I hate the Jobcentre with vengeance, yet again another letter to invite me to take part in a work focused interview. The whole interview thing is not a problem; I love nothing more than sitting there shaking, sweat drops dripping from my forehead and palms of my hands because I am so frightened to be there.
I do not mind at all that I have to share with a complete stranger how crap I feel about myself. Why I try to hide the real issues going on inside my head because I am too ashamed to tell this stranger what my life is really like.
This works adviser knows nothing at all about my mental illness so why do I have to be forced to answer her questions? I don’t want to tell her how I am coping; the fact is I am not because you have forced me to come here. I was doing OK till your letter arrived and them BANG you set it all off again.
She is always polite and nods, how can she even begin to understand why making me go to these interviews alone cause me so much stress that I don’t need. My CPN normally comes with me, but she’s now so busy I have not had an appointment for over 8 weeks now with her, if not longer. She won’t be able to take time off from her busy schedule to accompany me to the jobcentre.
I have asked if they can visit me at home, they can’t. They offer to pay for my traveling expenses but they can’t provide a babysitter for me can them? I feel more a freak having to ask a friend to give me a lift and come with me to the Jobcentre. I am too scared to go out alone.
Does the jobcentre know what’s it’s like for someone with a mental illness who fears so much of the world around them? No. They leave you sitting in the open and public waiting room where I feel sick and want to run. The voices appear telling me that everyone knows I am crazy and I feel every pair of eyes upon me.
Please don’t tell me your back to work interviews helps people; they leave me feeling even worse than what I already do.
“How are you”?
What do they want you to say? If you tell them even a third of the truth they look at you with a bizarre look on their face. Yes I am a freak, it’s written all over your face.
Do I tell her I have had to take 6 Tramadol pills just to give me the courage to go to the god damn interview in the first place?
Maybe I can go and do some new course? Maybe I should just top myself now should I as the thought of attending some weekly course, having to leave the house and go alone to sit in a room full of people is not something I can do? How much lower can they make you feel?
Yes I can say I am fit for work, yet how will a boss cope when I am there in real life? Please don’t tell me there are equal opportunities for mentally ill people, load of bollocks.
They assume because I look OK, I am OK. I am not OK I am dying slowly inside and people like them just keep on reminding me why I am so far away from being “normal”.
I would love to tell them to stick their interviews where the sun doesn’t shine, but I can’t afford too. I have to attend, forced against my will yet again. Days and weeks this simple appointment will set me back. I will lose a few nights sleep the run up to it, the fear will set in that I have to get on a bus alone. Will my friend turn up to take me? Will I have to sit in the waiting room long?
When did I last see my mental health worker? Why don’t you give her a ring and ask why she is far too busy to see me. Why they are never there when you need them?
What medications do I take; please tell me you’re joking? My shrink is trying to poison me.
Perhaps you can help me with my Tramadol addiction while I am here, do you offer courses for that?
Why not give me bloody something constructive to do, than sit there with a look of self-pity on your face. I am not like you, I am not able to go out to work 9-5 every day and that does not make me a bad person does it?
I would change days with you anytime. It looks so cosy sitting at your nice organised desk. Why don’t you try sitting where I am for the day and you might learn a few things, like how not to conduct a back to work focus interview with someone like me.