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My local councillor offered me an appointment next week to talk to a benefits person about my long going dispute and it scared me. Writing letters is one thing; a face to face is another. I need to do it as I need to get it sorted but this feels like putting my life in someone else’s hands and I don’t like doing it. My anxieties rise to the fore: will they listen, will they answer, will they belittle, will they engage. I feel like I’m going with my begging bowl rather than as a capable adult who just wants some explanations.

It’s not just the six years they investigated either. It’s ongoing as children get older and their status changes. I have no means of checking the figures if they don’t provide them and I feel helpless.

Some aspects of this bizarrely remind me of my feelings towards my parents. You think it is one thing, that happened but is lingering and yet it keeps come back to annoy and each time they don’t respond I feel invisible, ignored and aged about ten.

However, I recognise the need to get it out of my head so, unlike with my parents, I will make the appointment and I will try and resolve it so it stops taking up headspace.