Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Triggering and Covering

I'm sat here pondering past events, as I have a bad habit of doing, and a conversation with one of my former superiors comes to mind.

I was told by my new manager at the time to wear long sleeves at all times whilst at work due to some scarring on my arms, which I was also told not to talk about. I had never been expected to do this in the past and, at the time, I was feeling particularly low, so I reacted badly and requested a meeting with a senior member of staff.

He explained to me that there had been a complaint by a colleague that it was inappropriate of me to flaunt my bare arms (I may be sensationalising the wording a bit there). He suggested that I was in contact with vulnerable teens who might be affected by the sight of them and that I might also be at risk of bullying. He was at pains to point out that my well-being was his top priority.

At the time, I was hurt and offended but followed the instruction until such time as I could get it rescinded due to redeployment and hot weather (yes, there has been hot weather at times this year). I even contacted Mind to discuss it. I didn't really feel my well-being was being served at all, borne out by the fact that the renewed focus on this area of my life acted as a partial trigger for a massive backslide.

Anyway, with the benefit of hindsight, I find myself wondering what the best decision would have been. Seeing certain things, like scars, can be triggering for vulnerable people. That is reflected in the media guidance on suicide. But can denying, or refusing to talk about, things be just as damaging? I'll leave that question to ponder. 

1 comment:

Ridgeway Cottage anyhow said...

We never got a chance to really chat about issues and I wish we had. I am reading each of your posts with a great sadness that our lives followed similar paths and crossed without ever being able to share my experiences of aniexety and depression.