Loneliness is shutting the door with nowhere to go. I like meeting other people with learning disabilities. It’s dead hard, when you go home, you go into your personal world. I live on an estate. Shouting outside wakes me up from my sleep. I live in a very rough area. Not meeting other people means we get lonely. Sometimes I get lonely. At weekends, there’s not a lot to do, not a lot of friends where I live. We can be isolated. We don’t go out much at night time because we’re scared in case we get attacked. It’s harder if you have a learning disability because people make fun of us, like calling us names like ‘spastic’. It’s horrible when this happens. I feel like I’m knotted up inside. I feel like if I shout back it’ll get worse so I have to carry on walking and be very quiet and silent. I would like to scream back: ‘It’s the way I’ve been born, I can’t help it. Leave me alone.’
I did have a job at a supermarket but I left because they didn’t understand me and my disability. I don’t get a support worker because I have a mild learning disability and I can bath myself, dress myself and cook for myself.
But….. I feel lonely and isolated. Sometimes I feel sad so I go on the internet more because it passes time. I chat on the internet. My picture was getting shared by men I didn’t know and I felt really scared. Someone told me they’d seen my picture being shared so they helped me report it to the police. I don’t go on chat rooms now and I’m careful who I chat to on the internet.
More needs to be done warning people with learning disabilities about cyber bullying. There needs to be information in easy read. This would help other people with learning disabilities like CHANGE helped me.
I think that having more places where we can meet and do things together and meet new people like a community would make a big difference. I don’t feel part of my community because there’s not much to do. Places need to be more inclusive. I would be scared to go to a new class or meeting on my own if there weren’t other disabled people there.It would stop me feeling lonely if there were more things to do in the evenings like going clubbing. I don’t go because I think I’ll be the only person with a learning disability, and then I’d feel scared that they’ll pick on me.
I would like to share cooking with another person with a learning disability who lives near me. I would love someone who lives near me that I can go shopping with, it’s hard, I just go on my own. It would be nice to go with someone, chat, go for a meal. My dream would be to be introduced to some women where I live and we could do things together.
Here are some other things that have helped me: I have an advocacy worker who is supportive. My sister is supportive. CHANGE is supportive. Coming to CHANGE has helped me feel more confident. I have met lots of new friends both people who have a learning disability and people who don’t have a learning disability.
This Christmas, four friends with learning disabilities who work at CHANGE are hiring a cottage together, we’ve not decided where yet, we’re researching it. It’s the first time we’ve done this. It’s interesting finding out information about cottages. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s just people with learning disabilities! One of us even lives in a care home, so there’s been lots of new things for us to sort out. We all get on well and we’ll share the load. I’m feeling so excited! By: A person with learning disabilities at CHANGE