Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Laid Off Spouse Part 4: I have a secret

I'm not keeping it from anyone reading this blog. You already know what it is. This is a secret that I'm keeping from very old friends, people who know my full name, where I grew up, what my nicknames were in high school.

I haven't told certain people about C getting laid off again.

Why? Because it's easier NOT to say anything. It's easier to just keep things vague, or not answer emails for a long time, hoping that you have better news when you get around to replying. I don't say much to those people who DO know what's going on, either.

Why? Because when I have spoken out, I've been told that I need to get over it, [life] happens, etc. I've been treated as if I'm a dog, with verbal head-pats of the "keep your chin up" variety. It's especially condescending from those who have never been laid off or never had a spouse be laid off. Been asked "How do you DO it???" as if I have a choice. Some of these examples are from the last layoff, but they work in this case too. Four years of marriage and almost 2 of them (combined) dealing with layoffs, I think I have a right to feel as I do.

It's no wonder I feel alone at times. I can't vent to people. Others have husbands who work too much or who have two jobs--how can I get them to understand what this is like? Some act like all I need to do is change my attitude and things will get better. Um, no. I can smile all day long and think happy thoughts but when my husband is still jobless and feeling horribly about it, that doesn't change the situation.

I don't blame him. It's not his fault. There are so many other factors out of everyone's control. I can't be the only one to feel this way, but some days, it is terribly isolating.

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