Unfit For Work

Last night, lying in my bed before I went to sleep, I realised something. I felt so stupid because it is so obvious.

The reason why not one person in the Church of England, no bishop, no archdeacon, no colleague, has ever made even the most perfunctory effort to help me get my job back is because they believe, like the bishop who sacked me, that I should not be a priest because of my mental health problems. My anger at the way I have been treated by the Church authorities and the way I keep on about it, far from making them feel guilty about what they have done to me, just reinforces their belief that they made the right choice in "letting me go."

All this time I have put their lack of support down to fear of mental illness and, in the case of my colleagues, fear that standing up for me would harm their own careers. But that was just over complicating things. The truth is that people do not think that those who have suffered from mental illness should be trusted in a place of employment other than for the most menial and highly supervised tasks even if, in public, they claim the opposite.

Perhaps they are right. Believing otherwise has only led to false hope and ultimately greater anguish. If I am to take the advice so often proffered by my Facebook friends I should accept that I am not fit for purpose so that I can be released from the unhappiness of false expectation.

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