Sunday, 24 May 2009

What have we become?

I have read, re-read and then checked again this and after looking once again through the extensive online library that is available on WW 2, I wonder how we, in today's society, ever get away with complaining that life is too stressful. I have visited the Normandy beaches, been to Dachau and also in my own small way been in a war zone. Admittedly it was the first Gulf War and the pilots and nav's were the ones who were up there taking casualties but when the air raid siren goes and the Patriot batteries suddenly let go, the sphincter goes snap. "Be in time, mask in nine" was a phrase drilled into us during basic training. My respirator must have been smoking when I finally got in on, approximately 2 seconds in my eyes but probably about 9 in all honesty. It was only afterwards that we learnt it was a Scud 2 still in it's booster phase on it's way to Israel, luckily as so many of them were it was a dud.

Anyway, back to the point of this, someone I work with has gone off with stress. Fair enough, he/she is 24 living alone, got no financial worries and still lives with his/her parents. He/she has contacted a solicitor in relation to taking legal action against the job for imposing excessive work requirements upon him/her. He/she has to respond to incidents utilising the driving training that he/she has received, he/she then has to deal with the "victims" and on top of all that he/she then has to deal with crime reports that he/she has generated or have been allocated to him/her.

I will admit to having been ill with stress 5 years ago, a prolonged 11 hours with a very smelly sudden death that had seen the partner wrap tea towels and all other forms of material around the badly DE-composed body. It was instantly treated as suspicious and was a scene. I had a world of personal poo going on at the time, debt, personal problems and that incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was ashamed to admit that something was wrong but after several weeks of not being able to eat I had to face facts. Something wasn't right. I was eventually "fixed" after a couple of months and released on the public again.

The point of all this is to ask what sort of pathetic society have we become? I have watched, read and listened to numerous accounts of D-Day and wonder if the worst ever happened again could those monumental events ever be repeated? In my heart of hearts I don't think so. Look at my feeble excuses for going a bit odd, the numerous claims for injuries from little traffic shunts and the other similar stories. I no longer believe that we live in Great Britain anymore. What we now reside in is a festering corrupt and self centred society that doesn't give a shit about anything that occurs beyond the end of our garden path. I remember the silver jubilee and the street parties, did we have the same with the golden jubilee? No political correctness.....oh stop it, must go now.



Stressed Out Cop said...

Another one out of the stressed closet.

My grandfather was at Dunkirk and went back for more on D day getting injured. Never spoke about it once, but perhaps that's how he dealt with it.

Everybody has stress in their lives and sometimes you get ill. Recognise and deal with it - you know that and the symptoms.

There is no shame in it - but YOU will now recognise it in others and be able to show empathy, something the job only pays lip service to. More for less is their mantra and they have a duty of care to their employees.

Awareness of stress and allowing proper breaks would help the front line in the job. HM forces staff will have trouble in future because they too have a macho attitude toewards seeking help.

Hope the application is nearly done

DAVE BONES said...

We had massive parties over the golden jubilee! Where were you? I think the one most of you lot went to was on the North Devon coast near a power station if I remember rightly!

I can see what you are saying here to be honest, and the things you lot must see in your line of work I can't really give cops a lot of grief to be honest.

Stupid little boys who want to go through my pockets I can, but I don't call them policemen. I call them prefects or hall monitors becasue that is how they behave.

Have you given the alternative any more thought? Last time he went through my pockets that guy Ian Skivens (Got the name from the FIT WATCH blog) said he would join us if he got longer holidays and bigger truncheons so I consider that making headway :-)

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I firmly believe consumerism is at the heart of this stressed out dissatisfaction. The happiest people I know are those with the least in terms of income/material possessions*, the unhappiest are middle class, relatively high earners who constantly moan they haven't got enough money to buy this/do that/go there. Those without such financial resources understand the true value of the people and world around them.

Bendy Girl

* I don't mean the professional benefit scroungers, they've got plenty of money!

Blue Eyes said...

CC - I have never been in any of those high stress situations you describe but I have been in some lower down the scale. I have to say that after experiencing something "hard" the rest of daily existence suddenly looks a lot easier. I think it's all a matter of perspective. Those brave fighters in the two world wars and you guys in the Gulf were thrown into the situations and it's sink or swim.

The "stressed" 24 y/o you describe has no perspective with which to deal with the stress. I think you are right that modern society de-stresses us so much by making everything easy (how many of us have even made a loaf of bread by our own hands?!) that many people find even relatively simple situations hard to deal with.

I hope that makes sense.

Kay said...

You live in the wrong place!!! We had lots of street parties for the jubilee and there was a real sense of patriotism about.
Also during a prolonged period of flooding, I saw a lot of communities coming together to support those in need. It made me proud to live where I do! When the chips are down, the Great British can still do their stuff. Unfortunately, it takes a disaster to see it.
As for stress, I won't comment, because I don't deal well with it. I could never do your job!

Anonymous said...

What have we become? I have become and disabled from long term VERY severe stress. It caused the Neurological illness M.E, which affects the whole body - brain, nervous, hormone, immune, digestive systems, muscles and bones. No research for a cure, no treatment, and a fair amount of indifference plus insults from the government and NHS towards sufferers.

Quality of life? CRAP Understanding from friends, family, the system, society? CRAP
What have I become? Sarcastic and a bit snappy at times. It gets you like that, after years and years of battling on, feeling like you have the flu, aching bones and muscles, no energy to do anything. But one cannot give in to it and one HAS to keep moving about, to avoid total muscle wastage and immobility.

The neighbours who feel it is their moral and civic duty, to watch, note and report one's every move, because one is forced to rely upon benefits to survive; DO NOT SEE the painful results of pushing oneself, to try to keep active, to live as normal a life as possible.
They do not see that the air of confidence, the smiles, the great efforts made, is as a result of earlier training in "professionalism" - keeping up appearances.

They didn't "see" the many times my head popped up above the parapet, to fire the arrows of truth, to protect them and the general public. All they "saw" was someone who wasn't a sheep and it unsettled them and the status quo.
So they criticised, undermined me and smeared my name in their records, to create a smokescreen and to justify themselves. They denied me the right to justice and fair play, and undermined my family.

How did all this come about?
I became an undercover officer on a long term operation, and "they" judged a book by its cover. Their incorrect assumptions about me were gossiped and common knowledge in my community, which for many years gave me a hard time. That caused a lot of stress and grief.

So when I hear on the news, Nadine Dorries MP, bleating on about the humiliation of the expenses scandal is causing MP's distress, and that the press treatment of them is inhumane.
I cast my mind back 50 years, to when I was an undercover kid special constable, used and abused by the "great and the good" of Law and Order; And I recall the humiliation in inhumane treatment to which I was subjected, by them and an uncaring Tory Home Office, who simply ducked the issue of corruption within the judiciary.

STRESS? These MP's have had two weeks or so of negative press and public disapproval. I am still waiting for official closure, on my ordeal and undercover Home Office authorised long term Police Operation, that this government appear to be denial about!

I did nothing wrong. I was a victim of abuse. I undertook to perform a public service and a duty, as an undercover officer and whistleblower. They even "forgot" to pay me! And that just adds insult to injury. I should NOT have to be still relying on benefits to exist.

What have I become? Disabled in the line of duty, on an undercover operation, undermined, unappreciated and unpaid, to date.
Money, it is true, does not bring happiness, but nor does being ripped off, insulted and exploited by the government.

Having had the status of "benefits scrounging scum", as a disabled single parent for longer than I care to remember; I know that I will be a lot happier, when I do actually receive my payment for job done.

What have I become? Sick and tired of waiting to be paid, so that I am no longer on benefits....

And not afraid to rant and speak my truth. That is how I deal with the stress this system has caused. Thanks C.C. for allowing me some therapy!



Anonymous said...

I had to edit and reduce the number of words in the above comment, to get it "accepted", so there are a few sentences that don't read as they should do, because I didn't check it thoroughly enough. I guess I got carried away with my ranting C.C!

Could you not sort out some sort of alert to inform people that they have reached their 4096 "character" limit on their rant?

Bendy Girl...As someone who has suffered from a chronic and disabling serious illness for over 30 years, I have struggled to survive on a below the poverty line "income." I was treated unfairly and was denied the appropriate basic disability benefit, because I was also a single mother and it saved them money. It was called Invalidity Benefit, and then they just kept changing the rules and moving the goalposts, as they do.

I was also treated like "scum" and made to feel like a worthless scrounging criminal, to be stalked and spied upon, just in case any male might be visiting me on a regular basis. Had I been given the appropriate basic disability benefit many years ago, it would not have mattered if I had a partner, never mind a male companion, or even a boyfriend willing to take on a disabled woman and her kids.

The taxmans system has been responsible for an inhumane witch hunt against single mothers since it was created. I know this for a fact, as an observer and as a victim of it. They routinely treat honest claimants like cheats and liars, even if they are not, in complete disregard of the notion that people are innocent until they actually do wrong and are proved to have committed a crime.
I accept that some do cheat and lie, but not all do that.

The taxman is equally ruthless when it comes to extracting every possible penny from the taxpayers, who are often the subjects of determined witch hunts by inspectors and investigators. They often make mistakes in tax demands and have caused no end of stress in taxpayers lives too!

The concept of the right to a private life, even if one is a single parent and/or disabled, appears to be dismissed by the taxman's system. Which is driven by an ethos of making claimants jump through lots of hoops to obtain any money, and by paying out as little as possible, even to genuine cases. People disabled with M.E generally have to fight initially, to get benefits they are entitled to. That is unfair.

And the taxman is driving the Big Brother snooping state, to pry into eveyones personal and private lives, placing people under intense and undue scrutiny, in a money grabbing drive to abolish our civil liberties of privacy.

So where are these mythical "professional benefits scroungers" on lots of money?
You, like the rest of the public have been brainwashed by government spin, spouted by the press. The system is quite harsh in my experience, and they DO NOT hand over money to people without a great deal of form filling hassle, checks, double checks, medical evidence, scrutiny and often "appeals", because claims have been denied by DSS decision makers, as a matter of routine.

I have been grateful for the money I have received to keep myself and family alive, but it has to be said, that the experiences of having to claim just to survive, were very stressful. Just being aware that society strongly disapproves of people on benefits, and that they constantly snoop on people, places them under strain.
It is not pleasant and certainly not a "lifestyle" choice, for me.
And "lots" of money I do not get.
In fact I get a great deal less than the government "breadline" limit of £165 per week.


Hogday said...

Your example of stress is familiar. I left home on my own journey at not quite 17, so I wonder if the real stress in the cited case is the living at home? It would have done my head in, despite the fact that I loved my family. Loved them more once I'd left.
Just had an e mail from an ex colleague, still in the job, 6 months to retirement. Treatment for breast cancer failed, disease now in the liver, incurable. She and her love are going ahead and moving out next week to the retirement home they built over several years, on a Greek Island, to prove the doctors wrong. She'll fly home for any major treatment. They grabbed the moster by the throat - and I believe that the monster isn't the cancer, but life itself. Val Halla, Nirvana, whatever, I believe that these places are actually the journey I'm on now, not the destination, which is why I ride a Harley f'ing Davidson.

I too read the Pegasus Bridge story over again. I marvel at it every time and try and remember to be worthy of the sacrifices. Thanks for your service in the Gulf. The press never mentioned that our camps and bases were RPG'd, 107'd and mortared several times,day and night. Fine post CC.C and I'm touched by the link. HD.

Anonymous said...

There is an element of selfishness and everyone out for what they can get, and stuff thy neighbour in what "we" have become. But I don't class myself as belonging to that mind set, which is not bragging, or bigging myself up in any way.

I was brought up on the ethos of service to others and duty before self. These days however when some people see that mind set, they misinterpret it as a sign to exploit and take advantage of that person, who they also regard as some sort of a mug.

Society is in for a rude shock, whic has just begun with this credit crunch. The easy credit ethos of "give it me NOW", has led people away from spiritual values.
TV and advertising of consumer goods has led people to expect the kind of luxury lifestyle that celebs, the rich and the famous enjoy, and MP's until recently!

But do not despair C.C, the situation will alter, once the greedy, materialistic and spiritually shallow, have gone through some pain and come out the other side of it, stronger and wiser for their experience.

Your experience of stresses that got to you, probably made you stronger and wiser. We all have our limits and none of us are superhuman. That's just wishful thinking on the part of manic governments, past and present.

Have faith in yourself and those you care about and all will be O.K.

Hawkeye x

Anonymous said...

My Great Uncle now 95 was one of the last to leave Dunkirk and arrived in Normandy at D+1. Doing my family history I tried to record his memories but to direct questions he would only offer a look and tell me that some things were bad. He felt he had a lucky war because due to circumstances beyond his control he was not at Monte Casino where he lost many friends.
We do not know that we are alive. I just thank him and those like him that prevented me and my son from having to follow in his footsteps. When I feel low I just think of what he must have endured, at such times my troubles seem insignificant.