I have been accepted into a graduate program. As part of the program, I have to complete an internship. That meant that I had to write a current resume and two pieces about myself and why I wanted to go into the field of my choice. I wrote from my heart and I gave an honest answer. I would not have been interested in this field prior to my diagnosis and hospitalizations in the early 2000’s. That changed the course of my life. I struggled to find myself as I slowly lost my family.
For me, coming through that horrible time and wanting to assist others in getting better is why I want to go into this field. Apparently, writing that was big mistake. People do not want to know about adversity or overcoming the worst parts of life to find something good. The real motivation of my own abuse and trauma and my experiences with the system were not accepted by those who controlled my fate.
As I write this this morning, I do not have an internship. No-one wants to take a chance on a person with a mental illness who admits to having that as a inspiration to learn how to treat others with the same struggles. I am not going to tell my story to those that I am helping. yet I feel that I bring a unique perspective to the situation. One that makes me just a little different from those who have only read about these experiences in a textbook.
I was asked to rewrite my essays to include less personal details of my experiences. I know that I may have to extend the original program because no one at this time is interested in having me intern. At least not the person that has been through the experiences that I have. I am left feeling like I have to hide who I am. That I cannot be genuine about why I want to go into this field and why I choose this field out of all others. I have to struggle not to say to much and to keep my past locked up.
If asked even three months ago I would have said that I was nervous, yet apprehensive regarding graduate school. Today, I sit her pondering if it is going to even work out for me.
One large issue seems to be my status as someone with a mental illness. Where the school is attempting to place me feels that it is a hinderance to getting tasks accomplished. I am still in shock that this could be happening.
I was accepted like everyone else and filled out the same forms as everyone else. To me, by accepting me they made a contract with me to assist in finding a field placement.
On one interview I was actually told that “I wear my mental illness as a badge.” Maybe that is somewhat true. I have been through a lot and have taken classes and learned techniques on how to assist others. I know I have a different perspective. I did not think that would prevent me from finding a field placement.
I know that this is what I want to do. I know that I would be decent at the task and maybe help to change the paths of a couple of people along the way. I am looking at where I need to take this. I am not going to stop fighting to try and get a field placement. Having a mental illness should not be a reason to be turned away or treated differently.
It is scary that the government is recognizing some individuals and not others. We are all people. This latest move has made me question what our new President’s agenda truly is. He wants to say that life begins at conception and that every life is valuable. Then he goes and alienates an entire group of people who were just beginning to break through barriers.
I guess I am worried about who is going to be targeted next. Clearly, he does not believe that all of us are equal. Is is going to be the mentally ill or people who receive aid. Who is going to be his next target. People are not a business that you can trade or close. Each of us exists and most of us want to try to make the best life for ourselves that we can.
When I was growing up, I truly believed that this country was filled with endless opportunities. I did not realize how wrong that I was at the time. Only certain people have opportunities. The rest of us are limited by many barriers that prevent us from moving forward, always being stuck in the same location.
My hope is that we, as human beings, can support each other no matter what our differences. Maybe get a coffee or a meal for a homeless person. Ask someone if they are ok. Be aware of who is around us. For me, I am going to continue to care and not judge people.