I’m waiting…

I feel like I am waiting for so many things… right now I am waiting for my medication to kick in so I won’t be in so much (neuropathic) pain. I am waiting to see the counselor, I am waiting for (and in some cases dreading) doctor appointments. I am waiting for the weekend to be over and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting to heal, I am waiting to go back to work. I am waiting for my friends to have time for me.

I have so much going on, and yet at the same time, I have nothing going on. I am on short term disability (STD) until my arms heal. I did not choose this – management chose this.  One arm was already injured then I hurt my other arm at work.  So they decided I was too fragile to work at all because I can’t work in the lab.  (Of course there is more than enough desk work to keep me occupied for the next year but they are unwilling to accept that – unwilling to make and support accommodations for temporary work restrictions.  Mind you, there are other groups where the PhDs never work in the lab, but that’s another story.) So now I am waiting for workers comp so the doctors/therapists can work on my new injury. (Worker’s comp is another nightmare to be addressed at another time.)

I am waiting to get fired. Why would I get fired? Because the new management can not see my value. I work with a manipulative narcissist who has most people fooled – and he has been trying to convince everyone of my incompetence. Those who he does not have fooled, for the most part, have befriended me – or at least feel sorry for me. I have proof of this individual’s duplicity: I’m keeping records, saving emails, collecting evidence. You could say that I am being paranoid, that my illness is taking over, but there are others (outside my situation) who see it too. Those who recommended that I keep records in the first place. Even our new supervisor is starting to see through my co-worker’s games.

Why do I feel the need to have outsiders justify my concerns? Because otherwise I might think they are all in my head. It’s too easy to dismiss my own thoughts and feelings as related to my illness. Or to dismiss them based on a lack of self confidence.  It’s bad enough that others are so willing to dismiss me.

Why do I have to constantly prove everything? I feel like I have to prove that I am good at my job, prove that I can work with others (even the crazy people), prove that I am sick, prove that I am sane, prove that I am worthy. And maybe it’s the last one that summarizes all of the others. I have to prove my worth. Prove my value. Justify my existence.

Existence is not such a simple thing. My father once told me that he caught my mother trying to abort me. When I confronted my mother, she said, “well, I wanted you after I had you.” I was in a car accident once that nearly killed me. It should have killed me. Odds were well against my survival. And yet I did survive. Was my survival a mistake? Was the failed abortion a mistake? Am I a mistake?

Are all of these rambling thoughts and feelings solely a product of my illness?  Or are they just accentuated by my illness?  Sometimes I just want to pull out my hair from frustration and desperation.  These things spin around in my head and attack me – torture me – questioning my worth, my abilities, my sanity.  Is the world attacking me or is it only me?  Or is it both?

Sometimes I think the only ones who believe in me are my husband and my dog.  It sure as hell isn’t me most of the time.  And I know it isn’t the rest of the world.  They are busy asking me to prove myself.


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3 thoughts on “I’m waiting…

  1. This topic has been cropping up in my interactions with so many people who are bipolar lately. It’s like because the world at large tells us that we’re somehow “less” (and our brains tell us this, too, if not from the illness then from hearing it so many freaking times from so many freaking people), we have to prove that we are not only not “less,” we are somehow “more.” We try to force ourselves to do everything just a little better than those who don’t carry a diagnosis, and even when our lives measure up to an “average” level, somehow we have failed.

    This is of course a mindset that we need to pound out of our heads. Setting ourselves up to prove that we can do better often sets us up to fail. And failure then becomes a trigger, which can cause such terrible repercussions in a bipolar life.

    One thing I know for certain, having survived all of that, you are not a mistake, you are a MIRACLE.

  2. Thank you so much for your comments. I feel a little less alone now. 🙂

    My husband was saying to me the other day that I have done more in my life (thus far) than many people do in their entire lives, and yet I dismiss it as trivial. Even the annoying neurologist said, ‘You have a PhD. Only 1% of the population has that.’ I waved my hand. ‘Yet you ignore that.’ Yes, I do. For so many reasons that I’ll have to dedicate a whole blog entry (or two) to it. Maybe that’s a teaser for you to keep reading. 😉

    • LOL, I don’t need a teaser, just more time! But I will definitely keep reading!

      I actually wrote a blog post that at least part of which I remember as being directly relevant to your comment – give me a day or two and I’ll find it for you. . .

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