A Real Life Experience of The Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

Call me dramatic if you please, but I can actually validate my own feelings right now!!!:

I had the most horrific interaction today with the dad of the kids I look after…

We were talking about the movie “Amy” which I saw yesterday – a documentary about Amy Whinehouse’s life; her upbringing, her struggles, her passion for music, her relationships, her mental ill health, and her tragic and premature death. I was voicing how sad and moving the documentary was, trying to show the compassion and emotion I felt, without exposing myself as anything other than a human being WHO CARES about others. I was measured, cool and calm, and remained detached in an appropriate way. And at the same time, I was also being a person who has a heart, with feelings, love and concern for fellow humankind. 

He, on the hand, retorting sarcastically and rather viscously, didn’t seem able to show even a smidgen of compassion. He made his opinion very clear, and the judgements kept on coming. 

With each next thing he expressed I could feel myself shrinking further into myself, panic-stricken and questioning reality. I had the dagger of his words in my chest, and his judgments stung like fire. It wasn’t even ignorance; he was being plain damn nasty.

I don’t even want to repeat some of the things he said, but let’s put it this way, they weren’t nice. Stereotyping celebrities who suffer from addiction as “rich, ungrateful and selfish”, accusing people with psychosis as “mental” and acknowledging pretty much all individuals with mental illness as mere “crazies”. These are just a few of the things he expressed. Who knows what else goes on inside his head.

When I tried to ‘stick up’ for those with mental illness (unbeknownst to him, including myself), he responded with the opinion – “You are a psychologist, you’re biased, you create diagnoses so that you can make money”. 

Little did he know what was going on for me inside; of the avalanche of emotions that hit me in that moment – I had to make sure of that. If he had been able to see my internal process for what it was, and if I had lost control of myself externally, no doubt I would have been fired (and possibly arrested too!).

I was so angry, so hurt, so disappointed in someone I had thought may one day accept me in spite of my struggles, should I have the courage to expose myself. But now, I know – I will never disclose anything about my life to him. Sadly, this relationship is one of business, it has been made clear to me. My position is just a job-role, and there is no personal friendship here to invest in. 

I felt like a chunk of emotional meat and sinew has been bitten cruelly out of my core. I felt like a fragile nugget of hope I’d had within me had been shattered into a million pieces. I felt like my stomach had collapsed and sunk lifelessly into my lower organs. I felt sick to my stomach and so full of sadness that it took everything I had within me to not cry.

I just don’t understand how anyone could say such things. 

Sorry for the rant, and sorry for being so painfully sensitive – I am in Emotion Mind right now!

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8 thoughts on “A Real Life Experience of The Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

  1. That sounds really awful :(. Unfortunately even those people whom we are close to can be judgemental. My immediate family and one friend know my diagnoses. That’s all. I would like for it not to be a thing , but it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some people can only feel better about their short comings by putting others down. So very sad. I’m sorry you went through this ugliness but know you are the better person for it. You have empathy…his heart is stone .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That sounds absolutely horrific – and a horrible realisation to feel you need to censor yourself always now. Not many know about my BPD diagnosis – but I’ve often had the rich & ungrateful talk from others re anorexia…. And this is why so many people with mental illness are scared to speak up. You will be dreading work – but just go in, think of the kids & focus on enjoying your job. I hope you don’t have to see him much over the next few days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Lucy. I am so dedicated to the kids especially the eldest, we have such a meaningful relationship – I am just holding onto that. We had a lot of fun today, I won’t let the dad’s opinion and comments take what I have with the girls away from me!

      Like

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