So, the cheque came. To open a cheque for $65 000 is quite an experience. That is the going rate in Victoria these days for Permanent Impairment caused while you are just doing your job. Psychological injury is now recognised and compensated accordingly on the same level as physical injury (it was previously capped at about $10 000). This is a one-off, tax free ‘benefit’ payment as recognition of the official assessment that you’ll probably never work again. And I’m not that old. I had many years up my sleeve.
That’s not the thing I’m trying to celebrate. I am trying to tell my head that I can celebrate being one of the very few who have been recognised at this stage – the harm done to me has been acknowledged at long, long last.
I’m telling myself that now, that’s one more on the scorecard for the Good Guys. When another person comes in to the lawyer’s office, crying, desperate…they can say to her ‘It is very hard to win, but it CAN be done. It happened just this year…’ and maybe that person will feel a little bit more hopeful, right? The odds have shifted a little. I’m an example of the exception to the shitty rule in legal circles. That’s great. Why aren’t I happy?
I’m spinning around a la Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes cartoons. Mentally, I’m feeling Deep Panic and Rushing Anxiety. I’m a bit sad about that because shouldn’t there be a sense of relief? I’ve kind of Done It. I’ve had a Win. Stupid Anti Climax.
You tell yourself to keep going when you have something really hard to do. Come on, you say, it’s worth it. You can do it.
Then you get there.
But you’re still scared. Still nervous. Still having nightmares that are so emotional, I wake up exhausted from the fighting and the angst. Still taking your pills. Still gotta work hard to calm down. Be mindful.
I suppose that is the way your psyche needs to work, to get through. If you thought everything would stay exactly the bloody same, it’d be hard to summon up the energy to fight.
Ah, but it isn’t the same, is it? I have some money. Some power. Some choices. That’s a kind of freedom I haven’t had since I stopped going to work. And in some moments, you can buy some happiness or a kind of Brand New distraction. I’m not dead yet. Shopping is still fun!
I kept thinking to myself ‘money can’t buy happiness…but it can buy you a new MacBook to blog about the shit on’. I spend a lot of time on the computer. So I did buy one. And it’s so beautiful and amazing, I can’t bring myself to take it out of the box yet. It’s on the bench. But what a thing of beauty! And I can communicate via the Interwebs like I do on a very beautiful, fast, shiny machine.
When I can open it.
I’m such a nerd. Maybe tomorrow.
I’ll remind myself again. I had a win. I will enjoy having some money. Choose a better house. Buy a new couch. Some stuff. Buy a badge that says ‘You did good, kid’. So I don’t forget. Damn, my head is so stubborn *grrr*