Average Jane

It’s a shame

As an adult, it is rare that I come across new emotions — ones I’ve never experienced before. And yet, I sit here blindsided by a feeling that I’ve never had, so foreign that I had to be told what it was.


My Aunt had inevitably heard about the loss of yet another job. Sure, in essence it was my decision to leave, but I feel as though I was backed into a corner, no where to run. No where to hide. No other options but to leave. When I saw her number pop onto my caller ID, I ignored it. I had nothing to say. I couldn’t stand to explain what happened. Not again. Not when I had a hard enough time figuring out for myself exactly what went so wrong so fast. She left a voicemail. It sat unheard for days. Finally, I got an email. “I tried every way to get a hold of you. Even Twitter. Let’s catch up. What’s going on?”

I saw she was online, so rather than launch into a long email, I shot her a message.

“I’m sorry. I’ve been in a bit of a crisis the last few days and I just didn’t know what to say to you,” was all I could come up with.

“It’s ok. I figured you were experiencing some shame and weren’t ready to talk.” She’s a therapist, but her words still took me aback.

Shame. What does that mean? That’s a shame. What a shame. Such a shame…  But me? Ashamed?

But she was right. She was right that I was ashamed that something had gone so wrong and that I couldn’t make this job work. I was embarassed and ashamed. Unemployed. One long-shot job prospect. Rent due. Severance will only get me so far.

It wasn’t my fault. As a matter of fact, the CEO said flat out is was their fault. But fault doesn’t pay the bills. I should have stayed… “Itwouldhavebeenniceif I had stayed,” rather. Shoulds get me in trouble.

Having to tell my mom again for the 4th time that I had been let go. Having to face myself and my insecurities again. Having to look at myself in the mirror and admit defeat. Again. I am ashamed of myself for making a poor decision. I am ashamed that I can’t keep shit together. I am ashamed that I did this to myself. All I had to do was keep my mouth shut and do my job. Injustices work themselves out. Everyone was on my side. And I jumped. I jumped into shark infested waters and now I am relying on the bouyancy of my spirit and my (what I hope are) skills to get me through.

What am I doing with my life? How will I ever be confident applying for a job again? How do people go to work day after day and hate it? How do they subvert their resentment and just… carry on? I have so much to learn, and with enough money to last about 2 months… not a lot of time to learn it.


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  1. * PRSlaveDC says:

    You know you have no reason to feel shame… and despite that, I can honestly say I know that it gets harder each time this happens, and we’ve been through it before, and you know we’re going to get through it now.

    E-hug, real hug, job hunt help, or just a dose of the Kub… call me.

    Shame is not the right reaction… you stood up for who and what you are. And that’s a good thing.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 9 months ago
    • * lacochran says:

      Negative emotions can be great motivators to change at a fundamental level. Sounds like you’re ready. People do all sorts of things to pay the bills. That’s really what being an adult is… sucking it up until you can work something better.

      Also, be careful of how you label yourself. Given the title of your blog, you don’t exactly give yourself the reinforcement that might lead to a different outcome.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 9 months ago
  2. * Wait for Daylight says:

    You are going through the normal questioning of oneself that follows all of life’s traumatic moments. You will probably second- and third- guess yourself for a little while.

    But like I was told, it always seems worse at night. Wait for the daylight, get up early, and get in the sun.

    Only after you get through the emotion of the situation will you have the necessary distance and perspective for real reflection. Go ahead and think about it some, since you will be unable to avoid doing so. But make sure that you are not beating yourself up.

    You may find out that you stuck to your own principles. And what good are principles if they never get tested? Know thyself, and to thine own self be true.

    Be very careful that you don’t let the fear of what others think color your self-image. The world is full of people who don’t mind watching other people struggle or suffer. For every person who offers you MEANINGFUL support, you will find one hundred who will be glad to write a ballad for the smallest of mis-steps.

    When I think of all the people I admire the most, every one of them has had major setbacks in life, sometimes several.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 9 months ago
  3. * Jessica:) says:

    Feel what you want to feel when you want to feel it. They’re YOUR feelings, and nobody can tell you how you can feel, should feel, or will feel. I’m ready to listen when you feel like talking…and I’m a (half) trained chaplain now!

    A massive hug (Brian style, even) coming your way, virtually for now, for real when I make it back to town. And lots of love for (you’re right) my favorite Knish!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 9 months ago
  4. Don’t bother with shame. If you’re going to allow negative emotions, go with anger. It’s much more productive.

    Good luck to you.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 9 months ago

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