I have not been speaking much here, and it's been in large part due to what I have been referring to as the Recent Unpleasantness.
In early July, the Sober Husband was summarily fired on short notice from his beloved, high-paying job. One week he was jetsetting around the world in business class, holding meetings, mentoring people, setting policies, etc.. and the next, he was at home looking as though he'd been struck with a poleax. On the day he came home, jobless, I greeted him and said, "There's something I wanted to tell you."
"That you told me so?" said the Sober Husband, bracing himself.
"No, that I love you." We made him a special dinner and tried to focus on the positive.
That didn't last long. Soon we were squabbling over his plans to go, despite the Recent Unpleasantness, on a vacation with his mother in Martha's Vineyard. My argument: he should stay home to look for a job. His argument: he should go to Martha's Vineyard, and we could recoup the expenses by canceling my planned vacation to Burning Man. "Oh, HELL NO" was the response from the beleaguered Drunken Housewife.
We had neither of us, the Sober Husband nor I, ever been without income or the prospect of income before. True, I had been a starving student, but in those days I had odd jobs and the prospect of a golden future. My being a stay-at-home mother had appeared to be a rational choice economically, albeit not always emotionally. We'd never faced the abyss of joblessness and economic uncertainty.
A terrible period ensued of great stress and unhappiness. Your humble correspondent spent a considerable amount of time curled up in bed, during daytime hours, softly weeping into the fur of a number of cats of various degrees of feralness.
To make things worse, the Sober Husband had a painful surgery requiring a lengthy-ish convalescence. I warned the children that it wasn't going to be pretty. "Your father has one of the world's great immune systems; he never gets sick. Plus, he's really graceful, so he doesn't hurt himself. As a result, he freaks out whenever there's the slightest thing wrong with him. He has no idea how to handle it. Be ready." This warning barely sufficed. The normally James Bond-like Sober Husband became a tormented and high maintenance convalescent.
A few days into the convalescence I had to leave to drive up to acquire Lola from her summer camp. "I'm leaving you in charge," I said to Iris firmly. She reported over the phone some difficulty in getting her father to take his medications. He said to me indignantly, "She made me stick out my tongue to show that I swallowed it!" "Nice work, Iris," I said proudly.
On top of this, our most majestic pet, Frowst, developed ulcers in his mouth. Prescribed real morphine for his pain, he spends approximately 23 hours a day lying directly upon your Drunken Housewife. When he is well, this magnificent longhaired cat spends his time surveying the neighborhood from atop a neighbor's roof or our fence. When he's hurting, he requires being held like a baby.
But happily this season of suffering and uncertainty is drawing to a close. Next week the Sober Husband begins a new job, an exciting and prestigious one. Income will begin to flow again... and among the multitude of benefits which will start up I was happy to discover pet insurance! Frowst can get the oral surgery he needs (I have booked him in to see a feline dental specialist). We are happy that our summer of stress and worry is drawing to a close, and we feel for our friends who are unemployed who don't have a happy ending in sight.
Almost like a vacation from security.
My sympathies. We are facing the same issue. My husband hasn't slept in weeks. We won't starve because my job is secure, but it won't pay the mortgage, and it certain won't pay tuition for son in pricey east coast college. Hello, home equity line. How nice to meet you. Hope you got to BM. It always seems to recharge your batteries.
There is a lesson in there. No matter how good things may seem, or how bad they may seem, you can count on things changing.
So sorry you're in that same sitch, Claire. Really stressful.
I have so much more understanding of how dreadful poverty is, having teetered on its brink. There are studies showing that poor people's brains are changed by stress. I understand that more viscerally because this summer my brain was definitely affected: I was anxious all the time and always thinking of money, whether we'd have to sell our house, etc.., etc...
There are studies showing that poor people's brains are changed by stress.
I totally get this. 2013 early 2014 weren't easy on the savings account due to house issues, and it's become hard for me to think positively about anything in the future that costs more than a couple hundred dollars. (vacations, kids items, stuff for the home, possibly blending families, etc.)
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