When I started working after college, I didn’t have many skills. Just getting a business degree doesn’t really give you very intuitive tools to perform in the workplace. That is, I did not have the tools, or a direction. I got the job I could get, which was a decent job that enabled me to live on my own and own a car.
As time went on, my interests changed, and I ended up in computer programming. I learned a lot in a small amount of time, and I like it. It didn’t come easy, but I worked at it.
Having kids threw me off a bit, but I continued on. Getting pregnant with Joshie wasn’t quite in the plans, and it did overwhelm me, but I think a lot of what overwhelmed me was the mood disorder flaring up with each of my pregnancies.
I started having trouble. I wasn’t being treated for bipolar illness. The job became more demanding. It wasn’t unreasonably demanding.
Scott went into kidney failure. My sister’s husband committed suicide. I wasn’t performing well at work.
When I look back, the best thing I could have done is to just throw out the white flag. “Supervisor,” I could have said, “I need help. I need training, I know I’m not performing well.”
I didn’t know how to ask or explain. I didn’t understand what was going on with me emotionally, and I had a lot of stress, but I think I became stoic and stubborn and defiant when speaking with her. Prideful I suppose. Scared.
Things at home were bad. Just from my point of view, I think if I could have lowered my defenses and been more open and vulnerable, it might have been easier for the people around me to help me.
If I went back to that situation today, perhaps it wasn’t the way I think it was today. But I have found that vulnerability, openness and honesty can disarm a person.