One of my go to songs is Michael Jackson’s “They don’t care about us.” It’s a good one to get all your emotions out and when I feel more and more frustrated with the world I blare it out and sing like it’s my last ever song on this earth. Sometimes I have to listen to it twice and get it all out of my system. I’ve been listening to it a lot lately as I’ve been very frustrated. I feel like I am in a world I don’t understand, surrounded by people who just don’t see the pain and suffering around them. It’s becoming increasingly harder to be the motivator with blind faith that everything will be alright in the end. It’s been even harder to have the belief that we all do truly care about our neighbours.
I’m a very emotionally driven person and pretty much everything I do is through having a strong emotional attachment to it. It is the best thing about me but can often be my downfall. I am chair of a community project I strongly believe will benefit the community and see some of our most vulnerable residents in Ipswich have something in their life which is positive. The only problem is as the weeks and months are going on, I’m burning out. I’m trying everything I can to engage with people, lead people and bring people along with me but there seems to be this distrust that there are people who truly want to help and care.
Politically, I go door to door in some of the most deprived areas of our town trying to sell myself or the party I represent. People tell me they have nothing to vote for and my ability to tell them that I have a belief that there is something to vote for and we can make a difference is lessening to the point I’m hesitating before I speak to anyone. Can I really make a difference? Does anyone really care about areas like Gainsborough and Priory Heath? Why cant I break into these areas of depravation and make a change?
There are so many obstacles, contracts, rules, charges before we can even get community projects off the ground and then trying to get people to come along and participate is even harder. These communities have seen time and time again projects starting and then money drying up and everything closing. What makes this project any different? As for politics and politicians they have seen Labour, a coalition and Conservative governments make promises and then break them. Illegal wars, University fees, Police Cuts, Brexit and whilst these politicians of all parties carry on playing games with people’s lives, we voters sit there and wonder does anyone actually care about us? Who is the true voice of me? Does it even matter what party?
I am so enthusiastic about community, paying it forward and our political system but even I am beginning to think people don’t care about us, the working class, the single mothers, the families on the breadline. As I go to more and more meetings and see the farce that are council meetings where everything is a way of poking at the other parties, I begin to think the point of elected representatives are lost. Who’s speaking about us anymore? Why does Labour Borough Councillors make everything about the county? Why do Conservatives sit by and allow the county council to treat SENCO hubs and education like a numbers game and we all just play with people’s lives. As time goes on I’m beginning to lose myself. My blind faith is disappearing and my sense of morality lessening. I’m become as bad as everyone else. I was firm about the closure of children’s centres when Labour started their petition. The timing sucked and I believed it was a political move. I was angry that this was being treated as political when it’s the lives of families we are talking about and I sat there in a meeting with SCC Councillors who assured us nothing was decided. Then after the election, closures were announced and I bottled it. Towed the party line that people provide a service not buildings. That’s when I knew as soon as that came out of my mouth I had become Partisan.
I’ve lost myself and I need to find where I belong again and I need to find the faith that someone out there does care. That these communities are considered and that someone is fighting for them. Because all I see are parties tearing shreds out of each other and one another and forgetting why we all got involved in the first place. I need to go back to believing that song was just a feeling I sometimes had and not a reality. I hate this feeling and this isn’t me. If I’m starting to break then maybe those who don’t vote are right. Maybe they don’t care about us?
Whilst I go through this emotional crossroads I will have to retreat and regroup. Look into the eyes of my children and get some guidance. Once I work out where this all went wrong and at what point I became lost at sea, I’ll find my way back. I cannot and will not allow myself to get lost again. To those who noticed a change in me recently thank you for telling me that the change was happening. Thank you for being true friends and reminding me who I am to the core and for stopping me selling my soul. I need to remind myself that I care and if I care then there must be others that care too and maybe then my faith in community and politics will come back too. Stranger things have happened!