My disabilities on their own are a challenge but when you put them together they can be very cruel.
But they can also be humorous!
My head is like a massive library, filled inside with rows and rows of information piled on shelves upto the ceiling. I can recall virtually everything in that library with the right prompting.
How, then can it be that I have a memory deficit? you might well ask.
Unfortunately, there are no step ladders in this library.
I go through life knowing that the information I require is in that box on the top shelf but nine times out of ten, without any support, I try to climb but I fall off before I make the top. I use as many memory aids as I can getaway with and have managed to excel at the highest levels in business despite this shortcoming. What helps me are: briefing papers; visual triggers; project plans; and hand written notes. Readers of my story so far will recognise that this kind of support is not available at an interview!
This means that life is like a game of 20 questions for my wife! Even the Home Secretary joined in on Friday night. I was trying to make the point that neither the Lib Dems nor the Tories campaigned at the election on the platform of making sweeping cuts to welfare benefits and therefore the Govt didn't have a mandate for it. Unfortunately, the key word I wanted to use had gone to the toilet, was having a pretty bad time of it in there and wouldn't come out of the cubicle no matter how much I needed it to! The conversation went something like this:
Me<< "At the last election neither the Tory Party nor the Libdems included any reference to the scale of these Welfare cuts in their,.........pamphlets,............Project plans,..........., to do-lists......."
Home Secretary<< "Do you mean manifesto's?"
Me<< "Thank you!!"
I knew what I was talking about, I was making a compelling case I thought and......I fell at the final fence.
What else did we talk about?
As you can guess, I did most if the talking, because once I have remembered something to say and framed it, I have to say it before I forget it (as I said earlier about combining disabilities, I am putting my memory problem together with my OCD here, and I'm going to add a sprinkle of speech impairment to the recipe!(and I can't make notes as I go along as my RHS spasticity impacts on the speed of writing and the ease of reading and understanding MY notes!)). I even interrupted her on a couple of occasions - oops! Luckily, she took it very well (much better than the Judge at the Employment Tribunal I had vs LOCOG took being interrupted!)! A lot of the time I spoke and she took notes (or maybe she was playing word-games on her writing pad?). I spoke about:
- LOCOG and how Lord Coe's response to her letter did not answer the important question which Theresa agreed with and undertook to write to him again.
- How I felt I was being demonised by Her Majesty's Government as a disabled benefit scrounger. As I've already mentioned Theresa seemed concerned that I felt this way.
- I discussed the Governments use of Financial Privilege in relation to the Welfare Reform Bill. I made the point that the way the this move had been framed it could be argued that every bill in front of the House of Lords could be designated a "money bill". Theresa did not respond to this.
- I asked why they were trying to reduce welfare spending rather than go after the tax-evaders. Theresa replied that the Govt. was going after the tax evaders?
- Finally, I made reference to the 20% reduction in welfare bill versus the evidence of less than 0.5% fraud in DLA claims. Theresa queried my figures, wrote them down and seemed minded to look into this point.
- I want to work. Where are the jobs for me?