If you’ve dropped in before, you may have seen the word ‘Redundancy’ written so many times it’s started to look weird. You may have read enough to know that this time last year I found myself in a bit of a pickle. Having lost my job at Christmas with very little notice, I found myself falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. A place where I was very hard to reach and where thoughts, events and time ran surreally; making all that was ordinary, very extraordinary indeed. Coupled with a tricky ‘keeping a roof over our heads’ backdrop, my ability to function as a human being (an ability that’s always been wide of the mainstream), became a Herculean Effort.
Much like a cat, I don’t like change. I need time to circle and look from all angles, confirming that the right decision or choice has been made and what it will entail. Too much input without the freedom or space for analysis and I will seek a retreat somewhere high or dark, just to be able to breathe.
I do possess other cat-like qualities;
I can often be found crying as I stare at my food, not understanding where half of it went, but knowing there is not enough left.
I always think I want to leave the house, but if someone actually suggests it or opens a door, a voice inside my head says ‘No. No you don’t. Nope.’
Finding a comfy place to lay down, preferably after consuming a delicious meal, is the purpose of my day.
So, back to how my crisis of confidence, already low in stock, was manifesting itself in the outside world. I refer to it as the ‘outside world’ because I most definitely did not feel like I was part of it. It was all unravelling and I didn’t know what was to become of me. I’ve stated before that in my shoes some may have been able to shrug and move on. It appeared I was not that person. EVERYTHING was so very difficult to do. I was very much like that cat in retreat, recoiling at the very thought of having to make human contact. Panicked, humiliated, emotional, claws on standby. I was therefore so utterly grateful for the internet. Able to pursue much of my job hunt and other essential interactions from the sanctuary of my home (bed), without having to pick up a phone or speak to another person. Especially as my default setting of introvert already makes that a very big deal for me. I knew I absolutely had to find work. No ifs or buts. I also knew that I absolutely could throw up on demand at the thought of having to start a new job.
To give you some idea of how scared and irrational my thought processes were, I would like to share a conversation I had with a very cheery, sunshiny, positive, people-y work coach. My dealings with the job centre and all that lay within are for another post, but this is a snapshot of why I’ve had to DIG SO DEEP for some humour whilst in that rabbit hole, because I feared my sanity would take a left turn in the warren, never to be seen again.
The following conversation exists in my memory thus; What she said. What I heard.
SAID; So, you can get yourself into town?
HEARD; Your 2 mile walk will detour for an extra 14 miles. It will remain dark and the streetlights will not be working. The constant threat from hungry wolves will leave you fearful of the shadows and you will feel as though you’re being watched. Disembodied footsteps behind you will stop every time you turn around and you will be so frightened your heart will pump in your mouth making it difficult to even breathe. Mind out for the swooping crows. They’ll peck your eyes out.
SAID; Good. In which case, there is a mini bus that can take you to your place of work.
HEARD; There will be a sewage tunnel to run through that will take you directly to the cliff edge. But you must run for your life as the tunnel is prone to flooding and water levels are already starting to peak.
SAID; You would just need to meet here at 8am;
HEARD; You will need to leave the safety of your home at 3am to get here. To help you keep track of your progress, we’ll give you a countdown timer. It will be attached to a ticking bomb.
SAID; And then it’s only 30 minutes to the location.
HEARD; That’s 30 minutes of running for your life through that sewer tunnel with a tsunami chasing your back. Take care that the sewer-dwelling zombies don’t try to grab you or trip you up, they can be quite playful.
SAID; Someone there will show you what to do.
HEARD; You will work naked and speak only French.
SAID; And we can get you started this week.
HEARD; You can pop home, but by the time you get there it will be 3am already. There will be no time to freshen up. Or prepare. Or change into something more appropriate for the terrifying, tortuous journey ahead of you. There will be no time to reflect on everything you own or everyone you know. No need to take those thoughts with you as nothing will ever be the same again.
SAID; How does that all sound?
HEARD; Nothing you face will be familiar or comfortable. You will be desperately unhappy, petrified and confused. A toxic combination punching at the core of your pitiful existence.
Needless to say, I was not keen.
If you are employed or otherwise content and stable with your work/life/domestic situation, please pop over to Wanted. Not Wanted. where you can have a smug, self-righteous, cosy giggle at my crumbling self-esteem. You’ll find my self-initiated Job Club, my ridiculous misguided applications for ANY kind of work and my redundancy diary, a revealing look into the day to day life of
the lowlife worthless pits of humanity the unemployed. If you are not content and stable with your work/life/domestic situation, then let’s hold hands and stick our tongues out at the rest of the world. But you still have to go read all the stuff.