Thursday, January 2, 2014

Something Good Comes Out of a Mortifying Experience At Work

December 20, 2013

So, a mortifying thing happened to me at work a week ago. I never saw it coming. I felt like I wanted to die when it happened, but I know I handled myself well.

Over the summer, I bought this cheap backpack. I bought it for the sole purpose of keeping my diapers and other related supplies in it. The backpack cost about $30. It was thin and cloth-like, and I liked the texture.

Unfortunately, last week, it busted. The bottom of it tore open in the front, right corner, and some of my diapers, a tube of diaper rash cream, some individually wrapped wipes, my Nullo tablets and a can of my spray to hide the odor fell on the floor near my desk.

I froze, and I felt my face growing hot and my eyes brimming up with tears. I swallowed hard. It was not something I was ready for my coworkers to know.

You might think, Why wouldn't you want them to know? You are brave. You talk about it all the time. You share your stories. You're so open, so brave.

Well, believe it or not, there are days I do not feel so brave. And there are times when it is hard to tell some people. There are situations I have found myself in that are totally awkward. I have these feelings and troubles because it is considered shameful to have accidents and not be able to control your bladder and bowels.

But I force myself to handle it. I force myself to tell it shamelessly because someone has to do it. Someone has to break down the walls of stigma so people in the future will not have to feel so awkward, embarrassed and ashamed.

I felt a number of things. I felt like melting into the floor, never to be seen again. I felt like crying. I felt like even dying. I felt like running and never coming back. But I knew I could not do any of those things. It wouldn't be practical.

I had to be brave. I had to face this situation like it was no big deal.

I told myself, "You are the advocate. You are tough. You are strong. After all, it is you who has to pave the way for people to accept this condition. You have to get rid of the shame and the stigma. You should not be ashamed. It is not your fault. You did not ask to be like this. So, stand tall and be strong."

After saying those things to myself, I proceeded to get down on the floor and pick up my things. People around me were sympathetic. Nobody was judgmental at all.

What is cool is that my little incident resulted in a coworker wanting to help me with my Stigma Warriors YouTube channel. She told me she had a lot of respect for the fact that I handle myself so bravely and that she wanted to assist me in my efforts.

While that incident was so mortifying and embarrassing, something good came out of it. Now, I will have someone to help me do the videos for my channel. I guess it is true that good does come out of the bad.

But I hope that does not happen to me again anytime soon.