So, today was meant to be my DAM. Remember, last time I got there and they sent me home because they weren’t expecting anyone? And they rescheduled the time before and sent me to an employment services assessment instead?
To attend today, I had to start getting ready at 5:30am. I left just after 9am. I got there at 10:45am, after a delightful display of misogyny in one of my breaks, because, remember, I can’t drive that far in one go (I’m actually sitting here, icing my back, because it started with the stinging red pain and if I don’t stop it then I won’t be able to walk). They told me the doctor was sick but it would be okay because they let the department know and someone will be in touch to reschedule.
It’s been four months since I applied. This is a mandatory, statutory requirement. It shouldn’t have even taken four months to get an appointment.
But, you know, they sent me to the right place this time? Last time it took six weeks for them to reschedule. I can’t wait another six weeks. The cynical mother-voice is like ‘they’re making it hard so you quit and get a job because they don’t want to pay you’. Which isnt right either – I havent been able to knit in two weeks because of the pain, and that’s knitting, the easy self-directed mini-business that’s been my ‘plan’ every time someone asks about retraining. It’s no longer a thing I can reliably do. I don’t have it in me for office work – I’m not even awake long enough to put in 38 hours, let alone spend 3 hours getting dressed each day and travel on top of that. I can’t hear now, which nobody cares about. I’m in the 15th week of a fever. Because of the slight issue with accidentally offending someone because I pointed out it’s not okay to randomly sexually harass people, my entire routine is upended because now I not only have to go elsewhere (more expensive, and, where is the money coming from? It’s not, is it?) but I have to go twice a week, because that’s how they do it. Or something.
The psychiatrist continually tells me that people with my condition know instinctively what they need to get “better”. I know I’m not getting “better”, that I need to adapt, to have my routine and sleep at the best time for me and to, above all, not get dragged all over the entire city by doctors who think that ‘not working’ = ‘available any time at short notice’. I need to be left alone.
Clearly that’s not happening, becuse the psychiatrist contradicts himself by pressuring me to try some new thing or another like five minutes later.
But, like, four months? For a DSP application? Even if I could eat, I haven’t been able to afford it for half that time. The kind of people who are affected by these delays are exactly the kind of people who can’t find alternate income to make up the difference, even if they were allowed.
And of course, nobody told me in advance.