What you are about to read hasn’t come from the pages of a Lynda La Plante novel, though it just as well should be, as it's all based on personal experience and accounts of others, which only goes to prove that we are certainly not on our own. Our guess is that there will be readers who will have gone through similar experiences, feeling how we felt. Our advice to you, for god sake, is don’t give up or let it get you down.
If you live in a block of flats you won’t need us to tell you that living in close proximity to your neighbour has its up and downs. Communal living can be one hell of a challenge for anyone, but if you live with a disability it can be even more challenging. Living day to day can make you feel like you are a contestant on a reality TV game show. The down side to this one is that it will never be aired on TV and if it was, those who chose to blight our lives probably wouldn’t.
That said, you could be fooled into believing that you’ve slipped back in time somehow and are re-living your childhood more through your school days. The very often childish behaviour of what is in effect, a small minority is reminiscent of life in school if you were one of those to be singled out for being different in some way.
Then as now those who make our lives difficult don’t like witnesses of any kind. They prefer to live undetected, unreported and uncontrolled - free to carry on - proof beyond reasonable doubt would be their undoing so cameras, audio recorders and smart phones are their greatest enemy unless they use them themselves.
The kind of behaviour we are subjected to so often goes unreported and unrecorded so is under the radar. We’ve found a few but suspect that this could be just the tip of the iceberg, such niceties as harassment, bullying, intimidation, threatening behaviour, theft and so many other acts of criminality. We’ll be taking a look at some typical examples shortly.
Because we know what we know and trying to do something about it, those who do this want us out at any cost. They don’t care where just as long as we are away from them. Communal living seems to bring out the very worst in people. They will often openly display their contempt and hatred and lack of respect to those of us with a disability. We are left feeling isolated prisoners to a crisis and powerless.
Yes we do care where we go and are wanting to get out of this hostile, unsafe and unwelcoming environment, to a better more suitable place to call home. We like everyone else who’s trying to get out, are trapped victims and prisoners of the housing services.
So go on planning, scheming, manipulating and all the rest, it won’t happen any faster as we’ve discovered to our horror, until we do all we ask is for a request, hassle free life. You can do what you want, just as long as it doesn’t ruin the quality of our life. Just let us have a life not too much to ask is it?
This is it from us for now, so check back again next week to see the next part of this blog series, 'Life in a Hot Block'.