"I don't want to go downstairs today, have to try and make something edible from ingredients kiddies dislike. Yesterday we ate like Kings, the local youth group dropped of tuna, sweetcorn, and cheese and wraps, it wasn't alot but we made warm tuna wraps from. I also defrosted our last meat (which I try to ration) and made cheese burgers to enjoy with the last of the bread. Kiddies also wanted to bake a cake, we have plenty of flour and sugar but no eggs. But we did get a bag of bananas from youth club so we tried replacing the eggs with bananas and used tinned peaches to make one of those upside down cakes. It wasn't perfect but the house smelt of baking and bananas all night and kiddies were so pleased with themselves. Things almost felt normal. We all went to bed with full and happy tummies, even me. We still have some bananas left so kiddies want to make another cake today, which is fine by me absolutely, I just wish I could give them more meat. Dinner tonight will likely be pasta, they hate pasta. They won't complain and I know they'll try eating it bless em. I also know they'll hate it. I can't believe that all we can think about lately is food. It's surprising how much food can affect the emotions within the house. From tense to excited to relieved. The children don't ask for sweets, they ask for fresh fruit. They say they miss my old home cooking, I used to make curries or sauces from scratch to eat with rice or chips, but ingredients for home cooking are more expensive than tinned and processed foods. I also feel like my health is failing, I'm in so much pain by the end of each day, mostly in my back and legs. My asthma is getting worse and I'm more breathless. I'm having trouble sleeping and my mental health is struggling to stay focused on reality (cptsd from childhood trauma and adulthood domestic violence, causes flashbacks which are harder to process when distractions are limited by isolation). I know I need to see a Dr but I'm too scared. I have no childcare, I'd have to take my kids, they'd end up hearing about my ails and would feel bad. I'd open us all to risk of virus. All for some pain killers and to be told I must loose weight before my complaints are taken seriously by an overworked and emotionally unmatured mysogynistic old man. I can't risk my kids health like that just for my own comfort. I'll just power through like I always do. I wonder what it must feel like to the people I see through the window, in the street walking and socialising like nothing is going on. You can tell those who are cautious, they wear masks and nod a folk, stopping to yell polite discussion at one another from two meters apart. There are very few like that on our estate, though I'm aware my windows view isn't a great assessment of our whole estate. I'm not arrogant enough to think I'm the only one watching people hug on the street though our windows, simulatiously fearful and envious. What it must feel like to not be scared of getting sick. These last few months have certainly opened my eyes to the ableism in the world, how much people take for granted the health of them and others around them. How unsafe the world is for those of us who have never been able to trust our bodies to function normally. And I'm a lucky one. If I catch the virus during a big wave, I think I'm one of those people whom Dr's would think is worth taking the effort to spend resources on. How much worst is this fear I feel for the men and women and children who have conditions that might make Dr's decide to not waste resources on them should they get ill. How terrifying to not know if you'd be able to get help if you need it. There is just so much fear abound. For me it's fear of not having the money to feed or house my kiddies. It's the fear of catching the virus. It's the fear of dying and leaving my children unprotected in a world where they'd be abused and misunderstood. But my fears aren't the only ones out there. But no one in positions of power care about the scared and isolated down at the bottom of societies rungs. We're just seen as drains on the economy, our potential is ignored, as we're not part of anyone's sphere of influence/awareness, we are forgotten and shamed and punished. I never thought I'd be reliant in benefits, it wasn't my plan, I studied in psychology and philosophy and I wanted to make a difference in the world. But I can't now cos of the actions of abusers, perhaps if I survive til my children are mature, then I might be able to put some of my potential to use. But I'm aware of the limited probabilities. In times of national crisis its always the poorest in any society that are the worst effected. And the most ignored. The middle classes garner sympathy for their plights, the lower classes are punished, especially the women and children. And the powers that be reveal what they/the nation prioritise: property over lives. So people suffer. My family is one amongst millions. How can we call our nation great when we subject each other to such debilitating fear and dread. Very few of us have the opportunity to talk as I do here. As others in this study do. I doubt this platform will get much response from our leaders, who may at best read and tut and say "oh dear, it's so hard on everyone, blah blah blah", that's if they read it at all. I would eat my wellies if the powers that be actually apologised for their neglect and abuses. But a study like this will be part of history. It will be part of university papers and archives. Students will read our experiences as I once read and studied about the history of the welfare state, how the government failed its people and didn't care until it needed cannon fodder for WW1 and found most we're unfit. People like to look back on history and read the diaries of real people, telling their real stories and experiences of the troubles that history books mark by dates and policies. To the future people who read this study, who read about the plights of us low income families, know that I thank you for taking time to look back on our nations past. And head this: learn from our mistakes. Value your undervalued. Prioritise potential over tax ability. How many minds are wasted in the drains of societies. My daughter loves robotics, in a fairer world she might grow up to build robots or AI. In this world she'll be lucky if she is able to find a job that pays her bills when she grows up. I tell my kids of their power and potential, I keep my truth of the realities to myself, in the hope that by the time they're grown up the world will be a fairer place. Maybe one day my children or grandchildren might read this study, might see these articles. Maybe someone will read about the woman who cries over bread and fears leaving her children unprotected far more than she fears death or pain. Perhaps people can learn from our voices, perhaps the future can be one worthy of our children's power. I'd be happy to be a whisper in history if in the future no one is left fearing homelessness or starvation. We have the resources. I hope the future will be more empathetic. "

Victoria B
Jul 24, 2020

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