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Friday, October 22, 2010

Unemployment.

I was going a little crazy earlier. I talked to Ryan, but it didn't help. So I prayed and read a couple Psalms. I gathered stuff to give away. Then I wrote the following on an anonymous website. (After I wrote it, I read another woman's story who was unemployed and considering suicide. I replied to her, and am praying for her. Please pray for her too.):

I am unemployed and I feel like vomiting from the stress. I'm not unemployed with unemployment checks. I've got no income at all. I'm 24 and live with my parents.

I graduated from college, moved back in, and it took me three months to find a job that paid $9/hr for 30 hours a week, but I was happy to have it. Unfortunately, then the economy got worse and as one of the newer hires I was laid off after four months of solid work. I hadn't worked long enough to even be considered for unemployment, plus I was working an office position with a research company so I was being 'rehired' for each new project they got and so even if I had worked there longer, I'd not have qualified as I was only ever a temporary worker.

I wasn't worried though, because I had some money saved for about two months cushion (which I think was pretty good for only having worked four months) and I thought I'd find a job. And I did... 11 months later.

Another temporary position, helping relaunch a website. Once it was launched, the job was over. I didn't have enough time to really get my feet back under me, bill wise, before it was over, but I got about one month's cushion.

That was five months ago.

Being a burden on my parents is the worst. My mom has fibromalygia and is unemployed. Hers isn't bad enough that she couldn't work at all, but she can only work part-time, no more than two days in a row, in a sit-down position. And in this economy, she can't afford to be picky and hasn't been able to find anything, though she did work for the Census briefly this year. But the Census, in our area, had a wonderful return rate-- great for them, but meant that she had two months less work than anticipated.

My father is a manager of a grocery store and works 50 hours weeks. And yes, people do have to eat and grocery stores are still in business-- but if you're on a decreased income the first place people cut their budget is food. So they aren't doing great these past few years and with inflation, we're majorly struggling.

For a while I was applying every single day... right now I'm applying like every other day because a) I'm discouraged b) there seems to be less and less jobs I'm qualified for. How often I apply seems cyclical. Every time I apply for a job, the anxiety makes me want to vomit, so I can only take so much.

Apply as I may, I've only heard back from four jobs at ALL, and only gotten one interview.One the guy emailed more detailed information than in his ad and it turned out I didn't actually qualify (he wanted me to be a notary). Another, a sales position, I got to the second round but never heard from them again. Another was too far a commute for only four hours a day, five days a week that after gas money it would have only been more of a burden. And the one I interviewed for was perfect and I totally thought I got it... only to be told someone else was hired. It happens.

A friend of mine gave me a lead and told me she's close friends with the regional manager of an employment company and she'd take care of me. I really thought I'd get a job. But it's been more than two weeks and she hasn't even tried to contact me back.

So now I'm contemplating relocation because my aunt has offered to let me stay with her. I'd have to sell pretty much everything I own to try to pay for the plane ticket, and I'm not sure even then I wouldn't have to borrow money from friends or family (my parents don't have it). But it might be my only option...

I don't own a car, or even have a driver's license. It wasn't suspended, I just don't have the money for car insurance. If you have a permit you don't have to pay it. With my mom unemployed I have 'a reliable mode of transportation' (and if I got a steady job, I'd get my license), but I don't have a valid driver's license. I also live in a rural area, five miles from the nearest store. I am trapped at home every day. My mother is a homebody. She's practically a hermit. She doesn't like to leave the house more than once a week and I practically have to beg to get her to take me anywhere. She only does like once or twice a month. My father is just so exhausted when he gets home it's not an option. Except for Bible Study, which I have a ride to every week, I've only left the house twice in the last month. I'm losing my mind.

The most valuable thing I own is my laptop... which broke last week. After that, I don't think I own anything that costs more than a hundred dollars. I've only bought one shirt since my last job ended. Most of my clothes have holes or stains and I can't afford to replace them. I only have two good 'work' outfits left that I'm trying not to touch, to save for interviews and such. I feel like a hobo.

I've basically been unemployed, trapped in my parent's home for two years. I love them. I do. And I am grateful not to be homeless, I am. But I'm an adult. And I'm going crazy.

I am nauseous from being a burden on my parents. My mom is going crazy from financial stress too. Our payments keep being late. We're not sure we can pay the mortgage. And I know I'm a huge part of the reason. And I feel so awful, but I don't now what else to do.

The thing about being unemployed is if you have a job that stresses you out and you complain, people sympathize or at least help you appreciate what you have ('at least you have a job'). But if you're unemployed, and you go to even your nearest and dearest
they just give you advice lots and lots of well meaning but usually useless advice that makes you feel like you're never doing enough and you're worthless. They tell you to apply for jobs online. Well, I do. They tell you to call people back and are shocked when they learn that most places don't offer you a phone number, just a fax or email. Or tell you to go back to school. When you can't afford a candy bar, let alone a Master's degree.

I have Plantar fasciitis and I can't stand for more than 45 minutes. I can sit or walk all day long, I just can't stand. So when I tell people that, they assume I'm lazy and just don't want a job that makes me stand. But I honestly can't do it. I did it in high school-- that's when I developed plantar fasciitis, working as a cashier. But when I tell someone that they think I'm saying 'I am too high and mighty for that'. They don't seem to realize that I apply for other kinds of lower paying jobs-- like retail that's not cashier, or a waitressing-- where I can walk around. But they just never ever call me back. I think it's because I do have a college degree and the employers would rather hire someone who doesn't because they're less likely to leave the job for something better.

I don't want to whine or complain. I want to be joyful. I try to do more housework. But often, this causes conflict between me and Mom, because she wants things done HER way or not at all. And I just don't think like her. I do some chores, but there's no sense of accomplishment.

It's not laziness. Actually, I enjoy getting something accomplished. Those two times this month I got out when I wasn't going to Bible Study? I went to my friend's house and cleaned and cooked and baked. She's pregnant and is having trouble doing things herself. I felt useful and productive and wonderful. It was great. I rarely get that at home.

I do art. And that's great. I feel like I'm doing something... but it costs money to get supplies. I've tried to sell it. I rented a table for $30 at an art sale the artist's community was doing. I sold two pieces... for less than $30 total. It felt great that someone bought those pieces... but when the next sale rolled around I didn't have the money to try again.

I've not had a dollar of my own money for months. I don't go anywhere. I eat only at home. I try to network. I've seen people, facebook friends, get leads when they say 'I need a job'. So I've tried that four times, spread out over time. I only got one reply, and the person told me they'd heard about a job... in a city I don't live in. I said thanks but that's too far and she told me to ask for a signing bonus.

In this economy? And I'd need money for not just a move, but a car, an apartment deposit... I need a job to afford to leave my parent's home. Except for going to San Diego. There I might have a chance... but how much worse would the situation be if I was living 3000 miles from my friends and family and still couldn't find a job? I might have to do it, but I can't make the decision lightly...

I have a wonderful boyfriend. In India. And he's the best thing going on in my life, aside from God. But there's also anxiety there because for one, he's leading a very different life from me. He's employed, living in a city of a million people. If he wanted to, friends want him to go out with them every night.

And I want to marry him. And he wants to marry me. Not today, but probably in a year. But in order for him to come over on a fiance visa, I need to have a job (and have tax records to prove it, so need it for at least a year) that can support not only me, but him as well. If I don't find a GOOD paying job soon (like by the end of January, probably) this just isn't going to happen. If we want to marry in a year, I'll have to move to India. And unfortunately, I have to live over there without legally able to work for at least a year if I do that. Here, he'd be able to work in about three months of paperwork, possibly sooner. But there, it'd be a minimum of a least a year. And the thing is, he makes just enough money to maybe put a roof over our heads, food in our tummies... but not to also pay for my student loans and credit card debt (from buying books and other living supplies during college-- I've not bought anything on credit since before I graduated). If I worked a full time job there, it'd cover it.. just.

I'm sorry to write something so long winded. But I just felt like I was going to explode tonight. And I typed 'I am unemployed' into google and found this sight.

I am loading up things to give away today. Nothing big. Books of poetry I never read. Old textbooks that are too outdated to sell to current students, and I never look at. A pair of ridiculously high stilettos I've only worn a couple times. I am trying to cleanse my life now. It'll make it easier to move if I go to San Diego, for one... And if not, then at least that's one less thing sitting around the house all day. Maybe I can live vicariously through it.

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