Reblogged with Permission of A.S.
I cannot explain adequately what it is like to be terminally ill. To be told that the thing that is causing you so much pain and trouble is unbeatable, that you have lost the fight and your time will soon be over.
I cannot express the emotions. I’m not that good at writing. But, after talking with the other Walking Dead (our gallows humour name for my new found soon-to-die friends) it seems we all had the same thought the instant we were told – who will look after ‘X’ now? You see, we are all bread winners or primary carers and the idea that our loved ones, who rely on us for so much, are going to be alone and vulnerable terrifies us.
It also makes us angry and ashamed. Angry at this thing is going kill us and ashamed that we are too pathetic to stop it.
When you have to face mortality there are a hundred ways of doing so. And I’ve seen them all. Done some of them too, with the numerous false alarms I’ve had. You can’t avoid them when you are in waiting rooms and on wards where the words ‘Pallative Care’ are used. I should have died 2 years ago. They don’t know why I ain’t dead. They think its the chemo. I think its my hyperbolic rage* (* see Twitter)
But there is something I have seen time and again that I can’t bounce back from and its something that I also wish I had the adequate skills and words to properly explain.
When someone who is terminally ill is screwed over their benefits.
Eighty terminally ill people a month are found to be ‘fit for work’ and go onto die within six weeks of that expert finding.
And if that isn’t bad enough, more terminally ill people lose their benefits because they haven’t died quickly enough.
When you are too ill to work it is horrific. When are too dying to work its even worse.
The worry and self-loathing at being so inadequate is all consuming. I cannot tell you how bad. How will you eat? Pay bills, go out? And worse..how will ‘X’ eat, pay their bills, get what they need?
Those benefits aren’t a necessity, they are a candle in the black, a spark of hope, one less worry that a dead man/woman has to carry.
And then its taken away.
It truly is a form of torture. People who should be spending what time they have left living now have to spend it fighting. Feeling even more pathetic, more inadequate, more ashamed and worst of all a terrible burden.
The dying are a burden. You have NO idea how that feels.
It is said that suicide rates among those on welfare have jumped incredibly high. I know it is true.
If someone is dying and frightened, finding them fit-for-work says two things.
1) You are a burden on your family
2) You are a lying parasite.
They cut Cancer benefits too.
Now imagine how it feels when the State tells you that you need to hurry up and die. Because, they’ve spent money on you. And its not good enough that a parasite like you is still here.
I (and 2 nurses) had to talk a 40 year old terminally ill man from suiciding after being told he hadn’t died and so was being punished.
He was a burden to his suffering family, you see. They’d be better off if he was gone.
I’ve held the old, the young and the middle-aged whilst their souls shatter. Not dead yet. Not dying enough. Not enough pain, not enough invalidity, not enough cancer.
I hate the Tories.
I really do mean that.
It is the Tories who are doing this.
And sometimes I hate you.
Because you let them.
I try to tweet this about this stuff. It might be my tweets are crap. Fair enough. But those tweets are completely ignored.
Just as the torture of the terminally ill is normally ignored. We don’t have loud voices.
We don’t have the energy to fight death and fight our torturers.
And we are ignored. As I write this, Labour is fighting itself over Antisemitism. Started by a comment over a mural.
People even marched. I would love to march.
I would march for every forgotten soul killed and tortured by Tory policy. I would march for the 120000.
And NO Labour MP or activist would march with me (confession – as I write this, I am actually crying. The betrayal that I feel, is more painful than the cancer eating my lungs)
I remember there was a time when Labour MPs actually did bring our plight to the Commons.
And the Tories laughed.
Centrists like Jess Phillips want us to hug a Tory. Its mature and adult she says.
They. Laughed. At. The. Dying.
Centrists like Stella Creasy rolled their eyes when someone said Tory policy was killing people.
They. Have. Killed. 120000. Vulnerable. People.
Centrists like Wes Streeting went on a march with Norman Tebbit and the DUP because of a commeny about a mural.
He ignores every invitation by disabled activists to march with them.
John Mann staged a fight with Ken Livingstone at the BBC.
He blocked me, when I politely asked him to not abstain on a Welfare Bill that would harm my disabled brother. So did John Mann, Tom Watson and Rachel Reeves.
Did I mention that I now loathe Centrist Labour MP’s?
I learned to. I didn’t before 2010.
Whilst Labour fights over antiSemitism we go in to April
Another 80+ people will die within 6 weeks of being found fit for work. Their last days on Earth will be filled with worry and stress about money and shame and self loathing.
More disabled people will attempt suicide. A lot will be successful. Only their families and the coroner will notice. Labour won’t. The media will for a minute. But smearing the Labour Leader is more important. The Tories will laugh.
Remainers tell me they aren’t voting Labour because of Brexit. They are proud that this will ensure another Tory government and teach Labour a lesson!
It will certainly teach the dying a lesson. I don’t care much for remainers either. The Left are just as bad.
They ignore us just as much. They want to fight over Brexit and deselections and anything other than what is happening to us. I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn knows we exist. Or are important enough to be in his manifesto.
Even though the UK is the only country to be condemned by the UN for human rights abuses against the disabled.
A disabled writer once likened our deaths to genocide and ethnic cleansing.
I don’t care if you think it is hyperbole. I do often wonder if he was right.
I also remember, when I was doing my degree, coming across a school exam from Germany 1938
Paraphrasing one of the questions, it asked ‘If the State has to pay X amount to keep a non-contributing, weak disabled person alive and there are X amount of these people burdening the State, how much would be saved for true Germans if there were no disabled people in Germany?
Feel free to think me hysterical. I will be in the waiting room trying to comfort the latest victim of Tory Britain.
Last week a lady was in the waiting room holding back tears. She had been found fit for work. She is dying.
She told me she had voted Tory all her life. She wanted to know why were they doing this to us?
I could have said lots of things. I gave her the truth. I don’t know. It hurts. And no one cares.
Since I posted this on Twitter I have been overwhelmed by the love and support I have received.
Let me say thank you and also, if you really want to make a difference please support and talk to these guys. @blacktriangle1 @dis_PPL_Protest They need your help.
One last thing. A few years ago a young pundit caught my eye on BBC Question Time. He looked Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of our suffering, straight in the eye and read out to him a list of those who had died. IDS was furious, Dimbleby shot this pundit down but this young pundit did something no other had done in the media. Faced IDS down with what he was responsible for.
His name is Owen Jones. Whether you agree with his politics or not, whether you like him or not, he is one of the few, the very few who ever spoke up for us.
I owe him that recognition.
Here is a bit of that moment
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