Potentially returning to work after being on ESA for stress/trauma

(1 Post)
alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Nov-13 19:55:25

Have had a hideous year and been on benefits (ESA) for nine months. I left a relationship because of domestic abuse resulting in losing my home, job etc to flee from abusive alcoholic ex fiance... had a breakdown and been on ESA whilst trying to put life back together. Staying with parents until I can sort out housing, work etc. So I've now been called in for an assessment at the job centre this week. Fair enough as it's been nine months with only my doctor's word, but I'm terrified. Am i likely to be put straight onto Jobseekers? I feel ready to do part time work but definitely not full time and i'm guessing if it's jobseekers, i can't limit my hours... also because my symptoms are mainly invisible (stress, trauma, anxiety, flashback, panic attacks at night, severe insomnia) am guessing they'll be harsh in the interview? Am getting myself in a real state about this as don't want to be pushed into something I'm not ready for. I want to join the real world again and i hate the fact that i've not worked for so long when i've always worked without a break (I'm childless), full time since i was 19. But i'm also scared to rejoin it and to be pushed into something unsuitable that could bring more stress because i won't be able to handle it. ( i was badly bullied in my last job, maybe because i appeared very vulnerable, due to the abuse that ex 'D'P was putting me through at home, at the time..I wasn't strong enough to defend myself, it was relentless as being work and home, it was 24/7. Hence the breakdown when I left.. but I would've had to leave job anyway, because I left DP and had to return to my hometown)
And what do i tell a potential employer re the last nine months? The complete truth? How will they react to this.. a nine month gap.. how do i explain that without going into personal stuff.. if i tell the truth in an interview, would they be put off and think i'm too fragile to be employed? I want to be treated normally and fairly and don't want to lie but don't want to appear as victim either.. i'm a survivor.

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