I tell myself this every day

I tell myself this every day

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Scream my face off

There are no laws in my favor when it comes to my situation (read here if you’re wondering “what situation?) which I don't necessarily see as defeat. I actually feel like it frees me up to be able to speak out about what happened, I don't have to keep things to myself because of a pending court case. This way I can scream and yell about it until mental illness is normalized and I have nothing to yell about. I took audio recordings of quite a few conversations, especially the one where I was actually fired. I have emails, and text messages backing up everything I say so I kind of have more power over the situation this way than if I did have a legitimate lawsuit. Well, how I view power anyway.

None of the discrimination laws cover me at federal or state level but I rather use this as a way to speak up for those who can’t say or do anything for fear of their situation ending up like mine. I worked at a bike shop, I loved it and it requires a lot of specific knowledge and dedication, it isn’t a skill less job, but my position wasn’t exactly a career one. I could, in the grand scheme of things, afford to lose that job the way I did. I didn’t lose a career.

I’ve been told if I didn't want this to happen then I shouldn’t have thrown my private life out in the open for the world to see. It’s not a matter of just my life, I am just an example of what already happens to others.

I think about people who went to school to establish themselves as a professional. Not that going to school is the only sign of working hard, you’re reading the writing of someone with a GED, and I have no doubt my writing style might have already told you that. I’m referring to someone who did go through school, acquire student debt, fight to get into a particular field, and bust ass to stay there- all while dealing with depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, OCD, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, or any other serious mental illness. THAT person would be absolutely devastated if the same situation had happened to them, if they were dragged into their boss’ office because it was discovered they had a blog about their very difficult health problems.

I can't imagine a school teacher being fired for a parent of one of their students finding their writing about dealing with their mental health. It’s not a problem that it’s out there, mental health should be treated just as serious as physical, it’s a problem because they could lose their career due to the stigma still attached to it.

What if she’s an outstanding professor or he’s a special education teacher? What if one of them ends up fired because of they talk about their disorder in a constructive way? Not that it has caused any interference with their job, but because the people in charge decided having a mental illness was a threat?

It’s terrifying, and not just as a hypothetical, but because you and I know it happens all the time. All. The. Time.

I'm a tough son of a bitch and will get through this. I can't imagine someone who is a caregiver for an elderly or chronically sick family member being in this predicament. If they lost their job like I did what the fuck are they suppose to do then? How do you go home to that? How the hell does anyone expect someone to deal with that? What if they didn’t have the solid career they had hoped for and was already forced to live paycheck to paycheck trying to survive life, mental illness, and caring for someone else? This shit blows my mind and creates and overload of emotions, non bipolar related ones, actual empathetic and sympathetic feelings.

This system and cycle is what creates the down and out cases who can’t do anything about their situation. The world expects everyone to run a marathon while some people have broken or amputated feet.

I have 2 kids, something I always mention but never really talk about, mainly because it’s boring. I get the luxury of being the "other parent." My ex husband and I are great friends but when we split he was able to be a stay at home dad and has a large family support system so it made sense that the kids live with him. I see them whenever I want and their dad and I are still great friends. My husband and I go on double dates with him and his current wife if you really want to be weirded out by how undramatic it all is. I don't have to financially support my kids but what if I did? What if I had to come home after being fired, dealing with my mental state that I've been in, and walk into my house, trying not to blow my brains out?

You have mentally sick mothers and fathers trying to support their children who can’t say shit about what they go through for fear of losing everything.

It happens all the time. All. The. Time.

I feel lucky that my job in the grand scheme of things was not that important. I’m lucky I didn’t just have a career ruined. I won’t be able to work in another bike shop again, I’m sure of that, but that was a risk worth taking. That’s a huge bummer but compared to the scenarios I mentioned above, I’ll take that consequence any day.

I rather get my story out so people who can’t afford to lose their livelihood and careers don’t have to break their silence, or, hopefully, break the stigma behind mental illness so they don’t have to hide their suffering for fear of backlash. I’m not speaking up for anyone, I’m going to scream my face off for you.

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