How Shaming Leads To Suicide My Story

I was a newly divorced mother, and had moved back to America after living abroad for five years. I had been a dancer, and was now teaching ballet. I had finally been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis after suffering for several years. My body was very different now, my spine was immoveable, and I still had pain every single day despite all of the medicines. I was also exhausted every day and had black bags under my eyes.

Bags_Under_Eyes_v2_640x360-1          bags under eyes

Needing a job, I contacted a school that was hiring. They called me back saying they had heard wonderful things about me from a man I had previously worked with, and after my interview, I was hired. On my arrival, I was pleasantly surprised when the man offered to take me to dinner and show me around the city. I hadn’t really known him very well, but was happy to have his friendship.

I  was surprised to find that some of his friends were not very kind. When I asked him why they were so unfriendly, he said they were afraid I was going to hurt him. He wanted to be more than friends. I was newly divorced and had no interest in a romantic relationship. I had just finished nursing my daughter, and she was my priority.

Things went sour quickly, and he began saying bad things about me. I couldn’t leave my job, and tried to ignore the rudeness from his friends. It went on for several years, and I became immune to their nastiness. The wellbeing of my daughter gave me tremendous strength. She brought so much joy to my life that I could block out everything else.

The man told my boss that my resume wasn’t quite accurate, and that he had talked me up so I would get the job. He was referring to a part of my work history that stated I had performed with a certain ballet company. This wasn’t a lie. Two dancers became injured, I was around and they asked me to perform and gave me a salary. I never said I was a member of the company. I didn’t feel defensive about having put my performing experience down, and carried on working. This small ballet company and school was not nationally known, and I certainly didn’t need his help to find a job. After all, he had been fired for his arrogance from the company where we met.

As years went by, my arthritis caused more damage and pain. I had days where my neck was so stiff I could hardly turn my head. His friends seemed to rejoice in my pain and  said my whole resume was probably a lie, and that I had never danced. One young dancer from Venezuela said he must speak to me. I was intrigued when he pulled me into an office, sat  behind the desk and told me to have a seat. “I have heard terrible things about you.” Surprised, I smiled. I had worked with many dancers from Caracas, one even came to my small wedding, and I had only fond memories. I wondered what terrible things they may have said about me. I questioned him and he replied that it didn’t matter. I agreed that it didn’t matter, as I had never really been mean or terrible  to anyone. I’m mostly a quiet, non-confrontational type.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, they made crude jokes, and I was shocked to find that they joined breastcancer.org and made remarks about my posts. Soon, they invaded my privacy even more, and I couldn’t figure out what to do as I had never experienced anything like this,. Because they had no integrity, it was just fun and games for them and I was starting to feel very depressed and anxious.

In my mid-forties I had my first hip replacement. I was in my twelfth year of teaching and my daughter was about to enter high school. It was the end of summer and I realized my boss had not given me my schedule or contract for the new season.

To be continued…….

 

 

 

 

Pain Turned Me Into An Introvert

Chronic pain is an illness that depletes you of energy every day. There are occasional good days which you spend in a flurry of joy. These good days allow for hope, happy memories, and sustain you through new ailments and agonies.

Somehow it happens that you become more introverted. This must be because you now recognize that you are very affected  by the energy around you. While emotionally it feels as though you are hyper-aware to the point of anxiousness, physically parts of you don’t work at all, as though they were turned off.

More simply put, there seems to be no room for negative exchanges, it is a waste of precious time. Some people may feel dismissed, discarded or excluded, but no apology is necessary. Perhaps, they should be relieved you haven’t shouted “Off with their heads!”

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