Friday, 30 August 2013

Love crush - bad for mental health?

It may well come as a shock to... well, some of you, that i've had a crush on someone for like... i dunno, a week or something. Now firstly, i should point out, i've had crushes before, i know what i get like. The guy who i was having the crush on knew about it and i guess must have been relieved when i told him the other night that my crush was eventually over (it honestly felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders), but let me tell you what's bad about a crush these days.

Ok, background on this crush.... We'd been talking for a little bit every now and then anyway, he's a different religion to me, been brought up differently etc, so it's interesting to be talking to him anyway... it just so happens that yes i think he's good looking. I don't know exactly when my crush on him started, but as soon as i recognised it, i told him.

I don't get crushes all that often and when i do have one, i tend to go into a mental battle with myself, so i'll tend to push people away from me, while i get my head sorted. Of course, my feelings during a crush on a person, are probably typical of any other crush.... you want to talk to that person all the time, you get jelous of others talking to them, you almost turn into a stalker and eventually, the feeling's stop.... or get acted upon, of which, the latter has never happend to me and i don't want them to, tbf.

This crush was a pretty bad one for me. I mean, i don't sleep at night at the best of times, neither does he, so when there's not much to do on the net, we would literally spend all night chatting away to each other about some of the most random things you could think of, and to be honest, we still do... and i love that. But where as normally, a message can be left until one of us wakes up or is next online, during my crush, i'd be checking anyway i could to see if he was online. It was crazy and not at all helped by facebook telling you when messages have been read or whatsapp telling you when a person was last on.

Because when you find out that info, it makes you question EVERY-FRICKIN-THING, who are they talking to? Have i said something wrong? Do they hate me.... etc. But this all add's up to me wondering now that i'm out of that phaze.... is it mentally healthy to have a crush?

My guess is that for me, it's not. I tend not to eat, during the "crush time" i'll skip meals, often for a day or two, while i keep checking my body out and thinking "eurgh, i'm too fat, nobody can love me like this". I'll frett over them not replying to messages. I mean, that kinda goes for all people, i really don't like being ignored on purpose, because it's just rude and no good ever comes of it. I'll check my phone or my laptop anytime i can, and when i can't, i'll not feel right because i mean, you could be missing out on that "I love you, let's get into a relationship" message that you're basically waiting for aren't you. I guess most worryingly, is that i can sometimes end up being physically sick or... from the other end, during times like this.

Yep, you got that bit right, no need to re-read it. My feelings get that intense at times that i can literally make myself ill.

Something twigged in me the other night though, it was like someone came in, picked up the weight off my shoulders and flung it to one side. I felt so much better, and still do. The worry and stress of the whole situation has gone and i literally felt wonderful. The guy who i'd had the crush on, i think i messaged over something and i just dropped it into conversation, to which i think his reply was something like "You're over me already?".... and yes, i was! :)

Now that i'm back to "normal", i still find him good looking and i still love talking to him, but if he's busy doing something else, or talking to people where one thing might lead to another, you know... i'd be happy for him, i really would, yet the week before... my god, it'd have mentally killed me... weird ain't it.

I do know, i'm not the only one who has crushes. I know i'm not the only one who's layed in bed trying to sleep, while you imagine cuddling upto that person, or them cuddling upto you. Thinking through what you'd say to them and how your relationship would be with them, but you wanna know the truth? The truth is different from the reality, relationships are hard work to make them perfect, there's fights, arguments, disagreement, awkward moments.... it's far from the fantasy a crush would have you believe.

Some might say, the truth about love is....

Saturday, 24 August 2013

What's in my head, for august anyway....

Put into simple terms for you all, apparently i'm not being the same recently and i wanted to put down all the stuff that's in my mind at the moment. There's a few reasons for me doing this but i guess the main reason is for it to give me time to get my head sorted.

I personally don't think i've been too different recently, my behaviour hasn't changed and i'm still pretty much the same, just, plodding along as per.... but what is in my head?

Well, the first thing would be the actions of the job centre of late. As i said in a previous note on here, the job centre has changed. It's gone from being a place to help you get into work, to staff picking out who's the most vulnerable and where they can save the most amount of money for the government, usually by sanctions. I'm no exemption to the rule.

I'm surrently on a 3 month sanction from the job centre, which is a period of 3 months (who'd have guessed that bit) where i recieve no job seekers allowance. Now, they claim, this is because i didn't attend an appointment with a company called i2i, who are a 3rd party company, set up to "help" the unemployed get back into work. They've not helped me at all and to this date, i'm still unemployed. Anyway, this sanction meant that i've had to apply for what's called a "hardship allowance", which is the normal jsa amount, minus 40% (Why the 40% less, i don't know). Earlier this week i was approved for it and on the coming tuesday, i'll recieve my first payment of that, after a month of nothing.

I've also had letters through relating to a sanction that the job centre applied back in april of this year. My appeal decision couldn't be changed and as a result, the case is now going to court. I've filed the paperwork to say that i will be attending and i will have a chance to put my case forward to them. This won't be happening anytime soon, the court system is full of these appeals (I guess a sign that the job centre is doing this quite alot) and as a result, i'll have to wait 8-12 weeks before being given a date to attend the court.

What else?

Oh well, this week has been one for me to worry about finances. This weekend is Manchester Pride, a few friends of mine are going on the sunday (tomorrow) and of course, no matter how much they all asked, i was too poor to go, since my account balance was 75p. A friend of mine said that he would cover the cost of me getting there and back and sent me an amount of money via paypal. Now this money cleared into my account, early hours friday morning. Straight away, there was £30 missing from that because of bank charges that had been put on earlier in the week. Then i saw a payment to a company for £25. Me not recognising the company contacted the bank and the advisor gave me some advice and refunded that payment, only he then made the mistake of saying "... but you'll have to wait about the card charge". Erm, what card charge?

See, some company had been charging my card without me knowing and now that there was some funds in my account, they took the money while they could, £65. So, i asked the bank for more details, but apparently, their system doesn't show who the funds are going to. Great isn't it, they approve payments of MY money, to go to anyone who wants it and the bank don't even know where it's going, yet somehow send it to them.... great that isn't it.

Today, i thought, screw them, i'll withdraw at a cash machine what i can and then appeal the rest when the bank is back to its normal self on tuesday (great that this all happens on a bank holiday weekend). Only, i got to the cash machine and was told that i couldn't withdraw money, due to lack of funds. WHAT? I called to be told that the bank had allowed 2 more charges to come out of my account, they don't know who it's going to, but i can speak with an advisor on tuesday who should be able to help me, although i'd have to wait for the funds to come out of my account. Oh yeah, that's another great bit of news, it still tells me online and on the phone banking, that the money is still in my account.... what a great service THAT is....

So now, i cannot go to pride, bad enough because i've already said to people that i'd go. Then, i've got to pay my friend back. I know he won't be demanding and fall out with me, but i have a sense of dread because i feel, it's the biggest kind of... theft, or something, that i could do, to this friend who's done something so kind for me. I have to pay him back anyway, because my mind is spinning with this sense of guilt and.... i feel awful.

Then of course, it turns out my father has been getting in touch with my mother. They divorced in 2001 and i've not had contact with my father since 2009 ish. I don't know if he's been asking about me, but i do know, he's not gotten in touch. He's admitted that he's homophobic, but his actions speak louder than words do.

It's not botherd me so much that he's gotten in touch with my mum, but it does bother me the way that all those years ago, he could literally not bother with me, over nothing. I've no doubt he'll have verbally dragged my name through the mud, that he'll have told people all his side of events and people will believe him. What does bother me on this though, is that it's making me ask myself questions that i've not been botherd enough to ask myself in the past.

See, my dad IS an alcoholic and a homophobic one at that. Whenever i've met up with him in the past, my sexuality has always been brought into question at one point or another. He's never been able to kind of, fully accept who i am, as a person. When it came to me not bothering to get in touch with him and him not getting in touch with me, after a while i began to move on with my life. I moved out of my mothers and did with my life what i was happy doing. Yet now i'm left with the questions, do i want to get back in touch with him? I mean, there is a chance that i could go and meet him, with my mum.. but what would be the point in that?

Then of course i'm left asking, is there a need for him in my life? How would he fit into my life and how would i fit into his. Be it, i've not got the biggest circle of friends, at the moment, all the friends i do have keep in touch on a regular basis, even if it's just a quick message every other week. Some friends are around a few times a week. Then i've got family too, i keep in touch with them quite alot when i can etc.... see, is your head starting to spin yet?

I guess these are kind of the main things that are on my mind. There's other bits where i've not been talking to people for whatever reason and although i may now be talking with them people, my head just isn't there.

Like last night, i'd been peforming at a charity party. As it's charity i wouldn't dream of charging, and, i have no money spare, so i was left with no option that walking home. The way i walk home from the venue would have taken me past a friends house, so i text her to see if she was in.... long story short, we met up and went back to her's for abit. She refused to let me walk home by myself and so called for and paid for a taxi for me.

What this all breaks down to is that something isn't right for me at the moment, alot of it boils down to a shortage of money and not enough help with it when it comes to banks and such. I know that people are doing all they can and more to help me, and i cant explain to them how greatful i am for this, but the likes of the bank giving my money away and not telling me who to.... what am i supposed to do about that?

I think it's mentally found my peak and it's a challange to try and stay afloat, given all that is spinning around in my head. Mentally, i'm drained, confused... lost, but still wanting to beat the battle as i always do.

I sit here, day dreaming, thinking about "if only i could get arrested and sent to prison for something, i'd have none of this crap to deal with" and it'd give me a break away too. There's no place for me to run to, even the voice in my head feels mentally trapped and i guess, it's one of those things that i'll do what i can when i can.

As i said though i don't think i've changed. I'm doing what i can to get by and i will, but please.... stop worrying.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Bradley manning.

The name may well be recognised by you, but from the start of this i'll just explain something. Recent media has shown that Bradley Manning is now starting treatment to change sex. Out of respect, i'll be reffering to Bradley Manning, the name, however, where i would normally use "he"i shall be using "she". This is until i know for sure what Bradley would like to be known as (different media outlets give different names). While i'm still to establish if this is true that Bradley does want to change his sex, this already is causing a stir to the public, and it is this what we address.

Bradley as some of you may well know, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison, for leaking documents to the website "Wikileaks". It is since this verdict and Bradley's imprisonment that the news of his sex change has come about on the scene.

I myself, have not had the feelings of wanting to change my sex. I'm not against people doing such a thing at all, provided it will make them feel more comfortable in their own skin, once all the proceedures are carried out.

A friend of mine, whom i won't name, is currently going through this period of time, going from female to male. I could here, write about his personality and explain to you how kind he is and how well we get along, but personality is down to the person and i think very little is actually influenced by his sex, although maybe how happy he is, may well have changed with this.

My friend has only breifly explained to me about the proceedures, i've seen some of the scars and i know from having looked into this topic, that it is a long and drawn out process.

If Bradley is just at the start of the journey, then i can only wish her luck (be it, that she'll never read this). I DO know how it feels wanting the world to know something, you're literally bursting to tell people, but you don't know how their reaction to the news will be. This is probably how Bradley will have felt for some time now and now that the case is all delt with, it's time to be honest to himself.

But how will the world cope?

Years ago, Corronation street, a british soap handled the story of someone who had been through the trans gender process and was now female. It sparked the debate. I was only young at the time, so i don't know exactly what the public reaction was, but i know that to this day, the charicter is still in the soap and has literally won a place in people's hearts, be it now though, that the charicter is being killed off as the actress who plays her would like to move into other area's of acting.

When i first saw the news about Bradley manning, i was shocked. I didn't believe it at first. It took a little while for the news to kind of sink in. Other people moved onto things like wentworth miller coming out and Bradley's case seems to have been put to "old news" now.

Some people question the whole proceedure, not understanding how that person is mentally feeling about their own sex and how it could be effecting them from day to day. If this sounds like you, then i can only say to do some research on the matter. Simply sitting, wondering, will get you nowhere. It's a perfect time for you to look into the topic and see what these people have to go through in order to be accepted for the sex change proceedure. This really isn't one of those things where you'd wake up and think "i want to be the oposite sex today".Often people will have spent alot of time thinking about this, years in many cases, wanting to be sure themselves.

I've seen it already, that people just come out of the woodwork to critique those who are going through the proceedures, or are considering it themselves. They do it with very little understanding of what people may well be thinking and in many cases, it just causes offense.

Admittedly, I am a part of the LGBT community, that's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. While i might know more about the first three, i know little when it comes to transgender and transexual people. Sure, i might know more than somebody who hasn't looked into it at all, but i still feel there's more i could learn. While some people world over may well speak about their experiances and show their scars, everybody has a different story to tell and i only wish that more people would tell their story. It's how people learn. The gay community didn't make progress by being silent.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The ES4JP form and you.

There's some confusion as to what goes into this form and what doesn't, so here's a little check in from me about how i understand it.

The reason the confusion exists is because each member of the Job Centre staff have their own version of how the form should be filled in, please also be aware that if you do not meet their standards, they will sanction you.

The ES4JP, otherwise known as "the diary" is a booklet that the job centre are supposed to hand to you, for you to keep a record of your job search activity. Some will say that you are only to fill in the job's that you have applied for, however, while the majority of jcp staff will agree with this, i have personally been sanctioned for filling in the form this way.

Other job centre staff will want you to write in all of your activities that you have undertaken (including that you took a bus, to a town, to see if jobs were available). Be warned, not all job centre staff like this, and you can be sanctioned for filling the form in this way.

The way around it?

Fill in all the details. If you applied for a job on a website, put in that you checked the website to find work, then as a seperate entry, put in that you applied for.... whatever job it was that you applied for.

If you can, aim to fill in one of these booklets each time you go in and make sure your back is coverd, this way, no member of staff can say that you are doing it wrong, as all the info they want will be in the booklet.

Note with this booklet though, if you ask different staff in your job centre for advice on how to fill in this booklet, you will get told different answers, which is why i say to put everything in. Welcome to job searching in 2013, wasn't tough enough looking for work anyway? The ES4JP will help make it harder :)

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My Story - The email.

Today, i recieved a letter off the jobcentre, which informed me that as of 2 weeks ago, i was no longer entitled to any benefit money for the next 3 months.

Because of this, i tried to complain to the job centre itself, only to have the sanction proceedure explained to me over and over again, yet not 1 person took down any complaint details.

fter abit of digging tonight, i found the email address for the ministers of the department for work and pensions (They basically run the job centre). Below is what i sent them.

There has been no reply to this.

Dear sir / madam, whoever finds themselves reading this.
I write to you not wishing to complain, not wishing for sympathy, but just to explain to you my story with the wild fantansy playing out in my head that it creates the changes i know that will not happen any time soon.
My name is Kevin and i live in Skelmersdale, which is a poor town located just outside of liverpool.
My story begin's almost two years ago now, when i was told that as i had been seeking work for over 9 months, i was to be going onto the work programme at a private company outside of the job centre, which would help me get into work faster and provide me with qualifications which would improve my chances for work.
I was told that in order to carry on recieveing benefit, i had to sign up, no alternatives.
I of course signed up and attended when i was asked to by i2i, which is one of these 3rd party providers. They would bring me in for endless meetings, in which people would say to us "yes, the job market is hard at the moment, we know that", to which everytime people would always reply saying "Yes, so do we". Time went on and i felt myself being distanced from the course that i was apparently on, i felt that sitting for 2 hours a week infront of a computer looking for jobs, was something i was doing at home on a daily basis anyway, that i was actually getting no help.
I was told one week that i would be contacted and told when to next come in. Within a few weeks, i recieved a letter off the job centre, asking me for my reasons for not attending an appointment with i2i. I hadn't been told of any appointment. No phone calls, no letters, no emails.... nothing, yet i2i have all of my details.
Of course, whoever it was in the job centre, decided that i must have recieved a letter, and i was sanctioned for 1 month. During this month, i had no money for water, electricity, food... anything. My electric meter was on a prepayment key and as i had no money to top it up, i had to spend some nights with no electric, no hot water to even get a wash in. Is that really fair?
I only mention of this to you because the exact same thing has happend again, only now i am expected to last 3 months. Luckily for me this time, i had my electric meter changed, so i'll just have to get into more debt. This is a 3 month sanction straight after a 1 month sanction, because an advisor said i wasn't looking for work, because i'd been told to fill a form in wrong, the way i had been filling in the form was the same way i always had done, yet this 1 advisor didn't like it and i was sanctioned. In effect, i'll now be having to go through a 4 month sanction, minus the part where i recieved 1 payment of £140 something, which was spent on food, luckily, buying in advance, since i now know what the motive is now at the job centre plus.
See, years ago, the job centre used to want to help people get into work, I used to feel that when i was signing on that the advisors were there to help me. This feeling has now long gone, everytime i arrive, with my paperwork filled in, my heart will start racing and i will feel sick, because i know it's only a matter of time before an advisor turns around and will sanction me over the slightest thing.
Now that i'm going through yet another sanction and understanding that the government thinks it is ok for me to be living on nothing, getting into debt in order to put food in my mouth, i cannot explain to you how low i feel.
I have never in my life felt so offended by something. I simply did not recieve a letter, and yet because of this, i have to live with nothing until october.
My cubards are already empty as it is, i already owe on my water bill and my electricity account will now go overdue and i face being cut off and with charges being put on. I face high charges because to make it through the last sanction, i had to take out loans in order to get by, these will go unpaid and will now get daily charges put on them.
My life feels like it is in ruins, i'm 25 and mentally, i feel that i cannot cope with this world anymore. The chances of me finding work are already slim to none and yet thanks to the place that is supposed to help me find work, i'm becoming a growing number of people in the UK who are beyond poverty.
I have complained to the job centre plus, they simply explained to me about sanctions, no complaint paperwork was filled in, no details taken. Exactly what am i to do?
I find out that ministers in this country can claim what i have to live on per week, they can have per day on a meal, one meal? And here's me having to make that same money stretch out over a week.
I have completely lost my faith in politics in the UK, not 1 political party isn't calling for the harsher treatment of those who aren't in work, yet, i cannot help being out of work. Im not provided help, but simply sanctioned because im a burdon to the tax payer.
Thank you for reading this, i understand it is long, but i can only try to give you this bit of insite into my world because i have nobody or nowhere that i can vent and someone will even take the time to read, let alone care.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Being poor, the reality.

Being poor is something that most of us all recently claim to be as we struggle to make ends meet, yet i don't think that some people really know what being poor actually means, so, here's my version.

Being poor means that you have to shop on a tight budget.
Being poor means that you stand at the checkout rattling numbers in your head, mentally screaming that you can't afford to go over your budget.
Being poor means that even though you want to put the heating on because you can see your breath, you have to stick an extra layer of clothing on.
Being poor means that even though you have a common cold, theres no medacine you can afford to buy.
Being poor means that you turn every bit of electric off when you can.
Being poor means that you don't get out to see much of the world.
Being poor means you're left behind.

Being poor means no matter how hard you try, somebody will look down on you.
Being poor means you daren't allow your love life to develop.
Being poor means that you constantly worry.
Being poor means you need help.

The UK government keep claiming that they need to and will be tougher on people who are out of work. We, unemployed people, can't have savings, we cannot work overtime, we are some of the poorest people in the UK, looked down upon by the masses.

Being poor means you need others to understand.