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PaoloTrep
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27 Oct 2011, 7:50 am

I haven't been on this forum very long but anyone that has ever seen one of my threads will know that I am currently in a job that is akin to a slow death for a diagnosed Aspie. I hate this job so much that I get anxiety pains in the chest, middle insomnia and outbursts of rage. Completely not me.

The problem is: I have a house and a mortgage so I can't leave this one without something else to go into. The pay sucks at £15710 per year (before tax) considering I work 45 hours per week, Mon to Fri and every other Sat.

But I have hit my limit. Along with my Asperger's diagnosis, I was diagnosed with depression which I am soon to begin medication for. Escitploam or something.

There is another job that I ahve been offered: working only 18.5 hours, 3 evenings in the week and every other weekend in an admin position. The pay is only £7200 per annum. No chance I'm taking that.

Then something happened:

I was informed that I qualify for DLA (Disability Living Allowance) and if I took this job I would qualify for disability based working tax credit for working under 30 hours per week. I don't know if that all combined would put me in the same earning position as I am now because I still am waiting on some information.

So here is my problem:

I want to work more hours. I feel wrong claiming things like working tax credits and DLA knowing that this country is riddled with people who fraud the system. Also, my family instilled an uncomprimising work ethic in me: like if I don't work 40 plus hours a week that I am somehow inadequate. This is weighed against the fact that this job is creating health issues in me now.

I don't know. This seems dumb when I read it but it is an issue for me.

Anyone have any opinion on this? Am I being stupid for wanting to make my life easier? Am I a dirty, scrounging waster that has no right to claim anything!? I do want to work more than 18.5 hours but there is nothing out there, believe me, I've looked.

So torn...



PTSmorrow
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27 Oct 2011, 8:28 am

PaoloTrep wrote:

I feel wrong claiming things like working tax credits and DLA knowing that this country is riddled with people who fraud the system. Also, my family instilled an uncomprimising work ethic in me: like if I don't work 40 plus hours a week that I am somehow inadequate. This is weighed against the fact that this job is creating health issues in me now.

I don't know. This seems dumb when I read it but it is an issue for me.

Anyone have any opinion on this? Am I being stupid for wanting to make my life easier? Am I a dirty, scrounging waster that has no right to claim anything!? I do want to work more than 18.5 hours but there is nothing out there, believe me, I've looked.

So torn...


You are not cheating on your country and it is wrong to think like that. It's not the fault of disabled people that there are always some who want to take advantage of/exploit the system.

What your parents have taught you about work ethic, it might date from another time and/or refer to healthy people, which means it doesn't suit you and your individual circumstances. They are not walking in your shoes.



MrXxx
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27 Oct 2011, 10:01 am

PaoloTrep wrote:
I have hit my limit.


Listen to yourself. If this is true, you need help.

Swallow your pride and accept it. If you just keep going on until it all blows up in your face, you won't be any good to anyone, much less yourself.

Everyone needs help sooner or later. It's part of being human.


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PaoloTrep
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27 Oct 2011, 12:21 pm

People keep telling me I'm crazy because I want to fight everything alone, but it's hard to go against a lifetime of being told that self-dependency is all important and you should be able to stand alone.

It's a big pill to swallow.



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27 Oct 2011, 3:18 pm

Don't be foolish. Take care of yourself. Do you think that anyone is going to care about your high work ethic and give you some special consideration after your health (physical and/or mental) disintegrates and you truly become non-functional? I can tell you from experience that no one will do that.

I had a similar attitude as you, and always had my work ethic complimented -- right up until my health and functionality began to fail. After that, I received lectures and condescension about a lack of a work ethic. I eventually realized that all that hard work and trying-to-do-the-right-thing counted for nothing. And after ending up literally unable to work, I still had to prove that I wasn't a lazy, lying, malingering, sack of s*** in order to get needed help. And that was expensive and stressful (luckily I knew it would be and had some money tucked away). I hate to put it this way, but your past and present virtue will not be appreciated by the world (or relatives, in my experience) when you get to where you truly need help.



readingbetweenlines
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27 Oct 2011, 3:39 pm

Your existing job sounds horrendous (and reminds me of a badly paid admin job I had for a while). It is excellent that you are so far managing to hold down a full time post. It is clearly not improving your mental health. Ordinarily I would say, what about your pension, if you live on benefits it will mean poverty later.

But if what you are saying is accurate then you could be heading for a proper breakdown. At which point the choices in your life will no longer be made by you. At the moment you still have choices even if they are frightening. As you are possibly already anxious this will not help you make big decisions which are anxiety inducing events in anyone's life.

I think you need a break, and some rest, and if the part time position plus DLA can give you that I'd say go for it. Perhaps this option becomes more acceptable to yourself if you time limit it, say, I'll try this for 3 years, then I'll reassess. I really hope it works out, whatever you decide to do.


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AdamDZ
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27 Oct 2011, 4:03 pm

Here is an excerpt from something else I've been writing. This is my take on "You have to work all your life or you're worthless" bullshit.

***

Throughout our lives we have been told that we need to be productive members of our society, that unless we work full time jobs or run a full time business (still means "working") we're useless and lazy. That we are supposed to contribute to this society. But that's just not true. The society has grown dysfunctional, bloated, wasteful and spoiled, consuming more resources than needed. It has become uncritical, easily shaped by media and political leaders. It has also become disrespectful of the environment; the welfare of the society is more important that the welfare of the nature, the planet, our own humanity. People became mindless sheep who work long hours in lousy jobs only so they can buy the latest thing, to fill out their space with material goods: shiny gadgets, fashionable clothing, big cars, expensive jewelry, etc., not because they need them, but because they were tricked into believing that they need them so they can bee seen as "successful". Success is nowadays equated with ownership of material goods, not with the personal virtues and the quality of one's character. So most of the time we spend working only goes towards increased consumerism, accumulation of meaningless possessions, excessive waste and making a handful of people obscenely rich.

These possessions own us, not the other way around. We spend a great deal of time, not only working to obtain these possessions but also on maintaining them. We need a bigger house to fit all the junk we own. We need a garage or parking space for multiple cars we own. If our car breaks down we waste a day and lots of money to get it fixed and we're helpless without it. We have so little time for ourselves between work and caring for our possessions.

I see no reason to work full time all my life, I have no need for so much material possessions and I can live with much less physical goodies. Instead, I'd much rather have more time for myself so I can improve myself as a human being rather than as a worker ant.