Posts Tagged truth
Well… I feel rather dumb for complaining about things right now, but then again I kind of have to purge it. I have my health, which somehow managed to avoid the death flu and several stomach bugs, I have a great kid who will be going to an advanced art program this summer. My depression has not, so far, kicked into gear. However, I feel like I’m just strong enough to keep that below a crust… for now.
I even have a landlord who tried to give me his rent back when I told him I’d lost my job and said he’d support me getting moved if that is what I felt I needed to do.
End of March, not long after my fifth anniversary, I came into work expecting to have the same soul-sucking experience that is has been over 90% of the time I’ve been there. I’d been training a new manager on how to do everything I did (plotting for a smooth exit), most of which fell back to me as they were getting overwhelmed. They helped field some of the calls and emails coming in, but now we had two of us drowning rather than just me.
But I’ve been there the longest. And I work for a company that epitomizes every single article I’ve ever read about toxic environments. I get no information, no communication, but then am reprimanded when my responses to those outside are “too vague” and not “resolution-driven.” It’s really no wonder that the company itself has had to change names over the course of “twenty years” it likes to brag its been in business. By law, you have to shut down when you report a loss too many years in a row.
The VP… again, not my superior… but is the right-hand to one of the owners….calls me into a conference room around lunch. Everyone is gone and the only other person there is the HR manager.
The writing is on the wall.
“Huh, am I being let go?”
I’m being told yes, and they ask if they need to go over why. I say “I don’t see the point,” and go through the list of where to find anything they might need, forward my phone to the new manager, pack my things in a very small bag (all while being offered a large box several times and professing I don’t need it). I tell them its not like I’m going to disappear so if they can’t find something, just contact me.
It was so surreal.
I’ve never been fired.
I hate this place, but I busted my ass for over five years, and now… fired?
I get in my car and take one last look at the building I feel like I have wasted a chunk of my life on and realize… I NEVER have to come back here…
I realize I’m smiling about this idea.
I realize that I’m so stubborn and have been such a closet optimist that this shithole might actually get better that this might have been just what I needed to leave and make the changes I’ve wanted to make.
I don’t even unfriend the VP on facebook, though she does get moved to the restricted group.
I talk it over with Spawn and let them know what happened and we talk about moving… like… now.
Thirteen years of life to clean out, toss, donate, sell… and so so much. Every time I think we might have gotten through one room, I find yet another box, stash of papers etc.
I would even be grateful if that was the most stressful part.
Yes, they are paying me an additional month and told me to file for unemployment (which I’ve yet to see, so apparently I did something wrong). I socked away my tax refund rather than pay anything off or blow it and I have a 401k and a money market investment account I can pull from if I feel like buying a house… a modest house, but a house nonetheless.
But I don’t feel ok.
I feel on the edge of freaking out.
Every time I’ve ever moved, I’ve usually had a friend or family to stay with until I got settled. And this time, I do have a cousin in the area, but neither of us are the type to share space unless we have to… holidays and that sort of thing. Three days is the expiration.
I’m sure the wife if dodging me when I’m up there for interviews so I don’t ask to move in with them for awhile. But the truth is, I’d live in my car and lie about it before I’d even ask.
It killed me to even tell them I was out of work. They are the pair with which I feel like I’m being graded whenever I’m around them and to ask for advice…. was an intensely hard thing for me to do. They know the area, they might have tips and places I would not think to look. And my cousin, did have contacts at a couple of the staffing agencies, both of which has sadly done nothing for me.
I’m also prideful as hell. Every time I’ve been through something stressful: divorce, poverty, a death of someone close to me, I shut out the world and maybe talk about it once I’ve resolved it.
But when you have a kid at stake, you have to put on that face of adulting as though you know what the fuck you’re doing when in truth, we’re all still those kids inside and figuring shit out only when we fuck it up. And when you have a kid at stake and their well-being, you get help wherever you think it might happen no matter how much of a prick your pride tells you to be instead.
I know… I know, logically, we will be fine. It’s been 3 weeks, I’ve submitted to over 90 openings, been in one 3 hour interview doing something I’ve never done before, but was eager over the prospect of learning something new, in spite of the long hours. They won’t decide until the 15th of next month, so I’d prefer not to wait. I’ve had a few other promising phone interviews, but its just not happening as fast as I would like it.
I’m really fucking good at what I do, and when I’m not, I’m very independent about figuring it out. I own my mistakes, I’m as honest as I can be within professional constraints. Hire me, dammit!
But then you also start house hunting, and they tell you to get pre-approved, but then they tell you you won’t qualify if you’re not employed… a friend advised just getting up there in the first cheap postage stamp I could rent, and then start looking and this way I would be available for interviews… which sounds great!… until I look at the daily cost. It’s HUGE and its like NO ONE wants to give you a deal for maybe a month. They are hell bent on locking you in for a year or more.
I want as much as possible to buy a real house.
Spawn wants a real house.
I want a real house.
This is where Spawn wants to finish school.
I don’t have much time before Spawn realizes that living with their parent is just not the way they want to do it forever. So before that period, I want them to have the house I’ve never been able to offer so they can decorate and do and make it, into everything they ever dreamed. I want that too.
But first, I want work… or I want both… or I want to not have to worry about both…I don’t know.
What if I’m just not enough for any of this? The last thing I want is my stress to become Spawn’s stress. I wish I knew what to do…
I have been thinking a lot about the way I live within my own little world of “Me, Myself, & I.” At times I can be very painfully oblivious. Like so many others I selfishly wander around having the distorted outlook that somehow everything is about me.
I have a client in her 80’s who has Alzheimer’s. When I blog I refer to her as Ms, Lee. She was a teacher by profession. Ms’ Lee was born, and raised in Mississippi. Her mother was also a teacher, and her father was a pull-man porter for the railroad service. What makes Ms. Lee & her family so extraordinary is the fact that they were African-American citizens with careers in Mississippi during the 1920’s & 1930’s. No small accomplishment by any means.
Ms. Lee is declining on a daily basis, but her essence remains powerfully in tact. I have grown to both respect, and love her. When we are together I confide in her. This has become beneficial to us both. It helps to stimulate her mind by focusing on real situations. Ms. Lee naturally falls into the role of teacher, and I have the privilege of being the student of a highly educated beautiful soul. Her wisdom is timeless, and she possesses the ability to remind me in the most gentle manner that my way of viewing the the world is not the only way.
After Tarzan took his life I found myself in such a dark place. I questioned my every conversation with him. I went over every single scenario trying to figure out why I had not been able to see how much he was suffering. Why didn’t he confide in me the same way he did when something was going on with he and Jane? Ms. Lee continued to listen to me ramble on as though I had been somehow more hurt by Tarzan”s death than he had been. At that point I was still completely oblivious to my own behavior.
Then while staring directly into her eyes, I felt the warmth of her hand as it covered mine. Very softly she said “It hurts me to see you suffering so much. Maybe your friend had no words for his suffering.” The empathy that filled her powerful words immediately removed the “Me, Myself, & I” from mine.
It’s entirely too easy to get caught up in the whole “Me, Myself. & I” world. It’s also deeply humbling to realize that some things are not simply about us. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”
Drama everywhere I look these days. Jane could have never guessed that Tarzan’s secret daughter would have been the problem she wished for instead of his problem with alcohol. I myself come from a long line of alcoholics, and I truly didn’t see this elephant in the room. To be perfectly honest though I have been wrapped up in my own menopausal woes here lately. Like most addicts Tarzan is masterful at hiding his addiction.
I hold no superior judgement on this subject. Alcoholism is no different from having any other disease in my opinion. I would not judge a person harshly for having diabetes, or any other illness in spite of a rather horrifying childhood of having an alcoholic father.
Jane herself is no stranger to life with an alcoholic. Her story differs from mine though. Her mother died from sclerosis of the liver when she was just three years old. Her father did not drink so she really doesn’t have any experience with detecting the symptoms.
So you can imagine her great surprise of finding him passed out cold on his back doorstep completely unresponsive. Having him rushed to the hospital by ambulance, and having the doctor ask you how long has he had a problem with alcohol?
Jane’s response was that he does not have a problem with alcohol. The doctor looking at Jane with an expression of great belief replied that his blood work results showed otherwise. He then strongly suggested that rehab should be the next consideration.
I went to lunch yesterday with just Jane. It was the first time in our decades long relationship that I actually felt odd. So I decided to tell her up front that my strangeness has nothing to do with her, and that I’m not really sure where it’s coming from myself. I didn’t want her to feel like it was something between us.
I told Jane that I didn’t know how to approach all of this without making her feel like I was sitting in judgement of her.She told me that she knew perfectly well what my stance would be on the infidelity side of this issue so we could just skip that part of the conversation. We’ve been friends long enough for me to know this, but somehow hearing her say the words made me feel better.
She went further to say that she knew me well enough to know that I would think it was a stupid, and self-destructive decision. Even I felt the sting of her wording, and I winced at the harshness of my own thoughts. That’s the problem with having friends like me who won’t lie to you, we are so concerned with being truthful with you that we forget how harsh the sound of those words can be.
I smiled then asked her if she didn’t need my judgement, or a harsh tongue lashing I couldn’t possibly imagine what I could do to make her feel any worse. Then we both busted out laughing, and just like that all the awkwardness disappeared. I actually felt like my former self for a while. That’s the kind of beauty that comes from listening to the opinions of others without being defensive.
It’s funny because that was the whole idea behind having this blog. A chance to vent without hiding the truth. I read very carefully the things you say, and it’s pretty enlightening to look at the world through the eyes of those who have had different experiences. You all help me look at things in a way that helps me to be a better person. I am more grateful for this gift than my words can express, so for now let me just say thank you.
I have to head off to work now but I promise to tell you the rest of what happened with Jane, and Ex-hubby when I get home.
I get that we are all imperfect human beings. I also get that you don’t pass judgement on others, especially the people you love. I just have a hard time pretending to agree with a decision that is so self-destructive. Jane knew the minute she asked me how I felt about her sex with her Ex that I am not the friend who tells you what you want to hear. This is what caused our big fight. Before I give you all the mind-blowing details let me first say that if I ask you for your opinion I want your honest opinion whether I’m going to like what you said or not. That being said here’s what happened…
Jane invited me over for dinner. Dinner for Jane is code for I did something I regret so come over, and help me hash it out. I don’t think both shoes were off my feet before she blurted out “I had sex with Ex-hubby last night!” I was stunned. I expected her to say I had sex with Tarzan…or anything else other than “sex with the Ex.” Keep in mind my people skills have been more than a little off so my first response was “Why!?” Then came the one response that always annoys me no matter who says it “It just happened.” I said “Oh I see you accidentally slipped, and fell on his erection?”
Jane was instantly annoyed with me. She shot back with “I knew you wouldn’t understand!” To which I snapped back with ” You’re right I don’t understand. Is this the same man who you left for cheating on you? The man who is now married to someone else?” Well now she’s glaring at me, and says “Well he was mine first, and besides that marriage really doesn’t count so climb down off of your high horse!” I did smirk at that one. Who says “high-horse” anymore, but quickly snapped back that “It sure as hell counted when they did it to you.” Yes I know very bitchy on my part. I can only tell you that in my current state of thinking I was annoyed that we were even having this conversation. I was annoyed that she had done such a stupid thing, rather than hearing her out like a good friend I verbally smacked her.
She stood up told me what else I could do with my’ high-horse” as she walked over to her front door holding it open for me to go. I knew I should apologize, but I didn’t I walked over slid on my shoes, and left. We haven’t spoken since. I’m not exactly sure why I just don’t want to hear this. but I don’t. I did text her that I knew I owed her an apology, that I love her, but I’m not ready yet. She texted back “I love you too asshole.” 😉