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No Hope for Sash

I'm just going to type something that is, well, not just on my mind but basically how I feel. The title says it all. I am not going to sit here and type a huge cry-post about my shit, but let me just summarise it, since it will feel better to get it out, at least I think it will.

I've been unemployed for five years now. The first job I ever got, didn't require an interview, the College where I worked as a cleaner, was very supportive and I could go in, clean, and leave before the first Students even arrived. It was great for working around my anxiety, I worked here for nearly 2 years. But I had to leave because the floor I used to work on, was leased out to another institution, who happened to employ their own staff. Unable to face the uncertain future at that job, I felt I was unable to continue so I had to leave due to... Guess what? Oh, Anxiety.

Anxiety that basically ruins my entire life. Not a single aspect of my life is untouched by its cold hands, a shadow always lingering over me waiting to breath down my neck and remind me that I am basically shackled to it and there's nothing I can do about it. Because believe me - I've tried. I even had CBT but I ran out of sessions.

So what's the purpose of this post? Well I don't know. I just wanted to get something off my chest, so to speak. I've been trying to get employment for five years. I've been trying to get help with getting a job around my mental health issues, for five years. I have signed on at the Job Centre, and recieved Jobseeker's benefits for five years. I have been promised employment support, and work placements to help me get a job for five years.#

Nothing materialises. Nothing. The support for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and/or anxiety and other mental health issues in employment is either non existent, or woefully inadequate. The only 'service' I actually refered to, was a complete disaster because they only cared about a quota of people getting into work - so they can get their government paychecks.

Nice. I was forced to apply for jobs I didn't even want to do, or felt I couldn't cope with. My "Advisor" even made phone interviews for me without telling me and it was only after I asked repeatedly to the interviewer on the phone if it was a practise interview, then finding out afterwards it wasn't - and breaking down into tears, that I realised this wasn't going to work.

My contact at the Job centre was furious with them, but in all his anger, to this day nothing has been put into place with me. The charities I'm working with don't offer in-employment support, and I've even been told by my JSA advisor that some are "too pushy"... Yeah, that brings back memories.

I tried to go it alone, many times. First: A position for a refuse collector to work with the "garbage truck". I applied through an agency and actually got past the intervew, my mum had to sit in with me but the lady was very supportive. It looked good, but who am I kidding? I sat for the induction for over an hour, fighting the anxiety, until it became too much. When it was time to go out and be tought how to use the equipment, I had a panic attack, I couldn't breath and I broke down into tears. My mum had to come and collect me.

Second, Aldi: they even had a drop-down box to select if I had mental health issues and would need consideration in the intervew, even "Asperger's Syndrome" (I have a diagnosis for this) was there to be selected. I was told my mum could come to the interview with me, because I just simply wouldn't cope otherwise.

It was a disaster. I won't go into details but I messed it up and was banned from applying for a job at Aldi for a year. I had no chance to start with, why employ the shy, socially anxious autistic person when there's 87 'normal people' applying for each positions? No chance at all. This was the last time I even got an interview.

Okay, so now you've heard my 'sob story'. So what makes me upset enough to make this post? A news piece today tells me of a charity, or something, that helps convicted criminals, who have served time in prison, get into employment. And it's been a "huge success", and is expanding.

The story featured one guy, giving his own sob story about how it's "so hard to get a job with a criminal record". I'm sure it is. Am I saying criminals shouldn't get support to get new jobs and "rebuild their lives" as the news story states? No.

It's just that I haven't even started building my life, and it's through no fault of my own. I feel the system has forsaken me, and so many other people with mental health issues / disabilities. How is it fair that I am stuck here unable to get employment support when criminals are given it on a silver platter?

Hard to get a job with a criminal record. Yeah. Well maybe you shouldn't have commited a crime. I had no choice in my position.

Fuck you, life.

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