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Soul Searching...

Friday, September 07, 2012

i have been doing alot of it of late. Trying to come to grips with why this situation has impacted me so hard. I feel it all boils down to my past painfully similar situations. Lots of old unresolved issues. Let me explain a little...

While not wanting to unload in a deluge of too much information, i need to unload a little for my own benefit. My job history is peppered with instability. There have been a number of times over the years that i have been called into the office to be ''pink-slipped''. When you have been shot out of he saddle enough times, all it takes is to hear the sound of a hammer being cocked to produce a fight or flight response.

I have struggled all my life with not being good enough and nothing drives that home more than losing your job. No matter how logical the economics of the decision, no matter how understandable, in the end when choices were made, i wasn't worth keeping. Add in the loyalty i showed, taking on the crap jobs that others were above doing, being available at a moments notice on weekend, trashing my plans so i could help my employer in crisis, the feelings of abandonment and betrayal are overpowering.

In short, it is traumatizing to have your world turned on its ear.

Although this situation is not the same, i believe it has dredged up all those old feelings. To go to work energized because you love what you do and in a moment being totally blown away. Driving home in stunned silence while my mind calculates my next move only to come up with nothing. Doing my best to keep a stiff upper lip in front of everyone only to have to retreat somewhere and sob uncontrollably so i can regain my composure.

I guess men aren't supposed to cry but this isn't Hollywood and some things are too much for me to carry.

I think i never really got over those past events and the painful memories, the desperate job searches, praying that someone, ANYONE would look favorably upon me. All of that comes back to me like it happened yesterday.

I don't want to fight that war again.

That is why i am struggling. i have woken out of a dead sleep with my heart coming out of my chest, sweating with no recollection of what was happening or why except for just a consuming fear.

I think there is some serious, unresolved bitterness in my heart for how i have been treated in the past.

This could be a gift, an opportunity to confront it like the other things in my past and get it resolved. As bad as those situations were, they always had a happy ending eventually. I have never missed a meal, never had my lights shut off and have learned the difference between wants and needs. There is good to be found in this situation and this could be Gods way of getting me to see it.

None of this is any of my doing, it isnt in any way my fault and therefore it isn't personal, unlike the other times where i felt like i was singled out because i wasnt worth keeping.

This has nothing to do with me. I need to let go of my past hurts and anger and i need to forgive. Putting something behind me is not the same as forgiving.

Only when i forgive will i ever be free from all of this.

Thank you everyone for all of the love, support and yes, the tough love. All of it is deeply appreciated. To me, love is shown when someone feels i am worth taking the time to comment, to encourage, or to let me have it.

Thank you

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I can really relate. I feel your pain. You can do it! You're already doing an amazing job - just keep it up one day at a time!

    To help me with the same problem, I got a confidence hypnosis app for my phone. It really helps me. Right now I'm going for the weight loss hypnosis app - then I'll go back to the confidence one. It's a really big help!

    Virtual hugs to you!
    1372 days ago
  • v DUXGRL1
    I can so identify with this. In my last career, all of the companies that I worked with folded and I lost 3 jobs...only was able to leave the first one voluntarily. I have been at my cirrent company for almost 19 years and have put up with all sorts of bad situations due to my insecurity about being unemployed, especially at my current was not easy when I was younger!
    1377 days ago
  • v KIPPER15
    emoticon emoticon
    1386 days ago
  • v SJKENT1
    praying that this time gift (yes, I know gift? but it is) will give you time and courage to face what I hear you say, "it's time"!

    The pain from the past does not have to control your today and future. Facing it will not hurt more than the event - in fact oh sweet freedom! when you say enough!
    1386 days ago
  • v FAITH__IN__ME
    I want to share these words on forgiveness (as I remember, it was Abraham Lincoln who said these words):

    "I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. For too long, every ounce of forgiveness I owned was locked away, hidden from view, waiting for me to bestow its precious presence upon some worthy person. Alas, I found most people to be singularly unworthy of my valuable forgiveness, and since they never asked for any, I kept it all for myself. Now, the forgiveness that I hoarded has sprouted inside my heart like a crippled seed yielding bitter fruit. No more. At this moment, my life has taken on new hope and assurance. Of all the world’s population, I am one of the few possessors of the secret to dissipating anger and resentment. I now understand that forgiveness has value only when it is given away. By the simple act of granting forgiveness, I release the demons of the past about which I can do nothing, and I create in myself a new heart, a new beginning. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.

    I will forgive even those who do not ask for forgiveness. Many are the times when I have seethed in anger at a word or deed thrown into my life by an unthinking or uncaring person. I have wasted valuable hours imagining revenge or confusion. Now I see the truth revealed about this psychological rock inside my shoe. The rage I nurture is often one-sided, for my offender seldom gives thought to his offense. I will now and forevermore silently offer my forgiveness even to those who do not see that they need it. By the act of forgiving, I am no longer consumed by unproductive thoughts. I give up my bitterness. I am content in my soul and effective again with my fellow man.

    I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive those who criticize me unjustly. Knowing that slavery in any form is wrong, I also know that the person who lives a life according to the opinion of others is a slave. I am not a slave. I have chosen my counsel.

    I know the difference between right and wrong. I know what is best for the future of my family, and neither misguided opinion nor unjust criticism will alter my course. Those who are critical of my goals and dreams simply do not understand the higher purpose to which I have been called. Therefore, their scorn does not affect my attitude or action. I forgive their lack of vision, and I forge ahead. I now know that criticism is part of the price paid for leaping past mediocrity.

    I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself. For many years, my greatest enemy has been myself. Every mistake, every miscalculation, every stumble I made has been replayed again and again in my mind. Every broken promise, every day wasted, every goal not reached has compounded the disgust I feel for the lack of achievement in my life.

    My dismay has developed a paralyzing grip. When I disappoint myself, I respond with inaction and become more disappointed. I realize today that it is impossible to fight an enemy living in my head. By forgiving myself, I erase the doubts, fears, and frustration that have kept my past in the present. From this day forward, my history will cease to control my destiny.

    I have forgiven myself.
    My life has just begun.
    I will forgive even those who do not ask for forgiveness.
    I will forgive those who criticize me unjustly.
    I will forgive myself.
    I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit."

    We we dont forgive, often, we are only hurting ourselves.
    I hope you are able to forgive your past and start new today! :)
    1387 days ago
  • v JENBEN2087
    I know this may sound strange, but look into Parts Psychology and see if there is someone in your area who specializes in it. The premise is that all memories get stored somewhere and become a "part" of our brain. Then, when situations in the future trigger those memories, our response to the situation becomes even more painful. I have been seeing someone who specializes in this off and on for a year. So many issues with anxiety, depression, etc have been healed and now we are working on my memories related to food so that I am not so driven by compulsion to binge or eat something bad. It really is working. Anyhow, just a suggestion to help with what you are going through. In the meantime, I pray that the situation will resolve itself and that you will be back on track and feeling great.
    1388 days ago
    I'm sorry you are going through this trial in your life, but at least you understand that you must forgive before you can go on. I pray another door will be opened very soon for you. I don't know why guys feel like they can't cry in front of someone. God gave us tears to help cope with loss, anger, etc. This too shall pass :) emoticon emoticon

    1388 days ago
    I have been where you are, being fired when I was an upstanding employee, always on time, always there, and did my job well and to the best of my ability. Yet I was fired while a lot of those who goofed off and took "extra" breaks were kept on the payroll. I think my only crime was that I wasn't young enough or thin enough, honestly. It hurt and angered me more than I can say, but you will get past it and you will find your place.
    1388 days ago
    1389 days ago
  • v GINA180847
    So glad you are out of your funk. emoticon
    1390 days ago
  • v ANDASI
    Provocation questioning why such strong fears lot of insight here on youre part i think this is a growth spurt for you. You will look back and see the reason and it sounds as though there is some resolution happening here that will stay with you permanently to carry in to the future as a tool.

    Deep fears and beleifes that live in us is this what is berried under the fat for a lot of us ? Fear, self dought and a deep core beleife that we are not good enough or that we are not capable or strong enough to handle and cope ?

    You got this go slow but with sure footing make deep imprints and beleive in youreself beleive that you deserve confidance, self assurance and the fear does not have to be debilitating.

    Crying is a wonderfull way to realease fear, pain, anger and resentment where as in the past we stuffed it with food stuffed these feelings even deeper in to us. Now you are releasing and cleansing to have renewed vigor to keep moving. The key with crying take the time to do it but dont allow yourself to get stuck there and dont see it and feel it as helplesness but a rejuvination of getting toxins out so you become clearer to forge ahead.

    1390 days ago
    Yup, there's some serious unresolved issues there. I can tell, I have my own share. Sounds like you cope better than some I know. It's nice to have a friend like you who's mature enough to deal in a healthy way. It's encouraging. Sometimes it seems like the hardest one to forgive is yourself. emoticon
    1391 days ago
  • v DR8561
    Robert, you are dead on. Forgiveness will lift a load from your shoulders. It doesn't mean you are saying what was done to you was right, it means you are giving all justice to God and letting go of the anger and bitterness you were carrying. It is a process, though. Praying for those who hurt you will help.

    God didn't let you go hungry before. He will take care of you now, too. Keep taking care of your health and doing what you know to be right. Look for the little blessings in your day - they will help you through. You are in my prayers.
    1392 days ago
  • v MRFUZZ
    Worrying does not take away tomorrow's struggles; but it does rob today of its strengths. I understand. I tend to worry, also. As much as we can be, we are all here for you. You are not alone. I am keeping you in my prayers. You are more amazing than all your bosses, old or new. None of them has inspired us the way you have, and given US the feeling that we WILL get to our goals. You continue to touch so many lives. Truly, I feel god will bless you, and keep you. emoticon
    1392 days ago
  • v JACKIEANN1968
    Hi Robert,
    I read every one of your blogs but rarely comment as I feel everyone else says it all. They have this time also but I felt the pull to respond. God is there for you. If you lose this job it is part of His plan. If you lose your job it is because God wants you to do something else. I lost my job in Sept. 2011. It was the 1st time in my life this happened. I was shocked and devestated. But I was collecting unemployment so we were making it. In Nov. I started taking classes to work on my Master's degree. In March, 2012, I joined Spark People. I have been working hard and been more successful than ever. I believe it is because, with not working, I finally had the time to devote to taking care of myself. I went back to work last month. It wasn't easy learning how to balance working again, with exercise and school but I am doing it. I believe that my time not working was a blessing. It can be for you too. You have been stalled in your weight loss efforts. Perhaps, losing your job could be an opportunity to focus on YOU!! Break out of this plateau.

    Stop worrying so much. It doesn't help. Take it 1 day at a time. Whatever happens, happens. It was meant to be. Have faith that God knows what he is doing.

    emoticon And remember, you have a hell of a lot of support.
    1392 days ago
  • v GINA180847
    Some truly wise answers in these comments for you Robert and those of us who have suffered at the hands of idiots. I am so grateful for your vulnerbility which is touching and makes me love youand the human race and the response of so many lovely people who understand. emoticon
    1392 days ago
    My husband had 4 degrees. He taught freshman college english for one year, tended bar the next, became night manager for Flordence Criton home for unweb mothers, landscape manager,dispatcher, subsitutue for High school & grade school, taught 4 th grade, worked as a title researcher and then finally sucessfully went in business for himself. For 5 yrs once he could not find work and I was the sole breadwinner. But he took care of our two children which covered their ages from birth-age 8. He changed more diapers than me. He was there for me when at each birth, at each medical crisis I might have. He was a very all rounded person. loving, kind and would come to our defense if needed. Most of his jobs lasted 1 year or less.

    It was the title research job which allowed him to start his own research business. I was experienced in office, billing, collecting, and management. So I did that job and he did his. He died in 2001.

    I know the struggles you are having. But the good news is you can collect unemployment while you search and the unemployment services do have training for those who might want to go into business themselves. Even if you get another job-if you have a fallback skill you are using as a business, you will have more security and self confidence.

    You are right--it is not your fault. The economy was lousy in the 70's when my husband was looking for work. Our entire state WV was going through massive changes. Property values went down, unemployement rose, and the jobs which remained were scarce. I was working in a business that was growing then telecommunications. That was fortunate for us.

    I took my skills and changed the focus of my husbands business when I was RIFFED in 2001-6 mos after my husband died. I had 29 yrs service so I had some retirement benefits. I worked my business and various jobs until last August when I was laid off. Now after a year of job searching I am retired. I am still thinking about finding a new business to do in retirement that I can weave into my life. Never give up. You have more strength than you can image. emoticon
    1392 days ago
  • v KATHIC2
    Boy, do I understand. I have been fired myself and it was very traumatic. My husband has been out of work for 4 years. I don't know if he will ever work again. God bless you on thia tough journey and I hope have comfort soon.
    1392 days ago
  • v NEWMOM20121
    Just so you know, your blog helped me.
    No great advice, or words of wisdom from me, just complete understanding.
    1392 days ago
    You are AMAZING. You have the wonderful ability to take a step back, look at a situation and see how to heal and learn from it. I think it speaks volumes for how far you've come that you are allowing yourself to feel, process and heal your emotions. If the old you is like so many of us, we would be eating ourselves until we are numb. Not thinking and processing.

    I know it's not easy but I also know you will do the work. And in doing so, you will inspire the rest of us to do the work and understand the huge pay off.

    And no, this isn't Hollywood. But I'm sure I speak for all women when I say that a real man does cry.

    *really big hugs*

    1392 days ago
    You've done so much and are such an inspiration!! Hang in there-- somehow things will work out.
    1392 days ago
    I have gone through a lot of bitter feelings regarding a job before and believe me, I know it can be crushing. But I also know that you have hit upon the perfect way to end it! FORGIVE! It seems impossible until we just do it and it creates miracles. The same people and situations that were so painful for me in the past have become a huge support circle. I am feeling your pain and hoping you find the peace I finally found.
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    1392 days ago
  • v NANHBH
    You are so worth giving encouragement and/or letting you have it! You are correct in saying that you have to let go of bitterness and forgive. In the 12 Step program, there is a saying about not being able to afford the price of carrying anger, resentment, or bitterness. You are precious. Your life is precious. Ditch that cheap bitterness. It doesn't become you.
    emoticon emoticon
    1392 days ago
    I like your blog. I'm going to have my husband read it. He, too has experienced what you have. A year ago after years of being in a large organization, he was told there was no longer a place for him. He has been without full time work since then. Last winter he took a job working with at risk kids and parents. Loved it, but the hours never would add up to even part time (20 hours). He was told with that job that even though he has two master's degrees, he doesn't have the "right" degree and not enough experience. He had 20 years in another helping profession working with all ages! At the end of the month he will be unemployed. He is looking for something else, but the future is unknown right now, which is difficult. He struggles with depression, but is doing better than expected right now. But, I know he struggles with low self esteem from this and other experiences.
    Thanks again for your blogs.
    1392 days ago
    You have a wonderful family -- that doesn't come automatically - you are instrumental in that - AND - it is the most important thing in your life - right?

    The rest will unfold - you are a lucky man.
    1392 days ago
    I am so impressed with your blog. I hope you go back and read it again. You figured out the source of ongoing pain. You figured out what you need to do with it. You realized this is not about you but circumstances. You can wrap your self worth around it but already stated it is not about you. It is the past that is coloring your experience here.

    I think it is hard to let go of pink slip memories. Knowing the difference between then and now is key.

    You are well worth the effort. You are well worth your effort to make peace with something you have no control over. I hope nothing happens to your job. More importantly, I hope you know you will be okay if a change does occur.

    Life can be so challenging. You are a winner though and winners always figure out a way to make it through what they need to. You have my vote!
    1392 days ago
    You do have the answer, FORGIVE! You can do it! You are so important to so many of us and we thank you for all of your contributions, they have meant so much to so many! Believe in yourself like we believe in you!!!!
    1392 days ago
    You are strong. Just believe in yourself. emoticon emoticon
    1392 days ago
  • v MIQUEY73
    I'm so sorry this has happened to you! I know you will get thru this and be stronger for it but for now hang in there. emoticon
    1392 days ago
    emoticon yep, things have a way of bringing up old emotions... glad we can feel them, see them, then choose what to do next! thanks for sharing, we're rooting for you!
    1392 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate! I have struggled with feelings of unworthiness since childhood. It's a daily battle to fight the negative emotions and to let it go and forgive others. It's the only way to move forward though! When you feel anxious, remind yourself that you have persevered through previous setbacks, and you will get through this as well! You have value because of who you are not just what you do! We're here to support and encourage you! Praying for you! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1393 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/7/2012 1:48:12 PM
    “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
    1393 days ago
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt, 1937

    This quote came to mind immediately reading this blog. Do not consent to these thoughts! Do not give people now or in the past that kind of power over you. It is in your will whether or not you allow them that kind of power and I truly hope that you do not give in to the negative mental talk. Even your own self-doubts are being empowered if you believe it.

    Think of all you have accomplished. How much power you have over yourself. Life brings us all kinds of twists and turns and you are training yourself each and every day to be prepared for them. You are stronger than you imagine. Give power to those thoughts instead and there is nothing you cannot do.

    I hope and pray for the best for you... I hope you do too! emoticon
    1393 days ago
    I think you have most likely identified the real issue.... now to overcome! Hugs to you, Rhonda

    1393 days ago
  • v JENNNY135
    Join the club, yes I think we all have those emotions when we lose a job. I know I can relate to everything you've stated in your blog. I too had been let go, about 4 years ago. Only thing they beat me to the punch, lol, was going to quit. But atleast I got severnace.

    I think you are step ahead, you're acknowleging your feelings and your forgiving others. You might want to speak to a professional, can only help. I haven't gone back to work, I'm fortunate my hubby's job is generous. So I look after him, the household and volunteer.

    All the best.
    1393 days ago
  • v TERRRI
    I especially get you on the part of you working your butt off and in the end realizing they don't care. My DH was let go around 3 years ago (he has another job now) but still can't let go of the hurt. I was let go last year and I didn't let it affect my ego the way he did. He sees it as an affront to him while I saw my letting go as what a bunch of jerks they were. Is there a difference in the way men and women handle these issues? Or maybe it is just our household? As I told my husband the guys who kept their jobs were the ones with questionable morals and would you be able to live with yourself if you had to change to be like them? I would hope not.

    I hope you deal with this, as hard as it might be, rather than sweep it under the rug again.
    1393 days ago
    You are so right!! When life happens, it does dredge up feelings and issues from the past! It can hurt so deeply, you seriously wonder if you can even breathe your next breath! Good for you for realizing that this is a learning experience and not based on who you are or are becoming! You have made so much progress and are on your way to make even more!! In many ways I am there with you through what is going on in my life and the things it is bringing back for me to work on and let go of and forgive! GOOD for you!!!! emoticon emoticon
    1393 days ago
    You are worth MUCH more than this job will ever be! I get that it pays the bills and provides the comfort of a home and all that goes with being gainfully employed....But this job does NOT define who you are or what you have done with your life!

    This is a moment in time .... it to shall pass. DO NOT LET IT RULE who YOU have become or what YOU have done with your life! YOU did all that by shear determination and will for something better for yourself... YOU will figure whatever comes down the road.....Did you ever stop to think that just maybe there is a REASON for all that is going on right now?? You are STRONGER, HEALTHIER, and more DETERMINED than you have ever been to prepare you for what is going on.

    Can you just for a moment think of what you'd be like RIGHT now at this moment if you had NEVER stumbled upon Sparkpeople and what your life would be right now without all you have learned and done?? You would be in a much different place mentally I'm sure! GOD will see you through whatever lies ahead. emoticon
    1393 days ago
    Robert, I so agree with LIGHTNINGRUNNER .....

    Perhaps all this turmoil now *is* meant for you to finally confront those demons in your past, and do whatever it takes to put it all to rest. For each of us, that would mean something different. For *me* personally, I've tried counseling of different kinds for different reasons over the years and I've not had as much success as some folks have. It's not the solution for may be for you. The key is to do what YOU need to do. You deserve some peace about all this. I hope you find it. We are here............
    1393 days ago
    1393 days ago
    Oh gosh, I so understand how you feel! I've been let go from a job before when I didn't deserve it, and it was just soul crushing. I will keep you in my prayers! It is really a hard time out there right now economically so don't feel you are alone in this. I don't know if that makes it any better but maybe things will turn around soon. I'll be praying that they do! Hang in there! emoticon
    1393 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1393 days ago
  • v LINDAK25
    I understand the feelings of not being good enough, the feelings of abandonment and betrayal. And I, too, came to realize the importance of forgiveness. The thing about forgiveness is that it "is not a single act, but a matter of constant practice." (D. Gabaldon)

    These feelings always come around again. I'm learning to deal with them better each time. I don't listen to that voice telling me I'm not good enough anymore. I listen to my heart. What others think of you is not important here, what you think is. You are good enough and you are surrounded by people who care--your wife, your children, and your friends. Listen to your heart and believe in yourself.
    1393 days ago
  • v LAURIE5658
    Robert, forgiveness is THE key to unlock the happiness that you truly deserve. Dig deep and search your heart and soul to take on this challenge. Ask God for help for He will never leave you.

    1393 days ago
    Have you ever thought to talk to a counselor? I started talking to one back in July and it was the best step I could have taken. We dig deep into my feelings and she is helping me find ways to cope.

    It is great to blog and get support from your friends but sometimes saying it out loud and talking to someone can also do wonders. Just a suggestion.....

    I am glad you were able to get your feelings out in a blog. It is not good to keep it all locked up inside. Let the tears flow my friend... just because a man cries does not mean that he is weak.
    1393 days ago
  • v EMILY1244
    It takes time to overcome the feeling that you are disposable. I know that feeling. While my circumstances were slightly different, it still involved a job that I was so very dedicated. A job that i put first in many aspects. And while being used and thrown away by a manipulative boss hurt me more than i care to admit, I can also see now that if it hadn't happened the way it did, I never would have left a situation that, knowing facts that i have since come to find out but couldn't see at the time, was dangerous, unhealthy, and in more than a few ways illegal. If I had continued to work there something much worse could have hapened and I was in very real danger of losing my marriage because of how many hours I was putting in and how much it was changing me. I still hurt because the sting of being betrayed in such a deeply personal way never truly goes away, I do know that it was my way out and it guaranteed that I would never try to forgive her and go back to a toxic environment. Everything happens for a reason. trust that. Find your reason.
    1393 days ago
  • v SUSIEQ911
    1393 days ago
    Robert you have the ability to understand the truth of your past, the hardest part I feel - now is the time to deal with it. You have been treated badly in your past, but reality also is you aren't the same person you were then. You are outwardly confident and brave and strong. Try to remember that when you are questioning your worth.
    1393 days ago
  • v CHERRY666
    1393 days ago
  • v LINDAKAY228
    Such great insight into what the past influence has on the present situation. It is an opportunity to learn and grow. I know you will do just that as you go through the present uncertaintity. I hope things get resolved very very soon, but in the meantime I know that a work is going on inside of you that will be priceless in the long run.
    1393 days ago
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