Discrimination = Stigma = Ignorance = Isolation

index22In this PC world of ours where everything is supposed to be lovely, discrimination continues to have a place, whether it be race, gender, sexuality, mental health, it still has the power to isolate those who come under the various banners.

Even though through many organisations who have made great strides in improving human resources, to train and understand better the various issues people face, there is still stigma attached by co-workers, managers, even customers, we need more awareness to assist those who face this kind of challenge on a daily basis.

http://www.rethink.org/living-with-mental-illness/mental-health-laws/discrimination/types-of-discrimination 

I’ve seen many cases in my time, and will recount a few things that have happened to me:

Back in 2005/6 I was going through a particularly bad time at work, being bullied by my new boss, he was younger than me, and ambitious, however in many ways completely inept at dealing with his staff’s needs on a personal level, which was actually part of his job(we did have a couple on our areas that were having health and problems at home which needed to be managed with support from him and HR)

My main issue was that I was still grieving the death of my mother, I had moved to a new location and it was taking longer than expected to turn things around,so I was under a great deal of pressure, being constantly criticised about my performance didn’t help, even when I called the support services, they wanted me to proceed with a grievance, which wasn’t what I wanted, I just needed to talk and put a plan into action in which I could deal with my grief and get on track with my work commitments, my idea was that they help me facilitate this.

It didn’t work out that way and he took the exception in  a public way of reprimanding me in front of my staff, which in turn further pushed me towards the edge, it gets better at the next area meeting he brought this up in front of my colleagues, which was not only humiliating to me personally, but sent a message loud and clear that he didn’t care, again my only possible recourse was to report him, I didn’t, and so it continued.

Continued to the point, where I used to feel physically sick when I went to work, I started having panic attacks due to the constant nit-picking and veiled threats about keeping my job.

It got to the point that I had a massive panic attack and my assistant found be curled up on the office floor incoherent and hardly able to breathe, through our private medical care I found a councilor, who basically said I was in crises and needed help.

The came with me to the meeting to discuss a plan of action about the kind of support I needed, with all agreed upon it was to be actioned immediately, and all worked well at first, and being the kind of grade A bastard he was he again told my colleagues I was to be taking time of because I had mental health issues(so much for confidentiality) and that I required special treatment and sarcastically said they would all have to tip toe around me in case I totally lost the plot, you can imagine how I felt!!!

images32

What made me really angry later was how the others from head office then treated me, they talked to me slowly, with fake smiles  pitying looks and sing-song voices, always careful not to directly reference my problems but at the same making it obvious that somehow they were giving me special treatment, also while side stepping the bullying issue.

It didn’t help, and to this day the feelings of isolation remain.

 

My second tale is rather more about ignorance, though the feelings of being discriminated against are the same.

I’m diabetic, and had an episode, my own fault I didn’t check my sugar levels that morning, anyway once in town I began to feel dizzy and collapsed, there I was sprawled out on the pavement, whilst the lunchtime shoppers stepped over and walked around me, one woman did stop to enquire and her friend pulled her away loudly declaring I was probably drunk!!!

So I just lay, and the man from the sandwich shop came over and asked if I was Ok, indicating I wasn’t, amazingly he asked if I was diabetic, nodding yes, off he went and returned with a chocolate bar and can of coke, within 15 minutes I was able to stand, he walked me to the bus stop and made sure I got on Ok.

A few days later i went back to thank him, and asked what made him think of diabetes, he explained his dad was a diabetic, thanks to him I was Ok.

Two different scenarios but both coming from the same root of discrimination, I understand we fear what we don’t know, however having mental health problems, physical disabilities doesn’t makes us different people, but people who need a different kind of support so we can function alongside you not separately, we don’t need to be isolated, or poked at with sticks, we just need to know that we are part of the community regardless of race,gender,sexuality mental health.

images34

What whys have you been discriminated against and how did you resolve it.

 

Advertisements

About therabbitholez

I returned to this blog in September 2014, after a 2 year absence, due to depressive illness and homelessness. This journey charts the rocky road to recovery and my feelings about it, and getting a home together after losing everything, this too has been a rocky rocky, both things connected on many levels, but separate at the same time. If you want to know more please read my blog:) and comment on any blog you like I enjoy the interaction, and belong to a great community on here. Thanks for reading.:)
This entry was posted in Blogs, Depression, Mental Health and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Discrimination = Stigma = Ignorance = Isolation

  1. Gale Wright says:

    That boss should have been fired and I hope that one way or another he gets what he deserves. I can see why you might now be leery of asking for help. I did have a situation where I was threatened at work and was actually advised to report it by a member of management. But my gut told me it would only make things worse. Probably I was right because the manager above the one who advised me to report it had already taken the side of the co-worker who threatened me. So many messed up people out there all too willing to abuse their power and gang up together to consolidate power as well. I have heard of work places that will actually help employees the way they are supposed to, but I think that is rare. People are weak and ignorant about these things. You are navigating several serious issues at once and I think you are right about the way you are choosing to handle things. You’ve got to have your own back and I think you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • well in the case of my old boss, things did come to a head, i had very good representation and evidence, so he couldn’t fire me , though he tried hard, he was brought up on disciplinary charges, not fired, at that time, a couple years later he was for bullying.

      What always got me he used my grieving, which was also the start of that breakdown against me in the most horrible fashion.

      The company did have pretty good policies in place, they just weren’t enforced correctly, I think mostly they just hope it will all go away.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gale Wright says:

        Hoping it will just go away–yep, that is a pretty widespread wish in the workplace. It is cowardly, too. I’m glad he finally got what was coming to him. Meanwhile, you were harmed and have to heal from that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It never goes away, it just gets worse, it’s hard to fight against it, so we give up, and live with the consequences.

        I just hated that he used against me, especially when he knew I was vulnerable.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cat says:

    Dreadful treatment by a boss, or should I say little prick! Sadly, it is all to common in the workplace, although I hope things have improved a little. If I did return to work or study, I would be very careful about revealing my MH. Of course, shame is part of that and the discrimination can only make that wound deeper

    Liked by 1 person

    • MH is such a huge topic and has many facets as you know, I was unlucky in that my boss was a complete idiot, however it’s still a sticky point to bring up.

      It’s even on job applications when they ask about your medical history, which is such an intrusion, how many are consigned to the bin just because you ticked that box.?

      Like

  3. I’m sorry you had to go through this. I too hate when people treat us like we’re strange because we struggle with anxiety or other issues. Luckily, there are people out there who care. I wish you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting:)

      This happened a while back, however stigma is stigma and when used to bully a person, it becomes more sinister in some ways, because if you complain they will always think of MH first, such a vicious circle!

      Like

  4. I understand completely! I have two invisible disabilities and someone close to me does as well and we always feel so alone in secrecy; and once people do know, its either like they treat us like scared puppies or don’t allow us the accommodations and respect (like your boss) appropriately due. It’s frustrating. Thanks for writing this!

    Liked by 2 people

    • When suffering mental illness or chronic invisible illness, it’s important that we recognise the stigma and shout out about it, because otherwise your isolated, and would then find it hard to talk to someone and get the help you need.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂

      Like

  5. jamborobyn says:

    OMG, there is barely a month goes by where I am not on the receiving end of some kind of discrimination. Sometimes I can handle it, sometimes it destroys me. I truly feel for you in the situations you described. Ignorance never ceases to amaze me and I think the key difference between yourself and those who are ignorant, is that you are dealing quite well with reality, and they aren’t coping with it at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just find it all so pointless, it never gets anyone anywhere, however many can’t really deal with and the results can be devastating.

      What doesn’t sit well with me is that people will watch and say and do nothing, sometimes a little voice can carry a long way.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.