So I’m guessing you’ve all seen pics of me pulling funny faces, out with friends on nights out, having a laugh, those who know me personally know that I love getting in fancy dress and going on nights out and I’m even off on a girls weekend away in a March with friends WOOHOOO! You might have even seen me dancing, messing around , playing games with the kids, joining in party dances at family parties or even walking quite far distances. I’ve in the last 5 years been to Butlins with the girls, took the kids to Haven, spent a few months in the gym almost everyday, been pregnant twice , Walked up our local large hill called The Wrekin regularly , I even did a midnight walk in aid of a local charity.
Now what if I also told you I don’t work and neither does my partner, we have 5 children and we are on benefits?? You’re annoyed right? It winds you up that people like us sit on our backsides all day watching Jeremy Kyle while you tax payers are out there working for us to do nothing. We are lazy , should stop having kids for the benefits, I’m sure the list could go on and on, why am I going out for meals with friends and on girls weekends away when I’m living off the state? , Why is it that I can do that when you have to work your backsides off and rarely get time to do anything at all?
Ok now what if I was to tell you that up until last year I never claimed benefits, I worked and in fact when my now 2 year old was a baby I worked 5 nights a week, just last year I was working 12 hour day shifts? does that change your opinion? , Probably not as I’m still not working now. What if I was to say that up until last year I had only ever claimed benefits once before in my life and that was when I split up with my ex husband and found myself as a single mum so it would have worked out that I was working to pay for the kids to go to nursery? no? I’m not going to lie, I used to be rude and ignorant and think the same too so don’t worry I won’t judge you.
Now I’m going to tell you why I don’t work and why I’m on benefits, I won’t go into too much detail about why my partner doesn’t work as it is personal and he doesn’t wish for it to be shared but I will tell you about me.
What those of you that may judge me don’t know is every morning when I wake up I can’t physically get straight out of bed as I wake up with the most horrific pain in my head that you would ever experience, so I have to lie there for a while first and let my head calm down before I can even walk down the stairs YES this is EVERY SINGLE DAY , some days it takes 5 minutes but on a really bad day this can sometimes take half an hour. Some days my head is so bad it feels like it weighs around 50 stone and I can’t physically lift it. I have been admitted to hospital several times and the most recently being almost 2 years ago where I had to go in on my sons birthday as they thought I may have a brain tumour, Thankfully I didn’t have one but trust me it was most definitely one of the scarier moments in my life.
I take 4 tablets every morning and 4 tablets every night, these tablets are epilepsy tablets but I don’t have epilepsy! , I also have regular pain relief. I have had not 1, not 2, not 3 or 4 but 7 lumbar punctures where I have had a gigantic needle pushed into my spine to withdraw fluid from my brain to relieve the pressure in my head, I was originally diagnosed with something called benign intracranial hypertension due to the raised pressure that was being found in my head, but the last few lumbar punctures the pressures weren’t so high so now thankfully that appears to be in remission however I have been left with DAILY chronic migraine, now I don’t know if you have ever suffered a migraine and I don’t mean a normal headache I mean an actual proper migraine where you need to lie down, or you feel sick , or you need to lie down in a dark room but if you have then you can imagine what its like to have daily chronic ones.
And more recently I’ve gained a new symptom where I have started to lose my vision, sometimes it can be for 2 minutes, other times it can be for half an hour, I will get a funny feeling one I can’t explain and then I will get like an oil patch in the corner of my eye which will then cover my whole vision and knock my complete balance and I will have to wait for my vision to return before I can fully function again. My back is absolute agony a lot of the time from where I have had lumbar punctures and on a couple of occasions the needle has slipped and I now have scar tissue there. So yes I look normal, yes I go out with friends and yes I don’t work but I do have a reason for it and my how jealous I am of those of you that do work , and do you know why? because I have a brain that I am so desperate to use, I want a nice house, I want lovely things, I would love a brand new sofa instead of a second hand one that I’ve been given, you know what else I would like? A car so that I could take my kids on day trips like I see everyone else doing, because I have a full licence just sat there doing nothing because I simply can’t afford to buy one! It doesn’t even have to be anything fancy just something to get me from a to b, I also and most importantly want the feeling of self worth you feel when you earn your own money and people don’t look down their noses at you without having the slightest clue about your life!
As for Gareth not working I won’t go into detail as I said his reasons are very personal and not something he wishes to share with anyone but what I will tell you is that every single time he goes to see the doctors he asks them ‘ please can I go back to work’ and every single time he is told no sorry you can’t and he comes home absolutely devastated.
Yes we have 5 children, but there’s a reason I named my blog mummyof5 miracles, I was told I would NEVER be able to have children and they really are my miracles after a series of very heartbreaking events which I’m sure will come up in possible future posts.
So I will end this post with just a few words, whilst you may sit there and judge us or anyone else try thinking to yourself that maybe, just maybe people aren’t actually just being lazy and that some people have illnesses that you can’t see and just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Yes we occasionally have fun and do fun things but trust me not every smile you see is a genuine one and many are done to hide the pain beneath.