t be there, that my hospital appointments would make looking for work unviable and I should appeal to get into the Support group. I didn’t have the strength to endure a lengthy appeal so I put up with being on the lower rate as I didn’t want to risk losing my income altogether.

Next assessment came around just after my local assessment centre (which is on the first floor) said it would no longer take anyone with mobility issues who would not be able to leave the building in the event of a fire as quickly as an able bodied person. While I have sympathy for this woman in Croydon (used to work there 10 years ago so know the area well and with fond memories), she only had to go to Balham. I had to go 40+ miles out of the way to Ipswich with no public transport option available for me. Because out here in the back of beyond, everything’s dated and we have awful public transport. I don’t drive; I can’t afford to run a car and I’m still on that DLA award that my ‘advisor’ fucked up which will run out September next year. As it’s a low mobility award, I don’t qualify for a car from Motobility. Again, didn’t want to rock the boat by disputing my award or go through the stress (and it is stressful to deal with the DWP) to get more money. When I got told I had to go to Ipswich, I had no idea how I’d go about it. They told me that they’d organise a taxi there and back. My doctor and I tried to get a home visit arranged but they claimed she didn’t send off the paperwork in time. Said doctor was pissed off about this as she faxed it the same day they requested it. So even though I had tried to arrange a more suitable home visit, ATOS themselves were obstructing me in having my disabilities accommodated.
At Ipswich, I got to see an actual doctor this time. He said right away that I shouldn’t have been called in for a medical and that it should have been done at home. He seemed genuinely sympathetic to my problems, skipped the physical examination as my movement with a walking stick was incredibly laboured, and cut the questioning short when I was brought to tears discussing my mental health. Got put in the Support group and was left alone for 2 years while ATOS ran away from their contract.

December last year I got a letter through at the start of the month saying I’m due for a medical in January. See, waiting for the ESA50 form is one thing – you live with a constant dread in the back of your mind that it could pop through the door any day. Once you fill it in and send it off, you don’t know when they’re going to call you in or if they’ll simply award you based on the form. Spoiler: most people get called in regardless of whether they have degenerative, permanent or temporary conditions. So once you get the form off, you’re constantly worrying when the hammer’s going to fall. Christmas was less than cheery as a result as the spectre of my medical was in the background.
So the day of the medical I had severe diarrhoea. I was on a new medication which didn’t exactly get on with one of my existing meds. I was still prepared to go but I was concerned about literally shitting myself. The assessment centre calls up to do a ‘numbers check’ for who would be attending and they ask how I am. I’ve long since given up the pretence of saying ‘Oh you know, I’m alright’ to anyone so I tell the guy what’s going on with my backside. He tells me that I shouldn’t come in and that they’ll re-organise the date. I ask for his name in case my money gets stopped because that would be hardly fair if they’ve told me not to come in when I’m willing, despite my condition at the time. I kept getting my ESA but waited 6 months for a rescheduled appointment.

So we’re at my third assessment in 5 years; bear in mind I’m lucky I’ve had so few as some people have had yearly ones. People with worse health problems than myself. This time Maximus are the guys in charge. My appointment’s at 10:30am on a Monday morning. When I arrived 10 mins early, I was the only person in the waiting area. This is good for my anxiety, I’m not constantly worrying that someone’s going to clock my hirsutism (symptom of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) but I’m still on edge given my past experiences. My boyfriend’s being amazing at keeping me calm, but as the time drags on and more people come in, I start to get more agitated. I start to worry they’ve called me and I’ve not heard them. After all, it’s now 11am and I was the first person I saw in the waiting room. No one else has been called in and now the numbers of people waiting are starting to make me shake and my breathing’s increasing. I want to go outside for some air but I can’t in case they call me in.
11:30am arrives, I’m shaking like a heroin addict (I’m not one, just throwing it out there), on the verge of hyperventilating and I can barely breathe with the scarf covering my face so people can’t see what’s behind it. Why didn’t I shave, you ask? Well see, the impending medical had exacerbated my depression to the point where I wasn’t able to look after myself properly. Because severe depression does that. It’s one part of the condition that I hate the most. Also, if my money’s stopped, I wouldn’t be able to shave my face so they might as well see what the reality is. My boyfriend manages after some negotiation with the receptionist to get me seated in a hallway away from people so I can try to calm down. The G4S security guard is looking on smugly, listening to a personal radio (we can hear the tinny sound of music) with his feet on a desk. It’s not like the Jobcentre where someone could throw a punch at you, those who go to assessment centres aren’t likely to kick off because they’re sick/disabled.
By 12pm I’m having a full-on panic attack. Spitting out phlegm on the floor, can’t focus on anything, crying constantly, barely able to support myself in an upright position on the chair. Boyfriend is now furious, G4S guard says he can’t help and smiles smugly, tells boyfriend that if he doesn’t calm down he’ll be thrown out. A staff member comes through to me with a box of tissues which are doing little to help as the obstruction in my nose from phlegm is coming back as soon as it’s cleared. I then get told someone is available to see me and get taken into an assessment room, assisted by a staff member, boyfriend and my walking stick. The physical is skipped again because I’m obviously in no fit state although the panic attack’s starting to subside. Boyfriend gets told he’s allowed to answer for me and I’m asked if I consent to this which I do as I’m barely capable of talking by this point. The guy doing my assessment says he’ll keep it to the bare minimum as it’s obvious I shouldn’t have been kept waiting for that long and boyfriend points out that what happened that day was forewarned about on my ESA50 which they have sitting right there on the desk. Assessor looks sheepish and tries to get through the options on his screen as fast as he can. By the end of the assessment (which lasted about 10 mins) I’m able to contribute on a couple of questions with short sentences. We leave as fast as I can manage, call a taxi and get back to mine. Boyfriend has a small breakdown in the kitchen as he’d never seen me as bad as I was that day after a year of dating. He has depression himself and his dad was in hospital at the time. A week later I get the decision that I stay in the Support group. Now the waiting game begins once more for the next round of torture, earliest will be September next year when I get forced onto PIP from DLA.

So, whether you choose to believe me or not, whether you read all that or not, that was the reality of my ESA medicals. Iain Duncan Smith has a lot of answer for as do the constant cuts to mental health services. So do the people who buy into the ‘all benefits claimants are scroungers’, especially those who are claiming Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, Tax Credits or pensions. Because those, my friends, are also benefits. I can’t wait for the day that this country wakes the fuck up to what’s happening to the sick and disabled because after 6 years, it’s not fucking funny any more.

Also would like to mention that the story that ITV and others have reported on about this woman doesn’t appear to be on the Daily Mail, the most circulated newspaper in the country. Shocked? You shouldn’t be.

HOW DAILY MAIL ARE YOU? Take this simple quiz and find out!

Published August 5, 2014 by Bellatrixa

‘You are in no way a Daily Mail reader. You probably still think unemployment is caused by a lack of jobs and not by unfettered hordes of asylum-seeking lesbians and scrounging single mothers flooding into the country from JohnnyForeignerLand. Try wearing a navy blue blazer and driving a middle-range Lexus a bit more.’

Aww ūüė¶

Pride's Purge

HOW DAILY MAIL ARE YOU?

(Answer the following questions a, b, or c. Tot up your score at the end to see how you did)

1) You discover your next-door neighbour has lost his job of 30 years. What do you do?
a. Ask him if there’s anything you can do to help him out until he finds a new job.
b. Check your professional contacts to see if there are any job openings you can find that may be suitable for him.
c. Get together a posse of like-minded, hard-working neighbours and chase him and his family out of town with pitchforks and torches before they drive house prices down even further.

2) You fancy doing something relaxing and entertaining. What do you choose to do?
a. Spend a night in with a take-away and a good film on the telly.
b. Go for a long walk followed by a pub lunch.

View original post 783 more words

Published May 24, 2014 by Bellatrixa

When people say that depression can be cured by¬†work, it really bothers me. I started working from the age of 14. My first suicide attempt was at 15 on the night of my last GCSE; not exam stress related but due to the abuse I was suffering at home, didn’t know it was ‘abuse’ at the time because it was what I’d always known and grown up with. I was in full time education, had many extra curricular activities going on including sports and music, and worked most of the weekend. I still ‘had time’ to be depressed and it came out in a way that caused the police to find me and bring me home. To more abuse.

In 2005 I was working 50+ hours a week in retail as a store manager while in an abusive relationship where I was a victim of pretty much every type of ¬†domestic violence. I still went out clubbing at least once a week with my best friend, but attempted suicide multiple times, went to my GP who signed me off for a month with depression because I finally got up the guts to ask for help. I was then diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder as he referred me right away to mental health services when I told him what I’d been struggling to keep under control for so many years.

I don’t work now, but I have worked and paid my taxes and NI. I deserve to take out of the system and intend to contribute to it again. But you know, just because you go to work, it doesn’t mean you’re paying into a ‘keep myself free from mental health’ fund like you pay National Insurance. It doesn’t make you immune to the urge to cut yourself, to kill yourself, to feel as if there’s nothing worth living for. It doesn’t stop the panic attacks that can cripple you in the middle of the street. Or in the workplace. It doesn’t stop the lack of concentration. The drops into the abyss where you feel you just can’t face anyone. Work doesn’t give you an immunity to that.

I want to work, but I know that my mental health right now, while vastly improved from the days I was housebound with back pain and depression, the days when I would shun every single person including those who were trying to help me because I felt that I was a ‘scrounger’ if I did; I didn’t claim benefits for a year other than still receiving my existing Disability Living Allowance claim, fell into major rent and council tax arrears as a result – directly linked to my mental health and lack of sufficient support when I transferred from 24 hour supported accommodation to my own tenancy, still having the arrears docked from my benefits along with paying the bedroom tax for a flat that I was entitled to as a disabled person needing an overnight carer for how severe my suicidal ideation had gotten. I still have the major hurdle of facing my major summer depressive episode that even last year made me feel irrationally suicidal for a week straight. But you know, I went to my GP instead of trying to do anything to myself. For the first time in 9 years since I first sought help. Because I have the right support now and I’m not going to let people intimidate me into feeling that I’m not allowed to have a fluctuating condition that can cripple me.
Depression comes in different types and can be part of different mental health conditions. Sometimes you can have it alongside other mental health issues. I have Borderline Personality Disorder as well as MDD, although as I’m always being assessed when I’m on manics and downplaying everything trying to pretend that I’m OK (much like I did with people for many years), I actually think it’s bipolar, as did my therapist who I saw weekly for a whole year when I was experiencing my most intense manic episodes without the buffer of any medication. It’s splitting hairs though. A label on your condition isn’t everything and only gets you so far. It’s how you deal with what’s going on. BPD has a massive stigma attached and isn’t as ‘accepted’ as bipolar. You’re seen as manipulative, psychotic, unstable, unsafe… You end up scared of yourself to the point where you feel life isn’t worth living if all you’re going to do is hurt and scare others because of something that isn’t your fault. As someone who’s grown up in the shadow of an abusive alcoholic parent, it made me put even greater pressure on myself. I failed to meet my own expectations and punished myself for it. Didn’t know that at the time, but I can understand it now in retrospect after I’ve gone through a living hell.
Antidepressants were sending me off the rails. Antipsychotics were crippling me as a person, leaving me incapable of forming a coherent sentence at times or remembering certain words. As someone who’s seen as¬†verbose, it made me frustrated and fuelled my manics or made me feel so depressed because I couldn’t get out a simple sentence; because I couldn’t control my emotions without pills which didn’t seem to be doing anything but causing me more problems, robbing me of dignity because of the side effects (weight gain included). Pills which my then GP refused to change other than to another that would make me worse. The linkworker system¬†had scared me off trying to access mental health services and there was only so much the counsellor I was seeing could help me with. After 25, I was too old to use the service where I was seeing her, a service which is currently under threat by government cuts and lack of funding. A service that while I was using it, was helping me cope with my condition and allow me the opportunities not just to seek advice and help, but also to give back with voluntary work which boosted my self-esteem and helped me manage my depression and anxiety.

As much as I detest my mother for the severe abuse she put me through as a child, I wouldn’t wish my mental health on her or anyone else. And I know there’s people out there who have been through far worse and suffer far more than I do.

During my ESA claim so far, the Jobcentre have called me in twice. The first time I saw my advisor, I showed him my DLA forms which a so called ‘support worker’ had filled out for me and not only misrepresented me but missed out swathes of information about my health (my DLA award had been cut from high care/low mobility to low care/low mobility). I showed him my notes, letters from my GP, my old DLA claim form, letters from the hospital as well as bringing a friend with me because I was too scared to leave the house; I was keeping myself prisoner because I was scared of how severe my moods had gotten when around other people, was embarrassed at what my mental health had done to me physically – antipsychotics are a great way to gain weight, especially when you have back problems and untreated Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome!
When the advisor read through my paperwork, he said that the ESA decision to put me in the Work Related Assessment Group was based on the botched DLA form, which I had been told to pre-sign before this support worker filled out so it could be posted faster. He said that with my medical conditions, the need for testing and hospital referrals, that it wasn’t viable for me to be in the WRAG, as I was in no state to be returning to work if I had to be constantly going places for investigative treatment. That was before¬†last summer’s trip to the GP for suicidal ideation which meant that I was then attending weekly therapy in the middle of the afternoon, and later on physiotherapy in addition to a referral to ophthalmology at my local hospital about¬†vision loss that I was experiencing and degeneration of one of my optic nerves.
He advised me to appeal (the Jobcentres do have some people with souls left) and said that they’d be in touch in 3-4 months time to see if my situation had changed and where to go from there. They didn’t contact me about requiring any help to return to work yet until yesterday when they texted me about it. Not forcing me to go in or anything, just a ‘We’re here if you need us’. I’m very fortunate as some people aren’t treated with such compassion and are constantly harassed and bothered by the Jobcentre. I’ve been extremely¬†fortunate that they’ve left me alone to get better (although I’m sure that’s not their intention). Currently I’m waiting on my reassessment but after sending my ESA 50 off some 6 months ago now, the information’s going to be rather outdated. I’ll probably be back at work or in work-related training before I get the date for my medical. But see, without the constant pressure and hassle, I’ve been able to seek the correct treatment and help, to get better and be in a position where I can work again. The problem is that when I go back to work, the credit will go to the government for ‘helping me back’ with their schemes. No, I’m an example that the best method for those who are ill is to be left alone but informed that the assistance is there should it be needed.

The second time I was called in was because of someone claiming I was working when I wasn’t. I had fallen out with the friend who went with me before (who had basically been milking me for money constantly, was on benefits herself and had never worked – does now though) and think it was her who had reported me for some online game moderation I was doing while not claiming ESA; it was unpaid voluntary work from home which wasn’t even so much work as a hobby as I played the games myself. For that, I was pulled into the Jobcentre and interrogated like it was a police interview. I was crying, having an anxiety attack and going into a complete meltdown because I was so scared that I’d have the little money that was keeping me alive taken away from me. Just like I lost everything I worked for when I left my abusive partners in the past. How I lost my home because of my fianc√© turning up on my doorstep with death threats that caused me subsequent issues with homelessness and rent arrears because I was too scared to go to the police about him. That caused me problems with relationships as well, some of which are still ongoing. Just like my mental health had stolen my life away from me and the best part of my 20s. How abuse had ruled the first 25 years of my life.

I don’t think I can put into words quite how soul destroying that can be. If I hadn’t had my council intervene and be so compassionate about my mental health, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s been 5 years since I last attempted suicide, and I’m proud of myself for not giving in, even when I’ve not had any support. That it’s been 5 years since I last self harmed and that even when I had bailiffs on my door, it didn’t break my skin. I’ve had my minor setbacks and rough patches during my recovery, but I’ve come one hell of a long way from a mighty big fall.

You see the thing is, I didn’t have time for a job. I was too busy being ill. Depression can be worsened by lack of work, but it’s a much more complex condition than that. And there are so many people who have it much worse than what I’ve just talked about in my own personal experiences. I committed the crime of thinking in the past it wouldn’t happen to me, it wasn’t ‘that’ bad and people were faking it; mostly because of how my family thought and I’d never experienced anything to cause me to doubt it – plus I was in my teens, in denial about a lot of things and life wasn’t rosy at home. It took having my life stolen from me by depression to make me see it for what it was.

I wouldn’t be here now without the support of friends and my GP; support that some people lack, both in and out of work. When I’m back at work I’ll be even happier to stick two fingers up at people who look down on those who are seeking help (yes – that includes benefits) for what can be a life-ending condition. You wouldn’t do it to a cancer patient and mental illnesses are the cancer of the mind. The only difference is that some people can live with them for their whole lives, suffering until the day they die of other causes, not just from the illness itself causing them to take their own lives. We constantly tell people to check for physical cancer, but nowhere near as loudly for the mental health equivalent. Why? Because of stigma that desperately needs to be broken and people like the current government fuel, the ignorant falling for their divide and rule tactics because they can’t be bothered to do any of their own thinking. Because,¬†it is ignorant to believe that mental health can simply be cured with a job. Stephen Fry is a shining example of that and a great inspiration to those of us with mental health problems. I have a great amount of respect for him for sharing what he as, as best as he has. But you, I nor anyone else will ever know exactly how bad it was for him and that right there alone¬†is why you shouldn’t judge someone based on their mental health.

The view that work is the cure for depression is just as ignorant, bigoted and ableist as the social worker present when I was sectioned who told me I was ‘too intelligent and articulate’ to have a mental health problem.

 

When Duty Calls Gonna Bust Some Balls, Cause I Am The Mob

Published October 7, 2013 by Bellatrixa

 Yesterday morning I was awoken by a robin sitting next to  my bed and singing at me. It had somehow managed to fly  into my flat, no need to call the RSPB for me keeping a wild  bird inside! This morning, however, I was faced with  something a lot more unsavoury.

While for many years I have always had a low opinion of The Sun, never has it reached the depths that it has today with this headline:

I tried to give The Sun the benefit of the doubt at first. Thinking possibly that they were simply trying to help draw attention to the problems with mental health care in the country. Then I realised if that was indeed their intention, they had gone about it in one of the worst ways possible; by continuing the demonisation of the sick and disabled in Britain. The more I thought about it, even in my half-awake state, the more angry I became. The story is paywalled on their site. I wouldn’t spend 30p on a paper copy even if I was out of loo paper, let alone ¬£1 to join The Sun+ and read more of their crap. ¬†A friend of mine shared the image of the front page herself and said that she had emailed her displeasure.

After some mulling on the situation, here was my email, knowing full well it most likely wouldn’t be read or even acknowledged, but it was better than silently fuming:

To whom it may concern,

I do not buy your paper as I consider it to be nothing better than cat litter tray liner, however I will admit that The Sun has a long history as a newspaper, a very large readership and attempts to pride itself on journalistic integrity. Considering your paper has had a Conservative slant for a long time, I, along with many others, have come to expect the small mindedness that’s generally printed in your pages. How you enjoy campaigning against various minority groups.

I have to admit that your ‘Shop a Scrounger’ campaign irked me as a great many people suffer from hidden disabilities and neither your paper nor your readers have any right to harass or cause distress to those who are genuine claimants, and that includes promoting the idea that everyone in receipt of ESA or DLA are doing so under false pretences. Had you actually checked statistics (government ones at that!) you’d see that DLA actually has one of the lowest benefit fraud rates.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system-201112-revised-estimates

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system-preliminary-201213-estimates

Not to mention, there has been a government phone number to report benefit fraud for many years. Yes, back when Labour was in power! I remember seeing commercials for it on TV. The funny thing is, whenever people come out with these anecdotes about “this guy down the pub who’s on the fiddle”, they rarely if ever actually report it. For those who do, most of the reports turn out to be people with genuine conditions. Doesn’t this prove that your campaign isn’t really going to achieve much?

As a DLA claimant myself, I wasn’t even aware that I qualified for DLA until I was told by a therapist who helped me to fill out the forms which are incredibly demeaning as well as dispiriting. They make you talk about how bad your conditions are and for many people will illnesses, this can be incredibly draining and demoralising. Sometimes putting all those things into words can make you feel even worse and hamper any recovery you might be experiencing. That along with the intrusive assessments by ATOS which have been proven over and over to be unfit for purpose.

The other week, I was disgusted at the sale of two Halloween costumes that contributed to the perception that mentally ill people are ‘scary’ and ‘dangerous’. From what I understand, both Tesco and Asda have withdrawn the costumes. My problem wasn’t with the costumes, but with the labelling of them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24278768

So, imagine my disgust when I see the front page of your newspaper today trying to create more scaremongering regarding those with mental health conditions. How about reporting how many people in those same 10 years had been killed by drink drivers? By alcohol? By black people? Oh wait, if you’d have said ‘black people’ that would have been racist, wouldn’t it? But you seem to think it’s perfectly ok to attack those who are mentally ill because it’s not racist. It’s the same bigoted thinking, it’s the same prejudicial thinking and it’s unacceptable. Even the government, as much as I loathe them, are making faint hearted stabs at trying to change the way people stigmatise the sick and disabled. I will admit that it seems vacuous from them given how their policies have caused the deaths of many sick and disabled people. Shouldn’t that be the headline you should be running? About how many people have died in the past 3 years of this coalition government as a result of the draconian policies on the sick and disabled? I would expect that a paper with your finanical backing would be more than capable of hiring journalists that can at least use Google:

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/04/32-die-a-week-after-failing-in.html

I’m aware you probably won’t like to acknowledge what a rival publication has to say, but I shall quote the following in the hope that some sense sinks in:

‘We’ve used the Freedom of Information Act to discover that, between January and August last year, 1,100 claimants died after they were put in the “work-related activity group”.’

That’s the number of people who have died in a period of 8 months. People who you are intent on demonising with your headline. People who are the most vulnerable in society. People who need help the most in this time of hardship. You’re not helping us at all with headlines that only cause panic, fear and more persecution. Were you even aware that the mentally ill are more likely to be victims of crime and that the number of those has increased since this government came into power with its divisive policies which are aided and abetted by yourselves?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24420430

You are just as culpable as the government in those deaths and the hate crimes that happen towards the disabled. If you decide you have the responsibility to inform, you also assume the consequences of your actions. There is indeed a problem with mental health care in this country, however your newspaper’s headline is not the way to draw attention to it by causing yet more scaremongering and continuing to perpetuate the myth that all mental health sufferers are axe wielding psychopaths.

I will not only continue not to buy your paper, but will also take a more active role in campaigning against your odious little rag and small minded reporting. I know others will do the same and not just individuals like myself. The disabled community has taken far too much for far too long. Report on something more important such as David Cameron’s plans to scrap benefits for all under 25s. I’m sure that would be a great concern to your newspapers demographic considering how many of them are under 25 and buy your paper because it has tits on Page 3.

Yours not faithfully,

Bellatrixa Booty

 

If anyone wishes to use my email as a template to send to The Sun, be my guest. For too long this sort of thing has gone on unopposed. The lions of Britain are waking and boy, are they pissed off.

The Kids Aren’t Alright

Published August 22, 2013 by Bellatrixa

I feel  bad for not posting anything in so long but at the end of the day, we all have issues. 

Today’s post is in response to a share from my Facebook newsfeed that actually pissed me off to the point where I wanted to reply. For some reason, WordPress wouldn’t let my comment be posted to her blog (maybe she has an automatic filter on a word I used?), so I guess I’ll just post it on my own along with the article for people to be amused at.

http://nothingbythebook.com/2013/08/20/the-ap-hair-style-i-dont-brush-my-childrens-hair-its-a-massive-philosophical-thing-really/

Friend of mine shared this on Facebook and I felt compelled to read to find out the reasoning behind your decision. My comment on her share was something I don’t think you’d want me to repeat on your blog. Instead I shall tell you a story.

When I was a child, I hated my mother brushing or washing my hair. Even though she told me about the perils of dandruff and headlice being rampant at school, I hated her coming near me. Probably had more to do with the fact that she was an abusive alcoholic and that one of her boyfriends was sexually abusing me at the age of 5 and took photos of me asleep which would be classed as child porn now. He officiated a bike race at the bottom of my road last month and it took all of my self-control not to storm down there and lamp him.
Amusingly enough, my nan was absolutely fine with getting me to have baths, brush my hair and washing it. Maybe it’s because she was trained by Elizabeth Arden and had her own hairdressing salon for many years. Maybe it’s because I saw her as more of a mother than my biological one. Maybe it’s because I felt safe around her and therefore was compliant with her touching me. What I can tell you is that I never felt it was “abuse” to brush my hair against my will, even by my mother. And yeah, I had full on screaming and crying fits, tears, tantrums, trying to lock myself in the bathroom, the works. I saw her holding a knife to my throat as abuse. I saw her smacking me on the backs of my tiny 2 year old toddler legs with a wooden spoon as abuse. I saw her boyfriend locking me in a room every night when he brought me home from school as abuse and her being compliant in it. I saw them both hitting me as abuse. I didn’t see what was done to me sexually as a child as abuse until many years later and it caused me to never want to have anything to do with my mother again, knowing that she allowed her eldest daughter to be preyed upon by two boyfriends.

Brushing my hair against my will was not abuse. At all. What you’re doing by not brushing it actually borders on abuse as a result of neglecting your child’s basic hygiene needs.

Why did I comment just to say that? Because your post actually moved me that much given my own experiences to point out to you how cruel you’re actually being to your children, not to mention how trivial your idea of “abuse” is.

My nan actually encouraged me to take pride in my hair. She’d let me pick out really nice hair clips, scrunchies, let me experiment with temporary dyes when I was young… Not because she felt that I needed to be “pretty” (she was actually anti-makeup in terms of every day wear and gave me the love and validation that my own mother wouldn’t), but because she knew that it was a good thing to encourage me to care about my personal hygiene, health and appearance for my own happiness and well-being. It most certainly wasn’t to groom me for paedophiles.

Your blogpost has honestly been the most offensive thing I’ve read in a long time due to your trivialisation of child abuse which you clearly had no experience of or you wouldn’t be writing such total guff.

 

(For those curious, my comment on the share was likening what she was doing to her children to animal abuse. I decided to be kind and leave that out of the proposed comment. Apologies in advance for any poor grammar, was pretty steamed when I wrote that response.)

Published February 15, 2013 by Bellatrixa

If only more people were aware of the state of this country… and if only Ed Miliband would act on what’s laid out in this piece…

The Greater Fool

‚ÄúWe do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us at any time may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.‚Äú ‚Äď President Obama Innaugaration Speech Jan 20 2013

Dear Mr Miliband

I’m writing this letter as a Labour Party member who is completely frustrated with the lack of opposition to Her Majesty’s Government that has been shown by Her Majesty’s Opposition. We have seen over the last two years a…

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Published January 20, 2013 by Bellatrixa

Been a bit busy lately so not had time to post myself, however I shall share this as it’s a sad but interesting read.

the void

atos-killsAnother minor storm blew up on twitter last night after Guardian journalist Zoe Williams led a furious hate mob (*innocent face*) against Independent columnist Philip Hensher.

Obscure novelist Hensher recently wrote a piece which trotted out every lazy stereotype in the book  about sick and disabled claimants, which led to the angry response on twitter.

In a piece entitled ‚ÄúSome people on disability benefits are fit to work‚ÄĚ he feigns sympathy for the more extreme examples of Atos abuse.¬† He then goes on to display all the usual lazy prejudices about people with mental health conditions along with breath-taking ignorance of the very benefits system he‚Äôs writing about.

Shrugging off anxiety as a condition completely, he makes the claim that depression usually only lasts a few weeks.¬† His grotesque assumptions lead him to speculate that someone who can ride a bike is probably ‚Äėfit for work‚Äô.

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