I got bashed on MIA by someone I consider to have a hefty chip on her shoulder and likely also some desire to wreck my reputation (judging by her past comments toward me). This is not something that will easily be repaired or remedied. I tried to get Steve to remove her comment but he wouldn’t because he said she did not use my name. Obviously her sarcasm was aimed at me, though. I am kinda sick of it.
The issue is handouts. Here’s my opinion about it…..
We were coerced onto disability, for the most part. Some were literally forced or put on it without even knowing it. I did not even fill out the forms myself. Gould Farm just told me they were “applying” and they did all the paperwork and never showed it to me. I doubt this was even legal. I could obviously read and write!
Some are damaged by drugs so badly that at least at first, they really can’t work. Damage such as Tardive Dyskinesia is one ailment that comes to mind that can actually worsen over time, even if you have stopped the drugs. I know a few who were working or attending college or trade school prior to ECT, but after ECT they could not work. Some end up with life-threatening diabetes from drugs or they can’t breathe without oxygen.
Many recover from drug damage and treatment-induced PTSD. Some do not.
What choice do some people have? No income, or just a little? They might feel that their only choice is to accept disability payments, with no realization that they might be stuck on them for life.
What many do not realize about disability payments is that the amount they get will be so low, they’ll be forced onto all kinds of subsidies, and often, HUD housing. They do not have any clue that these things are traps. Others are stuck in marriages or living with parents for financial reasons, knowing their meager checks won’t be enough to survive on.
I thought it was “great” not to have to work. I didn’t really want to, not out of laziness but because my prior work experiences were truly terrible. I was made into a sex object on the job. I was harassed and finally, assaulted by my boss. Why should I not believe that all work is like this? Another thing I had to face was not even being able to find a job in an area that was overrun with students. There was too much competition. Employers rejected me for all kinds of reasons, including the fact that I wore glasses. One insisted I get “contacts” because they wanted me prettier. At one job interview, the interviewer made a pass at me. Was this the reality of the world of work? Would I be valued for my body only and now, would my brains be disregarded or even considered an impediment?
Going on disability seemed like a more desirable choice after all that. Oddly, I could never quite pinpoint what was so disabled about me, but I was happy to avoid the workplace.
I have read that I am not alone. I know people who got on disability after having a horrific workplace experience. One of my friends left after a change in leadership, and instead of realizing what needed changing, she blamed herself and her “mental illness.” Another friend went on disability because she couldn’t find a job in her field. Another accepted it after witnessing rampant misogyny. All this is encouraged by mental health professionals. We are told we’re “doing the right thing” and this is heavily enforced, when actually, we’re not.
If you are on disability, and then, forced onto every handout there is, it’s going to be much, much harder to break free. How will you get by without HUD if the disability check won’t cover rent in your area? If you work, you will either lose your housing, or your rent will go sky high. Therefore, not working is reinforced.
It is very difficult to break free of the HUD trap. People I happen to know who hate living in HUD are still stuck there even though they are working. People who live in HUD also face hiring discrimination and profiling. Those complexes can also be violent or unsafe places. I know an awful lot of women who ended up in HUD simply due to getting the bad end of the stick in a divorce. One person I know ended up on Welfare simply because working and paying for childcare wasn’t going to be worth it.
This is what happens when you are out of the workforce for a lengthy time. You will lose your work etiquette and eventually lose your sense of work ethics.
When you have lost your work etiquette, you may not know how to address personnel who are in a higher rank than you are. You may goof by confiding too much in a coworker or even a customer or client. You may not have a good sense of boundaries since the MH system encourages bad boundary-setting. You may not know how to dress properly. You may overdress, or on the other extreme, come in looking sloppy. You may hug people inappropriately, which, depending, could get you into a lot of trouble.
It’s not your fault. We get trained this way in the mental health system. These bad habits are hard to unlearn. For instance, I didn’t know I was supposed to shake a person’s hand at the job interview. However, any hesitancy was going to show, wouldn’t it?
As for work ethics, some people do not understand the importance of showing up. They may show up late or not at all. This kind of thing could quickly get them fired. They have no understanding of leaving the house early, or of arriving early just to be on the safe side.
It won’t take long to learn these good habits. Sadly, many people just don’t want to try.
Another issue holding people back is fear, fear of the unknown, or fear of trying something new. The MH system makes sure to steal people’s confidence. Some people say that gaining confidence will cure any so-called mental illness. Is it true? I am not sure, but it can’t hurt you to become confident, after all. Most people labeled MI are very much lacking in it, whether on drugs or off.