In 2016 I stuck my neck out to see if "coming out" about being in PTSD recovery was acceptable enough now to fight the stigma. In any tenure process for a teacher, one third of the case you're supposed to make for yourself is community service. Since I'm so blessed as to be a Community Leader here on DS PTSD, I asked DS to write a letter to my tenure committee on my behalf. It was a proud moment for me.
Unfortunately, it led to backlash from members of my tenure committee. Educated academically as they may be (one even has a master's degree in psychology) they pattern their attitudes off of PTSD stigma rather than the positive facts before them about me and PTSD recovery in the workplace. Treating me with stigma in the workplace now hasn't stopped for the 4 years since my disclosure. I've had to invoke the law with my Human Resources head at work for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, something that was a last resort because I'm not a litigious guy.
Yesterday I found out about another slight among these years of many slights since 2016 from my bosses at work. This slight was directly related to the subject of trauma. It was derived from how she treated me at work this week (and avoided me, too) from a book she read on trauma and how she interpreted it concerning me--again, without ever talking to me though I've always made myself available. While I was teaching class, she printed some negative material off on paper and then taped it to my office door where everybody walking through the hallway, students and other instructors alike, could read it.
Talk about being stuck with a label, it was quite literal. It wasn't the first time, it happens week by week.
This and other weekly episodes like it (she tapes stuff to my office door like that on a regular basis) explain why I'm taking early retirement now. It has cost me a chance for job promotion, even though I deserve it for a book chapter published in a book on patient care 3 years ago. My work is erased by the stigma even though there are no workplace PTSD episodes to point to as the cause, just PTSD recovery that could be rewarded. Now I wish I could, but I can't take back coming out of the closet in 2016 about being a Community Leader here at DS PTSD, the toothpaste can't be put back in the toothpaste tube.
It's a sad way for me to end a 40 year teaching career dating back to when I got my first teaching job in 1980 when I was 22 years old. A lot of good things have happened over the decades in the classroom. It's hard to see it end under a false cloud of negativity just because workplace PTSD stigma still exists even today.
Just a caution to any friends among us who may be thinking of fighting the stigma coming out of the closet about a PTSD diagnosis. The stigma's still there. Fighting it is a worthy cause, just be aware.
Support welcome as I swallow hard and return to work hoping to hold my head high. Just 17 months left until I retire....
Has anyone ever been to a clinic that they're going through to get services and you become good friends with the people that go there and you find drama and nonsense in the mix are some ways I can deal with avoiding that situation?
Hey hey!So, I'm coming out of a 3 week low. I don't think I am in a mania. My new PDoc has adjusted my meds and I think that it is working. I'm starting to get school work done and I went to disability services to see if I could tweak my accommodations and they can. My grades are not the best right now but all is not lost (so I hope). I’ve started knitting again and I feel a lot better!...