Is Transparency Not the Best Approach?
I’ve written about this topic in the past but I am struggling with it again, so naturally I turn to this wonderful community for some support. When I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) two years ago, I decided (after I came to terms with the disease on my own) that transparency would be the approach I took when telling others about my illness. This included managers, supervisors and HR professionals in my place of employment as well.
Since my diagnosis, I’ve likely disclosed more than necessary to those at work but I’ve always thought knowing more was better than less so that we could have the same understanding of my needs and possible accommodations. I would go as far as to say I’ve put my feelings of discomfort with sharing some personal details about my illness on the ‘back-burner’ in order to be as transparent and open as possible. Now I am wondering if this was indeed the best approach…
As a result of sharing so much, we’ve put forth an accommodation plan at work for me that was working well during acute events, ie. when I was fighting a cold/infection, or after an exacerbation event. The specific accommodations we’d set up for me previously are, in-my-opinion, no longer necessary or required but certain people within my workplace won’t budge on reducing the accommodations and I am frustrated with this. Since she knows how “sick” I once was, especially after an acute exacerbation last May when I needed a return-to-work plan set up, it feels as though I am being punished by not being allowed to do the tasks at work that I want to do. As a result of this, I am questioning whether or not I should have been as transparent as I always was. However, I truly believed that was the best approach.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt “punished” (at work, or otherwise) as a result of being open/honest/transparent about your illness and corresponding needs?
If so, how did you deal with this and did it change what you chose to share in future?
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