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attitude adjustment (not AA related)


Catmom
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I lost my job back in May and found out last week that my unemployment benefits have been denied because my former employer alleges "misconduct" consisting of verbal abuse of a nursing home resident. This is a false accusation but I still have no money coming in at the moment. I struggle daily with a lot of fear and low self esteem.

That being said, I want to share something that has helped me look at my situation in a different light:

I heard a piece this morning on NPR'S "The Story" about a woman, Jill Hollis, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2004. They interviewed her periodically over the years since 2004 and I was blown away by her honesty and courage.

Here's the link to the NPR page so you can hear her story:

http://thestory.org/archive

She died this last Tuesday night.

She wasn't some full of it, PollyAnna type, but did see the good that had come from her illness. The part of the story that I could so relate to is when she said that if there were a pill to cure her of ALS instantly, she would not take it! She said this is because she is terrified of losing the closeness with family and friends that she has gained from her illness.

She had a wonderful group of friends from her church and a husband and children who were very supportive of her.

I don't have the large group of supporters she did, but last Friday, my eldest brother called me to thank me for a birthday card I had sent him. I had just found out about my unemployment benefits being cut off & had not told him yet.

I was astonished when he responded with some very kind words about how I have been clean, sober, & gamble free since December 2004. He asked me where I thought I would be if I had continued the drugs & gambling. (In the back of our minds during the conversation was our brother who died of an Oxycontin overdose in Jan 2004). I was so touched by his kindness during the phone call that I started crying.

After the call, I was talking to a friend on the phone and was trying to remember the last time this brother had been so kind to me. I am pretty sure it was when our dad died in 1991! My brother had been there holding my dad's hand as he died of Alzheimer's disease and assured me that his passing had been very peaceful.

It meant so much to me to have that small interaction with my brother that the financial and emotional price my unemployment has caused was (almost) worth it. I say "almost" because I still might be homeless and the brother may only act nicely every 20 years. LOL Time will tell I guess.

Thanks for reading,

Catmom

P.S. Obviously, if were partaking of drugs or gambling, this connection with my brother would never have happened. I would have been already involved in an intimate relationship with gambling and/or drugs. CM

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Catmom,

Every time I read your posts about your loss of employment, I get angry at the people who dismissed you and brought charges. Now, I am even more angry because you are denied unemployment benefits. That is grossly unfair to you.

I guess I am firmly on your side.

Can you appeal that? Do you have other options?

Allan:(

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I filed a "request to reconsider" two days ago without the so-called help of my cut-rate and incompetent attorney. At the beginning of the request, I stated that I felt that I had been misrepresented and should not have taken his advice not to testify during the unemployment hearing. The court concluded that I was agreeing with everything that my former employer said, since I did not testify. :eek:

I doubt that I will prevail, however. :o

Thank you for your support, Allan. It still boggles my mind that all this has happened to me.

This is indeed a nightmare.

Catmom

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Hypothetically, catmom, if I was in similar circumstances I would look into filing a complaint against the attorney with the state bar. Lawyers are held to a strong standard and incompetence is not acceptable. I certainly do not know enough law to give advice, but I am aware that competence and diligence are required under the Professional Rules of Responsibility in the US. :D

Edited by kaudio
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I went cold calling Friday and today. On Friday, they really liked me at one facility I stopped at, but they don't know if they can use me. :(

(In case you are unfamiliar with what I mean, cold calling is just dressing up and showing up to likely skilled nursing facilities, resume in hand, to inquire about a job. Scary, but not as scary as being evicted)

The stress of this is absolutely crushing tonight. I began sobbing a little while ago because I bumped the side of my garage door with my car as I was coming in from my bridge game tonight. It will have to be fixed before I can use the automatic door closer since the track for it is bent.

I am fearful of calling my landlady to tell her about it tomorrow because I am afraid she and her partner will expect me to pay for it and I have no money.

Also, I have decided to call my eldest brother tomorrow to tell him I need to borrow some money if I don't get a job by October 1st. Calling him breaks my heart because I have never asked him for money other than for $160 when I was gambling several years ago.

This is some tough stuff I am dealing with these days. That's for sure.

Catmom

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Catmom,

Sounds like ther is some is some hope for a job. I will be rooting for you. Is there a "job dance" I can do???:(

Believe me, you are not alone in having to borrow money. I had to. In fact, a great many of us have had to do it. I know very well that it can feel embarassing. But, hey, we are human and we need each other.

Stay optimistic, please.

Allan:)

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I just talked to my eldest brother who flatly refused to help me in any way whatsoever. He said that even if I were to be evicted, he would not lend me money.

Believe me, he has the money, which wouldn't be much.

I asked him what his rationale was & he said "I want to stay married." (he has been married since 1974, has 4 children ages 28 to 35) I asked what his wife's reasoning was, suggesting that perhaps she thought that all this was my fault & he said "yes."

The pain of this is excruciating.

The pleasant call I had with him a week or so ago stirred up the deep longings I have for meaningful connection with family or anyone really. 90% of the time, I can put aside my sadness at not having a loving family, but this crisis has brought out that pain in a big way.

I have never been married, thinking that no on would ever be attracted to me. This self loathing was what fueled my addictions.

It makes me wonder if he and his wife have some secret addiction or shame because whenever someone has been this rejecting of me, they themselves had something to hide.

Example: one of my other brothers, who died of an Oxycontin overdose in Dec 2004, refused to loan me money for a lawyer in 2000 because I had a drug related charge back then. It appeared that he had it "all together" and no longer drank or did drugs. Imagine my shock when he died a few years later.

When does the pain stop?

Catmom

P.S. So I guess it doesn't matter if I need money if I can't even borrow it from family. I do have one other brother, a surgeon, but I dread asking him either. I supposed I might as well ask & find out just how bad it really is. CM

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Catmom, {{hugs}}}.

Your brother is an ass. Sorry to be blunt, but really. But you can't say that to him, especially if you're asking for a loan. Does he know how long you've been clean and not gambling? When is he going to give you some credit for this??

I can only imagine how excruciating this must be for you and I wish there was something I could suggest or even say to make this feel better. :rolleyes: I can see how it is only risking even more pain to ask your other brother. (Would he be more amenable if you impress upon him how desperate your need is and how you will account for all of it, if he wants?) I still think, however that you should give it a try, how do you feel about that? Is it worth it or will the pain be too much?

Can you find ANY other kind of work temporarily, to keep the wolf from the door?

I'm actually at a loss for words. :o Other than I think your brother is an ass and I'm glad I'm not married to him. Are there ANY other 'desperation' options? It sounds as if your FOO just isn't there for you when you need them. Do you have a friend you could ask, if you say you'll draw up a contract that's all legal, to pay it back?

I don't know what else to suggest. :( But I'm with you.

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I wish there was something we could do to help!! I can't believe your family treated that way and I am so sorry for the hurt that is causing you!! I understand family being unsupportive though. I deal with that too. My family likes to call me a "waste of a life." It hurts to the very core of my being!!

good luck on your job search and I hope your lead pans out. It's makes me angry that you were fired and then denied benefits because you did the right thing.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Catmom,

Sadly, I am all too familiar with siblings who are insensitive and even cruel.

Why are you reluctant to ask the other brother (physician) for help?

Is it possible for you to get a part time job in another field? Also, do you have any friends who could assist you financially?

Is there no way to get legal representation for your case to be properly appealed and reviewed?

What do you and others think? We are open to ideas and suggestions.

Allan

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Hello, Catmom. I'm so sorry your family has not been supportive in your time of need. :) Did you ask your other brother for assistance yet? How are you feeling today?

I'm sorry I don't have much helpful advice to offer. :) I hope you are able to find employment soon. In the meantime, we will be here to listen and support you. (((Catmom)))

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Hi Catmom, I am really sorry to hear about your challenges, those are not easy times to get through. Without being insensitive to your particular situation, may I say that many, many people are going through it in America, and in England, and in Canada. We are going through a very difficult economic situation and frankly sometimes I think that we have lost the capacity to be helpful to each other - we are not people who have lived these types of economic times and we are used to being much more independent. I find that families now are about getting together for a meal now and again, but truly helping each other, we don't do much of it anymore IMHO - or at least not is the environment I'm in contact with.

Mostly we judge each other's situation so that we have to do as little as possible and not get involved - a culture of individuality. I've thought a lot about that because I was with an African fellow for some 15 years. Culturally they continue to live within a clan mindset and things are done very differently. They truly help each other, because their situation is very difficult on a ongoing basis perhaps - survival is often literally at stake and there is no government safety net. They continue to think as a tribe, and if someone can't find work, they rally behind the person and the tribe ensures survival. It's an older way of thinking, one my 100 old grandma spoke much about. It does have it's disadvantages when it comes to freedom of action, but when one is in need it sure is more helpful than everyone for him/herself....

I guess I was just thinking that there are influences at play that are not within your control, like the downturn in the economy, and the new family paradigm, so I hope you are not beating yourself about it all being your fault. I have always wondered about the american dream ... if you try hard enough you can make it, everyone can have it, and if you don't then it's all on your head. But sometimes that just ain't true, in times like these for example.

I've been thinking a lot lately ... can you tell :) I've also been reading a lot about the early 19th century and the reality of living in that era - my grand-mother's time. The world was a difficult place to survive for most, and it was very difficult to find a job and make money. All their goodwill to work was often wasted, because their was no work. My grandmother for example had a very difficult life as a widow at 29 years of age with 3 children during the great depression. All I can say is that one gets through the tough times, and grace does continue to work it's majic, such as that conversation with your brother...

We are here with you Catmom, you can lean on us some :)

Edited by Symora
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  • 10 months later...

Allan (on 7-1-11) and Luna (back in Sept 2010) asked how I am doing and it isn't good.

I still haven't found a job. Had to move last Dec to a cheaper place (which is good anyway). And--unemployment will truly be running out for me within the next two months.

I have been turned down for so many jobs, I can't even count them all. Most recently, I had an interview with large local insurance company for a disability consultant/case manager type position.

The interviewer loved me & was telling me about all the perks & trying to "woo" me (like I needed to be courted!) And then I told her about my license, which is a matter of very public record. She said she didn't know if it would be an issue but I got the turndown email from HR about 10 days later. I strongly suspect it is "company policy" never to hire a nurse on probation. If the disability determination were disputed, it would look bad for them to employ such nurse.

It was so heartbreaking to have a dream job waived under my nose to show what I could have if I hadn't stolen those drugs back in 2000. My 5 years of probation was to be over on June 28, 2011. But it is extended indefinitely until I can work at least 130 hours per quarter for another year.

I haven't felt this deep down hopeless since I was actively gambling and abusing prescription drugs prior to Dec 2004, when I stopped all that after starting therapy.

I socialize at my bridge club, usually when they call me in to play for free to fill out the numbers. I go to 12 step meetings and I even see the old therapist (long story) once a month. I don't think I give the impression of despair to anyone but that is where I am.

Just like when I was in my active addictions, I am keeping the option of suicide available should it get to the point that I am homeless and have to give up my pets.

I had resigned myself to the notion that I would never find a mate because I am fat.

What I cannot accept is that I turned my life around, stopped the addictive behaviors, lived a very highly principled life, worked as hard as I could, only to fail at even supporting myself!

Apparently, employers just see me as a "druggie nurse" because I stole some pills back in 2000 and I can't overcome this attitude.

My therapist has been pressuring me to apply for no-brain jobs like I had when I was in my addictions, but I don't think those kinds of jobs are available either. Isn't nursing what people get into so they will never be unemployed?

But- I am applying for anything I can find but it is very hard to even try when the results are the same as if I had never done anything.

As you all know, even my family has rejected me as a loser.

I do so love my dog and two cats and would be sorry to never see them again if I were dead. Too bad I don't have humans in my life that I am that close to.

Thanks for letting me vent. The pain and shame are just overwhelming tonight.

Catmom

Edited by Catmom
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Oh, Catmom. :) This is bad news. :) I don't know what to say ...

I agree with your therapist about trying to find ANY job at this stage. Being unemployed is so debilitating and the best time to apply for jobs is when you are already employed, so getting into any kind of job will help. (Your therapist has probably said all this to you already.)

I've thought of you from time to time and wondered how you are. I'm sorry to hear this.

(Your family may think you're a loser but as I remember they weren't exactly saints themselves.)

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Guest ASchwartz

Catmom,

Well, your situation continues and it just seems outrageous to me. At least its good that your brother finally acknowledges you and your achievements in dealing with addiction. Yes, that is quite a story and reflects why I like NPR.

I feel frustrated for you. I wish I knew how to help, how to make things right so that you could return to your profession. Well, anyway, you have my utter and complete empathy.

Allan

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Catmom,

Well, your situation continues and it just seems outrageous to me. At least its good that your brother finally acknowledges you and your achievements in dealing with addiction. Yes, that is quite a story and reflects why I like NPR.

I feel frustrated for you. I wish I knew how to help, how to make things right so that you could return to your profession. Well, anyway, you have my utter and complete empathy.

Allan

Thanks Allan. The beginning of this story is not an accurate portrayal of what is happening (or not happening) between me and both of my brothers. I had mistakenlt thought there might be some greater connection between us.

Neither of my brothers acknowledges anything about me except that I am a loser and deserve to suffer the consequences of my failure.

I think that it was my eternal longing for greater intimacy & connection with my family that made me want to believe otherwise.

I have not spoken to that brother that I mentioned at the beginning of this thread since last September.

This unemployment situation feels like I am terminally ill and none of the treatments are working.

The shame of it all is overwhelming.

Catmom

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