The alarm clock is tuned to BBC Radio 4. If I hear one more feature on benefit cuts, taxes, the Government, or even cricket, I think I may actually throw the radio out the window. This is not the kind of stuff I want to wake up to in the morning. Especially considering I live it. I see the outcome of benefits and benefit cuts every time I look my bank balance. I am on benefits. They have their place. I would like to be off them, though. I am not going to comment on the actual statistics and numbers. Other people have done that better than me. I left my University Psychology course because of the stats. I don’t like them. I’ve never been one.
Every time I listen to a report that rattles off the statistics of people on benefits, I want to shout at the radio/screen, and I sometimes do. That’s me, you bastard. I am not a number . And I want to work. I’ve liked all the jobs I’ve had. And I want another one.
I went to the jobcentre yesterday, and they asked for a number before they used my name. I am not a number.
My name is Lorna. I write things that aren’t numbers. I am my parents daughter. I’m a friend to many, and one man’s girlfriend. One cat has claimed me as her human. My favourite colours are purple and green. I have an aversion to most vegetables, but I like spinach. I’m not afraid of much, except bad stuff happening to the people I love. And ferrets. And vomiting. Please don’t get me started on vomiting ferrets. I love country music and subtitled movies. I hate sirens. I love to travel. I’ve been fishing in Norway; I’ve watched German MTV in Prague. I thought I was in the queue for the toilet in the Louvre, and ended up seeing the (very small) Mona Lisa. I lit a candle in the Duomo in Florence. I am not particularly religious, but I believe in my own benevolent angels.
I like looking at old photos, and I looked like Ugly Betty in my seventh grade school photo. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, looking at old photos. It’s a way to connect with the person that I am, in a time when others are concerned with my numbers, my income, my diagnosis.
Most people know that I am more than a number, client, customer, a file with a label on it. For everyone else, there’s my voicemail.
I started this blog to carve out time for me. Time between appointments and phone calls and home-visits with invasive questions. My head has been so filled with so much official stuff; there is little room for me stuff. This is that room. Yes, I write about the wheels and my own access issues. It is about the chair, but it’s also about the person sitting in it, and I have a lot to say.