Feeling conflicted

This has been a whirlwind of a week. My employer had a meeting with other manager with me about my poor work performance that they say dropped off suddenly four months ago. I also developed an infection on my lungs around that time which attributed me in not wanting to work in a dusty environment where part of my job description has me working. I've been there 4 years.

So the management have been super kind and understanding and supportive. But I also know by law they can not just can me when I have a legit mental health illness and infection that developed years after what they described as one of their top employees. I feel embarrassed because I know they told other people other than who was in the room for my meeting about my poor performance and shameful proof of my depression.

Today one of the managers asked me if I felt overwhelmed or bullied the other day in the meeting. His words seemed very unnatural - like it was from a check-list he was checking off. It makes me fear that they really do want to get rid of me and they are being super careful to do all the right things because of the laws against discrimination in the workplace.

They took me out of the dusty environment job- which was 1/3 or my duties. I walked in that workroom today and my lungs felt it straightaway. I went to the doctor again today and was diagnosed for the second time with a lung infection. I feel now that everyone knows I have mental illness that no one will take me seriously when I say anything.

One of the managers asked how I was today. It was the first time I saw him since the meeting. I said I went to the doctor today and recieved more meditation for my lung infection and an appointment for a chest x-Ray. And that my doctor said my infection couldn't a reason why I am so tired. And the manager added... - and depression.

I told him I would rather have a wound bleeding from my head than have depression. I had expression and been on medication for four years- but the only person in the world that knew was my partner - other than my doctors of course. And now everyone at work knows. Then some people will think i was just lazy letting my work performance crash- and then some people will think I am weak and crazy. How do I know this? Because I heard some of the staff make fun of another employee last year who was on depression pills. I feel like i am walking around with the Scarlet Letter on my chest. I never felt like this before. I felt it was my own private matter. And now it is like my soiled laundry is on display at the town square.

I followed others advice given to me on this supportive board. I walked in to work pretending to be confident and sincere and ready to get back to work as normal as I possibly could. But inside i really struggled.

The person taking over my dust allergy room environment will be much better than I ever was. I have seen his work and it is excellent. They said to me I will be still there in the morning but focusing on my speciality that I was hired for. The owner of the company said anyone can do the cleaning parts but not everyone can do the speciality I was trained and hired for.

I just really do feel like they will phase me out somehow or I will b getting a pay cut. I know the speciality skill I have is the only reason why they didn't fire me besides the fact there is a law to protect mental illness suffers. I just feel like the child no one wanted on their team so the teacher forced them into the group. Part of me wants to just disappear from this entire situation. But I do need a job.

My partner said all of this will eventually work in my favour because I will be out of the dusty environment making my lungs sick and Doing more of the work I love. But I really really don't trust all this. Maybe they are concerned how my lung infection is connected with my workplace but i know they could argue i got it from somewhere else. I told them I never said that I got it from work but it defiantly was aggravated now when I walk in that environment. I think they know me well enough I am would never try to blame them and try to sue or anything like that. Really that has never been a thought of something I would even try to do. And they have been very swift to get me out of working in the dusty environment. So I have no complaints at all about that.

But I do feel people are treating me different. A co-worker I never spoke with hardly ever before made an extra effort to come up to say hello to me today. And another co-worker that i spoke with everyday completely avoided me today. Another one awkwardly asked me if I wanted to borrow a tool for a job I was doing. It seemed like an excuse to make conversation as I didn't need to per se borrow he offered to me. But I was gracious and then later on gave him a sincere thank-you. So like I am really making an effort to be approachable and polite to anyone who talks to me or makes a kind gesture.

But here is the thing. I heard just today someone making fun of someone else not on the room who 'looked' like they had Down Syndrome. If they are mean about one disability I find it hard to believe they are not mean about my disability. Everyone wants to be politically correct when the camera is on- but deep down I really feel I should just get of everything to do with my old life. I want the privacy I felt I once had. Now i really feel like a pitiful nothing.

6 Replies

  • Can you not wear a mask at work when you are in the dusty area. Your work has a obligation of care to you and if the problem with your lungs becomes chronic they could be liable to a claim of compensation.

    You also have the same obligation not to put yourself in harms way, your lung infction comes to mind


  • Yes thank-you Bob. I work in the public eye and the paper type masks were not working for me. So another employee suggested i go up a step further and management decided it was best not to do that- I think partly for appearance sake. And maybe also to show their seriousness to take me away from an environment that makes me sick and not other capable employes. I think in some ways my boss is happy to give this task to a certain,worker taking my place. Because this employee really is stellar and I think would do a better job than me even in my prime. I am happy to be out of there but do wonder if they will try to phase me out of everything slowly until I have no job left at all.

  • Well Aspen maybe you should wear a bell to warn people you are coming! Only joking but why is having depresson shameful? I don't get that. I have never felt ashamed of it. To you does it mean you are weak or stupid? That's not the case at all. Why does it mean that? It's not your fault is it?

    They sound like a very bitchy crowd there and I would stay well away. Having said that, people always gossip about others. Don't tell me you never have. I once had a temporary secretarial job in my own office in a factory. In the main office they were very bitchy. One of my jobs was always to keep coffee on the boil for the manager and his guests. I had to get this from the main office and the supervisor used to say things like 'What again'? and 'You do get through a lot of coffee don't you?' So I told the manager about in (in a watered down version) and next day he said to me 'Oh I have arranged to get the coffee delivered directly to you in future'. Result...

    I can't remember the number of times I have been out with my female friends in the pub and we have slagged off every single person in there to each other! Or talked about other people. It happens all the time. So what? Just as long as they don't say it to your face...

    I went to the doctors a while ago and saw a different doctor. He said 'I know your face, oh yes Waverley (this is a local mental health clinic I attended for counselling years before). I looked at him and said 'Oh dear is that how I am going to be remembered in future'? he looked embarrassed and then back tracked. I do sometimes get the feeling at my doctors that I am not listened to because of my depression but I just speak louder. I am not ashamed. And you don't need to be either.

    Bev x

  • All very true and wise words and advice. In the past I have talked about people but then found it very stressful afterwards wondering who else heard or if someone would say what I said- etc. So finally a positive aspect of anxiety!😋 but of course I still slip up. I should delete a lot of my posts for speaking bad of others. But I think there is a difference between whispering about someone else who wore a lampshade and swore at the Queen at a Christmas party kind of thing.

    When I was a teen I was sitting in a little diner in a big booth by myself. And then a group of people I knew say behind me and I listened to them gave a total feast ripping ME apart. I was anorexic at the time- 78 pounds and 5'5". In hind sight I should of walked up to their table and made them uncomfortable letting them know I heard their very hurtful comments about how disgusting and unstable and must be adopted because I wasn't 'hot' like my older brother- and how my parents must be ashamed of me for being so stupid. All sorts of things like that. But I slipped out of the cafe even more worse emotional states. I was secretly very sucidal- well atleast I think so as much as someone being 78 pounds spending all their time not forced into school in a dark room. I used to wear large amounts of winter clothing indoors alone in the dark to try to sweat to loose weight after I had no longer the ability to binge exercise - because of my weight. I hear now anorexics in their 90 pound range are suggests by doctors to parents to if at all possible drive their child to school to help conserve their calories. I walked 6 miles every morning to the school bus when in was 78 pounds. But it became so difficult that I would hide near the railroad tracks and river and just do nothing all day. Once i was on the school bus and no one would let me sit down and it was a very bumpy rocky ride up hills in certain places. I remember i kept looking for help from the driver and never knew if he didn't notice or didn't care.

    I saw a saying about talking about others once that said- say something only if it is necessary, kind and true. But i think it is not necessary to for it to be necessary to speak kind about someone.

    I am turning a bad turn with this extra turmoil in my life. My boyfriend told me he is now sucidal and wants to leave is $75 000 USD assets to his cat. And he started crying about ... Make sure someone takes care of that cat and no one hurts him. I asked him why he often says he will murder anyone who would hurt his,cat - and worry so much people have it in for his cat. His answer was just- make sure the cat is taken care of. I can tell him very little of my current stresses because his reply is that his life is worse. And i really don't think mental illness issues are a peeing contest or that it makes me feel better in anyway to know someone like my partner is suffering worse than me. I just don't get it. This was all said on my trip to see my mental health doctor yesterday about my employment possibly getting terminated and my relapse into my major,depression. I was given more medications yesterday including one for my lung infection.

    You are so right we should not be ashamed of our mental illness. Most importantly if that shame makes us stop,from getting help or shutting ourselves off from others. Yesterday my boyfriend said he 'finally will admit to having depression' - not that I ever said he did or did not... but he said taking medication won't make any of the real problems go away. My ex-husband said the same thing keeping me off anti-depressants. And now I think it is a very personal choice. And honestly without medication and help from doctors I know I would not be here today. Things are all really starting to slide in a bad way for me emotionally and physically. I do have three shifts today. But I also arranged to talk to an old friend of mine who has a job working with people with physical disabilities as a head of a department. I used to work in that field and met her then. And I wrote to her and she wrote back she would like to talk on the phone and be a familiar voice of a friend. And for some reason that makes me cry so hard. But I want to call her. I have been in different levels of mental illness before but this one feels really bad because I really thought I had myself together. And it appears to have been a very big undersight.

  • Hi Aspen I agree with both Bob and Bev. I think you are assuming all these

    People are saying " oh she has Depression" how do you know that they all

    Talking about you? You are doing a bit of mind reading here I think, and that's always dangerous.

    You yourself seem to feel ashamed of being depressed ! You need to look at why

    This is? You will be judged on your work not your Depression so why are you getting

    In such a tizzy . Also if you are in a dusty environment wear a mask, very simple

    Solution, and everyone regardless of anything should wear a mask if in a dusty


    I take it you are in the US what kind of work do you do? It might help if we knew

    As there are health and safety recommendations and guidelines for every kind

    Of job now. It's not Victorian sweat shops nowadays, or should not be.

    Just do your work and stop imagining what every one is saying . There is no point as

    There is gossip in every job. Just forget about it and do your job well and people will

    Soon forget about your Depression, unless you keep reminding them of it,


  • Wearing the paper mask given to me was not enough- but it seems to be for everyone else. I said I wanted to upgrade my mask protection and they said they would rather I be taken from the environment since I have infection. Already believe it or not - I have to wear a hard hat in an environment not required by anyone else because I had a work accident and gave myself a concession. So me wearing a hard hat and a full face mask and everyone else wearing an optional paper mask- I just think they don't want people in the public eye to,wonder what is going on that someone had to wear such protective gear! Yet it is only me with the problems. So taking me out of it all together is a nice solution as long as Indont loose my job.

    Thank-you for you reply. You do have food for thought.❤️

You may also like...