Sunday, 8 June 2014

Twenty Five Years, and Counting - Part Two

 At the moment, I don’t really need to write new stuff. The old pieces are doing more (when I share them), than I EVER thought possible. I think that’s what I’m going to keep doing for a while.
I didn’t realise that the poems, and other pieces would have the impact that they seem to be having. I can’t really believe it!
Thank you so much to everyone who shared and tweeted 'Part One' of this article.  You gave a very tired person hope that people were listening. It meant so much.
People have been messaging to say, ‘I understand better now’, or ‘I didn’t realise, now I do’.
I got a bit teary! Every time something gets shared or re-tweeted, I just have to be confident. Confident that it’s getting our message, a little further each time.
Even though the poems might not all be about the government’s antics, they seem to be opening people’s eyes to what it is like to live with a disability or illness.
If we can make people understand the reality of that better, and make people remember that we are human beings, with feelings, and not just a number on a page, or a nameless ‘scrounger’, then maybe that will help.
That’s what I’m trying to do by sharing the poems, and pieces. If I change one person’s mind, or make one person think, (before they judge us, in the way that the government WANT them to), then I have done what I set out to do twenty-five years ago.
I don’t want people to think I am ‘in this for my ego’. If you could ask the tiny eight year old girl I was when I started this, if she was ‘in it for her ego,’ she wouldn’t have had a clue what you were talking about, and twenty-five years later, I wish I still didn’t!
Unfortunately, there are people doing this that (might) have other motives, and there are people out there, who might lead the cause in (what many consider to be), the wrong direction. It’s not up to me to say, one way or other.
Everyone goes about things the best way they know how, and we have a fight on our hands, more now, than ever before.
There IS an attempt to vilify and de-humanise disabled, and ill people. There IS an attempt to make us seem like ‘scroungers’ and leeches, bleeding a struggling country dry!
There is doctoring of figures, and blatant lies being spread, but the fact is, the most vulnerable people in society, are not the ones at fault. We didn’t choose to be ill, disabled, unemployed.
Nobody would choose to live with such heartbreaking limitations placed on our lives, and we didn’t choose to vilified, victimised, and made scapegoats!
The economic crisis is the fault of bankers, corporate tax avoiders, and people who decide to hide their wealth, rather than pay what is fair. It is not the fault of those who can least afford to live, and who struggle (already), through everyday life!
It’s hard, and it’s heartbreaking enough to be in our situations. Now we are told (on a daily basis) that we are worthless ‘scroungers’, and we cost too much to keep. How is that supposed to make us feel?!
Twenty five years ago, I would have never have thought that in the future, I would be opening newspapers, and reading headlines, that made me hate myself – just for being disabled!
I would give anything to go back to focussing all my energies on fighting access issues, level pavements, accessible buses, and all those things.
I want to go back, and focus on the ‘little decision’ I made as an eight year old, to try to change the way disabled people were perceived.
All I wanted was to help people understand what it’s like to be us, and to make people aware that we can do good things. Now, I’m part of the fight to help us SURVIVE!
I can’t believe how things have changed. I don’t want to believe it. Everything I did before, for all those years, seems so easy compared to now, and I want those days back!
I thought it was a fight, then. Ha! I didn’t know when I was well off!
Then, it was a fight for equality, and access. Now it’s a fight for compassion and understanding. It’s a fight, for basics, and rights, but more than that. it’s a fight to LIVE!
As I said before, I dread to think where the ’cause’ will be in twenty-five years time! Sometimes I see things, read things, and feel things that make me dread the next twenty-five minutes, as a disabled person!
They’re taking vital benefits, cutting much-needed services, closing the Independent Living Fund! All these things aren’t luxuries, they are necessities!
If I have to fight and this level, after the 2015 General Election, I don’t think I can do it. I don’t think I have the strength! It feels like they want us, to give up, turn our faces to the wall, and die.
That’s what’s happened in so many cases, already. People being found fit for work when they aren’t, people committing suicide after the loss of benefits. People feeling so desperate, and isolated, and unwanted, that they see no option, but to end their own lives!
What sort of country is this, where that is even considered OK? It should be all over the media. Maybe (if it was happening in another country), it would be. To me, it seems like WE have been forgotten, and already pushed to one side.
This should not be happening, and the damage will take years to repair – if we ever can! I dread it, I fear it!
If the little eight year old girl who was me when I started had known what would happen she would’ve been terrified.
Anyone can become disabled at anytime through accident or illness, or have a disabled child, joining the many thousands of people who are already terrified of what their future may hold.


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