Posted 6/5/2018 3:14 PM (GMT -7)
Hmm, 100th post so I suppose this thread will be closed soon.
At least I can end on a rare bit of good news! I went to a tribunal today to appeal the loss of my disability benefit, PIP (Personal Independence Payment). It had originally been awarded for two years, but after a year of receiving it I was forced to go through the whole assessment all over again. The second time I was awarded zero points, which meant the benefit was stopped. I was so annoyed by that, I appealed it until it reached the tribunal stage. The tribunal is the only place left where you are guaranteed an independent hearing by actual experts with nothing to gain or lose - before then it's government stooges with targets to meet all the way. It took me 16 months to get this far, but I won! Awarded two years' of payment, to be backdated to February 2017 (which is when my PIP was stopped).
On top of that the judge said I'd been misadvised. Apparently I should have been advised to have started a fresh claim, due to a downturn in circumstances last autumn, but was told I didn't need to. Due to this, the tribunal had to legally assess my situation as it was in February 2017 and no later - so all the questions they asked me were relating back to then. That was fun, trying to think back to a year and a half ago, when I can barely remember last week >_>. At the end, though, I was told I could make a new claim any time and that I may even be entitled to an increased award.
Have to give full credit to my friend, as I'm not at all sure I'd have gone this far without her help and support. She came down by train to be with me at the tribunal today and spoke on my behalf a few times. She has been through this before with her daughter (who also won), and so has an in-depth knowledge of the system.
Anyway, so yeah. I should be getting a nice lump sum. For once I don't feel remotely guilty either - not after everything I've been through. I would give up the money in a heartbeat in exchange for having the people I have lost back. Although wotsit I would be in two minds about - as much as I still deeply miss him, would it be wise to unlearn what I know about him? 'Cos what happened a month ago would have the potential to happen at any time. Honestly, I can't help thinking it would be better if I had never met him at all - he was never available.
But I would have my old friend and brother back and make amends. If I could.
I've still got my mum, but barely. It's touch and go between us - I will never see her in the old light again. I don't even know if I like her any more. Her cruel and angry self-pity repulses me. I wish, I wish, I wish I had seen this 20 years earlier and taken steps to flee the dysfunctional sickness. I know: what's done is done, etc. But we only have one life (that we definitely know of, at any rate) and I have already used up half of mine - the younger, healthy half too.
So yeah. Have reached a rock bottom that I never thought I would reach and would gladly have climbed mountains to avoid. I have also discovered how unbearable loneliness can get. Still struggling with that one. The concept of self-love doesn't mean a lot to me and isn't something I can subscribe to: love, for me, has to be reciprocal to mean anything. Perhaps one day I will find that reciprocal love - it's the only thing I want out of life, really.