Isolated by rage and stigma

This has been a difficult week for me. I want to say traumatic but some people would think I’m being overly dramatic. I am having problems with an internet service provider. I have been verbally abused, intimidated, dodged, transferred from one department to the other and lied to. Repeatedly. My complaints go unanswered by the company, even though I’m well within my legal right and could actually sue them.

In judgement of rage

So naturally suffering from bipolar rage, I had a blowout [here] but the resulting fallout is I have plummeted into depression. I mean, I was depressed to begin with. Now this. And my co-workers think I’m a lunatic. This is what they told me – I didn’t handle the situation properly;  I should have spoken nicer, acted better and if I had done those things I would have received a better response. But if I receive a phone call from the company and I am screamed at right off the bat and not given a chance to talk, OF COURSE I’M GONNA SCREAM BACK. I still asked this woman “are you intimidating me”? Her reply was “Yes. I am intimidating you”. How am I going to respond to that? Of course I’m going to get fucking angry.

I feel powerless. About the situation and in an emotional sense. Which in and of itself is distressing and hopeless. I don’t know where the line is between passive or aggressive. I swing to either extremes without ever finding a calm, cool foothold in the middle. I get the feeling I’m not allowed to be angry… ever….  That my anger is dismissed – oh, she’s not getting angry because she has just cause to be, but because she’s ‘bipolar’. Does that make any sense?

When living in the real world

I am entitled to get angry when someone is being unjust with me. But why am I the only one held accountable, blamed? Why has no one said – that saleswoman was a bitch; good for you for standing up for yourself; asserting your rights? No, the finger is pointed squarely in my direction. I am the one at fault! I have behaved inappropriately. And I have to sit surrounded by these judgements and assumptions all day long.

I feel ‘less than’ my co-workers because I react differently, because I have bipolar. I feel invisible, diminished, judged, shamed, inferior, incapable, truly disabled and barely tolerated. I am overshadow by self-doubt, paranoia and self-loathing with a mix of suicide ideation. Its a case of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ scenario to live in their world. When I’m myself, I’m accused of being awful. And when I’m silent I’m accused of not participating. So I try not to exist. I would rather retreat into silence. If I don’t open my mouth, I will not ripple the water. I thought yesterday counted for something. But it didn’t. Stigma is still alive and well because I am living and working amongst it. I can literally say, I have been silenced by stigma.

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27 comments

  1. Unfortunately in our world, it is always the one who loses control and gets angry that is the wrong one. People are uncomfortable with anger, with swearing, etc..Especially the British, although it is the same here in Germany..I am sorry they have mucked you about so much..(I have had nightmare phonecalls too with service providers when I was living in London for 7 years). Although (jokingly) if you move to Greece you would be right at home..Shouting is a little more ‘normal’ in Greece! Hot blooded country! 😉 I am sorry you are having to apologise for living with Bipolar! It isn’t fair at all 😦

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    1. Thanks Athina! I did a post a while back saying the exact same thing. It was Italian, people would label me ‘PASSIONATE’. And I am passionate because bipolar presents in intensity of emotion. But in my workspace, my ‘passionate’ translates into ‘drama queen’ and stigma. This is certainly not the first time its happened! I think I need to move to Greece 😉

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      1. You will definetely be surrounded by passionate people there all the time!When I first moved back after 11 years of living abroad it was quite a shock to be honest..I had forgotten how intense people could be and how chaotic the bureaucratic stuff was, especially with the financial state the country was in…The 38 degree heat for 3months was too much too!Greece is my home and it is wonderful to be there when you don’t have to work or do ímportant stuff..Living there is challenging..Being there on holiday is amazing 🙂 Then I luckily met my husband there and moved back to the UK! haha!

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  2. I’ve tried to explain this “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” life we live in to my mother just this week. She doesn’t get it – and she has major depressive disorder. Of all the people in my life I expected her to understand, but I guess not.

    What concerns me the most is that it seems like it’s the “normal” people that consistently fail to treat others with decency but the moment those of us with illness supposedly slip up, we get jumped on. With force. When usually we “slip up” because we are crying foul against the lack of decency to start with. It shouldn’t have to be that way.

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    1. I’m glad I’m not alone in the struggle of ‘damned if you…..’. Exactly! We’re the sick ones, but we have to expend huge amounts of time and energy in an attempt to accommodate ordinary folk, and to make them feel comfortable. But dare I cry or get angry or I don’t want to go to participate in xyz, I’m subject to their opinions and judgements which mostly revolve around putting the blame on me – whatever happens to me, or in my life, is my own fault. Thank god for music because that is my escape at work. Thanks for your response Toadie. I’m at a very low point right now and I’m so grateful for your support ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I linked back to this post and another one of yours because it tied in with what happened with my mother this week. I’ve only covered part of what happened so far – the part that made me really angry. It’s why I thought my mother would understand so I was hurt by our conversation in the ER that day. That conversation needs it’s own post and I’m working on it.

        I know I’m new to WordPress but you DO have my support. I’m so grateful to have found the community here. ❤ I finally feel like I have found my tribe and a place to belong among people that truly understand. I hope that everyone else here feels the same.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately not. I can only take time off over the Christmas shutdown. But its not the first time this has happened. My strategy 😉 for dealing with the fallout is to plug my ears and listen to music while I work

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  3. Oh Pieces, I’m so sorry. People are such assholes sometimes. The “normal” people are of course the people we are trying to reach when we try to explain what bipolar does to us. But, none of the “normal” people around you are listening. Sometimes it’s a matter of picking your moment, but when bipolar rears it’s head sometimes you have to try to explain on the fly. And that’s hard. Really hard.

    The rage often comes with a downshift in mood, so you’re normal as far as bipolar is concerned. But, I’m worried about the suicidal ideation. I can’t lose you, too. What do you need from me? How can I help?

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    1. My rage was scattered all over the office so I just resigned myself to having to explain myself. And I felt so numb, I just told them I can’t follow your advice because I’m different, your advice doesn’t work with me. I explained the trigger and the episode, and I thought they had understood. I was so happy. But they didn’t understand and I still stand in judgement. So I’m as done with explaining myself at work, as I’m done with explaining myself to my father. And you’re right, I have plummeted further into my depression but I am ok. Please be reassured, the suicidal ideation is just that – thoughts. I won’t leave, I won’t die, even though I want to. When my mother committed suicide I made a vow never to do that because its unbearable for those left behind. I won’t do that. Thank you for your love and support. You’get’me and I love you for that xxx ❤

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      1. I do get you and you get me. And that’s why this space is so important. We all understand what the others are going through. Are you interested in the chat room that Morgue set up? It’s a great place to go if you need someone to listen to you right away.

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  4. I’m so sorry my dear. That’s the worst experience in my mind. I can’t take talking to the cable company. I always have to have my husband do it for me because he has the patience for it. I swear they get off on hearing our pain and confusion. Fuck them and fuck all the people who told you it was your fault. That’s bullshit and they know it. No one is good at talking to customer service representatives on the phone. If you need me to rough some idiots up for you let me know! I’ll gladly do it for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jess. That’s what upset me… if it had been anyone else there wouldn’t have been an issue. But because it was me…. well…. and then I have to sit and work with them. Its hard. But after a few days it will return to normal. I’ll take names for you to bust their chops!! 😉

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  5. It wasn’t your fault. You have been put in a bad position and I think anyone would get angry, and should. I hate it when people blame my bipolar on everything that goes wrong. My ex used to do that and it always hurt like hell.

    I hope the problem gets resolved. Sounds like a terrible company.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Bradley. I always love your comments. Yes, we can’t just BE a person. I kinda feel picked on, bullied, because if it had been anyone else it would have been a different reaction. Its always best if I stay quiet and just listen to music while I work.

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  6. It’s easy to judge people that deal with depression and bipolar those of which usually also have difficulty managing emotions such as anger. But, sometimes it’s not our fault and still we’re the ones that come across as the “crazy” ones. I find people “gaslight” others far too often.

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  7. Being different doesn’t mean that you’re “less than.” In fact, I’ve found that those who suffer from bipolar are usually more sensitive and caring than the average person. But you gotta take the good with the bad. That’s life. And sometimes, you just gotta say, “fuck ’em.” 🙂

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    1. Absolutely! The pitfalls of life. I wish I was an olympic hurdler and could just jump over the bumps. But you’re right about us being more sensitive and that’s what makes it so hurtful. The hurt strikes so deep. But I’m a tough chickie…. I’ll get there ❤

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