The MH NDIS Experience

Kristin Gillespie is a poet and artist with a lived experience of being a client of the NDIS. Kristin’s poem, titled “The MH NDIS Experience,” beautifully highlights the plight of those engaged with the NDIS, as well as the vulnerabilities they are exposed to.

Kristin has worked with VMIAC to record her words, and share them with the wider community. This audio is a recording of Kristin reciting her poetry combined with the sounds of the waters near her home.

Life in The Depths – By Kristin Gillespie

The MH NDIS Experience

I lay my plight out before you
I feel vulnerable and exposed
I don’t like asking for help but I must
I wait with hope…
You speak
Your judgement yawns wide and cavernous
My needs vanish from sight, swallowed whole
Drowned in the clamour of misunderstanding
I try to walk on anyway
Feeling angry and despairing

I lay my plight out before you
I feel vulnerable and exposed
I don’t like asking for help but I must
I wait with hope and trepidation…
You speak
Your forms do not have boxes which fit me
My needs are not quite right
Asking too little / too much, being too sick / too well
I try to walk on anyway
Feeling somehow / everyhow a misfit

I lay my plight out before you
I feel vulnerable and exposed
I don’t like asking for help but I must
I wait with little hope and much trepidation…
You speak
Your platitudes rain down from oblivion
My needs unheard cannot be met
Being offered excruciatingly unhelpful help
I try to walk on anyway
Feeling completely unseen

I lay my plight out before you
I am vulnerable and exposed
I don’t like asking for help but I must
I wait with trepidation…
You speak
Your disingenuous responses whitewash reality
My needs completely denied
Being blamed and gaslighted for my trauma
I am unable to walk, only crawl on
Feeling shattered and shamed

I lay my plight out before you
I am vulnerable and exposed
I don’t like asking for help but I must
I wait in complete despair…
You speak
Your offer of imperfect help says you “get it”
My needs are somewhat met
Offered real help after so much searching
I can walk on with some dignity
Feeling relief and gratitude

Maybe I can manage, next time
Maybe I can help someone else, next time
Maybe if you hadn’t helped there would be … no next time

Kristin Gillespie© February 2018
(variation on The Client’s Experience © February 2012)

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