There isn’t always an easy way to deal with the issues of everyday life for anyone, but add in the fact that you aren’t able to be out there part of the world, how do you take part in all those everyday problems the world bring with it. It is all to easy to rapidly begin to feel like a second class citizen and despite all the claims that the government and all the charities and organisations supposedly there to help the disabled, you are still treated very much as though your life isn’t as important as those who are fit and healthy. I keep hearing that we the disabled people of this modern world have all the same opportunities and rights of everyone else in this world, but I have lost count just how many times I have found that to be totally wrong.
A couple of weeks ago I was watching a program the was about housing and our rights to somewhere to live that is suitable to our situations in life. I watched as they helped an elderly man to acquire a ground floor flat as his home in the 7th floor had had him trapped into being housebound for the past few months. I watched in disbelief as the housing department went out of there way to not only find a flat but they went personally to view it to ensure it was suitable, followed by some how getting him out of his home to view it for himself, so he could approve their selection. I have been trapped in my home now for 6 yrs, I first applied for a more suitable home several years before I was housebound and my experience shows a totally different picture, right to the point of being told by some of the new community housing groups, that I would never be offered a home from them as I don’t fit the criterior. When I dug deeper so I could understand why, I was told that it was because I didn’t have children, I wasn’t of an ethnic minority being abused by neighbours and we owned our own home. I did try for over 3 years to chase every opportunity, but one by one all the possibilities dropped off, as one by one they sent me letters saying they doubted they would ever be in a position to help. But there on TV was this elderly gent being given the red carpet treatment, the difference, well he didn’t own his own home and he had a TV crew following him around.
When we bought our home we thought it was an assist, but if you are disabled it quickly becomes anything but, the whole process of getting assistance means you have to be homeless, you can’t just sell your home and then rent another, you do actually need to be homeless. We would have to evicted and rehoused into unsuitable accommodation prior to being given a suitable home ground floor home adapted to my needs. The system is totally upside down, where is the logic in any of it? But it isn’t just housing, the whole system is one of lies and fairytale. If you are able bodied, you like me until recently, may well have been under the impression that the lives of the disabled these days could and should be little different to any other person in the UK. It is a wonderful myth and the more I hear that myth reinforced on TV the more I get angry and want to show the world what is behind the smoke and mirrors. In many many ways I am one of the lucky ones, stop someone in the street and explain my life to them and they might disagree, but I am lucky. My luck is that I have been able to adapt, to find a life of happiness with in a situation that many might struggle with. The myth that the care and help is there ready to catch and cradle us into a new life with all the help and assistance we could possibly need, is just that, a myth.
There is no one rushing to give me a suitable home that I could be happy in. There is no one arranging days out, taking me into the outside world, or supplying people here to ensure I have contact with others. Companions who will sit with me so I am not alone while Adam works, none of the things I see and other see painted out daily on TV. So which of these picture is the truth, well I can only speak for me and yes the last couple of entries even if they were offered to me, I wouldn’t want companions or trips out to so called clubs. It maybe that I have been unlucky and I have just slipped through the system or have had a particularly bad experience of an other wise good system, but I am sorry I don’t believe that, I believe that I am just average and there are millions all round the country living through the same as me. What worries me though is the future, what happens when we just can’t manage in this house any longer, what happens when I do need that extra support from a third person, where is my safety net?
I am not pointing figure or blaming anyone for the way things are, but like so many things I believe they are making life harder for not just the disabled but for the carers and organisers. No one runs and produces their best when constantly working in disaster mode. It is more than fair to say that no country can afford to totally care 100% for every citizen who need assistance, but other than medical care, I have seen no other assistance at all, nor has anyone even once offered it. Maybe I have been judged as able to support myself and I would agree to a point, but I fear that I am reaching the point where I may need low level assistance. The more my mind betrays me the more I feel lost in a system that no longer works in a way I understand. The world I left over 6 years ago, just doesn’t work that way any longer, I have to admit I am now out of my depth. It has become easier to just sit here than to ask for help, as it all gets so complicated so quickly, but maybe that is their hope, that I will just sit here and ask for nothing.
Somewhere along the line I have accepted a life that has happened, not planed just happened. I have reached a point where it is just easier to coast along, with life as it is, good or bad. So here is the choice is there really a place where those who need special housing and help, really get it with care and thought. Or is the truth millions are sitting trapped in their homes seeing no one, just quietly existing with what they have because their is no other option? The truth I see and hear on line is the second one, the myth belonging to the TV. I’m not complaining, as I say often I am happy, but what about the point in the future when being happy isn’t enough. Who do I turn to and what will happen then?