What to expect when reading bi-polar wife

Thoughts and feelings of living with bi-polar as a wife, mother, and person in the world.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Living with the enemy

The logistics of getting me back to work were complicated. I had holiday I was owed, and needed to phase back to work really slowly to prevent relapse. The law requires an employer to assess your needs and make reasonable adjustments, but this is actually quite hard in the context of mental illness. Each persons experience is different, therefore, support needs very dramatically. 

I requested regular supervision, reduced hours for a couple of months whilst I got back on my feet and suggested I could use my owed holiday time within my phased hours. There was a big "NO" about all of it. They needed me to take my holiday as soon as possible or I would lose it, my boss disagreed with the diocesan policy of regular supervision as it wasn't the way he wanted to do it, and pretty much refused to do it, and they said they'd like me to be back on full hours sooner rather than later. Hindsight is such a gift. When I reflect on this time I realise that I should have told them to stuff it. Sick staff cost money, cause hassle and generally people can't be arsed to go through the rigmarole of being supportive. It's easier to try and jettison you at high speed and recruit a well person.  

I don't like being ill, and I hate feeling that I am being obstructive to business and progress. I understand that I am problematic to deal with. The flip side of that is that I have a right to work as a disabled person and be encouraged where possible to do that. Finding the balance that suits both parties in this kind of situation is tricky. I don't want to feel like I am taking advantage, and they don't want to get caught out discriminating against me. There's a lot of tip toeing. 

Then this.

  1. 1.
    preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
    "English prejudice against foreigners"
    synonyms:preconceived idea, preconception, preconceived notion; 
    "male prejudices about women"

  2. 4 months. 4 whole, long, dark and hideous months. So many things come into play when you are dealing with someone who has some kind of prejudice.

  • I must be misunderstanding you because I got the impression you understood. I'll try harder.
  • I don't want to believe that you are treating me with prejudice as what you tell me with your mouth is that you are not prejudice. I'll let it go for a little longer.
  • Maybe I am wrong and that isn't what you are doing at all. Shall I tell someone and check out what is happening?
  • Oh dear God you are actually prejudice. Dawning realisation of a very bad situation.
  • It's clearly obvious through your actions that your are prejudice and I am having to live around this and have done for months. Shall I stay, fight, or abandon ship?
  • Are you deliberately like this, or are you uneducated and afraid? Hopefully the later.
  • Does that make it acceptable? 
  • I accept your limitations and remove myself from harm. You get to wallow in smug satisfaction that your problem is removed and somehow, preserve your position of power and authority. I however, have no self esteem, self belief or confidence and have to leave my job. 
I cannot expect people to understand. No-one will ever experience my life or walk entirely in my shoes. It's tough.  I do realise that there are other people in the world much worse off than I am,  whether they are physically or mentally challenged, homeless, experiencing war and violence or abject loneliness. I know that I am not "owed" anything as such, and that I have a choice as to how situations pan out. I practise an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis, have made a commitment to helping others when I can, and choose compassion and understanding over fear and judgement. However, I am powerless over other people, and recognise that I have to choose my battles wisely. I must preserve myself in order to be a mother, a friend, a wife, a colleague. What I struggle with is a wilful disregard for someone else's peace of mind and the almost perverse satisfaction they get from succeeding in damaging you. I just don't understand why you would want to do that for sport. It's beyond me. 

I am a sensitive soul, and my illness exacerbates this. I feel and experience things in a deep way so it can take a while to recover from challenging situations. I have to remember though that even though I dance on a slightly different string of the bow to most folk, we are all still on the same bow, and I will be carried along with you all and normal service will be resumed presently. I have to trust that the world is not full of hostile people, and that eventually I will be resilient again.

(PS: My font has gone all peculiar!)

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