I hate the camera and the camera hates me.

Hate – it’s such a strong word and not one to be used lightly but even as a young child I hated posing for photographs and as I’ve grown older that relationship has barely imp2014-07-14 10.09.19roved. This isn’t helped by my resting bitch face but as well as that my soft, round, delicate features are no match for that strong camera lens.Oh how I wish for a gigantic hooter or a sharp jawline to give my face some definition. So you can definitely cross that selfie stick off my Christmas wish list. That’s why you will NOT see my face plastered all over these posts but you might see the flowers from my garden. Me and the camera are just not, nor ever will be best friends. I thank the stars that I am not a teenager today trout pouting for all I’m worth – even a trout pout would not make my face camera worthy.

Joking aside, what I really, really hate at this moment in time is claiming benefits. Not the actual claiming of money that is owed back to me for the amount of taxes I have paid into the system for such a situation as this when I am in desperate need of help but the way that it gives other people the right to judge me. The person who reads those pathetic newspapers and categorises me as one of those single mothers on the dole with a flat screen tv, smoking twenty cigarettes a day, living off takeaways and down the pub every weekend. (I wish) But especially the person who works in the benefit office for looking me up and down as though I am something they have trodden in, for de-humanising me and turning me into a number, for treating me as though I have turned up outside your house with my begging bowl in hand asking for your own personal money. What you fail to remember is that I have paid into the system and the money that you hand out is money owing to me. But maybe it isn’t hate in their eyes when they see me approaching but only fear; the fear that they too might lose their job, their home, their husband, their family and one day they would become me.

To end on a less depressing note I will talk about love, the other side of the coin to hate. Apart from the obvious love for my children what I love most is the few people, young and old, I have met upon returning to this town who haven’t judged me. They don’t care that my expensive crowns were replaced with awful yellow free NHS ones (how I long for a set of nice teeth) and they choose not to mention them; they don’t care that my phone is more of an eye phone (for my eyes only) than an iphone; they don’t care that my car is rusting at the sides and all I ask is it still gets me from a to b; they don’t care that I haven’t bought myself  any new clothes in the last five years and they don’t care that I could do with losing a few pounds in weight. These are the ones who can almost spot a glimpse of the real me lurking under this exterior; the real me that will one day be free; the real me that thanks them for taking the time to say hello and not judging me or condemning me.

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