They cast me away,
with obvious dismay.
Nothing to say,
not even to pray.
Discrimination and bias displayed,
ignorance and disapproval conveyed.
There were no fundraisers or sympathy cards,
no get well wishes, balloons or shiny gold stars.
I was blamed,
Never again treated the same,
after my mental illness came.
At that time, bipolar disorder was not accepted for a teacher,
parents do not want their children taught by that kind of creature.
I was told that by my school attorney,
during my teacher termination journey.
Won a wrongful termination lawsuit,
but it was only a band-aide, as I got the boot.
My humiliation was intense,
sorrow and anger immense.
This is bipolar stigma related pain,
band-aide gone, wounds remain.
Their actions are done,
but I have only just begun.
I have became stronger,
won’t put up with this any longer.
I am still a teacher teaching,
but with a different kind of preaching.
End mental illness stigma now,
so we can proudly smile, curtsy and bow.
~written by Susan Walz