Security Clearance

Security Clearance. A death knell for any mentally ill person seeking a job requiring one.

How many good jobs have I had to pass over because I can’t obtain and maintain a security clearance? Several. I just passed another one today. It eliminates any job related to the Department of Defense (DoD) and many Department of Energy (DOE) jobs which are places I could find work. Eliminate Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or any of the other companies with big DoD research projects. Reject some of the government labs, like Sandia or Los Alamos National Lab. I can’t even work in a simple position if it has anything to do with defense.

The mentally ill do have stability issues and are a security risk for projects requiring high level security clearances. I understand that. I’m just frustrated is all. Frustrated that I was born with this genetic pre-disposition that blossomed into something that taxes me daily.  Frustrated that on top of all that it limits my employability.  Even if I had never been diagnosed, it would probably come out in the mental health exams.  It’s a necessary discrimination.

But what would happen if companies found a loophole such that they could discriminate against you legally?  Disability discrimination cases are rarely won.  If I had told my last employer about my bipolar, I probably would have been out of a job sooner than now.  As it is, given that my FMLA ran out and they couldn’t find a place for me that I was qualified for when I returned, it’s nearly disability discrimination. I was discriminated against by my co-workers while my arm was injured, but I didn’t know that there was a statue of limitations on disability claims.  At this point, I have no legal recourse; I was told as much by a lawyer.  I was laid off from a previous job because of health reasons (I was recovering from a severe mania) and sued them unsuccessfully.  Oh yes, companies are tricky, and if they can get away with it, they will.  It’s why they employ such expensive lawyers.

But I digress.  My point was simply to express my frustration in the job hunt.  A job hunt that is already difficult enough with my background and education level, soon to be made more difficult by my age. It’s discouraging to be disqualified for jobs because of my mental health.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

Nothing makes me think of close more than my two cats: Tux & Luna. Although Luna is no longer with us, the pair of them were pretty inseparable when she was alive. If Tux was sleeping, Luna would come up and nuzzle her way into his embrace. I can think of numerous times when you would need to do a double-take to see if there was one cat or two in the spot you were looking at. They were often physically close but they were also emotionally close.

All of my cats are indoor cats, and Tux in particular has no interest in the outdoors. Except the time that Luna ran away. Then he was at the door ready to brave the elements as if he were going to search for her. Fortunately, we found her a few days later and Tux never did leave the house. After Luna passed, Tux seemed to mourn her death. I was glad in a way that she passed in the house so that he could see and smell her death and not be forever looking outside for her.

In my opinion, the love between these two cats is a great example of close.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 3

Today’s thanks go out to a very dear friend of mine, who I will call Simon. Simon is like a brother to me. We have known each other since we started graduate school together, and been good friends since I joined his research group a couple of years later. (I switched advisers and fields.) Simon was there to support me after I left a 7-year long abusive relationship. He was the first man to make me realize you could be friends with a member of the opposite sex without any sexual interest. He’s always acted like a big brother, helping me through some rough times and enjoying good times. For several years, our communication was sparse because until he met his second wife, he wasn’t much of a communicator. But we’ve gotten close again over the past 7 years. We communicate a lot on Facebook, and are starting to communicate more via phone. I once asked DH, “Why do I only call Simon when I am in (usually job) distress?” DH replied, “Because he’s your brother.” It stuck. Now I call him “bro” and he calls me “sis”. Simon is closer to me than I ever have or will be with my blood brother.

He’s seen me manic; he’s seen me depressed. He’s never judged me and he’s always supported me, even when I made some really stupid decisions. He’s done more for me than I could ever do for him. He’s always ready to boost my self-esteem and has written glowing things about me (on FB and in letters of recommendation) and it’s the latter that has brought me to dedicating this day of thanks to him. He is writing a letter of recommendation for me for the job that I just had a phone interview for and he sent me a draft to proofread. It is so supportive that I got choked up reading it. I told him that I hope that someday my self-esteem can match his opinion of me.

So I want to dedicate this day of thanks to my very good friend, my “bro”, Simon. I am very lucky to have him in my life.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 2

Maybe I should have written this sooner, or as part of my post on the phone interview, but I am very thankful for the opportunity.  I did write to the department chair and thank him for the interview.  (I think he was there, and even if he wasn’t, it seemed to be the most appropriate way to proceed.)  Having been invited to do a phone interview was a great boost to my self-esteem.  I’ve reviewed it and reviewed it in my head, and can’t recall any major mistakes.  Part of me wants to run ahead and start making plans, but another part of me knows that I’ve only done the phone interview and can’t count on anything.  But it’s nice to dream, right?  This would be a good job and hopefully (if I get it) I won’t screw it up like the other ones I’ve had.

But enough negative talk!  This is about thanks and I am very thankful for this opportunity.  So thanks to the search committee, thanks to God or the Fates or whoever is in control, and thanks to me for keeping my head during the interview! 😉

Let’s hope I reach the next stage of the job process!

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 13

Birthday Card!

Mice and images (c) House Mouse Designs.
Card creation by ManicMonday.

I spent another evening with my card-making friend and this is what I came up with.  It is a birthday card for my niece and her favorite color is pink.  I used a House Mouse Designs® stamp with black ink for the design, then used colored pencils to color in the mice and cupcake.  I used yellow markers for the candle flame, which actually had to be drawn in, but I tried to shade them slightly. I mounted the white cardstock with the image on to a slightly larger light pink piece of cardstock, which was then mounted onto the dark pink card.  Inside is a simple Happy Birthday multi-colored (pink and purple) stamp.

You can see the envelope beneath the card.  In the lower left hand corner I stamped another celebrating mouse.  It’s a grey envelope because I didn’t have a white one available.  As a result, I elected not to color him.  Believe it or not, this card took me 1&1/2 to 2 hours to complete.  So if anyone ever gives you a hand-made card, keep in mind that it was not a trivial endeavor to make it! 🙂


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Phone Interview in Review

OK, this post is two days in the making. I’m still having trouble with focus.

This isn’t the school, it’s actually a picture of Victoria College in Toronto, but I thought the image would brighten up my post for today.
Image (c)ManicMonday

Yesterday:

Hot off the presses… I just had a telephone interview for a teaching job (a long distance away). I think it went well. I’m still processing it all. At least I went in prepared with what I was going to say although I got a few curve balls. I think I did pretty well. I can’t think of anything major that I screwed up. We will see how it goes. Now I wait to hear word back from them, but I should know something within the next couple of weeks. My references fell a little short, i.e. some of them didn’t make it, so I have to followup on those.

I wish I was more organized! I can’t keep things in my head straight. 😦 I think I am slightly hypomanic. I need to get focused. The school is actually hiring for three positions, so if I got one, I could be starting as early as August!

Today:

I’ve had a some time to process the interview. I still feel confident about the interview, although I probably could have handled a couple of things better than I did. I’m trying to figure out how to send a thank you note since the entire committee wasn’t there and also because I missed the name of one of the committee members. I could send one directly to the chair and ask him to pass along my thanks. That’s about the best I can think of. If anyone else has any ideas, please share! 🙂

I started on the higher dose of Geodon last night, and already I feel my hypomania fading away. It appears that I react very well to antipsychotics. Either that or it’s just a new episode, this time of stability. Wait, scratch that – I’m distracted today. Maybe it’s ADD. During this post (today) so far, I’ve talked with DH, checked facebook, mail, and texted.

I’m trying not to think of the “what ifs” – what if I get this job? How will we move? DH is committed to the fall semester here so that means time apart. We’ve done it before, but we really don’t do well apart. And we’d have to sell the house, which we may have to do anyway, so we better get cleaning. We have so much junk to sort through! But how to clean when you keep getting distracted?

I am getting a head of myself. There’s no guarantee that I will even get this job.  I’d like to ask if you, dear reader, would please cross your fingers, think good thoughts, or say a prayer for me.  I need to get out of the rut that I am in and I think that getting this job would do that for me.  Thanks!

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mixed Up Again?

WARNING: Possible triggers (suicide)

I wanted to get back to my mental health posting, as that is what this blog was originally about, but I’m not sure where to go with it. I posted the gory view of my inner soul on Friday. But Friday was some sort of ‘episode’ (mixed episode maybe?) that I should discuss with my therapist & pdoc.

Friday didn’t end with my post. It was a long, dull evening and even DH was quiet around me. Finally, I couldn’t take the silence anymore and I put on my shoes and stormed out of the house. I didn’t even bother with my phone so I would be on my own if someone or something attacked me. But I didn’t care. I was too wrapped up in pain and fury to worry about it. I walked over two miles before I made it back home. The whole time, I was trying to rationalize suicide and develop a plan. Don’t worry, I haven’t come up with one that I like so I’m not in trouble yet.

But there is so much anger in me right now, which makes me think I may be going through a mixed state. The past two days have been better, but I am still quick to temper, as I’m sure DH has noticed. I feel like I am never going to work again and I don’t know what we will do. I’m angry about losing my job, about the abuse I put up with, about everything. I am especially angry that they questioned my scientific integrity and called me a liar. All when I wasn’t there to defend myself. I needed to be out on mental health leave long before they ever put me out for physical reasons. And for that, I am angry at myself. I had the tools, I just didn’t use them. I didn’t seek professional medical health when I needed it most.

Depression and anger. They say that depression is anger turned inwards. I have to accept responsibility for not doing something when I needed it most. For allowing them to get inside my head. Now I have to work through the rubble that is the aftermath. Lesson learned – don’t trust your coworkers and seek professional help. DH says I need to learn to let go of the guilt because guilt is a useless emotion. He’s probably right. He usually is about these things.

Now I have to decide (and quickly) if I want to go to this conference. Pros: it may lead to job contacts and there will definitely be networking opportunities. Cons: It will be expensive (probably close to $1000) and I will run into Dr. B and his protege. I don’t know if I can handle the latter and still act professionally. Or handle it emotionally. There is also no guarantee that the networking will lead to anything. It’s a very small conference (only a few hundred attendees) and last time I was there (2 years ago) there was only one job posted that I would qualify for. So this is a topic for this week’s therapy session.

Anyway, I just wanted to fill you all in on what’s happened since Friday.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.