Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Control and the removal of rugs

Five weeks almost. Five weeks of being in a state of limbo so deflating and dehumanising, I am losing the urge to create the momentum to keep going.

The motel where I was working casually as a cleaner has all but given up calling me for work. It seems I was too much of a cost liability. Because I was open and honest with them about my desire for full time stable work and because my Government welfare payments demand that I apply for at least 7 to 10 jobs a fortnight, the motel reasoned - fairly - that it would be pointless to train me to any standard as a casual cleaner because I would be likely to leave as soon as I had full time work!

It is a fair assessment of my situation. I quite liked the work at the motel on the whole although I seem to find it very difficult to fit in with already well established teams of females! That would be my problem though, not theirs. I tend to feel the undercurrents of mistrust and caution in others so acutely it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was slowly getting better and covering the minute details of the work, noticing marks on mirrors missed and the errant hair on the floor etc.

But all this is moot now. They had promised to train me for the office but I still have not been called in for training even though I have rung them to ask.

This past five weeks of needing to do a minimum of 30 hours work a fortnight - and not being able to - and apply for at least 7 to 10 jobs as well (at least I have been able to do that) to justify my government payments so I can house and feed my children, is getting me down now.

I woke up late this morning. Not long ago, I was an early riser and proud of it. I used to regularly rise between 0500 and 0630 in my mornings and get things done before the day really kicked into gear. This past three weeks at least, I find myself drifting in the behavioural patterns of those who have given up caring! I got up at 0900 this morning! Which I deem abhorrent in my personal scale of responsibility and ethical control of ones person!

The will to keep positive and upbeat, to be proactive and determined about my life at the moment is drowning under an emotional ocean of Blue. I feel unwanted, unemployable, unattractive and unneeded. It is even difficult to find enough voluntary work that will be acceptable for justifying my payments.

Right now, it feels like I'm in this hole and I cannot see the rope or how to climb out. All I want to do is sit down in the bottom here and focus on the computer screen and write. The ironic twist in this sordid self-pity is that my creative output seems to be double the usual for me. The need to express things in words is bordering on volcanic. My brain is spewing forth words in convoluted ways as if in desperation to string something of worth together when all else is falling apart.

Long term unemployment feels like losing ones religion. The hope you aspired to so valiantly and confidently is needled apart until the knots at the edges of your soul tapestry undo and the image of your most treasured beliefs and dreams frays. The more you try to redo the knots - the more the canvas repels your efforts. You simply give up and live with the fraying edges of life because it feels like it doesn't matter anyway.

I used to be a proactive, organised woman. I kept lists and I got things done efficiently and there was not much that crossed my desk that did not get processed and filtered through its required steps. I've lost much of that drive this past year. The energy and the will to create order in my life is so very muted. Today it feels like it is in its death throes. I feel burdened by the guilt of not being able to achieve something useful. I have been rejected by all of the jobs I deeply believed I wanted. I don't know why.

Monday I begin cleaning a house. Perhaps that will lead to other houses to clean. I can barely clean my own right now. I am so worried about not working right now and I am deeply frustrated I can't fulfill my obligations for my payments - I will probably have to pay back this past months income for not following through on my agreements.

My soul is ambiguous about it. I wanted so much to be something "more" than a mere cleaner. There is a deeply rooted prejudice in me that cleaners are people who are not intelligent enough to work in offices. This belief is in error but I hold it nonetheless. For is a menial job of the dumb! I wanted a grand office job! I had visions of being neatly attired and efficiently typing documentation and forwarding important phonecalls to important people in next door office rooms. I could see myself happily filing papers in vast walls of filing cabinets and taking down the disjointed notes of some hapless VIP on the Dictaphone, making sense of them for him and creating worthy important papers that in some small way made a difference.

Now I clean houses like a servant. I understand logically that my thinking is flawed in this. It does not negate the impact to my spirit. The core of what I believed about myself is being shaken and the various rugs I wanted to control are being removed from under my prejudiced feet.

Maybe this is will be my lesson.

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