Remembering the Thatcher years, I was horrified when, in may 2010, David Cameron (enabled by Nick 'sorry-not-sorry' Clegg) slipped into power, along with the likes of George 'go-figure' Osborne, and Ian 'don't-give-a-damn' Smith.
Now, after five years of Cameron and co, the rich are richer and the poor are poorer, well, I expected that!
I knew the Tories wouldn't have any interest in, or feeling for, the 'common' people.... but (and this is a big BUT!) I never expected them to hurt people like me, or my daughter!
Why? - What might exclude us (and others like us) from Tory 'wickedness'?
Well, my child and I are both disabled - they wouldn't go after disabled people, would they?
Over the past five years the coalition (Tory) Governments draconian cuts, cruel assessments, and relentless propaganda have pushed (many) sick, disabled, and mentally ill people worryingly close to the edge - pushed some (largely unreported by the media) 'too far!'
My daughter and I didn't choose disability, she certainly didn't; she was born disabled. There's not a lot we can do to change our 'scrounger' status, either we take the 'handouts' (social security) from the same pot my husband paid into for years I might add, or we starve!
Of course, my 'Littlie' (going on 10, with a mental age of 5) has no idea that (Thanks to Tory/media rhetoric) our family would be judged negatively (by some) she has no idea that Cameron and Co have attempted to create a Britain that may not welcome the disabled adult she will one day become.
I know though! I know, and I am afraid, afraid for myself, afraid for my disabled friends, afraid for all (reliant) disabled people living in Britain.... but above all else, afraid for my child!
Many disabled people have had their lives turned upside down over the past five years - some have not survived the onslaught.
Vulnerable people, who (and I should know) are desperately afraid - deeply affected by right wing 'scrounger' propaganda, and increasingly concerned about their future.
People who's symptoms of illness/disability (in many cases, including my own) have been greatly exacerbated by an overwhelming fear of the next WCA (Work capability Assessment)
An assessment interrogation that often ignores their own doctors opinion in a deliberate attempt to strip them of benefits.
Mentally ill people who are terrified by even the idea of having to expose themselves (face to face) at a ten minute (tick box) assessment (to a complete stranger) who is unlikely to be qualified to assess Mental Illness, and even less likely to empathise.
People who are despairingly aware, that even if they are lucky enough to pass the assessment, it won't be long before the process begins again.
Many are self-harming, some feel/or have felt that suicide may be a better option than continuing to battle both debilitating mental illness/disability, and the 'powers that be'.
As most of you know (physical disabilities aside) my own symptoms of Mental Illness interfere with my ability to cope with many everyday activities without the support of my husband, and those things I do manage alone, are only doable if he's nearby.
I could give for instances but we'd be here all day; so I won't.
Most significantly, for the purpose of this post, is that my disabilities prevent me from working, and also from caring for my disabled child alone....and, as I'm unable to function at home, or outdoors without support, it also prevents my husband from working.
Although, given that I care for my disabled child (to the best of my abilities) with hubby's help, and he cares for us both (full time) with no help, I'd ask those who see fit to judge us (with all due respect, Mr Cameron) to define *hard working people*.
I'm terrified of the benefits system, I fear the dreaded brown envelope (DWP letter) every day - the sound of the post man fiddling with the letter box puts me on edge before anything hits the mat - the site of any brown envelope on the hall floor puts me in a state of panic, which continues to have a negative affect on me long after hubs has checked the contents, and reassured me that today is not the day that I will have to begin AGAIN the process of proving how disabled I am!
It's a daily, overwhelming fear....I have no idea when the next letter will come, but one thing is certain - It will come!
If, after that next assessment, the powers that be decide that we are no longer (in their opinion) entitled to support, I will STILL be disabled, my daughter will STILL be disabled, and my husband will STILL be a full time carer. The ONLY difference (other than making us sicker) such a decision would make; is that we would have nothing to live on!
We're less than a week away from General Election 2015 (time of writing) and I'm terrified the Tory's might manage to 'lie' their way in for another term, because, dear reader, if they do; they will be coming for me and mine, and quite possibly (if you are reliant, or become so) you and yours too, and there won't be a damn thing we can do about it!
NB: The above thoughts, observations, opinions, are based on my own experiences, and those of disabled people I know, or who's experiences I have read about. I do not presume to speak for all disabled people.
LORD, I pray for all sick and disabled people who have died, and for all who mourn them. Amen