"Just emailed my UC coach to get permission to do a very basic distance learning course through local college. I need permission for that when on UC. I have to ask a stranger, another adult who technically has control over my income, permission to do a free course. Trigger-fest. It brings back memories of having to ask my ex permission for every tiny thing (I 'got into trouble' once for buying a £1 baby book once, cos I hadn't asked permission ffs, it's not fun reliving these memories). Now I have to ask a complete stranger, a voice on the phone, a occasional emailer. His gender isn't the problem, I've been controlled by women in the past also so either way it'd hurt. I have to ask a total stranger permission to do a free course. It's dehumanising. It makes me sad. I've deliberately not done any of the courses I normally do through local college since going into UC, all good things for my CV (admin skills, mental health, etc. Just simple L2 certs, CV fillers I guess they could be called, I've done one or two a year since I left the ex, to keep my mind from going stagnant and to add stuff to my CV and show I'm not sitting on my laurels), because I didn't want to have to ask permission for something like this. Worried it'll effect my benefits or get me in trouble. But they emailed me today, they've some new courses that I really want to do (on advocating for mental health and on social justice). So I've emailed my UC coach. And I've ask permission. It'll probably be a yes, the course only takes an hour or two per week for a couple months, no big, doesn't effect my job searching. But it's just the need to ask that galls. "