I’m not well, mentally or physically. I have clinical depression, ultra-ultra rapid cycling and IBS (possibly endo). In my previous job I worked their for 6 months, within those 6 months I had 60 days off. That’s 2 weeks off per month. This is mainly because my ?IBS is stress related. If I get upset or someone argues with me or some-such I will be crippled with pain within minutes. So combine this with a boring job I hate, working with people who I have nothing in common with, who make me feel like a total freak and you have an unhappy tHornyMinx and therefore an ill tHornyMinx.
Following all this I decided I was going back to university, I had a taste of the real world and I didn’t like it, I was going back to academia. The plan was to get an MSc in Evolutionary Anthropology (to follow my MA in Celtic Civilisation and History) then get a PhD combining the 2, then lecture and give other folk pointless degrees. I love my subjects, they fill me with a passion palpable to anyone who asks me about them. So in 4 years I will be a productive (tax paying) member of society and I know how I’m going to get there.
I was on Job Seekers Allowance*, but I decided I would be better off on ESA, Employment Support Allowance, which is basically JSA but for people with disabilities and DLA, Disability Living Allowance. I have to apply for both, as I can’t be in full time education without being on DLA. Despite the fact my course is only 10 hours a week and I’m willing to find a part time job the system doesn’t support that. My course is full time if the university says it is never mind it’s only 10 hours a week, to do it part time would take me 2 years meaning I was draining the state of more money.
As part of getting ESA I have to be signed off work by my doctor, there is one small problem, my medical records have not arrived from my previous practice. I have lived here 3 months, signed up to my new GP’s immediately, and I’ve phoned my old GP’s and they no longer have them. So they are lost in the ether in-between PCT’s and I have no idea when they will arrive. Without my records my new GP’s will not refer me to the CMHT (which I have practically begged them to do, I know I’m far more unstable that I was), and will not sign me off work. Now I don’t ahve the problem with the second part of this so much, if I was a GP (who gave a damn) I wouldn’t sign off someone with only their word for their medical history.
Because of my sickness record I can’t get a job, so I though about escorting, I figure, I love sex, I’m single, why not get paid for it. I’ve never seen anything wrong with the line of work but I always figured as a “big girl” I’d never get any custom. But in the past year or so my eyes have been opened a lot more to the sex industry, I have several friends who are dominatrices and/or escorts. They love their work, they weren’t forced into it and they make a hell of a lot more money that any other job with the same hours***. So I bit the bullet, googlelled local escort agencies and sent off applications for about 10. There are a lot more agencies out there but they either looked cheap or wanted girls of a specific dress size. I heard back from 3 within a few days, unfortunately one was to say my photos hadn’t worked could I send them again. Another only wanted in-call girls which I won’t do for several reasons**. The final seemed hopeful, nice website, good response to me, saying they thought I’d be popular. But then it was once thing after another, their email went funny so we missed a meeting, then she couldn’t make it to where I lived and all sorts. I usually hate phone calls but though I’d ring them instead of texting then I’d get an immediate response and be able to sort a meeting out. No answer, I tried sever different times. I’m going to try again tomorrow but that’s it, I’ve got a horrible feeling they’ve decided I’m not worth the bother and aren’t answering my calls.
I filled in my DLA form and man that thing is a bitch, it’s deigned for people who have disabilities like being in a wheelchair not less obvious ones like mental health issues. I got a response from them and they refused it. This caused a lovely major depressive episode for me, along with the above paragraph’s problems. Apparently I’m not at risk of hurting myself, the fact I only made it home by luck, is I think evidence against this. I was praying for a car to hit me, just to take my problems away at least temporarily, I didn’t look while crossing any roads, just walked, and prayed.
So I have no benefits, I have no savings, I can’t get a job, one of my parents is retired and one is unemployed himself, so they can’t support me. What on earth am I supposed to do? As I’m studying my housing benefit will also stop when I start uni. So I have £300 rent p/m to pay, plus food so about another £100 a month if I’m really frugal, more like £150-£200. And then there’s going out, books, entertainment for myself, which isn’t stuff I need (well except the books, but I’m not a freaking monk) so lets say another £100 for that. That’s £600 a month, I have to magic out of nowhere.
I wonder how the criminal underclass do it. If I wanted to do nothing with my life except take drugs and be a baby factory I’d have loads of cash. But I have a plan and a reasonable career choice I’m willing to work for, but I need help to get there. Help I would easily pay back with the taxes/NI etc on a lecture’s income. But I can’t get that help because the system is broken.
And it’s breaking me too.
*That’s the basic unemployment benefit for any overseas visitors.
** Safety, privacy and my house-mate.
*** Local out-call rates are about £120 an hour, the agency takes some so lets say you walk off with £90 cash in hand for an hour’s work. If I got 10 hours work a week I could make almost a grand.