Terminated by Stigma

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,


and shamed.

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


23 Replies to “Terminated by Stigma”

      1. I did when I taught in a school for children with challenging behaviour but that was 12 years ago and it nearly wrecked my career. I have a job outside of teaching but do substitute teaching on my days off.

      2. It sounds like you are doing well with working etc. That is great. I am sorry you had to deal with stigma as well. I find it rather ironic that schools should be the place where we teach about compassion and acceptance and teach students not to stigmatize etc. and they are the ones that stigmatize the most. Too much ignorance. That is why we need to continue to educate about mental illness so we can end stigma one day very soon. Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it greatly. Hugs, Sue

  1. I’m most grateful that YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY their values, words and actions. You are inspiring, awesome, successful and in most instances, better than the “stigmatizers”. I only pity for their shortsightedness.
    Keep SHINING 💯

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