Occupy [my brain]

By 6am this morning I was awake and couldn’t go back to sleep. Lousy, considering I was excited last night about sleeping in this morning.

As more often than not, I couldn’t go back to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking. This morning I couldn’t stop thinking about something that the manager said yesterday, something I completely forgot about until I woke up today.

Why didn’t you pursue legal action against the [prior employer who fired me for being in the hospital] for discrimination?

When she asked me that question I replied with the first thing that came to mind, which was that I wasn’t in a state of being well enough to feel it was wise to take legal action, causing myself more stress which would ultimately contribute to a continuation of my health problems.

In layman’s terms I was severely depressed. Not only did I lack the motivation to take said action, but I didn’t want to add to my depression by knowingly causing myself more stress.

For the most part that is true, but there’s more.

1. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I feel has pretty severely effected my “fight or flight” mechanism. The last few years, any time I begin to panic about something I ultimately take the “flight” path. Run away, get out of the situation, and avoid getting involved again. I suppose it is a survival technique, and I did go out of my way to do the opposite in one situation -fight it out, and it ended up compounding things and just making matters worse. The only way I have been able to find relief is to remove myself from the situation altogether.

2. In a similar vein, my options for fighting seemed to lean two ways. I could either fight to get that job back (which I didn’t want) or I could fight for some kind of monetary compensation. The thought of recieving money doesn’t counteract point number one, I would still feel like crap.

3. I am not the sort of person who is “out to get” anyone. It seems sometimes that most Americans are waiting around for the opportunity to sue other people for whatever reason, everyone is looking for a way to get easy cash. To me, this situation doesn’t have anything to do with that. The only reason I would have taken legal action was because my employers broke the law and I believe that is wrong.

4. The idea that I have the financial resources to get a lawyer is laughable…

5. And finally, let’s not forget, I was severely depressed at the time. The last thing I feel like doing when I’m depressed is take any sort of action, even if it is for my own benefit.

Maybe the “right” thing to do would be to have taken legal action, but I had a lot of reasons not to.

I guess it still surprises me when others have no idea where I’m coming from, or when they think that suing someone is as carefree and easy as pie.

What America do these people live in? I haven’t seen it, and I am dumbfounded every time I find that someone is unfamiliar with the America I live in. I wonder if those who are shocked to hear about the sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination I’ve faced in the workplace are among those that believe our health care system works as well.

If nothing else, having bipolar disorder has really made the fractures in this country apparent to me and it makes the current Occupy movement feel that much more necessary (whether they actually accomplish anything or not).

2 responses to “Occupy [my brain]

  1. I went through a similar mental process when I was kicked out of a co-op for essentially being bipolar. They didn’t want to deal with someone who experienced depression and were afraid of the fact that I had this thing called paranoia. They were unwilling to accept a reasonable accommodation plan, and the entire situation sent me into a suicidal episode that landed me in a hospital. I was seriously contemplating suing them for mental distress and illegal eviction since I had expressed explicitly that I had problems with people deciding things behind my back and not talking to me directly. But, after landing in the hospital and scaring the crap out of my therapist, I came to the decision that more stress is the last thing I needed after everything I’ve been through. Others didn’t understand, but legal matters are too much stress and I just wanted to get on with my life and try to piece back together what I had. Sorry if this is too much about me, but I guess I just want to say that you’re not the only one who has been in this situation.

  2. I’m sorry you had to go through that, it is bizarre to me that there are attributes people couple with bipolar disorder without knowing what they’re talking about (like paranoia). It frustrates me to no end that it is the norm for people to make generalizations.

    At the risk of sounding selfish, it does feel nice to hear that at the very least somebody knows where I’m coming from. I don’t consider my decision any sort of “resignation”, simply (like you said) wanting to get on with my life.

    Thanks for sharing!

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