Thursday, April 26, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

If co-workers ask, a simple statement about medical leave is enough

 

Q: I'm a young professional with a decent office job. I generally like my co-workers. At work I am cheerful and friendly and, at least to the eye, a picture of perfect health. But I'm also a recovering rape survivor who is battling an increasingly debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder. Recently things have gone downhill and I find myself at least once a day crying in the bathroom.

I am working with a therapist, doctor, etc., but things have become so overwhelming that I've decided I need to take a leave of absence to focus more intensely on my therapy and learn how to self-care again. I've talked to my boss about this and she is wonderfully supportive.

The question then becomes what to tell my co-workers? My boss said she'd be fine with just telling them I'm burned out and taking a long vacation (about five weeks), but I'm not comfortable with that, as my leaving gives everyone else more work and I don't want people to think I'm making things harder for them just for a bit of R&R.

The other option is, of course, to say "medical leave," but I feel like that's going to invite a lot of questions I can't bear to answer. I just can't deal with sharing this one of mine. Help?

Invisible Illness

A: I'm sorry you're going through this. It does sound, though, as if you're handling it with strength and grace. "Medical leave" is the way to go, and it's the only explanation you need for mature acquaintances, who will have questions but also enough sense not to ask them. Those who aren't there yet will pry, yes, but the only answer required is "Thank you for your concern. It's a private matter."

Comments
Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

OCALAIt’s midmorning at the pub, not far from the backyard patio where it all began, and the old guys from the old band are reminiscing on the old days over cream of mushroom soup."When we were kids," Billy Taylor said, "all you wanted was a hot show...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Plan your weekend April 27-29: Jeff Dunham, Flo Rida at Busch Gardens, Sunscreen Film Fest, dragon boat races, Green Thumb Fest

Plan your weekend April 27-29: Jeff Dunham, Flo Rida at Busch Gardens, Sunscreen Film Fest, dragon boat races, Green Thumb Fest

Plan your weekendAthletes St. Anthony’s Triathlon: Elite professional athletes and Olympians from around the world will be at this St. Petersburg race this weekend, one of the premier triathlon events in the country. There’s a big incentive, with ca...
Published: 04/25/18
Top things to do this week in Tampa Bay: Jeff Dunham, Victor Wooten and Sinbad perform jazz

Top things to do this week in Tampa Bay: Jeff Dunham, Victor Wooten and Sinbad perform jazz

PUPPET MASTER: Jeff DunhamCelebrated ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is no dummy. The record-breaking comedy superstar sells out arenas around the world, bringing along his ill-behaved puppets including grouchy Walter, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, redneck Bu...
Published: 04/25/18
This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

ROCK ROYALTY: Queens of the Stone AgeWhen Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme got in trouble recently for kicking a photographer at a show, local fans might have seen it coming. During a gig here in 2014, a fan got up on stage and tried to gree...
Published: 04/25/18

Tell Me About It: Father-in-law loses it over baby’s name

Q: My husband and I are late-20s and expecting a baby girl. My husband and I both kept our own last names. My father-in-law, ["Phil"], has absolutely lost it upon learning that we plan to hyphenate the baby’s last name, reportedly crying and fuming e...
Published: 04/25/18

Tell Me About It: Addressing the party no-show epidemic

Q: My family recently celebrated our son’s birthday. We had a number of guests RSVP "yes" to our invitation who not only didn’t show, but also didn’t even have the decency to contact us to let us know. It’s been a week since the party.This left us wi...
Published: 04/24/18

Tell Me About It: Sister’s remark is a teaching opportunity

My husband’s sister, "Kate," is expecting her second child. They have a 3-year-old girl. My husband and I have two girls, 8 and 6. At our house this week, Kate talked extensively about her hopes that this next baby is a boy. Some of her reasons are c...
Published: 04/23/18

Tell Me About It: Mom fears she has discussed sex too soon

Q: This week I was in a discussion with a bunch of other third-grade parents about what our kids know about sex. The vast majority of these parents said their children were "clueless" and they wanted to maintain their kids’ innocence. I was one of th...
Published: 04/22/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

St. Anthony’s Triathlon: World class athletes and Olympians race around St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Sunday ($160-$180), while kids and novices race Saturday in the Meek and Mighty. A free kick-off celebration Friday has a concert by co...
Published: 04/23/18