My first taste of how my mental illness would impact me was when my ex took all of the money out of a bank account during one of my hospitalizations. After that I had to ask to use the bank card any time I needed gas or something for the kids.

After that was my divorce. I was not able to afford an attorney and wound up with visitation of the kids that I had stayed at home with for six years. I was told I was lucky to get that.

Luckily, I found NAMI where I was able to meet other people with mental illnesses. I was also able to tell my story to audiences that included future law enforcement, students, and peers. At that point there were some great questions and I felt accepted.

After a lot of back and forth, pros and cons, and discussion, I applied for admission to a Masters program in Social Work and was accepted. I used my experiences in the mental heath system as part of my entrance essay. For my field placement, I also used my experiences. Come to find out, my competency to become a Social Worker was questioned before I had set foot in my placement. My field instructor pointed out that I was to traumatized to be in the field after only two days and I was told to leave the placement after only three days.

I was hurt beyond repair. Here were people that were supposed to be empathetic telling me that I could not do this. They did not even give me a chance. If those people did not accept me, I began to wonder who would.

I did not choose to have a mental illness. No one does. However, once people know that I have a mental illness, it is assumed that I cannot do the task at hand.

To this day, I still want to be a social worker and assist people with obtaining g resources and counseling to get them back to where they want to be to reach their goals. The one huge roadblock is my diagnosis and knowledge of how it feels to be a patient in the hospital. Reaching out for a social workers help for myself.

I am not sure where this year is going to take me. People can be cruel and I am not sure I can face the rejection again.

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