Sunday, 16 January 2011

"What happens to disabled people in the rain?"

A blog for the BrokenOfBritain blogstorm "One Month before Heartbreak"

I qualify for the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) upper rate mobility component because both of the specialists who have treated my disc disease have recommended avoidance of some physical movements. They have also said that I should avoid public transport because the motion of buses and trains and the fact that I cannot guarantee getting a seat when I board either of these, puts me at great risk of becoming paralysed from the waist down. Because I qualify for the DLA mobility component I also qualify for a (used to be orange) Blue Badge which permits me to park in the designated Blue Badge parking spaces in any car park.

Until about 2005 I rarely took up a blue badge space because these were fairly limited, for instance, in the Tesco I used to shop in at that time (you know the kind, one of those great big hypermarkets where they sell everything and anything) there were comparatively few designated blue badge spaces in the entire car park even though it was designed to hold over 1000 cars. The few blue badge spaces there were dotted around the car park, and I felt that I should leave these for users, of wheelchairs and other mobility aids, who need the extra space around the parking bay to get in and out of the car. Getting in and out of the car is a problem for me too because if I do not have enough room to fully open my door the twisting etc that is required to get in or out of the car is as potentially dangerous for me as standing in a swaying bus or train. One thing I could do, that would not be as easy for users of mobility aids to do, was to park on the end of a row ensuring that my door faced away from the car parked alongside that bay, that way I could ensure that even if the occupants of the next bay changed while I was in the store my access on returning would still be clear.

And then, one day in 2005 or 2006, something strange happened. I can't remember the date but it was a fairly phenomenal week for those of us in my area with mobility problems because under pressure to implement the changes required by the Disability Discrimination Act, Tesco increased the number of designated blue badge parking bays in their car parks. From there being no more than six bays scattered around a vast car park there were now four rows of eight bays, right opposite the entrance to the store and each facing an identical row of bays dedicated to mothers with babies. What's strange about that? Nothing really, what was strange was that on that day, for the first time in that car park, I parked in a designated blue badge bay and, as I walked to the entrance of the store I was aware of several hostile glances in my direction. As someone who lives with depression it is important I retain an awareness of my propensity to paranoia so, I sort of shrugged those looks off, put it down to it being one of my bad days, and because of that I tried to take no notice of the similar hostile looks I sort of believed I was getting when I returned to my car.

I usually shopped at that Tesco on weekdays when, because weekend shoppers tended to travel to it from miles around, the car park was much quieter. In fact, the 32 designated blue badge bays were rarely if ever all taken. This didn't mean they weren't utilised, many was the time when, on just arriving or just returning to my car, I would see some solo woman with a "baby on board" sign in the back of her car slowly cruise along the lines of mother and baby spaces (which were invariably all taken) and then, assuming a "you can't see me because I've drawn my head back into my shoulders" pose, drive around the end of the row and in one motion swing into one of the vacant blue badge spaces. This didn't really surprise me, sisterhood in the area I live is clearly not very well developed and I knew that many of the mother and baby car bays had been occupied by women alone who, seemingly without remorse, parked in one of those bays before rushing into the shop as if her backside was on fire. Those women would, if I was in my car when they returned and they realised I was watching them, adopt an aggressive stance which said "what are you going to do about it" before lowering themselves into the vehicle. The women (and sometimes, but not often, men) who stole the designated blue badge parking bays reacted differently. If they saw me looking, realising that imitating Quasimodo did not make them invisible, most, on disembarking from their vehicle would give me one of those "what's a person supposed to do" looks and shrug their shoulders before sheepishly walking into the supermarket. As I am 6'3" (when I am able to stand up straight), and that that time I weighed about 15 stone, I did not feel it would be appropriate to challenge these bay stealers directly, there have been times in the past when me being assertive had been interpreted as me being aggressive.

Where is the rain? I hear you ask, don't worry it will be along soon, there's always rain out there somewhere.

And so it went on for many months. Whenever I parked in that car park it seemed to me, judging from some of the looks cast in my direction, that I had done something wrong which had upset the local residents. This was especially confusing on days when some visibly able-bodied woman, who might or might not have given birth any time during the previous 10 years, would get out of her car which she had parked in one of the designated blue bays yet she did not seem to attract the same hostile attention that I, the one with the blue badge, did.

Things seemed to get worse when, for practical reasons, I began doing my shopping at a different branch of Tesco. I was still working when, to improve my rush-hour route to work, I moved to the opposite side of town. At that time, with further degeneration of my spine as yet not diagnosed, I could not sit in the car for more than about 30 minutes and my new location meant I could be at work in 20. My new branch of Tesco was even closer. It is much smaller than the first, not one of those really diddy ones where they sell everything at an extortionate price to justify the "special offers" in the larger stores, but somewhere in between those and the type of hypermarket I had shopped at in the past. This Tesco was also 24-hour service, a real bonus for someone who cannot "mix it" on equal terms with hordes of weekend shoppers. It is right on the edge of Heathrow Airport and much of its trade comes from the thousands who work there or on one of the several industrial estates that surround it, and, surprisingly, in a car park a quarter of the size of the one at the hypermarket, there are an inordinate number of designated blue badge parking bays. In fact there are more than at the hypermarket and here, with the mother and baby bays located in a different area, it is men who sometimes aggressively drive into the protected bays, I assume in a hurry because they rarely park in straight-line, and rush into the store, (without displaying a blue badge), also as if their backsides are on fire, but without a backward glance because they arrogantly assume they have a perfect right to do whatever they want.

I also noticed that the hostile glances in my direction increased when I began shopping at this store. Here though I noticed that the "able-bodied" shoppers who stole the bays also received hostile looks from others in the car park.

Now I became a humanist in the 1970s. You may remember it, Unconditional Positive Regard, Congruence, which meant always being true to yourself, and, Concreteness, which meant always being true to others. And so it was that I forgave those who fired invisible daggers into my back every time I walked into the supermarket, telling myself they must be having a bad day or something of that ilk. It was several weeks before I realised what the problem was.

The universal symbol for blue badge parking spaces is a diagram of a person in a wheelchair. Now, many people, our current, temporary, unelected prime minister included, believe that if they cannot see evidence of your disability, then you are not disabled. Implicit in the disability discrimination act, and the Social Inclusion policies that followed it, was a message to the disabled that they need not feel invisible any more. We should, in fact we were encouraged to, become more visible and claim our rightful place in the world. Problem was that until we became more visible no-one realised how many of us there are. The other problem was, just like other beneficiaries of Anti-Discriminatory legislation, we stopped being individuals to be pitied by some: no, to many: and we became one of the “Politically Correct” groups. Those individuals loathe and despise us, because in their view we receive favours that they do not. They don’t see us achieving equality, they see us taking something (in this case a parking space 10 yards from the one they now have to use), from them.

My penny dropped, because these people saw me walk from my car into the supermarket, even though my blue badge was clearly visible in my windscreen, and they do not believe I am disabled. This despite the facts that when I pull up anywhere I have to sit for several minutes, (I admit that they cannot see me wiggling my feet until the circulation returns and my feet belong to me again), and when I walk, depending where the pain is most extreme, I alternately waddle like Donald Duck, resemble John Wayne just after he has got off of his horse, or, to be crude about it, I walk as if I have shit myself.

And so, I have resolved the problem of the hostile looks, I still don't use my walking stick, no point when I am about to have the ideal walking frame in the form of a shopping trolley, and I wait for the day that someone confronts me so that I can embarrass them with the truth.

There is still one thing that puzzles me however. There are so many designated blue badge parking bays at this Tesco that they are rarely all full. Because much of the custom at the store is from those previously mentioned industrial estates this is also the case at the weekend when trade, at times, appears to be even less than during the week. But there are times when for some unaccountable reason, with plenty of vacant spaces all over the car park the designated blue badge parking bays, conveniently placed near to and opposite the entrance to the store, are full. So full that I often have to revert to my old practice and find a space on the end of a row, not that this is difficult because apart from those designated blue badge parking bays the car park is sometimes almost empty. This strange phenomenon only seems to occur when it is raining.

I am relatively new to disability culture so that puzzle remains to be solved. Can anyone tell me? Why is it only at those times that the designated blue badge parking bays are full up? Whatever happens to disabled people in the rain?

brokenbrian January 2011.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Poems before heartbreak

This is my day 2 blog for BrokenOfBritain’s “One Month Before Heartbreak” Blogswarm.

None of these poems are new; they were either written or updated during the year noted at the bottom of each one.

I have selected them because each one illustrates some facet of my life with depression or my more recently acquired Disc Disease. I hope they will help others recognise why it is a futile and unfair exercise to reduce the lives of disabled persons to one line “descriptors” for assessment purposes.

As a lifelong depressive I was surprised when, while attending a psychiatric day hospital throughout 2005, I was informed that some of the repetitive thoughts that followed me everywhere were caused, not by my depression, but by a form of OCD.

As you will discover, none of my ailments is straightforward, and my OCD is no exception as it manifests itself through mind sapping repetitive thoughts and not through the physically exhausting repetitive actions which are usually linked to the condition. Many of the friends I made during that year did live lives encumbered with the observable version of the condition and I wrote this for, and about, one of them

Eau de Toilet

My friend wears her obsession

No, not the one by Calvin Klein,

Hers comes from the Spaniard, Dom Estos,

And smells “Original”? or “Pine”.

Every time she walks into a room

Ninety Nine percent of bacterians leave

While one percent just get the hump

When she rolls back her sleeves.

From banks of cushions on her sofa

She stares way out to see

The tiniest speck or crumb of dust

An atoll missed by you or me

She fights them with her bleaches

And just when I think she’s done

Her dust busting mini vac roars at her hip

Her battle is never won.

She splashes it all over

She’d sterilise the world

If it would only stand still long enough

Her duster waits unfurled

To the dirt and grime of living

Strong messages she sends

She now has something “six times strength”

To help her round the bend

My friend wears her obsession

No, not the one by Calvin Klein,

Her eau de toilet is reminiscent

Of hospital corridors, past times

Some might think she’s rather strange

I just think she’s free

And I feel very privileged

That my obsessed friend loves me.

© Bri 2006

Most of my (in my opinion) most desperate, navel gazing, “depression” poems were written between the ages of 11 and 20. Those poems, and my ability to operate on automatic pilot, got me by as I sought to avoid Psychiatric Medicine and the “electric cosh”, ECT, which was being used to “treat” all sorts of psychiatric conditions at that time. By the time this was written I was 27 and married with a 2 year old son and one newborn daughter.

The “Little Yellow Pill” was Vallium, prescribed by my GP who I had finally told about the depression because I was in a deep depression that I was unable to escape from utilising my usual strategies, and which was beginning to impact negatively on my family. The “yellow and black capsule” was an anti-depressant: I can’t remember what it was called but it was one of what were known as “tri-cyclic” anti-depressants. These were fairly new drugs at the time and one side-effect of them was to detach my mind from the day-to-day world even further than the depression did. I wrote this on the day I realised I had become addicted to the Valium, which had been prescribed to nullify some of the side-effects of the anti-depressants.

Little Yellow Pill 1977

My life is a little yellow pill

Taken three times a day

with a glass of whatever is handy at the time.

My world is oval

A yellow and Black capsule

Taken at bedtime with a cup of warm cocoa

My thoughts are confused

Tossed this way and that

Bouncing endlessly and noisily from the walls of my aching skull.

Like a solitary grain of sand on a pebble shore.

My body is an island

Cut off from the world

By oceans of fear that break relentlessly upon my shore

Eroding my yesterdays and drowning my tomorrows.

My life is a little yellow pill

And the bottle is nearly empty.

© Bri 1977/2005

At the Day Hospital we were asked to do something creative for public display on World Mental Health Day. I had not long learned that I was now considered to have “bi-polar disorder”. Undiagnosed till then because I am never as manic as most during the time before the depression closes in, and my time in that “manic” phase is relatively short, damaging just me and my relationships.

This is one of a pair I wrote for World Mental Health Day. The other is possibly too negative to put here where I cannot know who will read it. Written to illustrate the light and shade of living with depression, this is the light.

In Good Company.

I am a loony from the bin

Society puts its rejects in.

You’ve read about me in the Sun or Mail,

Where the headline without fail,

Will warn you that you might get stabbed,

Or even have your children grabbed,

By me, or others of my kind,

Who you will inevitably find,

Asleep in doorways, scrounging money,

To spend on booze or dogs with runny

eyes, that we appear to keep,

Rendering our poverty obsolete,

They’d rather us you did not see,

My other loony friends and me

They claim the life we live we choose

Our smelly clothes, our worn out shoes

Our confused speech, our confused minds

Fuelled by drugs we somehow find

Regardless of our lack of dosh

We’d clearly rather “trip” than nosh.

Winston Churchill, Lady Di

Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Ives

Spencer Tracy, Kurt Cobain

Michelangelo and Mark Twain,

John Lennon, Vincent Van Gogh

Gustav Holst, Rachmaninoff,

Tennessee Williams, Graham Greene,

All people you might not have seen

If judged on their illness alone

By the editor of some tabloid tome.

I am a funny from the farm

I promise I won’t do you harm

Some of us might, that is true

But statistically so might more of you

I’ve never robbed, I’ve never killed

Believe me, I am much too ill

Like many from the funny farm

It’s me, not you, who I might harm

And during times when I am well

You would not know, you could not tell

I’ve raised my children, stayed in work

Social responsibility I’ve not shirked

I work hard to avoid that bin

Society puts its rejects in

But this illness descends without warning

Fine at bedtime, nuts in the morning

If we frighten you, then you should see

Just how scared we are, my friends and me

And if at times we slur our speech

It’s drugs from the medics, not drugs from the streets.

Mary Shelley and John Keats

Virginia Woolf, Louis MacNiece

Ernest Hemmingway, Henrik Ibsen

Marilyn Monroe, Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Charlie Parker, Anton Bruckner,

Sylvia Plath and Edward Elgar

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James,

All these and many other names,

Might not be known to you and me

If their madness alone the world did see.

I am a nut without a case

You’d never know it from my face

I’ve trained my countenance to hide

The torment raging deep inside

If I seem ignorant when you ask

Please realise that the simplest task

Can seem immense at times like these

I’m standing, but I’m on my knees

It’s not your pity that I seek

Just understanding that this week

I might not be the man you know

I’ve lost me too, and now I’m so

Confused, bewildered, “off my head”

Contemplating being dead

The internal argument ensues

Could the loss of me be the making of you

While all that I ever achieved

Crumbles to nothing at times like these

And deep inside I’m forced to face

The truth. - I’m a nut without a case.

Charles Dickens, John Bunyan and George Fredrick Handel

Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland and Gerard de Nerval,

Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Edgar Alan Poe,

Spike Milligan, Cole Porter and Victor Hugo

T.S Eliot, Brian Wilson, and Alfred Lord Tennyson

Charlie Mingus, Lord Byron and Emily Dickinson

Noel Coward, Samuel Johnson, and Monticelli

All shared the illness with people like me,

This world would be a less cultured place

If they’d hounded these humans out of the race.

I’m round the bend, I’m up the creek

Without a paddle in a boat that leaks.

A political pawn who lives with social rejection

Until the next general election

When headlines scream that folks like me

Are never safe, should not be free,

And if you weaken, are not sure

They’ll ask if you want us living next door

They’ll jumble several diagnosis

To arrive at a Jekyll and Hyde prognosis

To fuel the fear in folks like you

That you can never tell what we might do

You’ll have to search very hard to find

That Schizophrenia just means “confused mind”

That those with the fictional “split personality”

Are folks with depression, people like me

But the “split” in us is not “good” or “bad”

It is loss of control of what’s happy or sad

It means loss of our jobs, children, husbands and wives

It means loss of the love that we once had for life.

I am a loony from the bin

that society puts its rejects in.

Like many from the funny farm

It’s me, not you, who I might harm,

It’s not your pity that I seek,

Just understanding that this week

I might not be the man you know. . . . . . . but I’m in good company.

(c)  Bri 2005 (with “names” from

I think you will have gleaned by now that living with depression is littered with loss. Loss of self, loss of jobs, loss of friends, and, possibly worse of all, loss of significant relationships. It took me 6 years to recover from the loss of this one and to write this as a sort of therapy. The names have been changed etc. Etc.

Becky and Tom.

On days like these I miss you more

Than last month,

Last year,

The year before.

On days like these I speak to you,

Through all I think,

Or pray,

Or do.

On days like these I feel the pain,

Of yesterdays


Once again.

On days like these I search to find

Your look

Your smell

From back of mind

On days like these I long to hear

Your voice


Through my tears.

And how are Becky and Tom?

© Bri 2001.

So, we move on from the isolation of mental illness to the isolation of physical incapacity. I was 48 in 1998 when I learned that the excruciating pain in my buttocks and legs that had rendered me immobile was Degenerative Disc Disease. I was told my back was as worn as that of an 80 year old, and that the available surgical treatment would remove my mobility completely. Basically, the discs at the base of my spine are bursting and arthritis is moving in and compressing my spinal cord and some pretty important nerves.

Once I lose the use of my legs completely they will perform the operation, nothing to lose then, lol.

My condition is partially relieved by steroid injections and top of the range pain-killers but the pain is never completely supressed. Two discs were gone at the time of that first scan, a third went in 2004 and another in 2006, since then my mobility has declined so much that I became overweight and became diabetic. Anyway, that third occurrence led to more lifestyle changes than the others, the poem below describes an event at that time.


With the freedom of a child re-grown

Today I took a bath alone

Free from fear, without a care

Into the tub with no-one there

I even reached my distant feet

With the help of my new plastic seat

And with waste still running to the drain

I filled it up and went again.

The plastic seat rides up and down

(Not far enough for me to drown)

So I no longer need to shout

For help to come and get me out

No more floundering like a big beached Whale

I’m told my plastic seat can’t fail

It will refuse to take me down

If it can’t get me up again.

I have forgotten, just can’t tell

The last time that I felt this well

A time to reclaim some of the cost

To happiness when skills are lost

Freedom to choose when to lie and soak

With fags, the radio, Southern Comfort and Coke

To choose such moments on a whim

Without needing to bring my loved ones in.

No more wondering how I smell

I’ve not bathed, can others tell?

No more planning what to cook, specially fry

So the smell doesn’t linger on me for days

No more need to stand in the rain

So I’ll feel properly clean again

And no more odour of sweaty feet

I think I’ll like my plastic seat.

Sometimes I’d think back and I’d laugh

At the child who so resisted baths

Oh Brian if you’d only known

What awaited you once you had grown

But I’d think these thoughts with no regret

I’d rather remember and feel, than hide and forget

And with my plastic ride I’ll have such fun

Disability Nil, Brian One.

© Bri 2006

The copyright symbol denotes that I am the owner of this work. That said, I think all of these have been utilised by one teacher/trainer or another at some time. As they are mirrors on my life I like to control who has them. If you think any of these would help you or someone you know please contact me, you will not be refused.


Friday, 14 January 2011

A heartfelt contribution to: One Month Before Heartbreak: A Broken of Britain Blogswarm

Today I feel quite anxious, almost afraid.

I have lots of reasons to feel this way. My son, my daughter and her partner might all lose their jobs in the current recession. My two granddaughters aged 10 and 8 are daily fed images of the female form airbrushed, enhanced by plastic surgery, and Botoxed, while being told that if they do not grow up to look "this way" they will not be accepted by their peers, or by society at large. I watch the son of a close friend struggling to pay off a 10-year-old student loan while the son of my niece has just begun university and is about to accrue an even bigger debt.

But I live with these thoughts every day without the physical symptoms of anxiety so what is it about today that is causing the headache and the gastric churning.

Well: it's this: Just this. These words appearing on my monitor while I talk to myself. But here again, I write for a part of almost every day. Poetry, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, I've even started to write a book about my love of music, so why, today, is this very familiar and natural act causing a physical backlash?

I'll try to explain.

I am writing these words today because many of us, concerned at the way the coalition government is bullying, victimising, stereotyping, abandoning and, stigmatising those of us who live with disability, have decided to publish blogs almost simultaneously to draw attention to these injustices being perpetrated in your name. As someone who feels it is important not to write things that cannot be corroborated I have been doing some research just in case (although I was fairly certain of my original opinion) I had misunderstood what I have been hearing and reading.

The results of this research are quite upsetting. I discover that none of the three major political parties are prepared to support us in combating ill-conceived legislation that will affect every member of the disabled community. I have discovered that major charities, who have taken our money and yours claiming it would be used for our benefit, have been colluding with the government and have assisted them in stereotyping and stigmatising the disabled of this country by labelling them as benefit scrounging thieves. No dissent from any major public figure on our behalf. Ex-politicians like John Prescott and David Milliband, seem to re-tweet on Twitter almost any request to do so, regardless of the dubious origins of some of the tweets, yet they do not acknowledge requests from the disabled community to support it. We have, to all intent and purpose, been politically disenfranchised.

Now that all makes me angry, not afraid, bloody angry: so what is this anxiety about?

I'll try and explain. As I began to write this I realised that without the support of the media in this country; without the support of the politicians (both past and present) of this country; without the support of the charities who have taken your money and mine under the false pretence that it would be used for our benefit; and without the support of the public who have been fed lies and misinformation by all of those named above: I, and all of my colleagues, could be "at risk" simply for writing these words.

That sounds ridiculous doesn't it? As if I'm describing the extreme violation of human rights once prevalent in Communist Russia and now prevalent in other countries. But it is here, and it's will work like this.

The plans to brand disabled persons as workshy include an assessment of our capabilities. That sounds reasonable doesn't it, but this assessment will be carried out by a private company and will take no account whatsoever of the reasons why medical professionals consider us to be unfit for work, or, of any change in our circumstances since that assessment was first made. The assessment will be based on a number of "descriptors". That is, aspects of illness, impairment, or disability that have been reduced to a single line of description. These “descriptors” are deemed to be the same for every person who receives additional benefit to enable them to live more enriched lives regardless of their disability.

"Okay" you say, but what's that got to do with your ability to write this?

Well, I could understand it if, at first glance, anybody, even you, might say that if I am able to write these words then I must be perfectly able to sit in an office and use a word processor. Understandable, yes. Except, in my case, while you are reading this, you cannot see the headset I wear to enable dictation directly into my computer. I need to do this today because my arms feel extremely heavy and painful so typing, today, would not be possible. Headset aside, you have not been able to see the number of times I have needed to alter my position while doing this. At the moment I am leaning backwards so that my whole body is at an angle to the floor. When I began I was leaning forwards. I've not needed to during this exercise, but at some point of everyday I will need to lay on the floor for a while. On occasions I need to adopt the only position which offers me relief from the most extreme pain, that means laying on the floor with my bum against the sofa and my feet on the seat of the sofa in a Z shape. I'm not sure how many offices could accommodate my needs in this respect.

Another descriptor refers to the ability to concentrate. "Well surely you have just demonstrated that you are able to do that". I hear you think, and am not surprised, because I often say that to myself.

The truth is though that for a number of reasons, although I can do this today, it might not be possible tomorrow and it might not have been possible yesterday. It also might not have been possible earlier today and might not be possible later today. In my case this is for a number of reasons. Maybe the pain in my back and legs on any given day or night is so severe that I need to take painkillers in quantities that affect my cognitive functioning and render me both unable and unsafe to drive.

Maybe, physically I feel quite well. That, in my case, means the pain I experience can be "relieved" by finding my most comfortable sitting or laying position for a while. But then again, it might be a good day for my spinal condition but a bad one for my depression. Oh, did I mention that. I've been "a depressive" since I was about 11 years old. The extremes of my depression, come upon me roughly every seven years or so. In between times, until my spine collapsed, I was able to remain employed and was very skilful at masking my depression from others who remained unaware of it until such time that it once again overwhelmed me and began to influence my judgement and my actions. Because of my depression, I might have gone to bed last night with my ideas for this piece already formulated in my head, but, I might have woken up this morning a different person in a different body in a different place, and it might have been several days or even weeks before I was able to sit here and complete this.

I would love to be able to go to work again but specialists in both disc disease and depression tell me this would be unwise. In the case of the former this is because certain movements could lead to me losing my mobility completely, in the case of the latter it is because subjecting myself to intense pain for whole days will aggravate my attempts to overcome the depression. So, I am frustrated and angry that after several years of chastising myself for this, and several years of input from others convincing me that that work is not a feasible proposition, suddenly, just as I have come to terms with the reality of the remainder of my life, people who do not and who will not know me are about to make judgements about me with regard to this.

So there you have it. I hope that by reading this you have gained some insight to my world which, as disability goes, is not such a bad one. I hope it will help your understanding of the unpredictability of disability and of the ridiculousness of a proposition that the same "descriptors" can be applied across the board to all persons who live with disability. If I have succeeded you will now understand why the simple act of putting a few words onto a piece of paper, or a computer screen, can be fraught with anxiety and even danger for those who live within the disability culture at this time.

I also hope I have added to your understanding of disability and the folk who live with it as an aspect of everyday life. I hope I have been able to undo some of the damage being caused by a callous, cynical, vindictive, publicity campaign being waged by the government and some charities, to convince YOU that people of disability are not deserving of your support and consideration.

brokenbrian: January 2011.