A forced Early Retirement
by Cassidy Matthews
(Rock Island, Illinois)
So, I retired when I realized I wasn't getting support from my Supervisor when I had asked for her intervention.
I had been an Itinerant OT for several schools and had to travel between them. One school district would always give me short notice before a meeting was to occur even if it wasn't the day I was in attendance at that school and I had to travel 30 miles to get there, plus miss the students from the school I was supposed to be in attendance that day.
I was stressed because I had previously survived breast cancer, a lumpectomy, major infection and radiation the year before. I felt this stress was damaging to me.
I wasn't due to retire until I was 57, but went earlier, because I told my supervisor it was a hostile work environment. Next thing I knew I found out several teachers had been questioned and they were investigating my work performance.
On final day, I told the director why I was quitting (my supervisor's lack of support/school district calling all the shots), and she told me my supervisor reported I had Poor Performance, even though I was reviewed as Good performance the prior year!
I wasn't due for another review for 2 more years. The director told me my supervisor said we had met regarding this and I told her that was a lie we hadn't. Director said too much time had passed and wouldn't grant an extension.
So, now I'm looking for work that just gets me out of the house and feel useful. My husband makes enough and I have a small pension to cover the mortgage, but I feel depressed, anxious and useless and guilty because now he has to work overtime about 50 hours a week.
I have thought of killing myself. I don't feel I retired because of fun, but because I was suffering from panic attacks! No one wants to hire me for the jobs I qualify for, or I can't keep up in the places that would hire me for my profession. I've tried menial minimum wage jobs and I quit because I can't tolerate them. Even office jobs you have to know so much computer software programs, even though I'm an excellent typist and speller, etc. I don't qualify for those even with a degree! So, I'm struggling.
I won't kill myself because I feel it's spitting in God's face, but that's the only reason. If there wasn't a Heaven or Hell, I would probably do it.