I hate not being able to fix things

This morning I had to tell the Garden Gnome that I had received an email.
It was from a place he had jumped through hoops to gain employment with. He had turned up for an interview and been left standing at the main gate because there was a situation that needed dealing with and they had forgotten he was coming. They called and apologised and asked him to complete an application containing pages and pages of information about himself including everything relating to past medical issues.
It asked whether he had ever been treated for mental health issues.
He was honest.
We will never know for sure but we believe that this is what cost him the job.
I have stood by him as he has received disappointment after disappointment in his quest to find work once again.
I have watched his face when he hears the words that he was “unsuccessful this time but thank you for your interest in our company”.
I have borne the brunt of his frustrations at not being able to provide for his family.
I have listened as he has chastised me for spending too much money on fresh produce or other things. He is worried about Christmas coming.
I cry silent tears as I watch what this is doing to his self esteem.
And I can’t fix it.

I don’t know what I can do.
I don’t want to see him break again. He has grown so strong over the past months and I have my old Garden Gnome back (the one I had prior to his breakdown) however this constant erosion of his confidence is beginning to worry me.

We know that it is wrong of employers to discriminate against a person for mental health issues in the past (or even in the present) but we know that they do it.
It certainly isn’t right.
And it is definitely not fair.
Of course, the Garden Gnome could apply for unemployment benefits but that would mean that he would have to record an unrealistic amount of job applications. For someone who is quite introverted, going out on a limb to apply for a job that is suited to your capabilities is difficult enough without having to meet a quota.
Then there is his pride. He doesn’t want to be one of those reliant on welfare.Pressure is building on me to find a job once again.
I haven’t told him that I applied for a position a few weeks ago but was unsuccessful.
In truth I am not ready to go back to full time work. I have much to do yet and my study is just starting to get underway once more.

I choose to see the fact that we are both at home right now as a blessing. It allows us to grow closer. We have been able to be here for our children and extended family when needed without worrying about work getting in the way of things.
But love doesn’t pay the bills.
And I don’t know how to fix it.

So many hurting people in my family that I want to fix but I can’t.
It is in my nature to do things. Find solutions. Solve the problems.
I just don’t know how to fix this particular problem.

Oh dear. I’m sorry. I’ve ranted.
It was more my intention with this post to highlight the fact that those with mental illnesses are discriminated against (although I can’t prove this) and instead I made it about me.
The discrimination of others is unfair.
I can’t fix that either. That is something they have to fix themselves.
And until that occurs, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, looking for new opportunities and facing each day as it comes.
At least that is something that I can do.

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51 thoughts on “I hate not being able to fix things

  1. I’ve never heard of a job application asking about health history, particularly mental health. Either that’s because it’s different in the united states where I live, or because I’ve been out of the job market so long. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Unemployment is no joke. I’ll be praying that all your needs will be met while you are waiting and seeking.
    Blessings

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    1. It was actually a 6 page document that asked all sorts of health questions. Due to the nature of the job he applied for some of the questions are understandable but I’m really concerned about the one asking about his mental health.
      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One day at a time Sue, there will appear an answer somewhere, when you least expect it.
    Look upon your current situation as a temporary setback.
    The sun will shine tomorrow and you are still a family.
    All the best.
    Ian

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  3. Awe ❀
    I've heard that sometimes we are branded for experiencing mental health problems, which is really an unfortunate thing. As if it isn't bad enough already 😦
    I know because I've had the experience.

    I know what you mean about not being able to "fix" things and how frustrating that is. All I can do is pray, but sometimes that is the very best thing that can be done. You have a good attitude, and lots of love, which will help you through. ❀

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  4. Well, everyone knows that these hypocrites are perfect, right? They have no business asking certain questions. Take the company to court… I am sorry this is happening to you and your family.

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    1. Thanks John. I really have to wonder why they need to know.
      I’ve actually looked up the legalities of it and I’ve found that legally you don’t have to disclose your mental health status unless it will affect your job.

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  5. I think while we have come a long way in understanding and treating mental health issues, I still think there is a lot of discrimination against it, I wouldn’t tell anyone that I had issues, you shouldn’t have to disclose that sort of thing, unless it is really relevant to your job, you don’t have to tell about other health issues and why should mental health be any different. Really it is no ones business and I would question whether or not they had a right to ask in the first place.

    As John just said, the company really didn’t have any right to ask. None of their business.

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    1. Yeh, I’m pretty interested to know just what laws they may be breaking by asking this question. There was a 6 page health assessment document to fill out as part of the application process. It’s a large and well known Australian company too.

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  6. As a psychologist, this pisses me off! It’s really the healthiest ones who acknowledge and seek treatment for mental health issues. As a person, I so appreciate your concerns. I’m not very good at praying, but you certainly are in my thoughts, and I’m pulling really hard for you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My first stepfather had a bad car accident years ago and suffered brain damage but recovered extremely well; his only really lasting issue was an extreme lack of sense of humour having been hit on the left frontal lobe. He couldn’t get a job in this country as the details were on his records so they left the country, didn’t tell anyone, and he got a job and rebuilt his working life. Maybe you have to leave out some detail sometimes…?

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        1. I’m thinking that we are going to have to modify what we tell people. He doesn’t tell others unless they ask but this was quite a specific question.
          I’m sorry that your stepfather had to leave the country to find a job. That is really disheartening when you consider than in this ‘enlightened’ age we are still so very judgmental and unaccepting of others.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh pox. How very difficult. I wonder would he consider an interview coach?
    I have a great friend who does this (it’s not her real job). She is very high up in a company and does it for friends and family before they go for a big interview.
    You’d be surprised how much she changes, in the way we present ourselves and the confidence you get afterwards.
    As for mental health disclosure, I wouldn’t, regardless of legislation, people view you differently (when they don’t know you), you can never give a first impression twice, and first impressions last.

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    1. I know Tric.
      My man is introverted and very honest. One of the jobs he was interviewed for was for a shelf stacker in a supermarket. They asked him if he would be comfortable working the checkouts and he said no. He asked why he would have to do this if he was stacking shelves after the store was closed? He didn’t get the job.
      It really is difficult these days particularly for those who really want to work and just can’t find work. Unfortunately he was in his last job for almost 30 years so he has no experience in other areas.

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      1. That is so very hard. 30 years and now looking for a job. I really hope he can continue to keep trying and hopefully gain experience at interviews until the right one comes his way.
        You must be exhausted from it all. Hugs for you.

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        1. Thanks Tric. People reading my blog must think I live the most horrible life but really it’s wonderful (with occasional down times thrown in).
          But I agree, it is difficult to have been in a job for 30 years and then have to find another job.

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          1. Oh no, I have been reading a good while now and your blog is very true to life. Sometimes all is good and then we go through a storm.
            Keep writing just as you do. I don’t think that at all.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. I hate to say this, but I would lie on an application because there is that chance if I get the job, I will constantly be viewed under a microscope. I have also been where you are and can’t fix. All we can do is listen. I say shame on the company for asking unless the job could trigger breakdowns, or depression. Hugs to you Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hang in there- I’m from a family where a few people suffered from depression and mood disorders( two suicides) It’s hard for everyone but I think possibly it’s worse for men -sometimes they won’t admit something wrong. It sounds like everything seems very open in your family! I’m wishing you all the best!! I know in any situation life can be stressful for us all but I hope he will get the kind of work that will uplift him in some way.

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  10. I don’t think you ranted. I think you expressed beautifully what your heart feels. MY heart goes out to your sweet garden gnome. Sometimes we just can’t fix things for those we so love, but that reality doesn’t change that it hurts so much to see. I will be thinking of him and hoping he finds the most perfect job for his particular needs..perhaps the universe is just brewing up a perfect fit, and it has yet to come!

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    1. Thank you Jami. I won’t tell him that you said he was sweet because it would make him unsufferable πŸ˜‰
      Yes, I hold to the hope that the universe is cooking up the perfect job for him.

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  11. This breaks my heart for you and your husband. It is so difficult to watch someone you love go though something like this. You may not be able to fix it, but you can rest assured knowing that everything will work out just how it is meant to. It always does. Time and patience, and the sun will shine again!

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    1. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It isn’t watching him in his attempts to deal with this. I know we will get through it, but I hope he continues to hope along with me.

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  12. I debated with to comment or not, but figured you may just think my idea is doable, or at least thinkable. I understand how he feels. My disability puts me in the same category as he is. If he is handy with a craft, any craft at all, he might want to think about selling his craft or the product of his craft. If nothing else, it can be done through Ebay or a Flea Market. Judging from the things you have said about him, he is a clever man. He can do something like this. There’s no doubt in my mind.

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  13. Hey Sue. I’m sad to hear about the G.G.’s hardship finding a job. In Canada it is also illegal to require applicants to answer questions about health – both mental and physical. The issue is that the law is irrelevant – I know because I have worked for employers who have asked those questions. If the applicant refuses to answer the questions then the company can simply refuse to hire them without giving a reason. I have some major health issues that do not interfere with my ability to think or manage and I have been unable to get a job after trying for a long time. I am sure that the issue is that potential employers see me as a potential liability. But an employer is permitted to refuse employment without giving a reason here in Canada. I have basically taken disability and am looking for something different that does not require a 9-5 position.

    I know how GG feels about taking unemployment or any gov’t assistance, but realistically, if it’s anything like here, he has paid into it for many years for just exactly this sort of situation. It is not a hand out – it is a self-funded benefit – like you had put aside money in the bank for a rainy day. My suggestion is that he take it while he continues to look. If you wait, then you will damage your financial situation needlessly. Here most job application is done on line. There is still a commitment to continuing to look, but that only requires submitting resumes on line which doesn’t require any face to face unless an employer calls. It is not tromping the streets like it used to be.Besides that, our gov’t has many free training options and such that are available to those who are drawing unemployment. My guess is that is so in Australia as well – for it is to the gov’ts benefit for GG to find a job. I also had to change the way i looked at benefits – they are not a sign of any weakness or lack of ability – they are simply drawing out funds he has paid in for such an occurrence. I started working (part time) at 13 years old and drew out nothing until I had medical issues in my early 50’s. After 30-40 years of paying into the plan, it is only fair that it be used when needed.

    I hope things go better for him and you Sue. My prayers are with you.

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    1. I’m sorry that you are also unable to find work Paul. It isn’t fair that there are many people who are willing to work that just aren’t given the chance and then there are others who have no intention of working and rely on welfare for everything. I worked with those with disabilities and found that these people also had issues in finding employment although there are government incentives for hiring and training them.
      I retain hope that the future will be brighter and cling to the belief that we are not working right now because we need to be there for our families.

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  14. Sweetie! My heart goes out to you and your GG, I also am so mad I could spit! You didn’t happen to keep a copy of that job application? I can understand if the job was for police work, where he could be using a gun or something, but no, this should be illegal. And please, do not even think you are ranting, well, even if you are ranting you have every right to do so. Heck, you’ve seen my blog, rant central haha. I find sometimes swearing helps, make sure no one is around, then scream and swear into a pillow, it really does help to “blow off steam.” I agree with Paul, he should not feel ashamed for signing up for unemployment, just like disability, he has paid into it with taxes etc, he is entitled to it. I have had the joy of being in a mental hospital, it is not fun, and people treat you differently afterwards. It’s not right. You are such a sweet person, you have had some tragedy and set-backs but you always seem to be able to find the gem inside of the of the darkness. Sorry this is so long but this is an issue I feel very strongly about. Hugs to you, have a pillow scream, and I know you and your GG will be just fine. You’ll be in my thoughts. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Mary. As I’ve said before, I know we will get through this. I am choosing to believe that the job wasn’t the perfect job for him and there is something much better waiting for him.

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  15. Unemployment is tough, especially when you’re not used to it. For the first three months this year I was unemployed and claiming benefits. I figured I’d paid in all my life so I was entitled. Even so the demands they made in terms of the number of jobs to be applied for and the horrible way they treated everyone was demoralising. One time I actually came out of the job centre and say on a bench and cried so hard I could hardly breathe. My youngest son is also unemployed and it’s tough watching him getting knocked back again and again. Sadly, here unemployment in young men is very high and it’s hard to find work. Hopefully he and the GG will be lucky soon.

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    1. It is so terribly difficult and yes, demoralising. I have to wonder if those that administer the welfare payments have themselves actually been through unemployment or trained in how to actually deal with those who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

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  16. My hubby is like you…he always wants to fix things. All you can do is support which you are doing. I’m sure he needs you a lot and is thankful for you in his life. I hope something comes soon for him. I think it’s more important for men to feel “successful” via a job than it is for women. Well, at least that’s what I think.

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