Employable Me and the need to be seen

I knew before I even started watching Employable Me on BBC2 last night that I would be in tears by the end. I found Andy’s story in particular, painfully close to home. Andy’s desperate need to be seen as a person in his own right and to be validated for the skills he still has to offer strongly resonated with me. 

One of the most difficult things to overcome following a serious incident like Andy’s stroke is the loss of your identity. Your sense of self is given a short, sharp shock that shakes up everything that you thought you knew about yourself.  The way that people view you amplifies this feeling. How can you be seen as an individual if people need to categorise you? How can you be a warrior when people see you as a victim?

It has taken me until now to be able to recognise how lost I felt following the accident. My self identity was defined by my mobility, my verbal dexterity and independence, so being robbed of those things left me bereft. I honestly thought that I had nothing to offer anyone either as a friend or a colleague. I was certain that nobody would want to employ me again.

I am now going through a recalibration of what it means to be me. I don’t imagine this will be quick and it is largely an internal process, but it is greatly helped when externally validated by other people.

All people, not just people with disabilities, need to be recognised for the things that make them amazing individuals.  If you know somebody that is good at something – tell them today. It may well make all the difference to the way they see themselves. If nothing else, their view can only be improved when reflected in the glow of your genuine admiration.

 

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4 Comments

  1. November 28, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    Good luck with this process B. Not having seen you since before your accident, I find it hard to imagine that somebody as talented and energetic as you could be struggling in this way. I hope you push through soon and recognise again all the fantastic things you have to offer as a professional, probably much more so now after the [[[benefit]]] of this terrible experience you’ve had to go through. Benefit is the wrong word but I’m sure you now have insights and understanding that the rest of us can lay no claim to. Onwards and upwards!

    • Bryonie
      Author
      November 28, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      Thanks Ro. I’m in a much better place than I was. I don’t think people can tell nowadays unless they are told, but isn’t that true of most people? We are good at hiding what we are fearful of exposing

  2. lyonsroarforgod
    November 28, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    Wow….I can so relate to this post. I have thought many similar things since my surgeries. I am doing better now also, but let me say this to you. You are very good at this….your posts, your honesty, your encouraging of others. 🙂 Lisa

    • Bryonie
      Author
      November 28, 2017 / 5:38 pm

      Thank you so much (it does feel nice when people say nice things!). I’m sorry to hear that you have had a similar experience – I hope that you can start to see the bigger picture now that you are free of the surgeries – I know how they can take so much from you emotionally and physically. Take care of yourself.

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