Something happened to me recently that didn’t quite sit right. Someone used my mental health problems as an excuse for why I was unhappy with what they were doing and therefore got themselves ‘off the hook’.
I feel a little bit strange about this.
I’ve been lucky enough to not have that happen to me before, I don’t tell a lot of people about my mental health problems but recently I’ve been more willing to open up.
I disagree with someone that I work with, she has authority over me which makes things a little difficult. It’s not a personal problem, I just feel that she crosses the line a lot and does a lot of things that I’m really uncomfortable with. When she recently asked me why I was hesitant to work with her again I told her that I felt that we didn’t gel.
I told her calmly and professionally that I felt my style and working and her style of directing were completely different and that I was unhappy with the way that she was speaking to people. Personally I feel that she gets very personal when she criticises people- though I didn’t say this to her, I kept it very polite. I said that neither of our ways of working were wrong, they just don’t gel with each other.
She told me that due to my mental health problems I have problems with authority and that’s why I was having a problem with her; she was behaving in a way that ‘normal’ people would be fine with.
This is the first, and hopefully the last, time that someone has managed to make me feel powerless and tiny by using my mental health problems against me. I felt so small sat in that office. It took a lot of self control to tell her calmly that I didn’t feel that my mental health played a part in my feelings towards her actions- but she dismissed that one easily.
A week on from the incident and I still don’t know how to respond. Looking back I can see that she’s made comments like that before; but not as explicitly as last week. Like it or not, having a mental illness still means that your opinion, your voice, can be questioned and doubted.
For the first time in a long time I feel powerless.
’til next time,