Left with time to spare and set out on the scooter— flat tyre. Shit shit shit, back inside, google a taxi company!
Messaged the benefits advisor to tell him I was behind on time now, but got there in time anyway. Then he told me that he was very sorry but would have to leave by 12, for the horse! And it was only 11:15. He also said they were delayed but had asked if they could do a favour and get me in before some others. Since they were familiar with him, he was hopeful.
Whilst waiting he told me that he had indeed lost two horse in the year! And a dog, but the first horse and the dog were due to old age, whereas the horse being put down today was only 2 years old, and had fallen and broken a hip. Pretty grim to be honest.
Thank god they saw me before he had to leave, honestly would’ve been a disaster without, as it was stressful enough. He did miss the last 5 minutes but that was all. The woman doing the assessment was strange— similar age to me, self-respecting and professional looking, and articulate, but it was like she’d had the soul sucked out of her. I mean she was exactly the characterisation of how you’d imagine someone to be in order to do that job, but the rest of her demeanour made it seem more like that was as a result of the job— but in that case why even do the job in the first place, much less keep doing it? I could never be part of a system like that personally. Just seemed very sad, and very very dystopian. It was like the ‘computer says no’ sketch in Little Britain but with the person much more qualified and well-presented.
I found myself getting very stressed again when asked for examples of OCD. It’s so difficult because OCD is a form of trauma, and you naturally filter it out of your memory as much as you can. And the point with OCD is that it’s your mind falling back to instinctive defences, doing things automatically, so it’s hard to describe the compulsions when they’ve become so automatic, it’s like describing breathing. And because I have Just Right OCD the compulsions can be anything and everything.
Basically I was asked the same questions over and over again but in different ‘contexts’— what are my compulsions whilst cooking meals, going shopping, washing etc. But since my OCD compulsions consist either of simply repeating whatever I’m doing in the moment, or abstract mental compulsions or tics, it became harder and harder to give examples without repeating myself. It was an effort to try to explain it once, never mind ten times. And no, I don’t have problems with cleaning specifically either. I have problems with everything! And blinking, and other physical tics. It’s dissociation and it’s a way of being, not task-specific. Like moving through honey.
I also find myself defaulting more and more to an almost adversarial mental state in these situations, especially since the PIP tribunal where everything I said was twisted and turned against me. When being asked whether I was currently receiving treatment for my knees (and why not), I automatically felt the implied ‘accusation’ there that it can’t be that bad if I’m not currently receiving treatment for them, when the answer to that is so incredibly complicated. It’s the same old loop they’re trying to trap you in— deny you access to financial support because you’re not receiving other support, then deny you access to other types of support because you’re not receiving the financial support!
Meanwhile you’re just trying to survive day to day and hoping to actually get any kind of mental health support without spending whatever money you happen to have. It’s very hard not to engage a ‘fight’ response when you know what’s happening.
If they actually deem me ‘not capable to work’ from this assessment, then I get paid a ‘disability premium’ which is backdated to the time I initially requested the assessment— July 2021! And that payment would pay for any therapy I actually need right now.
Anyway, ultimately just the same old story at the moment: the UK is fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu—