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About Bloodheart

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    Salisbury Hill
  • Birthday 04/29/1983

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  1. I was forced onto ESA by the job centre last year (August) - I had NO IDEA about ESA so I didn't appeal when I was denied ESA, I went back on JSA. Now people are telling me that I really should be on ESA after all - I'm still not sure on what being on ESA would mean, but people tell me that being on JSA is not suitable for me. I AM capable of working, but I struggle to use a telephone so cannot make/accept calls from employers to arrange interviews, normal issues of stimming and issues with eye contact cause problems during interviews, I'm limited in what sort of jobs I can do and unsure how to apply for what jobs I am able to apply for - then there are non-AS problems like having been unemployed for 3+ years and no references. I just need support. Since being unemployed I've had several issues with the job centre forcing me to apply for unsuitable jobs and using the asperger's problems against me to say I've not been looking for work or to deem me unsuitable for work - so I guess on ESA I'd at least not have to deal with the anxiety of dealing with job centre staff (I've already had one meltdown, and feel close to meltdowns every time I go to the job centre and for several days afterwards in some cases). I now have a disability adviser but he doesn't seem to know what asperger's is and after several months of seeing me he still hasn't asked what I am/am not capable of doing, he just goes through the normal job search with me like any other adviser, and he hasn't offered me any sort of support. I know more and more is being taken away from benefits and services, would I be just as bad off on ESA, or would I get the support I need? I keep hearing different things about ESA too; 1. You cannot reapply for ESA with the same medical condition - my disability adviser told me this, surely that can't be right?! 2. If I move in with someone else I lose all benefits - surely whether on JSA or ESA I still need to eat, pay rent, etc? Anyone able to give any sort of clarification? Should I try reapplying for ESA?
  2. Not sure this is the best sub-forum, but hopefully if nothing else it would be noticed. I'm trying to find others in Newcastle, I know they exist...but they seem quiet. I'd just like to meet others like me. I have joined the local NAS social group, I'm going to attempt to go tomorrow but not sure what to expect, it is a 'high-functioning' adult social group but there is such variation between us all that there is nothing to say that this group will be suitable for me. If anyone here is from Newcastle and has any information on groups let me know, if you want to contact me - even just to say hello - then email me Thank you
  3. DameBeverage, thank you for the information. What do you mean by advocacy? The Autism Bill...that might be helpful to keep in mind. I'm considering writing something to the job centre as a gentle nudge to say how I was treat was not helpful and as a pre-emptive strike against the job centre forcing me off JSA based on the false assumption that I am not actively looking for work because of the restrictions asperger's puts on me. It's the only thing I can think of to try, past just sitting and taking it, then having to go through being kicked off JSA again, appealing, risk the appeal not going through, etc. Although god knows I have no idea how to write such a letter, but mentioning the autism bill may at least suggest to them that this is something that have to consider and cover my back.
  4. A few thoughts - some of how you feel sounds like Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and it can be effected by poor sleeping patterns. As someone who never suffered depression before in my life (I was a very upbeat person, always happy, never even sad) when I started suffering from SAD it felt a lot like how you describe, all of a sudden at night I had a feeling of emptiness that hit me like a tone of bricks. The feeling is like there's a big black hole in your centre, you're falling into that hole and can't seem to find a way to stop yourself falling - part of that also made me feel even less connected with others, I would have to stop myself from sabotaging my friendships by just giving-up on them. There has been some research that people on the autistic spectrum can be lacking in melatonin - now although medicine should be a last route, if sleep hygiene, getting into good sleeping patterns, and relaxation don't work you might want to try one of two things; melatonin and 5-Hydroxytryptophan - the former should help you sleep, the latter is also a relaxant so can help you deal with anxiety and depression that may be plaguing your mind at night. Self-harm is understandable when feeling like this, it's a way to express or deal with emotions you can't fully understand and don't know how to cope with - I'm not going to say not to self-harm as that can be far more damaging than the harm itself as it leaves you without a coping mechanism. BUT obviously get help from your GP if needed and look into finding other ways of helping yourself, as well as sleeping better try to spend more time with people if you can, get a hobby, get something constructive to do with your time - it's all pretty useless suggestions, but there will be something there to grab your attention and make you feel like you have something to do with yourself which will help with how you're feeling.
  5. I'm Jadea (pronounced Jad-E-A or Jade-a), 27 and from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Boring introduction I'm afraid as I don't know what else to say... I'm currently undergoing diagnosis for Asperger's Syndrome, thankfully it's going fast due to the discovery that AS was suspected in my childhood and my teens - no one thought to tell me this at the time so I've lived as an NT my whole life. As an adult it still causes problems so it'll be nice to have something that explains why I was/am the way I was/am. Basically I'm here trying to learn more about asperger's and how it effects different people, I've had the initial 'OMG, this is so much like me! I don't feel like a freak any more' and now struggling through the 'wow, everyone is so different to me' phase of exploring the asperger's world. I also have a bit of an interest in autism as I had a step-sister who is 'low-functioning' autistic and an ex boyfriend/current friend who is 'high-functioning' autistic. Maybe make some friends, we'll see.
  6. Lose 2 stone - last years was to lose 1 stone. lol
  7. This is somewhat frustrating... Either I'm not explaining myself correctly or people aren't reading what I am writing. bid - I don't see how these two comments contradict each other; shop work isn't the best job in the world, but I'll take anything. I'm not sure what you mean by something I feel as not being suitable, any job I can get is suitable. Mumble - I AM applying for shop work, as well as any other positions I can, and I AM applying for voluntary work. You seem to be of the impression that I am putting no effort into finding work, voluntary work or training, which is not the case and I don't need to be told the importance of finding work pointed out to me. Thank you. I would appreciate it if people would only reply if they have something helpful regarding the initial post - what to do about prejudice with job centre staff. Otherwise I would ask you do not reply.
  8. Let me set this straight; There is NOTHING WRONG WITH SHOP WORK. The reason for being offended is that this is all they think I'm capable of because I have asperger's - in my previous jobs I consistently outperformed my work-mates, I have managerial experience, and prior to my informing them about having asperger's syndrome the job centre staff were encouraging me to become a specialist nurse - I'm sorry but the fact is that check-out work may still be work, but not held in as high regards as nursing. I am willing to work any type of work I am capable of doing and am all too painfully aware that I have to start from the bottom again, hell I would actually be pretty darn happy with a cleaning job or would actually love to work in a card shop - it appeals to the OCD. I have been applying for work, as much as I can when I don't know what to apply for or how to apply. This doesn't magic away the fact that I struggle and with no support I get no where, it doesn't change the fact that I can't answer the phone if someone calls to set-up an interview, that at some point contact has to be made with agencies or employers and that's where I fall short. Unemployment is soul destroying for anyone, for me (and I'm guessing a lot of others like me) suddenly have ZERO social contact on top of everything else makes it a little harder every day that passes - this is crushing me, I just want some help and I don't think I should have my willingness or ability to work questioned. I am not struggling to find work because I can't be bothered, I struggle because I have asperger's. Being as this is an ASD forum I would have thought more members would understand that and offer support not the same criticism I get from job centre staff. I was on a few part-time college courses; BSL and ECDL - not knowing what jobs to apply for I didn't know what courses to do either, so went for one course I had been trying to get onto for four years (BSL - which I loved) and one to cement proof of my IT skills (I worked in IT, but tought having something formal on my CV might be beneficial). However I was put onto New Deal so had to leave my college courses to go sit in a room full of charvers for 13 weeks where they stopped us applying for work. I've not been able to get back on a new course due to inability to use a phone to apply for courses, and my partner works so he's not always able to go into college with me to help me apply in person. I have also attempted to get volunteer jobs, but the job centre have kept telling me not to because I would have been put onto some other pointless course such as New Deal - I'll admit I haven't put much into this, days turn into months, other struggles get in the way, then fear of change hits. I'm currently attempting to get a voluntary position, but then AGAIN asperger's still causes problems that do make it difficult...the process for finding volunteer work not that different from finding paid full-time work. I used to work for Positive People Development (a program that worked with job centre to help long-term unemployed back into work - the irony of this isn't lost on me) and Hands On Training (training unemployed in trades like plumbing and helping them find paid work) so I know how to write CV's, cover letters, interview technique etc. Also, I would have thought others would have understood the outrage and offence I felt at being told I'm 'mentally incapable' of working - do you believe all people with asperger's are incapable of working, that we are all mentally deficient? If not then why are you not as outraged as me at what I was told? Surely this is what projects like 'Don't Write Me Off' talk about. If you are then reply to this post with advice on how to deal with the problem, not criticism that I shouldn't be so sensitive about prejudice.
  9. Chris P, I could imagine...empathy is tough :S Although, religion was one of my 'special interests' for several years, if I hadn't taken ill in college I'd have some sort of religious-type job, maybe there's something if not about Christianity than about religion in general that interests us lot
  10. Chris P, you're a vicar. I wonder if it's just me who has noticed many members of the aspie/autistic community are Christian, I noticed a lot in the NAS newsletter. Just an observation, kinda interesting.
  11. I thought it would be a good idea to look for groups of local people with autism or asperger's to see how I compare before going through diagnosis, maybe to have people to talk to about our differences, and generally try to make friends and get out the house to improve my dwindling social skills. So, I found there is a group (via NAS) and contacted them, they attached an application form to their email reply to me, but that was back in October and I've been sort of putting off filling out and sending out the form. In part this is because I hate filling out personal information at the best of times but the form for this is a little full-on asking for things like references (??) and a photo, but also because I don't know what to expect. I'm aware this is going to sound HUGELY offensive, but I don't know how else to put this; I'm assuming it'll consist of other aspies and HF autistic people, but what if I'm wrong about being an aspie, or if they're not as 'normal' as me? I can pass for NT (ish), I worry that aspies or people with HF autism in the group may be a little closer to the other end of the spectrum. Stupid thing is I dated a HF autistic, I had a severely autistic step-sister, I taught autistic college students. I know it sounds terrible, but it's like with any other social situation, I don't want to be the odd one out or have nothing in common with other people there, what if I can't talk to them or have a meltdown? It would be a million times easier if I could talk to one of the other members first, I don't like the idea of having to fill out some form and have things all secret until I get there to a specific room with specific people.
  12. I think I am capable of working. I don't have a DEA - the person in question was just a bog-standard adviser at the job centre, she said I was mentally incapable of working because of being an Aspie and thus was going to try to get me off JSA because I was a. mentally incapable of working and b. I wasn't following the job seekers agreement they put me on because I wasn't able to do call centre jobs or call agencies. It was part them thinking I was not capable, and partly them thinking I wasn't trying by not calling agencies...not understanding it's not just that I can't be bothered. I have applied for ESA but was refused - I got zero points on the medical assessment, I should have at least gotten some points on the mental side of the assessment - it's a joke as seemingly to get the points you need to qualify you need to be both seriously physically and mentally disabled, seemingly there is no place for autistic/asperger's people on ESA. CAB were saying most people appeal the decision about ESA, but I was the only one they knew who didn't want to be on ESA - truthfully ESA would be better, but I think my problem is that no one ever told me what ESA was, I was under the impression if I go onto ESA I get no support to get back into work at all. I have no idea AT ALL about what jobs I can do. I am unskilled/unqualified (unfortunately) so I would just go for any old job in the past, I have landed on my feet a few times, but because I've been unemployed for so long my problems have been seriously amplified so I'm not sure what I'm capable of doing...I know once I'm in work it'll improve again, I settle in and I can do pretty much anything - that includes using a phone, as long as I know exactly what to say it's okay...but my concern is if I say for example go to a job where I'm not comfortable or where I have to use a phone I'm going to have a meltdown. I was forced onto work trial last year with a really dodgy company and I had a really bad metldown, and was asked not to come back (the 'manager' lied about what happened to imply I had walked out and hadn't tried)...so my fear is if I do go into a real job this may happen again. Although I will point out I had another work trial as admin and trainer for a company that trained unemployed people in a trade and taught them how to find work, I was VERY good at that and really enjoyed it...but then admin work usually means ability to use a phone -_-
  13. It is SUPPOSED to be paid out automatically - but it's not. I qualify, as do a lot of people I know, but it seems as though you have to ask for it specifically...only with so many other things, like Fuel Direct for example, it's a ###### headache trying to find anyone who knows anything about it or how to go about applying. I don't think OP would qualify, if direct.gov are no good try your local CAB office...not that they're much better than the job centres for reliable information *grumbles*
  14. I'm unemployed and have been for nearly three years. Along with the general idiocy that comes from the job centre staff/the government...you know where they make it harder for you to find work and generally make you suicidal...they have gone most of these three years making me apply for call centre jobs, despite the fact I've informed them time and time again that I struggle using a phone. The longer I've been out of work the worst I've become to the point where talking on a phone is close to impossible for me, now it's not just not knowing how to talk on the phone, I'm now also highly anxious about phone conversations...and the job centre are making it all the worse by being so frustrating/useless/ignorant/stupid/offensive/patronising/insulting/etc. Last advisor I saw in August and I made the mistake of informing her I had [suspected] Asperger's - at first all seemed well, a disability advisor was mentioned, however she turned...she informed me that she thought I am "mentally incapable of working" and changed my job seekers agreement to be all the more difficult for me to follow and they were going to be stricter with me, she made it clear that she was going to get me kicked off JSA so my only option was to apply for ESA. I had a meltdown (crying), now all the job centre staff look at me like I'm simple. So I apply for ESA and get declined - the medical assessment was a big joke and the nurse didn't seem to note anything down so I got zero points - no one informed me about what ESA even is, I thought it was just for people who cannot work so didn't want to be on it because I thought it would mean less chance of my getting help back into work, but since then people have told me otherwise. Should I be on ESA?? I think it's too late to appeal now, so I've re-applied for JSA now and had my first appointment at the job centre today, it went okay but now I'm being told I have to apply for check-out jobs...I don't even know how to apply for that sort of job, and I'm slightly offended that they think this is all I'm capable of doing. I have asked to see a disability advisor, but I'm not sure what to do in the mean time. I went to CAB, but they didn't seem to get what I was talking about... A. If they deemed me unable to work in the past won't they try doing it all over again, I mean they were going to try to force me off JSA or use the fact I can't do X, Y, and Z against me to imply I'm not trying to find work, how do I protect myself from that? Do I really just have to wait until they kick me off, then appeal or is there something I can do before it gets to that point and stresses me out even more? B. How can I avoid going back to the adviser I saw in August? As far as I'm concerned I should NOT NOT NOT have to deal with her again, she was so ignorant and prejudice as to deem me "mentally incapable" due to having Asperger's and if she thinks this way it also then means she's obviously going to be no good helping me find work. I got the advisers name when I went into the job centre today, should I write a complaint and ask not to be booked in to see her again, if so what should I say? If they do make me see that adviser do I have the right to refuse, and how do I do that? Any advice? I don't seem to be able to get any advice on this from anywhere
  15. Sorry I've not been taking part - forgot about this post. This is a real worry - the part about having someone from your childhood, as I have no one. There is my mother but she is abusive so I try not to have anything to do with her, frankly she is starting to lose it a bit so can't remember half the things that happened in her life let alone mine...she knows nothing about my life and shows ZERO interest in trying to learn a single god damn thing about me. I don't have contact with any 'friends' from back then because I was such a different person and didn't want them any more. I guess we'll see how they manage with this.
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