This post may come across as self pitying , it’s not meant to. I don’t like pity , It’s just reality. My reality right now.
O is still no closer to getting a formal diagnosis. School still can’t cope with him. He’s still part time. And even then I often have to go and collect him early,
at the drop of a hat when I get a phone call. The PRU isnt even working out for him ,Everyday is full of meetings and appointments with different people that have different opinions of O’s needs , CAMHS do not reply to any contact from any of the people involved with O.
Which leads me onto CAMHS and the 7 year battle I’ve already had with them so far get only minimal help and support for my teenager. Because he had no support he wasnt able to finish school.He also wasn’t able to cope with college. He’s not atall independent. I am his carer. Trying to care for him With no support.
Because of CAMHS who saw him once in the past 7 months and caught him on a rare good day he may lose his DLA when it needs to be renewed in a couple of months.
His support worker , my parent support worker and our gp agree that he isn’t well and still needs medication and support. Aswell as everything else his phobias and anxieties are getting worse. He is also becoming more obsessive compulsive.
When I’m not dealing with O I’m trying to find the help my 17 year old needs.
But this obviously isn’t enough stress.
That would all just be too easy for me wouldn’t it.
If my 17 year olds DLA isn’t renewed my benefits will be capped this month , even if it is renewed my benefits will be capped in December when he turns 18.
Because although I’m his carer and he is completely dependent , he won’t be a dependent.
So this leaves me with the very real reality that before the end of this year my benefit changes will mean that after I’ve paid my rent I will be left with exactly £50 a month.
£50 A MONTH.
To live on for all of us.
Not just £50 for food or £50 for bills. £50 a month to live on.
We don’t live in a big lavish house. It’s actually a run down house where everything in the bathroom leaks and the kitchen floor is 40 year old Lino, on an estate that’s well known for being rough.
We don’t have any flashy stuff.
And I scrimp and save for everything.
I worked full time until I had two kids. My husband had a full time job and we payed our own way for the ten years we were married. But our marriage broke down.
I didn’t want to be raising my kids on benefits. But that’s what happened.
I’ve done a good job , my eldest is at uni doing physics , my 16 year old is going to college to do plumbing and my 15 year old is on track to get great gcse results. She wants to go into law or forensic psychology. I haven’t raised spongers , I’ve raised bright people who want to make something of themselves.
But the reality of it all is that I’ve been let down by schools who didnt provide adequate support , a mental health system that doesn’t work and now the government expects me to live on £50 a month.
Someone told me to just move.
Just move ?
I live in London in an area with a huge lack of social housing and where rents are all sky high.
Where will I find a home that I can afford at the drop of a hat. For all of us.
Am I supposed to let my family become homeless with two children with mental health issues. Are they supposed to cope with the uncertainty of where we will live.
I’m also dealing with psoriatic arthritis and IBS. I take ALOT of strong medication. One if which is a low dose chemo drug. I’m often very unwell and in huge amounts of pain.
So while our government and all those that look down on benefit claimants as scum who don’t deserve any help are sleeping well in their beds every night I will be laying awake tossing and turning while I try and figure out a way to get my family through the next few months.
This is my reality.
It’s also what reality looks like to all too many other families.