I don't like receiving Disability Living Allowance (from here on in called DLA), due to the word which the D represents - Disability.
To those who see me out and about, they probably wouldn't realise I've got the things which mean I qualify for DLA. I hate the fact I have those things, but it is how things are.
My CPN, when doing her bit of the very lengthily form for my new allowance (currently pending, and has been for quite a while), said it was "compensation for how things are". I hate that. The way things are is basically due to my mucked up head, and how it has affected life. Not just my life, but my family's too.
20 years ago, as my parents were on day 11 of having a child of their own, did they really think that they would be still looking after the baby when it was 20? Probably not, it was probably a time full of little sleep, accommodating visiting relatives, and wondering quite how it would all work.
Anyway, the thing is, I'm still living at home. Bar a week at uni in which they visited every day, and the months in hospital (where they visited every day too), I've lived at home always. Some days, they have to wake me up, choose clothes for me as I can't function and make decisions, wake me up again as I've turned over and gone back to sleep, persuade me that out of bed is a better idea for the rest of the day... You get the idea. I'm not just being a stroppy ex-teenager who is difficult to wake up, I don't mean to make life difficult, but my parents hate mornings if I'm having a less-able-to-function day. Is that what DLA is for? Well, yeah, probably. Or persuading me that the outside isn't too scary, and I'll enjoy the thing when they've got me there? That too.
Sooo, my point is, when I have to face up to the fact I am considered disabled, that is bad enough. Add into the mix having to go to a medical that is either trying to catch me out, and make me say "Actually, I'm a very functioning human being", or going to result in proving that some person (with the horribly powerful right to tick a box to say "Yes" or "No" to an application) who met me for a medical thinks I'm disabled, and it will feel rubbish.
I would love to be able to say "I live alone, I function, I can look after myself, and enjoy everything" but I have a horrible feeling I've got too far to go before 2013. By which point, I hope to be doing my Masters (which dear Mr Osborne will probably make the funding of all the more difficult). I'd love to say "Actually I'm a very functioning human being", I really would. People at work probably don't understand what I am, but they see me for short bursts of time. Where the lovely line from Albert Camus "Nobody realises that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." is vaguely the case [the "normal" needs to be replaced with "acceptably different" or something].
DLA is the bit of money which pays for petrol for me to be able to be taken to work, or orchestra, or something else which is considered "Living". It is in the name, in case you hadn't noticed. So, travelling to somewhere I've never been before to discus how crap I am at living, and how I need help, is horrible. And someone whose first job (according to Wikipedia, I'm not going to look further into it as I have better uses of my time, so this might be some bit of weird rumour) was "to provide data entry services to the National Health Service to record the names of people who had died in London", is right now not very liked by me. (is that non-explicitly negative enough? It is said in a grumpy way, if that helps.)
[And it also means that teaching VAT rates as a means of teaching percentages just got a bit too simple. Dividing by 5 is just, quite frankly, too simple. At least with 17.5% I could introduce the concept that 10% + 5% + 2.5% was quite a sensible way to calculate it, so using dividing by 10, then halving that, then halving that again, then adding them all up. Mr I've-got-lots-of-names-and-a-bit-too-much-power-for-my-own-good will thus be making real life applications different, so he can be also be blamed for the worsening rate of mathematical ability of children if it carries on at 20% for a long time.] (Disclaimer: obviously this isn't quite true. But still, it is slightly true.)