You know the expression: Behind every great man, stands a great woman. Well, I hate that expression. I hate it because it drills home just what a crappy wife I am. The worse part... This phrase repeats over and over in my head each and every day that goes by that my husband is out of work. I blame myself.
I blame myself for not standing firm nine years ago, when he lost his job in Texas. To be honest, I expected he would be the one to take matters at hand and tackle jobless problem with every ounce of his being... for his family. I thought we were on the same page: Okay, laid-off. Just find another job... doing anything... take two jobs if possible; Three! Do whatever necessary to get through this.
Well, that didn't happen. What happened was he shut down, so I shut down. I not only shut down, I became distraught and resentful. Why wasn't he trying harder. Why was he okay with life crumbling from financial burdens. Why couldn't he deliver pizza, work at fast food restaurant... hell, why couldn't he toss newspapers every morning? I was so angry and disappointed back then.
And when it happened again in 2007, no change. In fact, my resentment and frustration reached a whole new level. I wondered, "Why does he just not seem to give a damn about us; our livelihood!" I again blamed myself. Kept my mouth shut; waited for his lead. Nothing. I proved useless to my family in so many ways; and when I could have been the driving force behind "my man," my failure was magnified. What kind of mother, right?
These days, a year after third job lay off, I operate on automatic pilot - slow and steady, navigating through misery; mountain of chaos and turmoil dead ahead.