aka Disability, woo! pt n
When you can’t talk, and you’re angry, you can’t just go yell at people. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be typing this right now; I’d be waiting in a line at Centrelink with the whole thing blowing up until it came out at a person.
Sometimes, when I’m pissed, it comes out physically, like how I wanted to smash the overlocker the other day and ended up smashing the door frame and a few other things instead.
And sometimes, I snap. It’s the rare time that my brain works the way it did before, when not talking was a sometimes thing (seriously, the doctors are still pretending that it’s a sudden thing, because it makes them feel like they can fix it, but it’s been happening since I was at least, you know, eight, so they’re just dreaming) and all the information went in and twisted around and came back out in order and clear and connected, all the things that made law perfect for me even though it was everyone else who wanted me to do it and not, you know, me. I’m perfectly calm. Things look like a flowchart, a series of if… then… statements that connect and swirl, and I feel in control.
This makes me dangerous. People don’t like me when I’m dangerous.
So, as you know, about a week and a half ago I received a letter with an address and a time, and it came with the usual ‘this is a notice under social security law, if you do not attend your entitlement to benefits may be affected’ note which fails to actually cite an actual law to back it up (because most of the staff don’t actually know; it’s largely handled in regulations and policies and not all of it is public-facing). It was scheduled in the morning, telling me several things:
- whoever made the appointment either failed to notice, didn’t care, or was not informed that I specifically requested afternoon appointments because of multiple diagnosed medical conditions which affect my sleep patterns;
- having multiple diagnosed medical conditions which affect my sleep patterns is therefore not an ‘acceptable reason’ for rescheduling;
- they are not interested in having me able to participate in the appointment because obviously, attending means I will be exhausted.
I also gathered, from the short notice, that they do not understand that it isn’t easy to arrange a support person (someone who may have to travel, take time off work (and would therefore need a medical certificate… even the people who are professional support people, like lawyers or advocates, generally need more than a week’s notice, which of course I know from personal experience). That is also not an acceptable reason to reschedule, even though at the last appointment I was yelled at for not having one for about twenty minutes. I know this because I actually tried to get one rescheduled, a while ago, and was told that it was not good enough as there was enough notice. (what is it with people assuming that no paid work = free time central? I did actually have to cancel things to attend today).
So, because I was tired, and my brain feels bigger than my head and light makes it have stabby pulsing pains, and my stomach is so tender and my back is shocky just from one layer of clothes (let alone the four for outside clothes), and because there was a tiny incident on the way there… I got lost. So I know I was in the right place, because not only did I get directions off Google Maps before I left, I was following the street directory. There was a psychologists’ office there, even. But, apparently, not the one I was meant to be at. They weren’t expecting anyone who signed. “Is someone coming to talk for you?” they said. Then ran down all the names of the psychologists there, none of them matched the letter. One of them ran to the one next door, who were also not expecting anyone. The address was on the window.
… I ended up going across the road, getting my meds (they didn’t ask for ID! I am hoping that entire thing was scrapped because it did not work, but honestly, it’s probably because I really do look that terrible today), and coming home.
If I could talk, I would have gone down to the office and made a scene. But last time I was there, they wouldn’t let me type, so that was pointless.
Instead I came home. I have ice on my ankle – I sprained it a few weeks ago, and it doesn’t like that I’ve gone from going out once a week to every second day (last week it was every day). I am deciding what to say.
Now it is time for the if… then… part
If they decide that missing this appointment, which they made for me with no respect to my stated needs regarding time, and apparently sent me to the wrong place for, means they reject my claim, then I can appeal. I made a good faith effort to attend and I have done everything else they asked. And as I said, before, tribunals are my territory.
If they schedule another appointment, and send me a letter in which they yell at me for not attending, then I will cry for the entire short notice period, and I will go walk around until I find the right office, and reschedule it for a time that doesn’t require me to skip a night’s sleep, and if they deem that not reasonable, then, well, I did try. And if I miss it, or you know, pass out and sleep through it, then they had notice, again, of my condition.
If I write a letter and send it to them, because I’m not making it to the office now on my ankle and with my head how it is, then they know that I tried and to double check their mail merge to make sure the address is correct. And, they have a record that I tried, so if they reject my claim, then it looks pretty stupid.
At least, I hope.
But I know IMEs are frustrating. I know this from both sides. Why not make it easy by, you know, including a map? Or, like, the phone number of the actual office and not the central cube monkey interstate phone number? I could have sent a message to the office that way, or had my mum ring for me (and put up with the consequences). Talking people could have just rung up and been like ‘yeah I’m at the lights on this street help where are you?’ which I know people do because I’ve been the one giving directions.
And, naturally, I have things to do now so I can’t go to sleep. If I do not make my regularly scheduled fandom post, I will get emails asking me whether I’m dead. I would dearly like a break, but that literally happened to the person I took over from, who was meant to be gone for a few weeks (it’s been six months). My boys need me tonight, although I’m not allowed to have a favourite player any more because if they get injured I end up with the same injury and it’s happened too many times now for it to be coincidence, though I don’t really know why.
So yeah, that happened. The reason I’m calm? I’m about to crash, massively. The simplest summary for my triggers is ‘being yelled at and my money/house threatened for things that are not my fault’. This hits that. And when I crash, it will be a mess.
That isn’t an if… then… at all.