Last Monday I had an appointment at the UWV. That is the organization that gives me my WaJong, which roughly translates to government profit (if I’m wrong, please correct me). I’ve been trying to hold a job for two years now, with the help of a jobcoach. The UWV told me I’ve got to have a job for at least 20 hours a week.
Well I’ve tried as hard as I could! But in the end I didn’t even manage 15 hours a week, which is already way less than they asked of me. The biggest problem is that I keep getting ill all the time. You can read the story of how I got fired from my last job here: Fired
After two years of trying to hold a steady job and failing, it was clear to me and everyone around me that this was leading nowhere. My jobcoach and the UWV gave me half a year to get my health to be a bit better. I already told them that half a year probably wasn’t going to be enough. I was right. I made some great steps, but I’m not far enough yet. I still get ill frequently.
This was what the appointment at the UWV was about. The half a year is over and we spoke about what I had done and how we’ll go on from here. I was very nervous, because I had no idea what kind of impression I would make. I can look very healthy to an untrained eye on an average day. I was scared that they would be happy with my progress and throw me back in the 20 hour a week routine, which would damage my health instead of help me.
Luckily my fear didn’t come true. The person I had an appointment with really understood me and knew that I’d be better off with a bit more time to work on myself, than to have to try and hold a steady job again when I’m not ready, damaging me even more.
So she told me she was very happy with everything that I was already doing to keep my health going and even improve it and she was also happy to hear that I was doing volunteering work in the times that I do feel well enough so I would have something to do besides the appointments for my health.
She was proud of me and wanted me to continue down this path.
I’m so happy and relieved! Of course I want a job, but I really need more time to work on myself before I can get back in the field. I got an appointment with my jobcoach at the end of the month and we’re going to lay down some new plans to help me further my quest for better physical and mental health.
I should be really happy right? Well, I AM happy about all this, but still I feel a bit uneasy. After some soul searching I realized I have two reasons for feeling this way. The first is simply not knowing what is ahead of me. Most people have some sort of plan for their life, even if it’s just ‘hoping to keep doing my job for a while longer’. Nobody knows if their plan goes as planned, but at least they have a plan. (What a sentence!) I don’t really have a plan for longer than another half a year. I just want better health, that’s all I know. If you’re asking me what I think I’ll be doing a year from now, I’d have to tell you that I have absolutely no idea. And if there’s one thing that unsettles me, it’s not knowing. (blogpost about this: Not knowing )
The other part of it is something that is hard for me to admit, but something that a lot of people have pointed out to me already: I have trouble accepting the situation. When I was young I’ve been terribly bullied for about 13 years straight. In this period people always told me: “Don’t worry, you’ve got great grades, a great working attitude and you know what you’re talking about. Someday you’ll be a manager or something. In the meanwhile they’ll be flipping burgers at McDonalds. Don’t worry, when you’re older, you’ll have your time. Their time is now and it’s over soon.”
It’s a very cliché speech, but it did help me get through the years. My time was still coming and I was going to live to see the day! And well… Right now I’m receiving government profit and I can’t even hold a steady job. I’m very proud of everything I do at the volunteering jobs though! But when someone asks me what I do in daily life, I answer with my volunteering jobs. Then I usually get this answer: “No, I mean, what kind of job do you have? Or to what school are you going?” Then I have to tell them I don’t have a job or a school. This is usually followed by “Why not?” I have no trouble telling about this, so I tell them. Then this person usually either feels really sorry for me, or tells me “Oh… You’re one of THOSE…” I’m not saying this happens every time. There are people who simply understand me too. But they seem to be outnumbered.
People who look at me with pity mean well. I do not resent them in any way. But all that look does, is confirm how sad it is that I can’t hold a job. The answer of “Oh… You’re one of THOSE…” is obvious why that hurts. And if it’s not: They mean one of those people who are lazy asses that live of the government.
That just hurts! Because the very reason I got Chronically Fatigued is because I worked way too hard in my life. There’s nothing lazy about me! I WISH I could work!
So yea… Somewhere deep inside I know it’s okay to be where I am right now. I need the government profit and I need to work on myself. In the meanwhile I’m doing great with putting up events and I’m doing a lot of charity work, especially for Autism. I should be proud of all this and I really am! But when I get the kind of conversations I mentioned above I just feel my confidence sliding and accepting where I am right now gets harder…
I shouldn’t be this affected by other people. I mean, man! I lived through 13 years of bullying, I should be able to live with simple comments like these right?! But I have to admit it still gets to me. This was supposed to be my time to shine. Where is my time?