The things we hope we never need

Trigger warning: This post discusses intimate partner violence

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the sheer number of cuts made by this sociopathic coalition of vampires. These butchers are chipping away at everything that keeps us safe. Over the years, they have trained us into individualism, and are now removing every single last bastion of support. They target smartly in surgical strikes. They attack the things we hope we never need, the things we don’t like to think about, the things that are so hard to imagine that we fail to adequately fight. Those immediately impacted are too vulnerable to resist. Those able to resist do not want to think about what they should resist, to entertain the possibility that these services may one day be necessary.

We do not like to think how fragile we are. It is a terrifying notion that we are all but one sickness or accident away from disability, that our lives could suddenly change. The privilege of being able-bodied is a difficult one to confront, so we barely notice when the people we don’t like to think about are forced into humiliating tests and then put out to work anyway. So many people do not receive the support that they need and go hungry, become sicker, lose the things that makes life worth living.

We hate to think of our own mortality, of the fact that one day it might turn out that that what seemed like a cough is the beginning of a slow slide into sickness and death. That’s bad enough. So when they decide that terminally ill people are living too long and cut their benefits, demanding they live out their last days being worked to death, it barely makes a ripple.

We do not like to entertain the possibility that we may encounter domestic abuse, despite this happening to thousands of people each year. We do not like to think that one day we may find ourselves in a situation where we must leave our homes if we wish to stay alive, and we will be unable to go to our friends or families, lest we are found or handed back to our abusers. We do not like to think that we may be so bullied and victimised we may find ourselves isolated from our support network. We do not like to think that we may need professional support, that we cannot simply sort it out on our own. And so they cut funding for the services that can provide this last resort.

We find it difficult to imagine that one day we may find ourselves without a home, that renting or mortgage payments can easily suddenly become too much and we can lose the roof over our heads. Yet many of us survive on the goodwill of landlords and the assumption that our bank won’t suddenly go under. They know we don’t like to think about this, and so they cut the benefits that would allow us to stay in our homes, they criminalise attempts to find shelter through squatting, and they even try to ban feeding the homeless on the streets. We do not like to think how easily we could be those people who are prohibited from receiving food.

We are all teetering on a tightrope. We daren’t look down, lest we see the rocks below and feel the immediate threat of being dashed to death. We must look down, and see that we have a safety net beneath us, and demand that it stays there.

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2 responses to “The things we hope we never need

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