It took fifteen minutes to hold my probation review and make the decision to end my employment. By the time I reached home, my work email account had been invalidated. I had put everything into this job. I travelled through four counties to arrive at work. A round trip to work from home was over ninety miles. I also ‘worked’ additional hours for the organisation locally on my days off.
Management had taken a dim view of my crime, but I felt hadn’t considered the context in which it occurred. I contacted the local manager to explain why I haven’t been able to answer her offer of more additional hours of work. When I explained that I’d received a caution, she said she was open minded and invited me to come and talk to her and her line manager without making any promises. However, an hour before the agreed time, she telephoned to say that the other manager was off sick and she would be in touch. Having not heard any more, I can only assume that Human resources warned her off contacting me again.
I came away from the meeting feeling completely devastated and dejected. Although I knew that losing my job was an option, I never imagined that would happen. At worst, I thought that my probation would be extended. I had five days in which to enter an appeal against the decision. My initial reaction was not to bother because management had made it clear that they didn’t want me there. If the appeal overturned the decision, then I wasn’t sure whether I could work with the same management.
The next few days were terrible. I had never been at such a low point in my life. All purpose and motivation had gone. I didn’t want to do anything. I would have easily just stayed in bed all day had those closest to me not insisted I come out with them.
I did think about ending my life and I often have these thoughts. If I felt that I had nothing to live for then the intention might have been there also. I did feel that lift wasn’t worth living but I imagine there is a big difference between that and wanting to end one’s life. The one thing that kept me from complete descent into darkness was my family and friends.
At the weekend, my children came and stayed with me. This gave me some much-needed focus and motivation. With the children’s presence raising my low mood, I also decided that I would appeal the decision. I still felt great aggrieved about all that had happened. I also wondered whether I was being victimised for a couple of issues I’d mentioned to my line manager.
While putting in additional hours, I’d been informed of a job vacancy closer to home, at a higher grade and one that I met all the criteria for. I was encouraged to apply for this post and told my line manager. I’d also come across a situation where the charity’s funds were being misused due to over sight. I brought this to management’s attention and it was quickly resolved.
I formulated my appeal letter over the weekend and posted it. With some focus back in my life, the low mood gradually started to lift.
The children returned home as usual on Sunday evening and Mondays for me have always been difficult having to readjust to an empty house once again. I went to bed Monday night but couldn’t sleep. Ever since my separation, I had felt strongly that men in Domestic Violence scenarios needed a voice but there were none. The reason I couldn’t sleep was because an idea had planted itself in my mind and my imagination had gone into overdrive. I got out of bed, at one o’clock Tuesday morning, went downstairs, turned on the computer and started writing my experiences.
Dawn broke and I was still writing. I had so much I wanted to say and share. This was the moment when this blog, ‘The Silence of Domestic Violence’ was born.