Victoria B on 04 May 2021

I'm so scared of the job centres reopening, of possibly being sanctioned if I don't do enough again, off having to drag my kids into a triggering environment for me and them, if having to prove that I deserve the money to feed and house my kids. It makes me feel very ugly, like I'm weak and vulnerable, I can't 100% put my finger on the why, just that. Just thinking about it, about having to go to the job centre again and be approved the money needed to feed my kids for another month, makes me feel physically sick, dizzy and clammy. It's a very unhealthy environment for anyone, let alone abuse survivors. I can't even read my usual news feed anymore because it's just constantly filled with Universal Credit related click bait. It's terrifying the comments I read, the general hatred for low income families and benefit users. It hurts. At the start of this pandemic I felt optimistic, times were rough but I thought that as a society we'd work through this and come out kinder and more empathic towards each other, especially towards our most vulnerable within society. I was na√Įve. Now I look at the news, the politicians, the inline comments and the people carrying on outside like everything is the same. While people are expected to live on less and spend more. I feel so hopeless yet again. When you've felt weak for so long, it gets harder and harder to remind yourself you're stronger than your situation makes you feel. I'm frightened that one day I'll have no fight left in me to keep being strong. I'm scared what that might mean for my children's futures. I feel like a failure.

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