Dear Facebook Diary Friday Jan 22nd

I just got off the phone with a lady from the Council Housing [now known as Homemove Allocations Team ha ha]. I filled out a long application form in May 2013 and received a letter in Jan 2014 telling me that it wasn’t processed due to a ‘technical error’  With caring for my parents and trying to deal with so many issues relating to ‘returning to the system’ I’d been ignoring this for a whole year!
I’d gone through what, for me, was the pain of form filling] because being on that list meant that I had a doubled chance of getting a place at the small over 55’s ‘sheltered housing’ apartment block I’d put my name down for . [I applied cos they take pets and if I got in I could at least have a base from which to operate and consider my next moves without too much stress].

She revealed that a member of staff had only scanned in every other page of my original form and that they now ‘publicly flogged’ those who erred in such a way. Made me smile. But it was good to know the detail of it. I always wondered about what ‘technical error’ meant in that case.

I had put off filling in this form again, unconsciously for two reasons, one of which only became clear to me just now. First off, I hate the IDEA of filling in forms. The dread that comes with it like some burden YET, paradoxically, I actually enjoy filling in forms and always have. I like sharing information..It’s a trait I have in buckets. Give me an online survey and I’m there.. words flowing!

The second reason is that I remembered I’d made a mistake on the new form they’d sent me. Every time I’ve opened it since then, I’ve seen that mistake and thought ‘oh no, I need another form’ and felt all negative about having to even pick up the phone. That’s what happens when waves of depression get stirred by one tiny thing and I go into inaction mode. Chill out and do nothing.

But today I’d made progress. I’d made the call. I asked the lady on the phone about the mistake and explained my particular situation, not a tenant, not an owner etc. She laughed. ‘We get all kinds of crossings out and children draw pictures on the forms’. I’d been putting it off cos I was thinking how some forms used to say ‘keep it in the boxes’ ‘use black pen’ etc.. because they were read by optical readers. Now they scan them. And apparently mistakes don’t matter as long as the info is clear.

Then she said ‘we’d need a letter from you about the probate’. They just want to know that I’m not scamming them and inheriting a 400K house and still wanting to be on the social housing list. ‘I wish I told her. I’d buy land and start a community’. So it is a little more complex but I feel much better now and I made her smile and she me and we ended with laughter in our voices. AND before I said goodbye and thanks I thought of the person who’d made the ‘technical error’ and suddenly it was in a big context of what’s happening in this world.

The system IS cracking. Not enough capacity for too many needs. Everyone is stressed to some measure – but the higher up the pyramid of wealth you are, the less you feel it.. but it’s creeping up and affecting everything. I’d worked in the council education department for 6 years and then it was a ‘doddle’ Working for the council was a very cushy number in terms of flexible hours and benefits. She’d been there 16 years and noticed how different it was. Much more work, much more stress and having to deal with a lot more angry disenfranchised people.

It’s affecting all of us. We had a meeting last night of our voluntary group.. and I realised that every one of the five of us around the table were experiencing the cracking, illness, financial demands, housing demands, too many demands on time, family stuff.

We are all suffering.. and what is happening is holistic.. nothing can be separated from the whole.. It means there is no blame, there is only understanding of what makes something happen or someone do something. And understanding leads to compassion which leads to feeling for others more.. knowing the circumstances. The only way we can resolve this is holistically, taking into account the ramifications of all our actions on the whole and finding whole solutions.

What a process we have to go through to emerge. We are in turbulent times both physically and psychologically. Our base is not as secure as it once felt.. the mismanagement of all before us and ourselves has made it so. WE HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER WAY.. and I doubt it will be via the system that fracked up in the first place.

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