Am I doing this right? I mean…Let’s take a step back and a good look at this picture.
I am 38 years old. I am a mom to a disabled child and a partner to a man who seems willing to do just about anything to make things work. We’ve come too far to turn back now…at least that part is clear.
So I’m 38, have had all the kids I’m going to be having (heavy sadness in my chest there. I’ll never know what it’s like to deliver and raise a healthy baby boy or girl). I own nearly nothing, no house, no savings, no retirement plans. My partner has the same bunch of nothing and we spend all of our time and energy on our son. If nothing else, we can make sure that child knows how very loved he is.
I was a street kid who managed to get a hand up and I though, at that time, I was circumventing the miserable life that had been laid out before me. I didn’t want to end up a prostitute or a junkie scraping out an existence between scores. I fought hard to survive because I was dead sure that the opportunities that were available to others would also be available to me if I played the game right.
I played fair. I didn’t hurt people, I didn’t mess with people and I didn’t take advantage. I was a good wife to my first husband and even though he was too immature to deal with an adult relationship, I left him with everything. He got the house, the dog, everything we owned went to him. I left in the quiet of the night and started over again with nothing…from scratch. It assuaged my guilt for not sticking it though and making things work regardless of my own happiness.
I worked hard at several jobs and I put myself through school. I did well there and had no trouble finding work. I thought I had found my ‘career home’ when I started working for the hospital, until they decided to eliminate me. Well, they say it’s my job but really, it was me they wanted gone.
So back to the beginning again. Am I doing this wrong? I’m in a lot of pain today and I’m having a hard time distracting myself from it. My neck feels like a bag of broken bones and breathing causes colourful explosions of pain when I close my eyes. I am barely going to make it home before I’m so tired, I need to sleep for 15 hours, then, I’ll get up and do the same thing tomorrow…and the next day, until the weekend comes where I will lie down and not get up until Monday morning to begin the countdown again.
I feel like I’m wasting my time. My life.
So now that they are killing my job I am about to be forced to take a much lower paying position (there’s nothing else available!) or I can choose to stay here in this shitty department while everyone else does my job and I just rot in the corner. I hate it here now. I’d leave in a second but the moment I do, my benefits will grind to a halt and I’ll be truly fucked and likely unable to get out of bed in the mornings, due to the pain. How will I ever get a job then? I won’t. That’s what has me terrified.
*Ringing in my ears D saying “You can’t just quit and go on disability! I didn’t sign up for a life like that…we’ve not fought this hard and long to end up there Grainne!”
Yeah. It’s nice that he tries to encourage me. Doesn’t do much in the way of getting me a job but…whatever. I can’t do that to my husband and son, go on disability. Hrm. Then again, I’ll bet the actual disability would be impossible to get, were I to apply. They’ll probably tell me D makes too much money. (He makes shit, but, if you have anything they count it. Every damn penny).
So. What am I doing? I’m running around in a half panic all the time, trying to let everyone here see how upbeat and positive I am (entirely bullshit but I know better than to tell people how I actually feel. The ones I trust know but there are not many of those here). I’m applying for jobs I can’t afford to take and I’m being turned down for jobs I’m overqualified for because I have the wrong ‘attitude’ (sunny, friendly, dismissive <– that right there lost me the job. They wanted someone with specifics! Details! You MUST have an example of x? Everyone does!)
I decided I don’t want to jump into another job that I’m going to hate so I’m glad they saw through me. I want to be honest and up front. I want to fit in where I work, not be the sore thumb sticking out that trips everyone else up. I want to work where they care about people. You’d think it would be easy, working in health care, but it’s one of the least people driven organizations I’ve ever been a part of.
SO what do I do? Keep applying for jobs and hope that something happens? Do I go to my interviews in pain and plaster a smile on anyway, or can I let it show that I’m hurting? What if I can’t control it and no matter what I do, it shows? What about when it all finally just caves in and I can’t do it anymore? Am I even allowed to reach that point? I don’t think I am.
So for now I’m stuck in this office with colleagues all around me. They are all doing their jobs as per norm, and I’m developing some stupid data tracking sheets that no one really wants to use…it’s just busy work to keep me out of their hair. My phone doesn’t ring anymore and email have been diverted to the other’s who have taken up my role and…well, that’s that. I’m sitting here trying to decide if I should apply for that low wage job anyway…it would at least set me free of this department.
I know what I’ll do. I’ll go check my vacation balance and see if I can take some more days off. I’ll just sleep them away but it’s better than being stuck here with no jobs to apply for. :S