|HAPPIER TIMES: Rachel and I on our wedding day in 2007|
However, I'm never entirely sure how many people read the comments on an article and so I felt it was worth reprinting her words to wave the flag once more to draw attention to this turn of events:
Regular readers will know I don't comment on HeroPress very often. That's mostly because an awful lot of the posts go straight over my head - I'm not half as geeky as Tim would like me to be.
However, this is something I just have to have to talk about. I've been thinking of writing something similar but I don't have a blog and it seemed rather silly to start one with a post I want the whole world to see when I wouldn't have any readers.
There's another reason I haven't done it though. I suppose I worry about people judging us, not thinking we deserve any help from the government. And the trouble is, part of me agrees. We have a lovely three bedroom house, a large flat screen TV and as Tim says, he has a games room full to the brim.
However, I have a good job and work very hard to support us. We have a nice house because we have a loan from a family member (and before you think 'lucky them!', there are very sad circumstances surrounding that loan), we have the TV because it was a wedding present five years ago and the games room is Tim's whole life. He's not able to go out much so I do encourage him to spend time reading comics, watching DVDs and reviewing them because otherwise, his brain would turn to mush.
We do have days out sometimes - like our trip to Leeds Castle [last] week. I worry that people will see a photo of him with a longbow and think he's fine but disabled people don't always look like they're about to drop dead. He was in pain and a couple of hours later I was worried if we'd even make it back to the car.
We've also done some sorting out in the house [last] week (I've had a week off but we haven't been away - we often end up cancelling holidays because of Tim's health). We took a box of books to Oxfam and some things to the tip. Again, I worried that people would see him carrying things and think 'oh he's fine'. He does it to prove he can still do things - that he's not 'totally useless'. It hurts him and he can only manage a tiny amount of effort, which would obviously be useless in an actual workplace.
It was also my birthday [last] week. We went out for lunch (I drove because he can't any more) and in the evening I went out without him. He was exhausted and there's no way he could sit in a pub or a restaurant for more than a couple of hours. This weekend I caught up with uni friends - again, on my own. I do an awful lot on my own because he simply isn't capable of coming with me. Yes, we do buy tickets for shows (remember I work full time so we can afford the odd treat) but we miss a lot of them because despite desperately wanting to go, he is often too unwell to leave the house.
I know we're in an extremely fortunate position. We don't rely on his benefits to buy food or fuel and we will be able to survive without them. But that doesn't mean we're not going to fight the system that has declared him 'fit to work', not just for him but for all the less fortunate individuals and carers who are suffering because of the current overhaul.
Tim paid taxes and national insurance for years until one day, literally overnight, he was no longer able to work. That could happen to any one of us and if you think 'it'll never be me' you're being extremely naive. There is no reason why he shouldn't be entitled to claim benefits now - just like thousands of others currently fighting the system.
I'm shocked that only 41,000 people have signed this petition to ask the government to review the cuts affecting disabled people. Please think about signing it because one day, it could happen to you.
Apologies for the rambling but as I'm sure you can understand, this is a topic close to my heart.