A year ago, the worst thing that ever happened to me, happened. Worse then the death of my Father due to a rapidly-progressing disease. Worse then the stolen natural childbirth experience due to an emergency c-section. Worse then the car accident that put me in the hospital for 5 days.
I've never considered myself a stay-at-home person. I've always worked a full-time job since the day after I graduated with a two-year college. I was lucky enough to get a job that I enjoyed, that helped me learn many valuable skills, and, when I felt there was no more growth potential, left on my own terms for a better opportunity.
Three years ago we decided to move to Creekistan, much closer to my husband's job. Or more correctly, our move to Creekistan was decided for us. For one thing, a home near our dear friends became available for a shockingly low price. It was a "handyman special," and our dear friend was a handyman. Then on the day we closed on the house, I was offered the perfect job. Jobs near Creekistan are rare. It was as if fate was paving the road for us.
I really loved my new job. It was an oasis to me while my home in Creekistan was not finished. I was able to shower at work--a luxury I didn't have for a while at home. I had wonderful and like-minded co-workers. I had pets at work that helped take the stress away and make every day special. It was such a nice change from the sterile corporate environment I had been in for many years.
I was, as I refer to it, "quit" from that job. I wasn't fired and I didn't quit on my own. I was forced to pack up my desk and my desk trinkets because I wanted to preserve as much dignity as I could. I didn't want to go. I enjoyed my job and the workplace. But something made the boss stop trusting me and start criticizing everything I did. And I couldn't continue to work under those circumstances.
I was really hurt and scarred by losing my job. I still have nightmares about returning to work, humiliated and subservient. I still have anger toward the boss who forced me to leave. To this day I can't say the name of the company or the name of the boss. Instead I refer to them as "The Place I Used to Work," and "She Who Must Not Be Named" respectively. I cringed when my W2s arrived in January.
A year later, I've learned to become a Domestic Goddess. Some days I even manage to get my son off to school, make breakfast and lunch for my Husband to take to work, and I teach my 3-year-old the alphabet. I can now do laundry during the day instead of late at night. My garden is going to be bigger and better. My home is better run.
I feel like I didn't just lose a job, but I lost my identity. I'm still troubled by the fact that people use their employment as their identity. At parties, when people ask, "And what do you do?" I used to tell them all that I found interesting and fun about my job. Now I have to really think about my answer. I'm in transition, and making the best of it.