Assessment: 1 March 2013
I am in receipt of your letter calling me to your assessment by a ‘healthcare professional’ in regard to my benefit claim. At present I have yet to discuss this with my GP or the mental health care professionals who have supported my claim over the last three years, so they are currently unaware of the contents of this blog. Once I am able to print it off, they will be provided with copies and invited to comment on whether they believe my mental health has deteriorated. You are, of course, free to make up your own mind.
My claim for sickness benefits began in March 2001 following prolonged ill-health that rendered me incapable of working in my professional capacity as a psychotherapist. Regrettably my circumstances then deteriorated to the point where my mental health was severely affected and, following a serious suicide attempt at the end of that year, I spent the first three months of 2002 in psychiatric wards whilst the contents of my home were unlawfully evicted by a rogue landlord.
During my voluntary stay in psychiatric care, I was subject to an attempt to section me under the Mental Health acts by a psychiatrist who subsequently lied to his superiors about what occurred that day. As you may imagine, I experienced these events as highly distressing, especially when set alongside the circumstances that had brought me into treatment. It created enough of a trauma within my psyche to enable me to recall the date this happened – 2 March 2002. Please note the date of your assessment.
Following discharge and rehousing, I found myself living on an all-women estate. My neighbours were remarkably unenlightened when it came to dealing with former psychiatric patients and took pleasure in harassing us – I was not the only resident to be subject to this harassment. What began as harassment ended in what the press described as a feud which I brought to an end on 3 March 2003 by becoming, for the first time in my life, a violent offender. Again, please note the date of your assessment.
As a result, I was sentenced to seven years of prison/supervision, Whilst I was in prison, I was subject to the psychological treatment that results in reports such as these:-
My response was to develop and act upon the same kind of suicidal ideation that resulted in my first suicide attempt in 2001. This meant that I spent over four years on the Prison Service’s suicide watch procedures (2052 and ACCT). It also meant that I acquired considerable personal experience in addressing circumstances I found to be abusive. When my sentence was complete, I was released into the community on 4 March 2010. Please note the date of your assessment.
Since my release and with the assistance of my GP and local Mental Health professionals, I have worked extremely hard to recover from the many traumas contributing to my long-term suicidal ideation whilst, in addition, resettling and rehabilitating myself into my new community. These efforts were sufficiently successful to enable me to consider returning to work in the autumn of 2012 and to begin taking appropriate steps to manifest my intent. On 5 November 2012, however, I had a heart attack. I am still recovering from both the physical and psychological impact of this event.
During the above period, I have been subject to two previous assessments by you. On both occasions, you have failed me because my claim did not score any points on your scorecard. On both occasions, I appealed and the tribunal upheld my claim by exempting me from this particular measure. This is a matter of record and should be on your files.
Now I am facing the assessment you have called me to which, I note, again contains the implied threat of losing my entitlement to benefits if I don’t attend. Given the above, I hope you may appreciate that this has impacted upon my mental health. Please regard this blog as my initial response to your demands.
As a former prisoner, I have considerable experience of being subject to negative reports and may, therefore, have some knowledge of how to assess and manage them.
In examining the system you intend to apply to me on 1 March 2013, the evidence is quite clear. Your system kills people. Your system has been assessed, by no less than Parliament itself (pdf), as failing the public at every level in terms of purpose, cost and effectiveness. Yet still you persist in applying these corrupted ‘standards’ to people like me and you continue to accompany your demands with threats of loss of benefit entitlements for failing to comply. Before your company thinks to extend the finger of blame at the DWP or Government (who are equally guilty, in my opinion), I would point out that you make a profit for your shareholders with this contract and have failed to either change or terminate it following the deaths of those in your ‘social care’. You are reminded that ‘following orders’ is regarded as an insufficient defence to the charge of genocide. Any guilt, as far as I am concerned, is equally distributed amongst everyone who is a party to this situation.
Your current standards presume that those you assess are cheating, lying or otherwise defrauding the state. You ‘affirm’ this belief by applying false measures to us with the intention of ensuring we fail them. By implication, your tests also presume that any and all healthcare professionals involved in my treatment are colluding with my attempt to defraud the state. If this is true, then this amounts to a conspiracy to defraud the state. Such allegations are regarded as imprisonable offences by criminal courts where people have been found guilty of such crimes after due process. I would remind you there is existing evidence to show that ESA/Incapacity Benefit claimants, like me, are fundamentally honest and claims of fraudulent activity are not supported in fact. Basically, you are accusing us of lying even when we can demonstrate our truthfulness and honesty. To continue to pursue allegations of implied fraud when the facts do not support them is evidence of bigotry and prejudice. When such prejudice can be demonstrated to result in the death of the victims, this is known as a hate crime.
As a former prisoner and desister, I am fully aware that my rehabilitation depends upon my willingness or otherwise to involve myself in crime. The implications of your test suggest that I am involved in benefit fraud, even though my case has already been examined twice and found to be legitimate on two separate occasions. In my own mind, calling me to a third assessment – particularly given my recent heart attack – is calling me to a ‘court’ where I can’t receive a fair hearing until appeal and any fair decision obtained will have followed months of hardship and distress. Your ‘court’ can be demonstrated to manifest a remarkable disinterest in the lives of those appearing before it and an alarming inability to change when it can be shown that its results can be lethal to innocent people. If you want to indulge in prejudice against offenders, as in my own case, then I would remind you that my offences were not for dishonesty and allegations that I am behaving in a fraudulent manner remain unsupported by the facts. Therefore, it appears your ‘court’ inflicts punishment on honest people for the ‘crime’ of being ill, vulnerable or disabled, imposes cruelty and hardship upon them for failing a test rigged to fail, has nearly 40% of cases overturned on appeal and the resultant levels of pain and suffering can and do result in the death of those subject to your system.
You accuse me and my healthcare team of fraud. In response, I accuse you of corporate murder and I accuse all those others involved of being accessories to corporate/institutional murder and party to a conspiracy to commit corporate/institutional murder.
I believe your tests violate Human Rights law and I intend to prove it with evidence that will stand up in a properly constituted court of law.
My Current Mental Health Status
Having been a woman confined within the Criminal Justice system for seven years, I have considerable experience and expertise in dealing with people who don’t give a fuck whether I live or die. In addition, I have considerable experience of dealing with processes and procedures that aim to kill me. Please therefore be informed that my methodology allows such people and processes to fully explore their desires and intentions by aiming to deliver my corpse to everyone involved. In prison, such behaviour was labelled ‘suicidal ideation’. Please be advised that I am now using this methodology in my dealings with you.
For the record, it is unlikely that the Criminal Justice system will release my prison medical records in time for our mutual assessment. This does not concern me because they are likely to be released to any coroner made aware of their existence. As I indicated earlier, my healthcare team have yet to assess the present state of my mental health but I am sure they will provide an opinion concerning any deterioration or otherwise having read this blog. Since you claim to use healthcare professionals yourselves, no doubt you will be able to arrive at your own opinion.
Here is an explanation of how my suicidal ideation functions when faced with situations like the one you are presenting me with. Firstly I would point out that until your assessment form arrived, I was still endeavoring to return to a level of health sufficient to enable me to return to work, notwithstanding my recent heart attack. This has to be the baseline for any competent Mental Health and/or Health assessment. Please be informed, therefore, that as a result of the arrival of your forms and assessment letter, I have shifted my priorities. Now I am no longer able to engage in return-to-work pursuits because you are implying that I may be guilty of fraud and conspiracy to defraud the state. As a desister, I cannot engage in resettlement or rehabilitation work whilst this allegation hangs over me because it suggests that I am guilty of further crime. I cannot pursue rehabilitation until the matter is settled. In my own mind, therefore, the only socially responsible action I can take, especially if I am to remain true to my own desistance, is to die or to be willing to die to maintain my own social integrity. Please be informed that I intend to deliver this outcome to you if you persist in your actions.
I find I have already taken some steps to achieve these aims and objectives. For example: I have given up any attempts to stop smoking. Whilst I continue to make efforts to exercise, my commitment has been undermined and this is being reflected in my behaviour. Lastly, I find myself engaging in confrontations with systems not unlike your own. These confrontations affect my limbic and autonomic nervous systems, raising my blood pressure to danger-levels regardless of any medication I might be taking to prevent this. For example: in prison, it was known for my BP to rise to 230/140 under such conditions. Perhaps one of your healthcare professionals with experience of treating cardiac problems could comment on the impact my ‘new’ behaviour will have on my recovery. Perhaps, too, they might also have an opinion about what the likely impact will be on my physical health were I ‘forced’ to attend an assessment that I believe doesn’t care if I live or die and from which there is no apparent ‘flight’. Finally, I am clear in my own mind that if, at any time between now and a satisfactory resolution of this situation, I experience a further heart attack or other life-threatening experience, I will seek no help or assistance because I will accept the need to die in order to retain my spiritual and psychological integrity. This is Stage One.
Stage Two will occur when and if the DWP decides that I am no longer eligible for ESA. At this point, the following will occur:
- I will continue to reduce life preserving behaviours to the point of cessation.
- I will cease any and all life preserving medication.
- I will appeal the decision and represent my own case at tribunal. This blog will form part of my submission.
- I will cease all efforts and attempts to reintegrate into my new community on the grounds that society – as represented by you and the DWP – believes me to be dishonest and fraudulent.
- I will carry out these actions with behavioural impeccability and will not, at any stage, pose any kind of violence risk to anyone but myself.
You are invited to consider whether any or all of the above indicate any deterioration in my mental health or present any heightened risk to my physical health. My own healthcare professionals will, of course, make up their own minds.
Underpinning all of the above are the spiritual precepts and principles I live by as a shamanic practitioner and as a woman. Much of the above has its roots in these and it would mislead you to say otherwise. Suffice it to say; to submit myself to your system as it stands at present, and without challenge, would be to violate everything I hold precious and valuable about life itself. The only way you can obtain such a level of submission from me will be over my dead body.
At this stage, I see no purpose in labouring this aspect – spiritual practices are private and personal matters to be determined by the individual. Nevertheless, my response to your letter calling me to your discredited assessment remains spiritual in nature. My shamanic challenge is not based upon what you think of me – as a woman with powerful convictions such prejudice is normal. This society is always going to challenge my honesty simply because of my past. My past, however, informs me that I had a fairer chance of a just decision through our criminal justice system than I am ever likely to receive from you. This means that you are treating vulnerable, disabled and sick people without any criminal history more unfairly than the genuine criminals amongst us. This cannot be anything other than wrong.
On a spiritual level, you have besmirched my name and called my integrity into question. This I can tolerate. What I will not tolerate is the implication that all those health and mental health professionals who have supported me on my long road from prison are insufficiently competent and require you to ‘manage’ their work. Such a suggestion is profoundly offensive to me, not least because the facts do not support your insult. These people have worked extremely hard to help me and their efforts were paying off. I was getting better. I was getting better enough to actively begin seeking work and my heart-attack points to the possibility that I was probably trying too hard. The care I received from my local health professionals has been second to none and now you are proposing to enforce a system upon me that sabotages, undermines and devalues everything these people have done. This is an insult too far.
Please be informed, therefore, that I challenge your corrupted power with every super-string of my essence as a shaman and a woman. I aim to be gathering evidence to satisfy a court of Law that your intentions towards those subject to your will are murderous and my objective is to submit my own dead body as evidence for the prosecution. How you respond is entirely up to you.
I will be contact with you again once I have discussed this situation with my GP.