I’m not suicidal, but my mental health is not good. I haven’t been eating or sleeping well. I lost five pounds in five days. Even for a fat guy like me, that’s not healthy. I’ve been thinking about drinking. I really want to seek professional help, but circumstances are making that exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.
My fiance has been gone for almost eight weeks now. She’s in residential treatment for her PTSD far away from our home. I get to speak with her on the phone for some minutes each day. I’m taking care of our house and our pets entirely by myself, shouldering our combined financial burdens alone. She doesn’t know when she’ll be coming home, but it won’t be at least until the new year.
Her birthday is next week. Her favorite holiday is Christmas. It was on a Christmas night that I first told her I love her. We will be spending these days apart. It hurts, but it’s what is necessary for her (and our) long-term health.
A week ago my co-worker at a group home told me about ANOTHER lewd sexual comment directed at her by a new supervisor. I helped her make a report. The harasser acknowledged that it was all true and was allowed to return immediately to work in the same place and in the same supervisory role over the person he sexually harassed.
I supported my co-worker, advocated for her, and tried to help ease her fears about retaliation. I was fired for standing up for her. The harasser is still employed in the same job, in the same place, and in the same supervisory role over the person he sexually harassed.
Is it any wonder why so many choose not to speak up?
I know I did the right thing. I did what all of my personal heroes would’ve wanted me to do. I stood up for the vulnerable without concern for the price I must pay. That price has been heavy. I’ve been trying to keep a brave face, but it’s cracking.
So if you see me, feel free to hug me. I sure could use that right now.
“Seems I’ve got to have a change of scene
‘Cause every night I have the strangest dream.
Imprisoned by the way it couldn’t be.
Left here on my own or so it seems
I’ve got to leave before I start to scream.
But someone’s locked the door and took the key.
Ya feelin’ alright?
Not feelin’ too good myself.”