• Ben Westwood

Is there a secret war against people like me?

I've gone too long without writing honestly about how I feel about a lot of things...but there comes a point of feeling so constantly rejected by the world around you that in the end people like me really don't have a lot to lose anymore. The truth is, I'm lucky to be here. Only a few weeks ago I'd made plans to leave planet earth, almost everything in my life is completely inside out, and people tell me that's just the way it goes. Nobody knew I was going through a breakdown at the time, for a care leaver like me who for reasons we'll never always understand are estranged from the majority of our families (even our own kids for some of us!), there's never anyone knowing that you're at your wits end, not unless you broadcast it over Facebook, and then still I'm left feeling like people are just rubbing there hands. Life has been weird to say the least, and I've almost given up on telling people when I've been stitched up these days because it happens so often that I fear nobody will believe me, and even if people do, they don't really care anyway a lot of the time. Most of my previous jobs have ended because of such circumstances. The world has become so corrupted that people like me are often left feeling like a freak for simply being the way we are, which is having a strong sense of ethic of how we treat others. But it seems that a lot of people have accepted that this is a dog eat dog world, and people like me, well, we're just animals, like dogs or something.

A couple of years ago I'd been offered an interview by a company running children's home. They'd read my book and said I'd been a good candidate for the role, and after what seemed a great interview I got the job.

There's been a bit of red flag after an initial lack of contact or responses lasting over a period of months, and I'd always been on edge anyway as my life had never been normal, and more so since I started trying to raise awareness of abuse towards children. I'd suspected I had vampires in my life, and had been waiting for a psychopath to go out of there way to make sure I wouldn't get the job. I'd also had a bit of a run of rogue landlords at the time, and it had taken me a while longer than I'd wanted to get out of one place I was at where not only was the live-in landlord getting extremely arsey about me washing myself or my clothes even once a week, but had taken the locks away from not only the main front door of the flat but also had removed the magnets from the main block of flats. Telford council even came to fix the door but by the next day the landlord had removed them again.

This wasn't the first place that it happened, and I'd gone through long bouts of this at least three times in the small number of years since I accused a church pastor of iffy behaviour towards children.

The company did get in touch eventually though, and so I moved down from the midlands to the west country where I'd believed I would find my tribe in social work and that my life was about to change. How wrong I was. It didn't take long before I'd come back home complaining to my housemates about how it was at work. I had some issues with the way I'd felt one young person was being cast out of the social dynamics by the staff at the home that were forever moaning about some of his incidents at the house many months before. They'd slate him off in the office, and used his name as a reference numerous times in regards to 'special kids' when taking others on days out. The worst thing was for me though was that the office was immediately above one of the young residents rooms. It was no surprise to me that the lad sleeping above, along with another lad in the home would go on to bully the young person. It was pretty much encouraged, and my attempts to challenge it only led me to become further outcast from a work team that I'd never been truly welcomed into anyway, and had always felt more like an agency worker. Even incident records with young people had been totally fabricated. One time I even managed to catch a brick that had been thrown at the car one early morning during an intense time with one young person. The next day the manager asked me why I'd not been there and why I'd stayed in bed and not helped out. Complete and utter lies, and this was a company receiving government money to look after young people. But sometimes I wonder if people have it in them to care about it anyway, because sorry not sorry, but there are plenty of people embracing that old elitist boarding school peado-headteacher mentality where they've nothing nice or supportive to say and I do believe in their sadistic nature they want to kill us all. Not through knifes or fists, but through torment, isolation and more cryptic ways to make sure somebody is in absolute spiritual and psychical poverty. In hindsight, it is no surprise that I was dismissed for a safeguarding error made by the duty manager, I knew they never wanted me in there anyway, like a lot of people who've had life fairly alright they never understood me enough to like me anyway, which has been my problem with absolutely everything I try to do to make a single penny, and often never do.

So much so that for over a year now I've nicknamed myself Hologram Man. A man that just doesn't exist on most peoples frequency enough to be recognised much at all. I feel more in the way these days to be honest as my confidence of anybody out there supporting anything I do has pretty much completely vanished. Fast forward to one of my latest jobs which again I thought was going to be a fresh new start, I'd already had a few red flags with the bloke training me up as he'd been pretty much slating everyone to me, in which I wondered if he'd do the same to me. Things went south pretty quickly though after one particular breaktime when I and another worker were discussing child predators. The colleague I'd been talking with had stated that there was a peadophile on his street and that if he came near the kids at he'd hit him. "I know what you're saying" I said, "but just be careful because peado's like that can be clever snakey bastards and will go out of there way to stitch you up and turn it all around on you." In the corner of my eye I'd seen the guy that had been training me up along with another colleague immediately lower their heads. 'Interesting' I thought, but didn't think much more of it.

But from the next day on the guy training me up made it perfectly clear that he didn't like me, and from then on I felt that him and my supervisor were going out of there way to make life as hard as possible for me at work. It got depressing being full-on busy whilst watching other people including my supervisor just standing or sitting around on there phones. I literally wasn't stopping much at all except for a couple of fag breaks, but still the manager would come down and I'd get it in the neck for the workload backing up. It got to a point where I dreaded going in, and with knowing that my drinks had been purposefully knocked over and stuff, I'd got paranoid and anxious about all sorts of things happening, including being spiked, which might sound crazy to some people but it actually happens more often than some people might think. Interestingly in the weeks leading up to me quitting, my payslips went in late which led to some complications with my benefits. In august (of this year) I went to the job centre to tell them that I couldn't sign into my universal credit account to say I was now out of work. At the job centre they were saying that I had to call up and do it over the phone, and the over the phone they were saying I had to go into the job centre. "Are you sure this isn't going to affect my benefits or getting any money to help me by whilst I'm out of work?" I asked at least on four different occassions. "No don't worry you'll be fine" they said. What actually happened in the end through what seemed like simply being fobbed off had led to me going until October without any money at all. DWP said there was nothing at all they could do to help me. When the government announced the 2nd cost of living payments, I'd been concerned that the late submissions of my payslips would affect me being entitled to the payment. At first when the dates hadn't been updated on the system they said sadly I wasn't entitled to it as I had zero showing on my benefits statements for that month...but they have sinced changed and it been telling me that I should be entitled to it and to wait until the 23rd. I knew all along that I wasn't going to get it. Why on earth if I felt like I was constantly being treated like a subspecies would these people give ME a cost of living payment? It never arrived, but maybe it's error. But with it working out that over the last four months I've only had £800 in total to get by for everything I need, I really could have done with it. None of the food parcels I've received have lasted me very long at all to be fair, not that I'm not grateful, but the reality is is that the government tell you to get a foodparcel in such circumstances which often certainly don't last a month. The doctors have given me Citalopram, and told me that I'm likely to go very low when I first start to take them. I'm just waiting until I'm not so much on the edge already before I take them, which I think will be in around ten days time where I'll actually have some money behind me and maybe at least be able to smoke a cigarette whilst I'm on my new-found ultimate low, instead of quitting during the latter-end of a several-month long complete breakdown. I did a couple of days agency work the other day, but on the Friday they hated the fact that I had to leave a couple of hours earlier so that I could get a food parcel I'd not been to get the day before. I most likely won't get a call back, not that I agreed with the worth ethics where I was anyway, but it would have been something for Christmas I guess. But my life, my life has already got me wondering if even the agency will pay me for the work this coming Friday or is this just going to be one more obstacle and let down in the life of Ben. I simply expect things to go wrong for me now. It's not always unfounded either. I have a support worker that's been trying to get me appointments to see the doctor because of my decline in mental health. "It won't happen, just watch" I told them, in which once again I'd been proved right and they had to go above and beyond simply to get the doctors to call me back. Oh yeah, went outside for 5 mins the other day and came back to find some soapy substance in my kettle. Same thing happened the next night too. I won't even get into this one, nor the fact I've not even been able to watch a full video on my TV all month because it will simply crash. I think, I just think, its time to spill the beans on the other stuff I've kept quiet for far too long, watch this space! I don't care how mad it all sounds anymore. Wether this is actually organised, or it is a psychological phenomenon of simply being seen as valid to be treated less, welcome to my real life. If you've not read Poems From a Runaway and might want to, now's the perfect time to show your support and purchase a signed copy for Christmas from my online shop page at https://www.benwestwooduk.com/shop

(Look out for the paypal link on the LEFT of the page) You can also help to support my writing and stuff at https://paypal.me/benwestwoodUK

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