Whilst I struggle to cope with constant pain, fatigue and disability, the worst thing is My feeling of guilt for being disabled.
I am very fortunate to have found true love, even now I still have the feelings for my wife as I did when we were first dating, I love her but I am also in love with her and I can’t help but smile when I see her.
We struggle financially, we don’t have a social life and we don’t go on holiday and for that I feel like I have let my wife down. I love her and I want her to have an amazing life, I want her to have nice things and I want her to see this world. However because I am basically housebound, we don’t see very much.
Yes being disabled has robbed me of the ability to walk, it has turned me into quite a grumpy old git and it has meant that I have lost many things. However the effect it has had on my wife is the hardest thing to cope with.
This week we discussed about maybe having to swallow our pride and seek the help of a food bank, my wife is a proud woman and her thoughts on that was evident on her face.
We live in a 3 bed bungalow, it took my wife a long time to find somewhere for us to live after our previous landlord announced he was selling up. Many people turn their noses up at those of us that are reliant on welfare, this is partly due to the stigma of being on welfare and also down to the fact that councils now advise tenants to refuse to move out when a landlord asks, they say to take it right up to getting an eviction notice. This of course helps those facing losing a property, giving them more time, but it causes landlords to resent these tenants.
Rent in this part of the country is quite high, our property is £900 pcm and believe me when I say that is cheap, the property is fairly run down, we get damp, the front door has a half-inch gap top and bottom allowing a draft in and the bottom of the door is so rotten you can poke a hole in it. However it is a roof over our heads.
We get as allowed by the Local Housing Allowance rates £606 every 4 weeks which is £7878 a year, we have to pay £10,800 and of course now you don’t get the full council tax amount and that has to be topped up!
So why don’t you move?
Yes that would be the answer, however first we would have to find a property that is not only wheelchair accessible,but also has room for someone to use a wheelchair around the property. We have a dog and so they have to allow pets and no I wouldn’t get rid of him, he is a family member and is a great comfort on very high pain days. Then we would have to have the money for the agency fees that can be several hundred pounds. Deposits are one months rent and one months rent as deposit. Removal fees, I can’t help with any of the lifting and moving, we don’t have someone who could do it for us and so we are likely over 2k so far. This is if we find a landlord that accepts welfare tenants.
Why don’t you get a council house?
We tried this last time we knew the previous landlord was going to sell. The local council offered us a flat in a tower block that is notorious for anti social behavior and drugs and a lift that doesn’t always work! We contacted our MP (a Conservative) he visited and listened (pre-election) and promised he would return, he didn’t. A local councilor claimed to have found the solution and said he could get us into sheltered accommodation! yep us and our daughter in an old people’s sheltered block!
So we are basically stuck here unless we get told to leave!
Stress is not good for anyone, it’s even worse if you have poor health, my wife is a gem and she takes on all the finances and shelters me from the problems, but that makes me feel even worse. I have ended up in hospital with worrying ECG readings previously when I have allowed it to get to me.
So I feel guilty, I want my wife to not to have to worry about money, well not to amount she does. I just wish that I could go to work and do what I should be doing and bring money into the household that gives a better standard of living.
I wish we didn’t have to huddle under a blanket on the settee because we are worried about running up bills that we struggle to pay.
Yes I know I most probably have no right to complain, I am fully aware that what we do have and what we do get is paid for by people who are working and very likely supporting a family and maybe even struggling themselves. I am not one of these people who is happy with this like we often see on the TV or in papers to the detriment of people like me.
I don’t yearn for a better life for me, I want it because I love my wife so much and it hurts to see her going through this. She isn’t disabled, she could work if she didn’t have to care for me and I often wonder if she would have been better off if I hadn’t been in her life. This is far more painful than anything my body can throw at me!