This is the lowest I've felt since mum passed away in April.
I know it's a new situation, which is bound to be unsettling. I know it takes time and adjustment. I know I'm probably over-reacting to some of the more negative things that have happened this week. I know I need to give things time, etc, etc, etc.
But my gut instinct isn't good. I dread going in. Today, I'm working with the shouty matriarch. I'm just glad it's the weekend.
I certainly don't feel like I want too much more of this.
Morning Tom. I have been thinking about you. I hope today goes better than you are perhaps expecting and you find some common ground with the matriarch. Yes you are asking a lot of yourself all at once. Hopefully you will be able to rest and catch up with yourself this weekend.
I've been reading some of your recent posts and I can emphasise with some of your dilemmas. But cannot provide any constructive help or advice.
I'm feeling very low myself, so I will lay out my recent problems.
I'm very short of money so I'm working full time trying to find work that actually pays.
The multiple agencies helping me are making matters worse.
1. Job centre is ordering me to do 35 hours directed and specific job search related activities or they will sanction me.
2. One activity is twice weekly meetings with a subsidiary of REED which "helps" the long term unemployed (unemployable). I dread the meetings there. There is no privacy or confidentiality when discussing matters. The advisors are bullies and in an open office with people so close together I don't need to eavesdrop to hear what other people are saying.
This week there was a client on his first meeting, an elderly gentleman looking very feeble and vulnerable explaining that he has multiple health problems such as diabetes etc. The advisor shouted at him.
ARE YOU ON MEDICATION ?
ARE YOU TAKING YOUR MEDICATION ?
THEN YOU'RE FIT TO WORK !
3. I have another work related advisor from a mental health charity. I should be meeting him once a week. But he has cancelled and missed meetings. I suspect he has personal problems. His suggested is self employment. Since my past employment history is so "colourful".
4. Local council has forced me to attend regular work search related meetings or they will stop paying my council tax support. His big idea is to do volunteering.
So I'm getting a lot of help and advice. But little results from it.
My big problems are lack of recent references.
Big gaps in employment.
Explaining or covering up bad physical health and illnesses. Such as heart failure, anaemia.
Explaining mental health problems such as my autism, breakdowns and multiple suicide attempts. Or should I cover these up and make no mention of them?
Crikey Robert123 the "system" is harsh. It is no wonder you are feeling low. As for the do I cover it up or don't I question.. I did cover it up once only to be told later on that if they'd known they would have chosen the other candidate. But if you apply for a job you can't manage it's not going to improve your health, but balanced with if you get on fine in the job it can be a boost. Tough choice.
I'm fortunate that I'm in the support group and don't have to go through the trauma that you do. I wouldn't cope with it at all but if I had to I don't know what I would do The thought scares me. It is one of the reasons I admire Tom and the others who don't find work easy but are working. Im low too at the moment for multiple reasons; each time I think of a way forward it's going wrong but am hoping that will change. Will just have to try to come up with another way. So I'm sticking to one day at a time again for now
Morning Tom. I went through similar (not the DWP harassment though) in June/July last year - 5 months after my Mum died (very sudden, no warning at all). I was dealing with the estate, supporting my Dad, looking after my children, putting the house on the market, working, studying for an Open University degree - and my mother in law was diagnosed with early stage *** cancer. I knew in myself I wasn't coping, and my boss was worried about me.
I ended up getting my antidepressant dose increased which has helped. I've got an appointment on Thursday to discuss reducing it.
I wonder if there's a bit of grief that appears about 5 months after death? Certainly that was the worst period.
Thanks, everyone. Sorry... I'll reply in full when I have more time. It actually is an object lesson in how anxiety, change of routine and new situations can lead to a downward spiral, and a tendency to look at all the negatives until everything becomes one big negative.
Today was actually pretty good. And yes, I did find some common ground with this person - and there is an awareness, it seems , that there might be an issue with her approach. So... I'll play it along.
I have three days off now to recuperate. Next week, I'm no longer on shadow shifts, so will be more autonomous with my clients and our activities. I'll see how it goes.
Well done Tom. Phew! Glad today went ok and that you're not alone in being aware of an approach which is wrong for the clients. Hope you can wind down and recover a bit over the weekend.
I've encountered a lot of these issues myself in the past. I was on ESA for a long while, but failed a WCA and was automatically told to claim JSA instead. I appealed, then took it tribunal before I eventually won my case.
The organisation that I found to be most helpful when I started looking for work again was the Shaw Trust. MCCH were also very helpful. I'm not sure if you've approached either of these, but they might be worth looking at. In my experience, I've found it helpful to be open about my mental health issues. I certainly wouldn't want to go into a job without them being aware of these things - but I can understand why you might worry about it prejudicing your chances. As regards the other agencies and their attitude, well... it's not as if you have long employment gaps for no reason. Shaw Trust especially should be more sympathetic to you.
Check out, too - if you haven't already - the resources on this site.