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!