Today my story was on the front page of stuff.co.nz, and of my local newspaper, The Nelson Mail.
The best thing about this is I’ve had so many more brave people send me their stories. I wish so much that I had the emotional and physical energy to respond individually, because these are heart-breaking, and it is so courageous that you all would share them with a complete stranger. Thank you for your trust. I promise you I am doing the best I can.
If you want to share your story about WINZ, please get in touch. As I said, I can’t reply, but I am reading them all. I’m just totally exhausted right now. I don’t expect sympathy for that – I asked for this. I asked for the attention, and I’m getting it. I’m lucky that most of it is positive.
I am collating the stories together and I will be providing them to Maryan Street’s office. She’s the Labour MP for Nelson, and she’s been incredible through this, both in supporting me personally, and in publicly lending her expertise and role to this fight.
Maryan is in discussion with members of her party about the best next steps. I’ll share these when I know what they are.
For me, personally, I will be fairly quiet over the next few days. I desperately need to try and recover from the physical activity, and the emotional strain, of doing this so publicly. It has opened me up to some fairly awful feedback, including what I would call proactive harassment, which I always expected, but the reality of it is another thing altogether.
I am fighting the desire to try and defend myself against some of the more painful accusations, because I just don’t have the spirit for it – and I shouldn’t have to. As I said during my interview with the Nelson Mail – I do not understand the mentality of people who attack others online – especially those who are vulnerable. I have been very open about my vulnerabilities; the fact that I’m extremely sensitive, that I’m ill, that I’m not very good at dealing with confrontation (though I’ve managed to cope with it quite well recently). I do not understand those who come across someone who is openly hurting – and find a way to stick a knife in.
So, to that end, I will be taking a break, (just from the blog, not the story work), for a few days.
To those who note that I have enough energy to write this like – yes, I do – isn’t it incredible? You have no idea how exciting it is to finally be making steps forward in my recovery. I’m as surprised as anyone that I haven’t just collapsed in the past week. In fact, not only have I not done that – I’ve been offered, and accepted, a tiny, managable amount of work. Just the thought of it is so totally thrilling. After months of being stuck on the couch, unable to move, unable to eat properly, unable to go out – this progress is unbelievably exciting.
Thank you so, so much to those who continue to support me – and especially those who have been with me over the past year while I have struggled to regain my life. I am incredibly grateful that I know you all.