Thursday, 14 May 2015
What it Feels Like to be Fired
The short answer. Absolutely, totally rubbish. I think the worst thing is that I had no warning it was coming. None whatsoever. Yes, I made some silly mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. We are all, after all, human, and not one of us is perfect. And none of these mistakes were fatal. Yes, I understand that no boss wants to see their employees making mistakes, but I think what angers me the most is I didn't get given the chance to change. I didn't get informed that my mistakes would ultimately lead to the loss of my job, and I didn't get the opportunity to try and improve. The reason I was actually given upon being fired was that my confidence had dropped since I started the position. I hold my hands up and admit this to be true. The fact of the matter is that my line manager and manager were the ones to cause this, along with my already fragile self esteem caused by years of coping with crippling depression, something they were aware of when they hired me as I started the job whilst on antidepressants.
So when, day by day, my manager started treating me like I was an idiot, like I was stupid and like I was a child, I began believing her and as a result, my confidence started to suffer. I became on edge constantly, worried I would make another mistake, worried my questions would appear to be 'silly' and 'unnecessary'. I became a shell of myself when I was at work, and back home, where I should have been relaxing, enjoying time with my boyfriend and my kids, instead I would constantly worry about work, about what I might have done wrong over the weekend. I would return to work on a Tuesday after my two days off and I would feel anxious as I walked in and sat down as to the way my manager would treat me, the way mood she would be in. It even affected my confidence at home. I would question my ability as a mother, as a girlfriend. I would feel constantly like I wasn't good enough and wonder why Ed wanted to be with me. My depression worsened and the bad days outweighed the good more and more.
The rush of emotions I have felt over the past couple of days have been intense. Like I say, I had no warning that this was coming so finding out Tuesday morning felt a bit like I had been punched in the stomach. I was in shock. I was upset but also felt a little like I wasn't really there. Everything was a bit of a blur as I packed up my, rather pathetic, belongings from my desk, handed in my badge and made my way out of the office. Ed was allowed to take the day as holiday to be with me and he took me to Splashdown to take my mind off everything with the water slides (which worked but OHMYGOD I don't like waterslides!). He took me to lunch and for cocktails at Chiquitos too and the Tequila definitely numbed things a little.
I managed to hold it together for a bit but later that day I ended up breaking down. The thing that made it worse was that I was already feeling incredibly low over the past few days, so I wasn't strong enough to cope with this as well. I have never lost a job before. I felt embarrassed, a total failure. I was ashamed and wanted to hide away from everyone and everything. My eyes were swollen and sore from crying so much. I felt like something was missing. The truth is, as much as the job was stressing me out, mainly due to my manager, I actually loved it. It was my dream job. I was using my degree in the way it was meant to be used. I was working on weddings, which is my passion. I had gotten to know and form relationships with my couples and clients. To have that all suddenly ripped away from me was heart-breaking. And even though I know deep down that what Ed and my family were saying, that something better would come along, I couldn't get past the fact that I didn't want different, I wanted to carry on being a wedding coordinator, doing what it is I love.
That evening I considered something I am ashamed to admit. I just felt that I couldn't cope with life. How would I ever be able to get another job when I had been told that I wasn't confident enough to have done a good enough job at my last one? I felt powerless and looking for another job just made things worse, as there is nothing out there at the moment doing what I want to be doing. Ed forced me to go to the gym and punch and kick the pads with him after his class. It really helped to let some of the pent up emotions out, and apparently I did the best I've ever done so maybe being fired wasn't all bad...
Yesterday I was more positive. I got in touch with some people to help me and the kids financially whilst I am looking for my next role, and I have widened my search as I know I need to find a job, not necessarily another career for now. My fear is that I will need to take my children out of nursery. Not because I am lazy, but because I don't want to disrupt their home life anymore than I have already. They have a routine there, they have stability and friends. I will find another job because I need to, for their sakes, and I will get better mentally, as I have before, for the same reason and because I know that I have a boyfriend, children and family who love me very much.
I had some low points again today, and I'm sure there will be more to come. I met Ed at work, so now there's the awkward situation where he still works in my old workplace. It is fairly difficult when I pick him up from work or ask him how his day has been. I found it hard that I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone at work as I was given a weeks pay in lieu of notice, but I sent in notes to those I had gotten to know and I hope that I may be able to keep in touch with some of them. I am still finding it hard to comprehend what happened and I will probably continue to struggle with my self esteem for a long time, but I am determined to pick myself up and to succeed, and ultimately to show those who doubt me that I can achieve my dreams.