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View Diary: Unemployment, Jobs, Self Sufficiency, and the Illusion of Control (13 comments)

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  •  This story had to be hard to write (5+ / 0-)

    and even harder to live.

     I went through nearly two years of unemployment around the same time, but didn't have any of the family trauma. I also survived financially much better.

      However, I can totally empathize about the sense of hopelessness and self-blame you experience from being unemployed for years.

    Callate o despertaras la izquirda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Mon May 07, 2012 at 08:01:45 AM PDT

    •  My 'surrogate' mom has told me that they have had (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QDMacaw, gjohnsit, LostBuckeye

      plenty of time to know me and the kind of person I am.  There have been plenty of times I questioned whether or not I 'deserved' what was happening to me. They've reminded me more than a few times that my mother was right and when my ex left, she took her problems with her.

      And they were blunt and kind enough in how they said it to let me know, if they felt I was unworthy, they would have asked me to leave.

      The other things being...

      I was measuring myself by my failures, or by what or who I wasn't.

      I could not keep my family from dissolving, unlike my grandfather. He held 3, nearly four generations of us together. When he was gone, the cohesion of the uncles, aunts and cousins vanished. That illusion of togetherness was gone. I've come to accept that the disparity on my father's side was at least more honest in that respect.

      I never lived up to be the person my father thought I should be. It took me a long time to accept that he never liked or loved me or my mother, thus all the mental abuse growing up. He may have provided and we may never have wanted for physical needs, but he made sure we paid in other ways.

      My children chose to be with their mom. In the end, I knew I would have gone with my mom at that age too. the thing is, with time, I came to realize, they were not worried about whether I loved them or not. They know I do and will. The things she has done, have made them vulnerable. But going with her meant they did not have to lose her, not that they have not now, but it was a reality they could hold onto for a while longer by being with her even with the consequences.

      If I wasn't working, I was not responsible. I was not living up to some undefined precept of being accountable for myself.

      If I was not finding work by looking, obviously, it was my fault. there was some flaw. there had to be something I had done, or had not done. So of course, it was a problem to be thought about and reworked endlessly - since only I could solve this problem because it was 'my fault'.

      I've had to come to terms with the fact that whether I like it or not, one can be a good person and have any number of negative things occur without any causal factor required.
      It wasn't overt, but along with all those other lessons growing up, there was ingrained the idea that in life one gets what they deserve and that is simply not the case.

      My grandmother was very big on this viewpoint and I thought I had avoided most of the pitfalls of this, but its one of those things that stays with you in more subtle ways that you can use to punish yourself when things are bad.

      -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

      by Vayle on Mon May 07, 2012 at 09:41:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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