I was offered a graduate speech pathology position at a large rehabilitation hospital and I finally thought I had made it – how successful! Working in a hospital! I thought I was going to save the world, but it was me who needed saving.
I was bullied terribly by my manager for my writing and she felt I was extremely incompetent even though I was great with my patients. I never had a bad comment from other clinicians. I was articulate and could problem solve and provided verbal answers to anything. But I was always stressed, and lived in fear of being ridiculed and humiliated in front of other staff members. I was constantly belittled and left crying in my car every night after work. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. Why was I so dumb, why couldn’t I get it like everyone else? My manager told me she wished she had never hired me, handed me over to another staff member and said she wanted nothing more to do with me. In the end the bullying was so bad I left the role and the profession altogether. I was so lost and by this stage terribly depressed. My marriage was failing apart, and my world was slowing unravelling.
After my graduate year I was accepted into the Australian College of Health Service Management, into an internship program that took only took 12 students a year. I thought my luck had changed, and that this would be a fresh start.
As part of the program I had to undertake postgraduate studies. This seemed much easier, not so many scientific concepts and you could think outside the box. Once again, I made friends with the smart people who helped get me through, but I was struggling and I was always really anxious. I had tutor after tutor until finally one tutor said to me ‘I really think you are dyslexic’. By this time I was 27 years old. I was assessed as having both a reading and writing disorder, and with that my world imploded …