Ghostly Thoughts

I have ghosts in my head that keep telling me I’m a failure.

Amazingly, this feeling of failure has nothing to do with my inability to have children. Well maybe indirectly, anyway.

No, this feeling of failure has to do with everything that has happened since losing my job this past May. And with what has transpired since.

You see, I had this wonderful blog entry scheduled to post today; anticipating that I’d be busy in Seattle (thanks to the generosity of my parents) trying to board a cruise liner for an all-expense paid cruise to Alaska. It talked about how lucky Hubby & I were to be able to have had a wonderful (albeit hectic and financially difficult) summer this year. And I also wrote how I was looking forward to starting my new career path in Clinical Health Care Education. And how excited I was that Hubby & I decided to stay in Chicago rather than moving back to Suburban Detroit.

Except something happened this past Friday to make me scrap that post. Without going into much detail, Hubby & I were forced to reassess whether or not we were making the right decision to stay in Chicago. It affected us so much, that we were willing to lose the security deposit on the lease we just signed for an apartment and move back to Detroit.

We knew it would be financially risky to stay in Chicago. However, when we sat down to discuss the pros and cons, our guts told us that moving back to an economically-challenged state (with incredibly limited job opportunities for Hubby) would be the wrong thing to do. At least in Chicago, we knew there was a demand for talented people like Hubby … even though it might only be contract or free-lance work.

As Hubby & I (once again) discussed our various options, I found myself spiraling down uncontrollably. Suddenly my feelings of inadequacy and incompetence started to resurface. And it was perpetuated by this feeling I’ve had since this past May …. that, since *I* was the one to lose a job, I was a failure.

I was a failure because *I* moved us to Chicago for this “incredible” job opportunity … and then lost this job.

I was a failure because *I* encouraged Hubby to quit his full-time job in Michigan and go “free-lance” so that he could realize his dream of working for himself. But since I no longer had a job, I couldn’t support his dream.

I was a failure because *I* wanted to move to Chicago order to provide some distance away from all the bad Infertility memories we had in Michigan; all in an effort to help us move forward in our lives. Except now, we were on the cusp of moving back to Michigan, back to the same house that held such bad memories.

So yeah, the way that I see it … I just plain and outright, failed.

What’s worse than this feeling of failure is the self-doubt that has now crept in to my head.

These same ghosts, hence forth known as Ghosts of Failures Past (GFP), are now telling me that I’m not going to be able to hold any job down.

It’s as if my GFP decided to team up with my Ghosts of Failures Future to give tips on what to look out for if I started to travel down the road of “failure” once again.

And that no matter how excited I am to start my new job … new career, I should just expect to fail again. After all, wasn’t I so excited to move to Chicago for an incredible job opportunity?

Yes, I realize that this makes no logical sense. And I realize that I shouldn’t base every future experience on all horrible past experiences. But I do. And I am. And it terrifies me.

Despite the (relatively large and indescribable) hiccup that happened on Friday, Hubby & I have determined that we will stay Chicago. For now. While I’m incredibly happy excited relieved that our decision is final, I’m now incredibly scared that I might just screw up again.

I know Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And I’ve tried to ingrain that quote in my mind; believe that, without a doubt, I am the master of my own perceptions.

But when it’s your own “Ghosts” that are the cause of such inferior thoughts … how do you counteract these thoughts?

Perhaps visiting Seattle, the city where Hubby & I have dreamed of moving to, will keep me focused on moving forward.

Perhaps breathing in some fresh Pacific Northwest mountain will help clear the ghosts from my head.

And if it doesn’t, I’ll be making some serious phone calls to Dr. Peter Venkman to do some serious Ghostbusting.


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5 Replies to “Ghostly Thoughts”

  1. Insecurity and lack of confidence hurts so much. It is really hard to get that back once shaken really bad. But from the little I know of your situation, it does sound like you are doing the right thing to stay in chicago, or at least that is what I would do if I were you. I hope the trip to alaska is filled with fun, and time for a some peace and perspective. None of your situation is your fault. You made decisions based on what was the best thing at the time. You can’t foresee the future. Don’t blame yourself, though I know that is really really hard.

  2. I think I understand. I got fired from a job 8 years ago. When I write that, it seems so very long ago, and yet I still find myself worrying.

    I finally had to realize a few things. Lots of people get fired. It’s not strange. It’s rare that you get fired from a job you love. I had to seriously think about my part in the firing, and decide what I did wrong, and go from there. That was hard, it meant going back to people who know me and asking for unfettered feedback. I heard some hard stuff. I had to decide that I was fired once, in a 12 year working career. That’s not so bad.

    Finally, I had to realize that I got fired and found another job. If I did it before, I could do it again.

    Hope that helps!

  3. I think what you are feeling is only natural. Especially on the eve of starting a new career. I know I would be nervous starting something new, and of course I’d be thinking about a past experience (whether good or bad), and afraid of screwing up.

    Okay this comment was meant to be encouraging, so I’ll just say – enjoy your cruise, try not to focus on the bad or the past (easy for me to say, I know but I mean well) and tell those Ghosts “thanks for the reflection, but I’d rather not focus on the past” .

  4. Oh, Em… I know, I know, I know.

    Being fired ripples through my life still today. I’m gun-shy about ever returning to work (ever… yes, H is as thrilled about that as one should be when their spouse announces their intention of being a housewife, oh, FOREVER…), and I find myself feeling extrememly critical of myself when I disappoint myself in *any* aspect of life. I feel it when I let myself be stung by someone’s comments, I feel it when I lose my cool and have to put the boys down somewhere and walk away for a few minutes, I feel it when I’m sharp with my husband– “no wonder I got fired! I’m a bad human being,” my mind screams. And I hate that. And I have no idea how to cast out these demons. They just keep coming back, wave after wave, five years later, It sucks.

    Anyhow, I hope you are able to find a way to take it easy on yourself, or at least catch some serious relaxation up there in the Northwest. I hope the crisp air works some magic for you!

    And super, major, incredibly huge congrats on your new career! I am thrilled that your training sessions will take you down to my neck of the woods, and YES, we absolutely have to find a way to meet up!

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