I don’t normally blog about politics and the way the government are radically defacing human society as we know it. But this time I can’t help by share my story with you about Housing Benefit and when I needed it most. Please sign the petition at the end of this blog also.
You see my childhood wasn’t exactly the best, with more abuse you can throw a stick at, I knew from an early age that the sooner I could move away from my parents the better. So when I turned 18 and had the best opportunity to leave home I took it.
Luckily I had a great job and supportive partner and didn’t need to claim housing benefit to pay the rent as we owned our own house – not many 18 year olds are able to say that they own their own home these days. Life was going swimmingly until one day my GP told me that the continual tears and despair was clinical depression. My depression caused by unresolved childhood issues; go figure.
I struggled on with life; leaving the house at 7am to be at work which was 20 miles away on time and not getting back until 7pm at night. Then I had to care for my partner who had a spinal injury. On top of that I wanted him to have the best times while he could, even if that meant his friends coming over for tea I made sure that it happened. I was in charge of paying the bills and keeping the house clean, while every night I prepared food for my partner for the next day while I was working.
The medication took away some of the anguish and anxiety that I was going through on a daily basis, it was allowing me to continue with this life of never knowing what was coming around the corner.
That was until one day I popped and couldn’t take it anymore. I know it was the depression talking and I needed to seek help, but I was stuck in a rut and I needed out there and then.
So I ran. I left my partner in tears as I ran out the door for escape and freedom. Harsh I know but I really couldn’t deal with it any more, deal with me and my head, not him and his back.
After a couple of months of sofa surfing and homeslessness. I was able to get a flat of my own. I decorated it to within an inch of perfection and it was my palace that no one could take away from me, or so I thought.
This was when my mother came back into my life. She done nothing but criticise me for not doing things how she wanted and thought they should be done. Within two weeks of moving into the flat I self harmed for the first time, I knew straight away that I was in serious trouble.
My mother told me that I would be moving back in with her and giving up my flat. She told me that she would stop me by what ever means from self harming. She told me that I should listen to her because she’s my mother. She told her friends every little details of what I told her was going through my head. She ridiculed my ill health to her friends so that I was nothing but a piece of dirt in her otherwise pretty world.
I knew that if I was to go and live back with her, as she was the root cause of my mental health, that I wouldn’t make it. I wouldn’t survive living with her, not after the things she’d told me, said to me, beat into me.
I stood strong and told her I was staying in my perfect little flat and I was making it work. I did make it work, with the support from work that reduced my SSP (as they should) and eventually receiving housing benefit (as I should). It was this respite that I received by not having to worry about paying my rent, or council tax for that matter, that allowed me time to re-evaluate my life.
I was 23 when this happened and I got my flat. If the proposed housing benefit cuts were in place when this was happening to me and I was forced to move back home with my mother and I can tell you right now that I wouldn’t be here telling you this story if I did.
The cuts that are being proposed don’t appear to take into account personal circumstances and is trying to blanket everyone as though they can be at home with their parents. It has been badly thought out and people need to shout and make Mr Cameron realise that there is more to life than having a silver spoon.
There are under 25’s that are being abused, going through mental distress, need extra care than the parents can provide. This proposal is never going to work until he comes down to see what life is like for people like you and I who haven’t had the best childhood or relationship with parents.