On being told you are a waste of space.
When the builder, next door, told me he "didn't give a shit", about my wife's noise sensitivity, it shouldn't have come as a shock when he also told me that I am a"fucking waste of space".
But he is not the only one to have told me that, either explicitly or implicitly. Not that he knows a thing about me.
It doesn't take much figuring out to understand how he and the others are simply voicing the message of the times; that this is the neoliberal climate we live in, that this is the by rote condemnation of the sick, the disabled and by implication, those of us who care for them.
That this is exactly how death-making governments operate.
There is little or no status in being a carer, if you are sick, disabled, you are classified in the public's mind as an unworthy scrounger, as opposed to, say, the hard-working, tax-paying builder; those who have proper jobs, who get up in the morning and get on with their lives.
How dare us burdens on the state get in their way.
Still, it was a shock, a breaking of innocence, even at my age, child of the 60's, a life-long believer in people, that they inherently care, to have that builder state the obvious.
Our experience over 25 years of illness and profound disability, sadly, is that in fact very few, if any care. Our isolation is almost complete.
The great pretence is that the person does not exist.