Counselling again, a year on. Am I making progress? Well, tortoise steps…
One way into it is this problem. A year ago, local Quakers gave a Romanian family permission to use part of our meeting house as a temporary home. At the time, we thought they would be out by now. Five years after accession, Romanians have the same rights as other EU citizens. They could get social housing, benefits, and he could get a job.
It has not worked out that way. The father’s English remains poor. He is apparently getting some help with benefits from the Sunlight centre and a benefits advice service, and a Quaker, M, is helping with bids for social housing. On Sunday, she mentioned the dread words “local connection”, an allusion to a rule which I don’t understand but which might get in the way of them getting social housing. Housing issues are part of her job, but M. doesn’t understand either.
The Government’s great scheme to prevent Europeans from getting Housing Benefit might stymie them too. M. has sent me the circular the Government sent to local HB offices, and I learn the great scheme, or part of it, is the Social Security (Habitual Residence) Amendment Regulations. That should be OK. I got my new Welfare Benefits Handbook on Friday, and all I have to do is get my head round the circular, the regs and what the WBH says about them, and I can give an answer. We should be able to argue a right to reside, from which entitlement should flow.
Since January, he should have been entitled to about £116 a week child tax credit. We don’t know if he is getting it, or whether a claim has been made. In theory, one claims with a phone call.
As for Quakers, there is no great harm leaving the family where they are, or even individual members spending money and effort if they wish trying to help the family. Possibly, if he can’t sort himself out here, he would be better in a country where he speaks the language, which is a nicer way of saying “send him back where he came from”.
I have no motivation at all in this. It seems there is a goal only a few yards away, and a firm, metalled path leading straight there, and as soon as I step on it I find a bottomless pit. The goal of the family being housed securely with a secure income, and the goal of getting a clear opinion on HB entitlement, appear alike impossible.
Here I got upset. Possibly Charing Cross will help me sort my feelings out, I will see the psych next week.
I know I have good qualities- intellect, love, creativity- which ought to get me through these problems, and I know that others respect me more than it feels they do. The paranoid thoughts are not true. Feelings of my own worthlessness are also not true. There is that in me, call it inner child or whatever, that I have to convince. I am respected by others- and the terrified child self does not see that, either.
So with Yvonne again I got upset, to the stage of being unable to speak, nearly crying, in probably the safest environment I could be in. I feel incapable of achieving anything. I stay at home doing almost nothing to avoid feeling that way.
Walking home in the sunshine, I was still a bit emotional
and it feels that this emotional, feeling state is the only way to
the only way to be not shut off
yet I see that it is so painful, and I have good reason to avoid it. So- If I were living with someone, I would need panic attacks- being unable to breathe, getting visibly terrified, being exhausted after- to convince her that I Needed Help. Having no-one to convince but myself, there is no need for panic.