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I went to church today. I actually slept pretty well last night. I don't really remember my dreams, only that the guy I like was in one of them. I laid around for a while, just thinking. One of the things I did the other day was set up a little area where I can keep things I want near me when I'm ready for bed and when I wake up in the morning. I put some books, this lavender sleep balm, my eye pillow, and a couple of other things on this small bamboo thing I bought at an antique store years ago. It doesn't have any metal in it, even the nails are bamboo. I bought it on a whim and for years it was in the bathroom at the house. Then I moved and I almost got rid of it, but I like it so I hung onto it, and now I'm really glad I did. My friend that I met for coffee the other day sent me a text telling me that she woke up thinking about me, I was late to church since I drove to the wrong place, but thankfully it was dark when I arrived. I was even more grateful for that later because I kept crying during the sermon which was about feelings of inadequacy, talk about topical.

My sister reached out to me, another friend called, and I had some conversations with other friends that went well. I cycle through moods and emotions; I'm excited about the future, but also kind of nervous. I'm still in shock and reeling from the events of this past week. Looking back I can see things I missed before, they had put Final Warning on the papers I had signed even though I didn't have any written warnings in my file before then. I left a message for my boss, I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not. I almost wonder if she was told not to have any contact with me even outside of work, maybe she just wants to move on too, and I can hardly blame her there. I put her through a lot of stress and that's not a very good feeling. I will always remember her, my unicorn friend, my horse loving friend, that guy I like, and some of the other people I met there. Even before I was terminated I didn't think that place was going to be around for very much longer. I would give it five years and I think I'm being generous with that. The current GM has no ability to lead, inspire, or motivate others. They employ helicopter managers who try to catch people being naughty instead of praising them for what they do well which is really a shame, it could be such a neat place.

I read a bunch of articles on what to do after you're fired. My mom gave me some good advice. I had tweeted it out and then went back to delete it. I don't really think it matters, but it could so I pulled it down. Several of my friends have given me their counsel and I appreciate that. I don't want to spend a lot of time dwelling on the past, but in the space of six months that woman has driven away two people who spent thousands of dollars at that store, and she eliminated one of their top sales people who was incredibly efficient and personable. It's true that I didn't always play well with others. I'll own my part in what went down. The company allegedly had complaints that people wanted to quit because of their interactions with me, but apart from that one meeting back in September, I heard nothing from them about anyone else. I'm wondering if the marketing manager went and complained about me after that phone call, it doesn't matter now, what does matter is I was let go, and people hated me enough to collect a stack of evidence that ultimately got rid of me. It hurts, but I know that I'm better off than I was. I can literally feel stress starting to melt off of me, I had no idea how this had consumed my life although you probably put the pieces together long before I did, didn't you, gentle reader?

I've been working on my puzzle, a lot of people have made insightful comments about it. My sister said that tall mountains and an incomplete puzzle are good metaphors. Another friend had several captions, 'picking up the pieces' was the one that stuck with me. I'm now more familiar with the Jackson Hole ski routes than I was, and my neck is sore from working on it, but I'm glad I'm not sitting around and wallowing in too much self pity. Tomorrow I'm going to go over to see my sister and my nieces. I'm going to work on my resume and apply for unemployment. I'm also going to sit down and make a couple of lists. I need more routine in my life. My friend told me it was smart to take some time off and regroup. A friend of mine who got fired last year told me he really needed the time to decompress. It's tempting to worry about the money, but the last thing I want or need is to rush into another job that isn't a good fit where I start recreating the same problems I've had in the past. I did some more reading about the personality profiles, I read that sometimes you can type as one thing, but because of your experiences you have a more developed function than you would have otherwise (this is why this type of softer science gets a bad rap, but I think it's true too...)

I wonder if I am actually more INFJ than INTJ, but because emotions, other than violent anger, were not allowed or embraced in the house where I grew up (and by house I mean the idea, not the physical structure). I read about the INTJ jobs and they all sounded awful, then I was reading about my youngest daughter and found the INFJ jobs much more appealing. I can remember getting into trouble for laughing too hard, or too loudly, we were just kids being kids, I don't know if that's how stressed out my parents were, or if they had more serious issues I still don't know about. Last night my aunt told me about a number of suicides, or near deaths that she knew about either personally, or tangentially. We had a long conversation about control, jobs, stress, how people act and react in emergency situations (she had been a nurse before she retired this past October), she can be harsh so I dreaded telling her that I had been fired, but she was kind about it and understood why I did what I did. I bitched and complained plenty about others, you know that if you read what I've written here, but I also don't think I was really unkind or mean to anyone.

My standards are high and people weren't doing their jobs. Neither party really handled it well and now it's up to me to try and move forward armed with knowledge of the past. A friend of mine said I outgrew the place, and I think that's true. It doesn't make it any easier, but it doesn't make it worse either. The company really doesn't care about efficiency and that is one of the craziest things to me. Putting together this puzzle is no big deal, I have endless hours to finish it, but I still want to make sure that I'm not wasting my time and putting it together in a way that makes good use of my time by being organized about it. One thing that was kind of amusing - when I looked up the best way to put together a puzzle I read what they said and thought, I already do this. I was hoping there would be some cool puzzle hacks in there, but mostly I learned that you can make a puzzle more challenging if you refuse to look at the box when you're assembling it. I thought about that, then I decided to use the box anyways because my brain is already kind of overloaded and not working as well as I wish it would be.

***

Him: "Are you okay tonight? I'm in bed at 8:00 PM on my birthday! Just chilling, no worries."

Me: "I'm hanging in there. Rough day obviously, but like you said, I did the right thing at the right time, they fucked up, and furthermore, I don't want to work for a company that minimizes the value of human life. I've been in a psych ward. Fuck them for diminishing that and fuck her for playing those types of games. Suicide plans aren't anything I'm ever going to disregard."

Him: "You did the absolute right thing, no doubt."

Me: "By the way, I really appreciate you checking in, nights are always harder than the days."

Him: "Nights can suck. Just know that I have your back. You're better off as a person and as an employee. You took a stand and it was the right one. When we face shit like that, it's easy to take the easier route, but you didn't. That's awesome shit. Fuck them."

Me: "I went to church and I'm really glad that I did. I hate crying in public, but I met up with people who have known me for years and that helped. It was good to get out of my place for a while."

Him: "They don't deserve you. They were a good stop for a while, got you recalibrated, found yourself again, but then you outgrew them. Crying is good for the soul. Tells everyone you're okay with life's constant emotional challenges - laughter, love, and sadness."

Me: "You really are full of wisdom today."

Him: "They were a place to refuel. They were the Marshall Islands of your journey. Stop, refuel, move forward."

***

Me: "I went to church today. Sermon was on inadequacy and how the only approval that matters comes from God. Exactly what I needed today."

Him: "I did not go to church today (because I never do). I went to breakfast with my kid as we have done since he was five (to avoid church). There is a sense of community there, like church. Full of good people who help each other if needed. I am always happy when I leave there. We were all talking about you and what happened (it is on my mind) and they are all as indignant as I am if not more. And people all started telling their stories about people who did or tried to commit suicide. So my 'church' is behind you and happy that you are out of that toxic work environment."

Me (crying): "I'm so incredibly humbled. I don't know what to say. I was going to send you the mermaid picture, but probably should save my money now..."

Him: "Do not send. Save your money. If fact, if it reminds you that you have friends, all the better."

Me: "I tried calling my boss. She didn't answer. I didn't think she would. But maybe she is out."

Him: "Probably have to let her go too. Which will be tough. But you did the right thing, remember that."

Me: "I know. It's just hurtful and painful. But I am better than I have been. Place is cleaner than it has been in months. This will fade as time passes."

Him: "I am worried about the stress because you don't take good care of yourself when you are stressed."

Me: "I know! But I am taking better care of myself now. Eating less, putting together my puzzle, hanging out with Jill and Jane, connecting with my family and friends, going to church. I need a better routine in my life."

Him: "Routines help me more than you know."

Me: "I've seen how they help. You've lost weight, you're less stressed, you're happier and more confident. I'm proud of you and your accomplishments these past few months. I'm envious of how full and busy your life is, you do too much, I don't do enough."

Him: "I can use a break, but not until spring. I do not take it for granted."

Me: "You have earned it."

Him: "Yeah, well both of my parents committed suicide, my mom killed herself when I was nine. So I take these things seriously, and I say that they fucked up. You have to take that call seriously. Fuck them. Fuck all of them."

Me: "That must have been so traumatic, my heart aches for you. I admit that I played a role in what went down too. Worst part about it is I didn't realize how I was neglecting the girls and focusing on her drama instead of living my own life."

Him: "Move forward. What's in the past is done. Only thing you can control is the future."

Me: "I'm going to plan for them coming like I used to so things do go more smoothly than they have. Cleaning and rearranging things helped. Not having to work will help. This is a new lease on life and I'm going to take my time searching for the right job. Maybe I will even go back to school. I don't know yet. Considering it."

Him: "No expectations of them, only of yourself. Just love them, they will respond to it, but it takes time."

Me: "I know. I just feel terrible about it. We've put them through so much being shitty parents."

Him: "I've had five parents, my birth parents gave me up for adoption. Then both of my adoptive parents killed themselves, my dad killed himself when I was 21, only person left is my crazy step-mom who married my dad after my mom killed herself. The thing is, when you have shitty parents, you don't know you do. They're just your parents."

Me: "That is so true. You went through so much as a child, you have known so much suffering."

Him: "But look at me now."

Me: "It's always the ones that have been through the most that deal with things the best. I want to heal and to implement healthier systems. I thought I had done this after I got divorced. Then I moved and then I moved again. So I'm still learning."

Him: "Well things happen. Moving is upheaval, car wreck, the job has been stressful, more upheaval, but you are strong and capable and you can do this."

Me: "Yes! I can do it! I love me! And you too of course..."

Him: "I hope you mean it because you should!!! About you, not me!"

Me: "I'm learning. And I know that I will continue learning until the day that I die. Several years ago I was much worse off than I am now. So I've got that going for me."

Him: "Onward, and forward. You can do it."

***

Her: "Yo yo, just checking in today."

Me: "Hey, how's it going?"

Her: "At work. How are you?"

Me: Trying to keep my mind off of things. Up and down, you know how it goes. But good news is my puzzle is coming together."

Her: "Tall mountains and incomplete puzzle are good metaphors. Did you get some sleep and remember to eat?"

Me: "Slept pretty well actually. Even went to church which was good."

Her: "So happy you went to church. Let the Holy Spirit guide you, like the Bible says - lean not on your own understanding."

Me: "Yes, my 'understanding' got me into a whopping mess of trouble."

Her: "It's a message we need to learn over and over, luckily God is patient and much slower to anger than we are."

Me: "Just feel awful about what I put Jill and Jane through."

Her: "In what way?"

Me: "I selfishly allowed drama to take over my life and neglected their emotional needs and health."

Her: "I'm off tomorrow if you want to get together."

Me: "Would love to if it's not too much burden."

Her: "Apologize and ask for forgiveness. They are good kids, they know you're human and make mistakes, but they love you and you love them."

Me: "I know. Just feeling it keenly today. I still haven't told everyone else that I got fired. Just me being silly."

Her: "Take your time. I found most family members to be unexpectedly supportive."

Me: "I have too. Working up to it I guess. Just feel like such a failure even though I know that many people get fired and for once it actually wasn't my fault which is all the more ironic."

Her: "It didn't even come up in my interview so don't sweat it too much. Fifteen minutes later she offered me the job on the spot. So just take some time to regroup. You have lots of people in your corner. Remember that."

***

Xoxo,

J

P.S. I also want to thank the members of this community who have reached out, it means a lot to me. If anyone you know has been fired, or may be, please reach out to them, they are going through a lot and need to hear that they are supported and others care...

j

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