I’ve gone into detail about my childhood symptoms in Childhood bipolar disorder: bad news in my case and Childhood memories, childhood scars, but various episodes been coming to mind a lot lately. Actually, I’ve been thinking “ooh, I could mention this!” only to realize it’s already in one of those two posts. It’s funny, really. Makes it a bit hard to think of new insight on old memories, though.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how I have been having “I’m going to be fired” nightmares ever since I started working, at 16. My stepdad basically harangued me daily until I found a job, maybe a month after my birthday? (I’d like to note that this same haranguing only really happened to me, as his daughters appeared to be exempt. I’m not sure if my sister received it because I was in college by then, and my brother managed to not be home enough to get it. I’m too much of a homebody computer addict, and he sees that as “kids doing nothing” and it makes his blood boil, or something. I guess he expects everyone to work 80+ hours a week like him.) Random sidebar aside, ever since I began working, I have been plagued with nightmares that I’ll be fired. It’s not every night, though when I’ve recently done something that I’m convinced will cause the end of the world and I’m stressed about, it’s more frequent. When I started my first case management job I had one every night for three months. It had tapered off, until I switched jobs, at which point the nightmares happily picked up again.
My favorite example (and most creative) of these nightmares happened at my last job, which my super chill supervisor played a starring role in, much to his horror.
In my dream, a law had been passed banning people with mental illness from working, because they are too much of a risk to the community. I was continuing to work and was hiding my illness, but as my supervisor was aware, he was obligated to report my illness or he’d face charges, too. Evidently the punishment for working while mentally ill was death. I was strapped into an electric chair, and they brought in my clients to watch. “This is what happens when you try to better yourself!” they were told, and they flipped the switch.
My poor supervisor. I thought it was funny, and he just looked horrified. “If that sort of law ever got passed, which would never happen, I swear I’d never turn you in,” he told me. “Your secret’s safe with me.”
(Usually my nightmares are just of being fired. I’m not ordinarily put to death. I guess even my dreams can be melodramatic.)
That sort of Draconian law would never even make it past the drafting stages, at least I hope, in this day and age. Of course, considering we have to vote on levies to continue to fund mental health treatment in our communities, and how poorly the mentally ill are treated by society-at-large, and how poor community awareness and education are? My nightmare might be closer to the truth than anyone is willing to consider.
(Edit: Evidently this is my 51st post! I didn’t think I’d ever make it this far! Thanks for all the support, guys! It’s been an interesting road so far, and I’m looking forward to continuing down it with you. ❤ )