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.