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Disability Narratives

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Interview excerpt: Charlotte describes what she told and to whom, and her worries about how different people would react to her conditions.

Image representing Charlotte© Disability Narratives

And I told my line manager exactly what it was, but I didn't want him to say anything else to the rest of the management team. Because it's sensitive. Not many people know what CPTSD is. I didn't want to be misunderstood, I didn't want to be talked about, gossiped about. It was, yeah. So, and I trusted him. And when I knew that if I asked him to, you know, keep it confidential, he would. He had to talk, he had to say - he had to tell the head of administration in the department, but because I knew her and I thought actually I trust her entirely. [But] when we started the job I didn't say “CPTSD”. Because again, it's this funny term that people. So I said “anxiety”. And I said “IBS, chronic IBS”. Because those are two fairly, you know, kind of people can get what those are.

So she knew - and obviously because of the letter was redeployment due to illness, they didn't say in the letter what it was. So I think I was quite clear from the start, you know, what I would struggle with, with those things. So, for a lowly, you know, grade four part-timer, I felt again, incredibly grateful that she was very open minded and very down to earth about it. So that was very useful. But I, you know - I've lived through what I've lived through, and other people haven't. And so it's not for me to worry about their understanding or not understanding. But when it comes to people who might be making decisions that could affect my ability to carry on working somewhere, that makes me slightly concerned, how much I have to self-disclose at some point, to the higher-ups.