as you may or may not know, i’m officially classed as a “disabled” person. (a discussion of that term is a whole other story, so i won’t get into that just now!). over the past eight months or so i had been having some health issues which meant i was signed off from work, which along with some other factors means that i have taken the decision to close down my small business. i’m ok with this decision – i think it was definitely the right thing to do.
i’m now unemployed.
& unfortunately, along with unemployment comes applying for jobseeker’s allowance (the UK equivalent of welfare/unemployment benefit). in theory, i should be entitled to claim it, considering that i have faithfully paid my national insurance contributions throughout my self-employment & all previous employment. in reality, i’m still waiting (almost a month after making my application) to hear whether or not i’m going to get any money. & although i haven’t received anything yet, i’m still required to attend various interviews & sessions at the local jobcentre at which i get repeatedly interrogated as to why i’m unemployed.
it’s my own fault, really – i present as being an articulate & intelligent (albeit slightly odd) person, & compared with some of the folk i’ve seen at the jobcentre…. well, i’ll let you imagine. scary stuff. but, & if you will permit me to rant a little, this is where having an “invisible disability” is a huge hindrance (& not, it would appear, something that the jobcentre staff have any experience with). although it’s recorded in my computer file at the jobcentre that i have a “disability” & therefore have some restrictions on the kind of work i can do, the staff seem to be unable to match up what they’re reading with the person sitting opposite them. & since seeing is believing, since they can’t see anything “wrong” with me, then i must be fine. & they continue to pressure me to apply for jobs that simply aren’t suitable (& which would probably cause me to have some kind of nervous breakdown after about a week, & then i’d be unemployed again! & also crazy! hooray!!).
i’m not unemployable – i’m smart, hardworking, and (mostly) reliable. but equally, there are some things that i just can’t do. i don’t define myself by the things i can’t do, but i know my limitations. & after another session at the jobcentre this afternoon, i’m exhausted.
for the rest of the day i will mostly be watching “harry potter”, & knitting a sleeve:
it’s the first sleeve for the “seamless hybrid” sweater from “knitting without tears” (elizabeth zimmerman, of course!) done, as the body was, with a contrasting hem facing (that’s the green bit in the picture – it’s still to be turned). brainless & soothing knitting to calm the nerves.
& as a reward for those of you who made it through the rant, here’s a very happy dog on the beach (finally, a sunny day!).