as i’m sure my fellow bloggers, complicitgrace and thewomaninvisible , can attest to, as well as understand, last week at work was brutal. while a (current) survivor of the round of layoffs as well as one of the project leads at the global company my career is tethered to, there is the aftermath to deal with.
the aftermath of assisting those impacted by job eliminations but those that have survived and frankly, those of us on the project team as well. believe it or not, it’s hard to switch back to “normal” given the size and scope of what we just undertook. and we did it without outside consultants or hired guns (think “up in the air” starring mr. clooney above) which can really, suck. there’s nothing like being the one to have to notify a colleague, neighbor, former lover (not me but my colleague inadvertently was assigned to deliver the news to a team that included her first ex-husband!), etc. that they no longer have a job. even with a severance package that is generous, it’s crappy work. and a bit of you dies inside each time.
darling husband has known i was on some secret project for the last 9-weeks. it’s come up during our counseling sessions due to the inordinate amount of stress and some of the medical complications that my treatment has encountered as a result of that stress.
yet on the day of the actual milestone not one word of good luck, thinking of you or don’t worry you will get through it. instead he asks me to remember to pick his shirts up from the cleaners and to pick up a baby gift for one of his co-workers. and yet, he wonders when we sit in our counseling sessions how i can say “you just don’t get me”. i swear i wanted to scream and walk out the door. but that’s too easy. i know some folks, specifically a vitriolic troll, are always saying why don’t you leave and the reasons are numerous and complex. likely the same reasons dh hasn’t left either. yet.
so in practice of what we’ve been coached on in counseling, i tell dh what i need in that moment and for that day. and was clear that if he couldn’t provide it, i was going to reach out to my long distance friend for the reassurance and emotional connection he provides me. if even for a moment of solace. it’s the first time dh has acknowledged that maybe our son gets his autism from him because while he can see that kind of connection is important to me, he doesn’t understand why emotions are important. of course, i don’t have to reach out to “him”. when i finally log in to my laptop at work the first message that comes through is a silly limerick and a simple sentence telling me to take a deep breath, let it go and know that he’s thinking of me. and so it goes…
Oh! I been there. It sucks to be left behind and to pick up the moral from the employees who are still here. I knew that the chances of me getting laid off where slim but I had build relationships and hated to let them go.
I’ve been reading your blog for some time now…for reasons unnecesaary to articlate, your ‘voice’ resonates at so many levels with me. It’s almost as if I know you (I don’t). I look forward to each post and feel as if I have a deep sense of what you’ve experienced over the past year or so…the highs and lows. I have always appeciated your measured tone when it comes to describing ‘dh,’ but the counseling sessions have increasingly revealed to me what you’ve now chosen to share…his ‘understanding’ of a connection between him and your son.
I spent much of my early career working with autistic children long before any spectrum was identified…the mid-1970’s. Many of ‘my kids’ were on the high end of what we now know to be that spectrum…very high functioning and had gone off to exclusive universities and engineering schools in particular. The world of subtle emotions, in particular empathy, was always so elusive from those who otherwise appeared to function well in the company of others. I am not trying to compare in the least here…except for your description of his not knowing why you needed to feel support that morning…and the fact that his dry cleaning and other concrete acts of the day were the ‘priorities.’
Does this ‘understanding’ represent some degree of a breakthrough? Just curious…but mostly feeling for what you are delaing with and happy that you have ‘one’ who does get you as challenging as that has become.