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Friday, March 16, 2012

Feeling Less Than Human

In the post I wrote earlier today about my having disabilities I alluded to the fact that there were many little issues that come with "not be whole physically"...IE: Disabled. It can really mess with a persons psyche, their self-esteem.

It most certainly has affected the way that I feel about myself. I was raised a certain way...they used to call it the "Protestant Work Ethic" which is probably not politically correct enough for today but I remember my father using the phrase when I started working...frequently. I remember him using another phrase which he still uses today and that was "Put your name on it!"

Whenever I used to leave for work he would tell me that. He would say: "Hey Isaiah (he always had nicknames for me, many Biblical), don't forget to put your name on it". Which meant do my job EVERY MINUTE of every day as if anyone who saw the work down the line could see that I did it and I was proud of it. So Proud that I would sign my name on it...

So it was hard for me to have people question my work ethic. Because no matter how sick or hurt you are, if you aren't bleeding all over the floor at that exact moment, then people think you are faking or exaggerating your symptoms to get out of doing work. People can be really cruel in this regard but I also see that side of it having worked and been in management in a furniture factory for 24 years...people do scam the system and the truth is that some folks are just lazy, there is no doubt about that.That feeling the pressure of public opinion actually caused me to work harder and do things that I should NEVER have done. I worked hurt, ignored doctors orders/restrictionn                                                                                                                                                                                                    and hurt myself even more...and in the end, I damaged myself permanently by working when I should not have. The end result was several additional surgeries...

I felt like I was less of a man because of my injuries and multiple surgeries. They turned me into something less then whole and I felt less then human because of it.

I will continue this little series on living with limitations TOMORROW...

(Photo: K. Tomson)

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