|Shrimp & Fish Hobbyist| |Singer Songwriter|
There has been something that keeps pestering my mind nowadays and at times I look to the positive and just be grateful that I’m in a profession that is understanding, and an advocate for peoples with disabilities (physical or mental). Essentially, I love Occupational Therapy! Just wanted to share a lived experience this summer that has changed me quite significantly.
This summer I was offered a research position fresh out of graduation- this was a place I returned to several times over the past 3 years. It was a place full of great opportunities, and it was a constant challenge but I loved it. I always received positive feedback and I was highly regarded on the team. However, since having my dominant arm injury (occurred in late March 2013), my employers strategically “let me go” because I wasn’t able to provide the same quality and quantity of productivity in the workplace. I’m still angered when I think about how my loyalty, and attempt at working diligently was swept away so simply and how the whole situation went down in such a demoralized fashion. I was on a path to report a complaint based on discriminative actions but through the sneaky process that my employers went through, I didn’t have a strong enough case. I reacted professionally while in the office but I decided it was not worth trying to reconstruct the relationship with them and burnt the bridges with them completely. There was no way I was able to work with individuals who couldn’t accept me for the way I am, with a disability or not. No regrets there.
In Occupational Therapy class, we spoke about creating professional portfolios where we would collate references, resumes, papers we were proud of, and anything that contributed to our development as prospective clinicians in the world of rehabilitation. This prompted me to think about the bridges I burnt from my rough experiences this summer. But at the same time, I’m happy to have the lived experiences I had. I feel I can really empathize with clients or patients whom are adjusting to a new physical limitation. It’s also made me a much stronger person now. I no longer get bothered by little pesky things that once nipped at me. I can see the calm in life and experience a serenity I never was able to tap into before.
Sometimes I still need to remind myself: