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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,518

    Re: So much happening

    I am so sorry hun.

    Do you guys have anything to fall back on or back up your day to day needs, accomodation options etc, while you are going through this hard time, if things take a while - even if that means just family support, or some sort of government support?

  2. #22

    Re: So much happening

    Fortunately EI is covering the financial end for a few months, so that's not a pressing worry for now.

    As for social types of support, we've been trying to build a friend network, but if he has to move, that's going to have an effect on things. I've experienced what happens to a single in a couples-based group; the invitations dry up pretty quickly. Very much the same way I was gradually excluded from my singles-based group when I started dating him. They were suddenly "too busy" to get together with me, even for coffee or lunch during the workday. It's very isolating.

    I own my house, so he'll be finding an apartment near where he works and I'll be staying here, because selling isn't an option at the moment. Back to a long distance relationship, which we thought we'd managed to put behind us 2 years ago. At least it's only 3 hours this time, and not 6. Unless he doesn't get this job, then the next one is 9 hours away.

    I have my parents here, which is a good thing, but he'll lose that support if he has to move. He's not close to his family, in any definition of the word "close".

    I know it's not all bad, and it's only for a year or two, but it feels so arbitrary and unpredictable and overwhelming right now, and I'm feeling totally inadequate to facing any more of it. Maybe this will give some stability to things for awhile? I hope so.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,518

    Re: So much happening

    It is truly frustrating, the difficulty so many are having in getting circumstances stable and reasonably comfortable/doable these days. It truly feels like 21st century life us just not what we grew up with or what we saw on TV. Just a different world. (There's some Japanese concepts called Freeters and NEETs vs Salarymen, which are an interesting look at how the 2nd half of the 20th century influenced Japanese life, and then how the nineties and beyond have seen a new movement. I feel the same thing exists in the West, but maybe not to such an either/or or "black or white" degree. Neither idea seems particularly "ideal" to me, and I don't know what the answer is... except for maybe our lives and societies and whole world not being based on globalised capitalism. You may also be interested in the Occupy or We Are the 99% movements.)

    Sometimes I think that it will take us the whole 21st century to figure out how to deal with the 21st century. That is if it is possible to figure out what the heck is going on in the 21st century, and if there is going to be any stability or predictability at all from year to year in any way, shape, or form in the 21st century. :/

    Sometimes I think the 21st century is mainly going to be about deep breathing and yoga, anxiety/unpredictability management, total resignation of the psychological/spiritual concept of 'ego' (because that depends a fair bit on stability, predictability, and enduring constructs around ourselves), and getting very grateful for very very basic day to day needs. (Blech that's no fun?!?!) Sometimes I think the Western world, even its buildings, infrastructure, systems, ways of life, habits, expectations, standards of living... everything... is based on the 20th century, and the world has simply changed too much. Everything is different and it's like we need... like a total "do-over".

    WOW THANKS 21ST CENTURY THAT'S GOING TO BE REALLY EASY AND SIMPLE TO ADJUST TO FOR BABY BOOMERS, GEN X's AND GEN Ys RAISED ON 1950s -1980s WESTERN AFFLUENCE.

    NOT.

    Your attitude as usual Mudpuppy is amazing. Keep us posted on how you are managing.

  4. #24

    Re: So much happening

    Thanks for your reply, MHJo. I hear you loud 'n' clear on how different things are. I'm really hoping it will become different in a good way once the baby-boomers start retiring in droves and leaving behind a bunch of open jobs. *fingers crossed*

    Sorry for the delay in replying. Things have been pretty hectic for the last couple of months. At the beginning of May we went to another province to move my partner's elderly aunt into an assisted living complex after a gruellling 2-year wait. It's a wonderful place, with great people, and she got an amazing apartment in it. Sadly, the day before we got back home (we were still on the road) we got a call that she'd passed away unexpectedly. She'd only been in the place 5 days. Talk about shock. We had things to do at home (medical test and yet another difficult (and unsuccessful) job interview for my partner), then we had to turn around and go all the way back to deal with her estate as best we could in only 3 days (we were clearing out her stuff on her birthday). She loved the place, and I'm glad she got the little time there that she did, but it feels very much like she was cheated, after such a long and unpleasant wait to get in. She and my partner were fairly close, so this has been hard on him.

    We got back, got all the stuff we didn't have time to deal with put into storage, and then found out, in rapid succession, that my partner's brother has been diagnosed with a potentially serious health issue, and his own medical test (from the week between inter-provincial trips) shows that he has something that will need long-term treatment, too. Needless to say, he's reeling.

    I had an appointment with a counsellor (the same guy that fell through in January) last week, and my partner's going to see him this week. He seems like he's got a lot to offer, but we may not be able to see him very much due to financial considerations.

    I'm feeling so helpless. I need to get things around my house fixed, two of the tires on my van didn't survive the winter, and everything else that is necessary or could be useful requires money that we simply don't have. No matter how hard my partner tries to find work, he always seems to come second, even losing out to people who don't meet the posted minimum requirements (multiple times), which makes it even more of a slap.

    Whereas the messages I'm getting are, "you're wonderful, amazing, and we couldn't have done it without you; here's your pink slip", he's getting ones that say, "you're incredible, anyone who hires you gets an outstanding employee, but we've decided to go with the person who did a few hours volunteer work last year to run the department instead. Good luck, and thanks for applying" (yes, he actually did lose out on a managerial position to someone who'd only done a few hours of volunteer work because "she knows the department already"). He's even had people we considered to be friends tell him about jobs in their departments opening up; in one case he interviewed with the friend a week or so before we left, yet hasn't heard anything back for nearly two months; in the other case, the friend who told him about the job was doing the hiring, but my partner didn't even get an interview. Nor has he heard anything back from that "friend" about the competition. WTF? Why would you go out of your way to tell someone about an upcoming opening, encourage them to apply (because you have such a hard time finding good people), then treat them that way? He's thought about asking them, but he's so hurt and angry that he might say something regrettable, and even the best-case scenario is that he'll hear either obvious BS, or that he lost out yet again to someone less qualified.

    So now we're both in limbo. After him sending out over 100 unsuccessful applications in the last two years, and my being let go from all of the jobs I've had since graduation, it's pretty clear that the profession we both worked so hard to enter (and paid so much to qualify for) has no interest in either of us, in spite of constantly telling both of us how valuable we are.

    I feel numb. I don't know what to do. I can't help the person I care the most about. I can't help myself. I don't want to do any of this anymore, but I don't know what else to do. Whatever I try just seems to make things worse, if it has any visible effect at all.

    Again, thank you for listening. It would be so much harder without you being here to talk to.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,518

    Re: So much happening

    Gosh.... I'm so sorry Mudpuppy... just... wow.

    Hugs...

    I'm glad you'll both have some chance to talk over all of this with a counsellor, even if it's limited by finances. A heck of a lot has gone on for both of you.

    I think there's useful deconstructing, thinking, maybe career-grieving, that you'll both be able to do with knowledgeable support. Maybe too, a decent proportion of people seeing counsellors at this time could be going through some similar stuff. Hopefully some of your experiences will be familiar territory for the counsellor, which could be reassuring, and you could end up benefiting from the work he/she has done helping others with somewhat similar experiences.

    Sometimes after enough of a reeling and grief process, more strength comes again, to continue trying to make sense of new and unfamiliar realities.

    It's OK not to feel strong... it can be OK to let sad or fearful feelings flow through you... have good cries... etc.

    Thinking of you...

    Keep doing whatever things might be soothing and self-caring for you... that can include some long sleeps and/or good cries if you feel like it. xx

  6. #26

    Re: So much happening

    I think you're spot on that grieving, for many different things, is certainly a part of it all. I hadn't thought that the counsellor might be seeing a lot of people dealing with the same kind of things right now. That's a very good point.

    Thank you for saying it's OK. I needed to hear that. I've been trying to sleep, sometimes with success. Sometimes there are horrible dreams, or racing thoughts that pounce out of the darkness. I suspect the dogs are happy to see me leave for a few hours so they can finally get some uninterrupted sleep!

    I read the book Wishcraft awhile ago, and there's a suggestion in there that I think I might try. She suggests creating a virtual cheering section (either real people, historical figures, totally imaginary, or a combination) and putting their pictures on the wall. When things get tough, ask what they'd have to say about the situation; how would it look through their eyes. It seems like a good way to create a different perspective on things.

    I've realized that I'm setting a lot of arbitrary deadlines for myself (as are others), then getting really down on myself when I don't meet them. "Yes, you did a dozen things today, but what happened to the other 97? You lazy slacker!" Heh, I'm probably beating myself up for doing that, too.

    I've also noticed that I have a number of highly critical people in my social media contacts (i.e. I posted about having to clear a squatter's stash out from behind my fence, and got a lecture on the plight of the homeless (I guess doubly so 'cause I cleared out the stash?); I posted about how lovely the green tunnel of trees is in the neighbourhood, and got a rant about the city pruning crews) , so I'll be doing a weeding of that in the near future.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for listening, answering, and helping me to see things more clearly.

  7. #27

    Re: So much happening

    ... and now my partner seems to have embarked on this quest to "save" me. Not sure from what. Myself? The world? I dunno, but it seems to involve pointing out the things that don't meet his expectations and suggesting ways I could improve them. Really? I don't need saving! I need a PARTNER! I need someone to be in the trenches with me, not yet another person standing on the sidelines telling me what doesn't meet with their approval. I need a cheerleader, not a drill sergeant.

    All of a sudden in the last week or two it feels like we're not on the same side anymore. I thought the counsellor would help, and that stepping back for a bit to evaluate what's been happening was a good thing. The last thing I expected was yet another relationship that would require me to be someone different for it to work. I've had enough of those already. This wasn't how I was planning on spending our third anniversary (tomorrow).

    I've tried talking to him, but he just shuts down and pulls even further away. So now I sit and wait and hope that this, too, isn't vanishing before my eyes.

    I don't need this. I don't know if I can handle this. He is (was?) my support. He kept me going. He had my back.


  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,518

    Re: So much happening

    Gosh, I'm sorry that there seems to be a difficult dynamic going on.

    Do you guys see the counsellor together, or separately? Do you both feel comfortable and trusting of him/her?

    I wonder if it would be useful to together talk about that dynamic and how you feel about it with the counsellor?

    Boundaries and where they lie in which situation is one of the trickiest things in life, I say. When one member of a relationship (or both) is going through particularly hard times, boundaries very often blur and the comfortable/familiar lines around our interactions tend to get more fuzzy. Hope you two can keep talking about it. (Remember too that it can just be a symptom of change and figuring stuff out.... a phase of something to be worked out, but not necessarily a danger or doom sign. Gosh it can be hard not to think negatively though after/during dealing with a big bunch of negatives and very hard times. Hang in there Mudpuppy...)

  9. #29

    Re: So much happening

    We've each seen the counselor once individually, but not together. At this point I'm not sure of how much of an issue it really is (transient or not), and I'm afraid of making it into something bigger than it needs to be. I mentioned that I'm feeling really overwhelmed lately and feeling unequal to even the basics; that seems to have moderated the push to add more tasks to the "should do" list.

    [time passes]

    We've had a couple of good talks about the difference between "helping" and "fixing" (one just a few mins ago, in fact), and that's helped, too. He's in the process of arranging for a new apartment (the one he's in has been turning into a vertical slum under the new management) and the anxiety over that is actually helping him to understand a bit better how I'm feeling about all the stuff I'm handling. The new place is quite a bit further away in the city, but I think it'll be a much healthier place for him, on many levels. I think we can find a happy middle ground where he feels like he's helping me without it leading to me freaking out.

    It's been hot here for the past couple of weeks, so I haven't been getting as much done as I might have liked, and that (as well as the discomfort and lack of sleep from the heat) has been wreaking havoc with my anxiety. The forecast is for cooler weather for a few days after today, and boy do I hope that's right! I desperately need a break from my own brain and body for awhile, and that's so much easier to do when I don't feel like I'm melting. And can sleep more than 4 hours a night.

  10. #30

    Re: So much happening

    Some good news (yay!) this week. I've acquired two new clients for my business, and my partner has two job interviews later this week. Both of the positions are out of town (45 minutes and an hour, respectively), but not so far out that day trips aren't possible. They're also both in the profession that we trained for, so may have potential for future advancement.

    And mixed news, my Dad's in the hospital with pneumonia, but they caught it earlier than usual this time, so he's responded really well and may be back home faster than usual as a result. Apparently he's having fun kibitzing with the staff.

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