This is a Kewpie Doll. I don’t know the history of it, I do know it’s now being used as a brand name for Japanese Mayonnaise. I only know about them because I have a long interest in the book ‘Red Dragon’ by Thomas Harris*, where the victims of a crime are tied up and look like ‘Kewpie Dolls staring’. So I had to know what they were.
This pink’n’coy/embarrassed little chap is a very good visual representation of how I usually feel when I contemplate being honest about all the shit that happens to my body, and all the pills I have to take and all the horrible things I have to do to get, ahem, ‘output’. But I have been packing for my holiday, and decanting body washes and creams (acne, psoriasis), collecting together blister-packs of each pill I need, putting together a little box of loose pills (Iron, Vit.D, Folic Acid) and flattening the Tubi-grips, sticky plasters and ankle supports so they all fit, and this time, I’ve not been embarrassed about the big clear washbag full of Immodium and Anusol.
But I have been embarrassed. At the end of July I asked my GP to write me a letter to support my claim for ESA and also support my assertion that I am not physically or mentally able to undertake regular employment – that I am not stable or reliable in any sense. I wrote a long and detailed letter and sent it via e-mail to the Surgery Manager as asked. I called to follow-up and also tried to speak to the Manager face-to-face when I went for appointments – but nothing happened. So, as I’m going away, and I have my WCA on September 8th, I decided to print out the letter, with a covering note, and give it to the Manager. And I sent in my Dad to do it. My Dad is 71 and very different from me. He handed in the letter and spoke to the Manager, in his own way. He has a very good relationship with him, which I never have, but he’s also a hard case and determined. He’s going to ‘sort it out’ while I’m away. My Dad getting Medieval with the Surgery is not the embarrassing thing. The embarrassing thing is that when I tried to explain to my Dad what the letter was for, he said ‘Oh, it’s ok, it’s on the computer and I’ll read it when you’re away…’. Shit. My Dad doesn’t know that I have to self evacuate my bowels, or that I can’t have sex**, or that I self-harm and think of suicide every day. But the these things are in the letter – including an exact description of poop evacuation. Some things you don’t want you Dad to know.
So, before I head off to Austria, I’m going to copy the letter, change the name and edit the original, so that if he reads it, he won’t hear about what I do with my hands in the toilet, or with a needle when I can’t sleep because of despair.
*Harris wrote ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ but I had the Audiobook of him reading ‘Red Dragon’ when I was 9 and it kept me spellbound. It involves a William Blake painting and gave me a taste for chaps with harelips.
**Why don’t ESA forms ask about sex? Sex is considered a normal function and an aid to happiness, why is it not asked about? Disabled sex is ignored. I can’t function sexually because of my lack of movement and pain. I remember when we had a class about this in Pain Management – I was still a Virgin and it was all rather embarrassing as I was the only person there who had no experience. However, I could still not use the positions etc. they say. One day I’ll get back on the horse. I may be 75, full of Codeine and sharing my time with a 3D printed robot, but I will have a tingly good time again.