John was “let go” from his job two weeks ago. It wasn’t a surprise, in fact, John had already started to look for employment elsewhere. His boss was the type of boss that you only hear about. He was demeaning, rude, hypocritical, I could go on and on, but I won’t. This story isn’t about him. Needless to say, he was toxic. Toxic not only to John, but to the majority of the people working for the company. We knew John needed to look for a new job about a month or two after he started, unfortunately, our savings account didn’t allow him to leave without another job lined up. So being “let go” forced him out the door.
When John told me I remained surprisingly calm. For days. I had this peaceful reassurance that everything would work out and we would be provided for. I wasn’t sure how that was going to be, our savings account is dismal, I just knew that it would.
Last week John was offered a sales position. The base salary is just enough to cover our “scrimping” monthly bills, and commissions will come at some point, but now we have a little wiggle room. Not much, but a little. John had prayed over and over that he would be able to provide for our family. That something would come along. That he would recognize it when it did. It is a total blessing. I understand that. I recognize it. But the job itself is triggering.
Like, I can’t be nice and have eaten all of the chocolate chips and corn chips in the house triggering.
It’s hard to be grateful for something that has unearthed the trauma and has slammed down the metal doors around my heart so that it’s protected like Fort Knox.
I didn’t realize just how badly this was affecting me until I went to group last night and my therapists told me to open up my heart a little bit. It was then that I noticed how I was sitting – legs under me, back smashed into the back of the couch, arms wrapped tightly around me, and shoulders totally hunched forward. Now I am aware, now I can begin to work through this.
So why is it so triggering? Why am I so closed off?
John has had a second job for several years delivering products after work and on the weekends. We were financially devastated about 7 years ago and he took this job to help make ends meet and then it evolved to helping us pay off debt. For 6 years I had looked past the missed dinners, coming home late at night, looking disheveled because he’d been driving all over the place, and all of the Saturdays that he couldn’t be home. I looked past it all because he was working so hard for our family. I felt guilty because I was barely holding it together and he always seemed so positive and upbeat. When he disclosed I found out that he would have lags between deliveries, get bored, and do – well, do what he did when he was bored. It usually involved another person. I’ll leave it at that. His paychecks would go into our business account that I didn’t have access to at the time so he would lie about how much he was paid, slough money off for his “fun” and give me what was left to make ends meet.
In January, I asked him to quit this second job, but we still needed the income, so he cut back significantly and we established rules around the deliveries – our kids go with him on Saturday, he can only deliver within a certain radius, I need to know where the deliveries are, etc. I have come to terms with the second job.
But now, I am triggered out of my mind because the job he was offered, the job that is a huge blessing to our family, the job that totally feels right to both of us is selling a similar product to the one he has been delivering. Heavenly Father must really have a sense of humor. Unfortunately, I do not have one right now. We do not even live in his sales area. His area is an hour and fifteen minutes away. Boom. Trigger. The business has an office locally, but he will spend most of his time in his area visiting offices. Offices. Offices with pretty women. Boom. Trigger. He will have an entire days worth of opportunities of lie to me, or deceive me, or mislead me. Boom. Trigger.
I want so badly to be supportive but my heels are dug in deep.
I am trying to look at this as a blessing. I am trying to see how far we have come. How far John has come. He really has changed and I believe him when he says that the way he has lived the past 25+ years of his life, and the things he has done, utterly repulse him. But I still don’t trust him. I trusted him blindly for 12 1/2 years. Now he really has to earn my trust. Maybe that’s where the blessing (besides financial) will be in all of this. Maybe this will be a way for him to earn some more trust. Little by little. And it will be a way for me to trust Heavenly Father. He has a much greater plan than I can imagine. If this is where John needs to be, then this is where he needs to be. I will slowly lift those doors that are surrounding my heart and allow myself to step into that space of vulnerability, trusting that God will be by my side. I will work my recovery, put away the chocolate and corn chips, and practice yoga. Hmm… Heart openers sounds like a great place to start.