Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Filled with Righteous Indignation

As I have posted about before I work in the mental health field. I recently had a situation that kind of ticked me off, ticked is putting it lightly. I like my current job but I work 4-12 and it's kind of tough. I miss out on a lot of activities, friends and other stuff I like to do like acting and watching hockey. So I have been looking for a more normal schedule, 9-5ish. So through some contacts I sent my resume and cover letter to large corporation that is in the city I live. I live in Pittsburgh ( pmuc) rearrange  those letters around and you will get it. So I sent my cover letter and resume in and heard back from these people. Well, not directly but through a contact. They said I had a few typos on my resume...alright and that they were turned off by my cover letter. My cover letter is very personal and talks about why I want to be in the mental health field, about my mom and dad and all that. Turned off?? What?? Over the last year or so I have been on about 15 interviews and mostly everyone said, wow this is what we are looking for, you have passion and glad you turned this into something.

Now why would people that work with the mentally ill be turned off my someone that lived with a mentally ill parent their entire life?? Seems weird doesn't it? Seems pretty stupid actually. Who would know better than someone that pretty much lived in a psych ward for over 20 years?? I thought we were on the same side here? Trying to help the mentally ill, make a difference? I didn't get in this field for fun. I got in this field because my family was destroyed because no one could be bothered to ask a question, hey how is your dad, what about you Mike? How are you? I got in this field to make a difference, to change things. Hopefully.

A few of my goals  after my mom died were to tell my story, hopefully to inspire others like my mom inspired me.I think I have done that. Dozens of people have told me their own personal struggles or their families struggles. I wanted to make it a safe environment for others to be truthful and maybe get help. Something that I never had or my parents had.The second thing I wanted to do is work with the mentally ill directly which I do. Lastly, was to give money and raise awareness to mental health and stigma that goes along with it, which I have.

How is anything ever going to get any better if people refuse to tell their stories and personal journey? What about gay activism and AIDS or cancer, did they stay silent? Let me ask another question? Why? Why is someone working in the field if they are turned off by someone that dealt with it everyday? Stigma in our own field? What is this? Now of course I didn't hear this directly so I could be wrong but maybe I'm not.

I'm tired of this, I'm tired of playing nice. Tired of pretending like everything is ok. When the system clearly doesn't do enough to help these people. I wasn't raised in a Norman Rockwell painting and I'm not pretending that I was and I don't think I should either.All humans have things that make us different. Some of us are born sick or get sick or have problems and there is nothing wrong with that. I'm being honest, isn't that what parents tell us, always be honest? Something is wrong with this picture and I don't like it.