I’ve Been a Little Quiet…

I’m sat here writing this when instead I should be doing some job-related online assessments. In some ways I’m procrastinating but mostly I feel like I need to explain my time away.

May has been hard.

For the first time in my life I have been signed off work due to mental health. I’ve always fought through and when times were hard in my home life work was even my escape. Now it has become my enemy. The truth is that something happened at work that I never even thought possible would happen to me. I was discriminated against.

As a person I am driven towards success. I do not want to be half way, or good. I want to be the best, perfection embodied, and I want to progress in my career. I have worked hard to be as good as I am and have reaped the rewards of success in my current role. My boss knows what I want and I’ve never made any secret of it.

As I have said previously, I am a single mum. I work damn hard to make sure my son and I live as comfortable a life as possible. I am lucky in that my role allows for flexible working and I have staff that understand this and work with me to ensure holidays are covered. I never thought my marital status would be used as a beating stick to put me in my place. You hear about instances of discrimination and know that will never happen to you because you work hard and ensure you are damn good at what you do. But it did happen to me.

I won’t go into details as it is still going through HR but I want to talk about the repercussions this has had on me.

It started with disbelief and that disbelief broke me. I felt as though I wasn’t good enough for anything more and would have to settle for a job elsewhere on less pay. Though the truth is that I cannot afford to have a pay decrease. So, thinking logically I couldn’t do that. After applying for so many jobs I was finally offered an interview. This made me panic and anxiety kicked in. A full day and a half of wave after wave of anxiety, knots in my tummy, deep breathing just to gain some control back. And all because of this notion that as a single mum I’m not entitled to be anything more. I’m not allowed to be independent, I need support.

It’s forced my hand to move back to my birth town to be closer to family. Moving my son to another school, his third in as many years and in the year he’ll be sitting his KS1 exams. This worries me immensely. He will only be 7 but the school will judge him based on his results to these tests. This worry is only adding to my mental health stresses.

I pride myself on not needing to take time off from work and having the perfect Bradford factor but I feel like I can’t face dealing with someone who has taken the time to single-handedly destroy the confidence I had built up following the break up from my ex partner. And not just destroy it but deliver me to what I am now; dealing with anxiety attacks over the smallest, most ridiculous things and panicking about the potential outcome of the HR investigation.

I always promote how there is the other side and we will all get to this but right now, I’m in the thick of this and it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s there, and I keep telling myself that I will get through this and I will see the other side.

I promise I won’t leave this so long next time!

Shadow and Bird: The Introduction

A very brief introduction to my life and what to expect from following my blog.

So I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog for some time now. I’ve been through a lot of stress in the last seven years and am planning to go through more in the coming years. One of the ways I found I was able to deal with what was happening was by talking about it all. Being frank about my situation. At least by doing that I may be unknowingly helping someone who is feeling a similar stress and is too scared to realise they’re struggling.

So a bit about me first. I want to keep this blog anonymous for now as it does discuss issues in jobs I’ve had and what I’m going through with my current job, which is pretty serious. I’m a single mum to one son and this is where my WordPress name comes from. I refer to him as my shadow; partly because wherever I am you’ll find him not far behind¬†and also because his personality is a mirror of mine. The Bird aspect refers to me as it’s how me and my friend refer to each other. This last Christmas she sent us presents and addressed them to ‘Shadow and Bird’ and it’s kinda just stuck!

While my son is at school or his dad’s I work. Mostly because I have to so ends meet but I work that extra so we are able to afford nice things like holidays and days out. I really enjoy my job and would have liked to progress but recent events mean I am now searching for somewhere else (there will be a blog about this as it deals with discrimination in the workplace). I am also retraining to ensure I am able to get a decent foot on a decently-paid career ladder.

I dealt with PND on my own for three years after my son was born, exacerbated by the mental abuse I received from my husband and told nobody. These are things I openly discuss now as I believe if it helps someone¬†who is suffering, or to recognise someone else who is suffering, then it’s done a lot of good.

So what to expect from this blog? A whole load of being blunt! Parenthood is the most amazing thing in the world but it’s also the hardest. I want to talk about my PND and mental abuse and how I dealt with it, how it affected me as a person and how I feel now on the other side. The trials as a single mum including the discrimination I’ve faced but also the positives.

It won’t all be on a sombre note though. I love to travel and see new things and it seems my son has picked up my wanderlust. I’ve started this to maybe help people who are struggling with things they don’t yet understand but it’ll also be mixed with the things that I enjoy myself or that me and my son enjoy together. Proving there’s life on the other side of any adversity faced. We can all learn to live again and, ultimately, that’s the message I’d love to convey through this.