I’m not a role model. I don’t want people to aspire to this life…

I just want to put this out there due to a few things I have heard recently. Young people actually choosing to be on  benefits rather than working. Please don’t think that easy option will be any kind of existence when you’re older. I don’t work but in my case circumstances make employment difficult. This isn’t what I want to role model to the younger generation. The life of unemployment, relying on benefits, isn’t the life you should prefer over working or establishing a career. I wouldn’t have chosen this life. The circumstances I found myself in chose my options for me. I wouldn’t want those options if I had been given any kind of choice or other opportunity. I don’t want others making a choice that I promise they’ll regret when they’re older. I now have too many barriers to go back on that choice. I am highly doubtful that I would ever gain employment because of the criminal record that I was given for my autism related issues. I’m certainly not going to be able to work now due to the mental trauma from things I’ve been through. If you don’t gain employment or a role in life then you will be forever stuck in one place. That is not an existence that you will ever want to live. I’m ok with that existence because I got used to it. I can’t say that I will ever feel happy though. I see everyone else living their life. The luxury that they have will never be within my reach. Holidays, families, friends are hard to come by when you live a life of unemployment. I don’t naturally meet people because I’m not the type to go out there and participate in hobbies involving other people. I’m getting to the age where this lifestyle doesn’t make me happy. I actually want to meet someone and settle down. The whole family thing actually is something that appeals to me now I’m in my 30s. I want to really start living rather than just existing. I don’t want others to make decisions that I ended up completely regretting now that I’m older. I promise that this is no type of long term life.

3 thoughts on “I’m not a role model. I don’t want people to aspire to this life…

  1. I don’t know anyone who *chooses* to live on benefits. I think to even imply that’s a choice of some kind is to do that person a grave disservice. I have worked, I have been on benefits, after being laid off, and through surgery, and I have returned to the work force. In all that time I have met many other disabled people and I have never met a single one who preferred benefits to working. They did, and are doing what they have to, to survive. Not a single one of them is idle. Prejudice against disabled people is deep seated, and difficult to eradicate. Ableism makes finding a job difficult, and prejudice against the disable as ‘benefit spongers’ makes being on benefits a tightrope, always afraid someone in charge will target your benefits as an easy way to save money.

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      1. You can only fight against it for so long; trying to be autistic in an NT society really is a classic case of square peg, round hole, and while you can keep on hammering away at it, the end result is that eventually it’ll break. That’s why autistic burn-out is such a commonplace thing.

        It won’t change while all the onus is on autistic people to make all the compromises because there’s only so far we can push ourselves. Unfortunately, rather than attempting to find common ground and take a healthier view of accommodating the diverse range of personality types people have, today’s society has actually moved further in the opposite direction and the endless rhetoric about “benefits scroungers” really hasn’t helped. Though we know that was simply a political feint to take the focus off bankers’ and politicians’ indiscretions, in much the same way as the current political situation is more of the same since disability discrimination and austerity have become increasingly toxic. They never learn.

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