The Trauma of Retrenchment

Losing your job is stressful to deal with; Saffiya Ismail shares her experience with us.

I get calls from family and friends. Everyone is there to support me, with words of comfort and encouragement that the tide will turn.

You ask me how things are going with my problems at the moment. How can I tell you that it has never been worse in my whole life?  Feels as though I was knocked by a bus, got up and got hit by a train.

People will tell you be positive, look at it as a new beginning. All I can tell you, it’s going to hurt like hell. You will be on a rollercoaster of emotions. You are human; you entitled to go through all these stages. It’s only natural to have thoughts of your savings diminishing, ones responsibilities as a parent, probably the sole breadwinner of the household. So if you feeling these emotions, don’t let anyone tell you not too, bottling it up is going to make it worse.

I know all this because I went through all of this.

I am at a different stage right now. The shock is over. The panic is over ... now I am determined. I am hyped.
 
How did I get here?

My deep spiritual bond with my Creator, even though I trusted that he had brought me to this point and take me through it I still felt that intense pain in my heart, that tight knot in my tummy. When the world was asleep, I was all teary and scared.  I would reach for my mobile and scroll through my contacts.

Who do I call to help calm me?

Why do I wake up at odd hours with these panic attacks?

There are no witnesses to my raw emotions, there is no one for you to truly express what's in your heart and soul. You realise your witness is your Creator.

When you let go of the fear of the unknown, you stop planning all the eventualities which could happen and realise that it’s ultimately the Almighty's plan which will transcend, you actually begin to smile.

I didn’t need my mobile contact list. I just had to go on faith. Everything has become so clear to me.

Whatever religion you follow, or not. Whether you are a child of the universe or you believe in “whatever”, the power and light is within you. You just have to find it in your alone moments.

This is my darkest moment but, I have light.

I still haven't found a job, I have concerns about money. Things are will be tough, but the initial shock after being told I no longer had a job, to the sheer panic and frenzy of not having a place to call home and worse not knowing where I would go should I not be able to make my rental payments, is still there. I am not paralysed in fear anymore.

As dismal as it may seem, he makes me remember that I have a son who is reliant on me, and that no matter what, I have to smile every day, so that I don't transfer bad vibes to him.

Seeing my child over rides any worries in my life.

It has also made me more aware of all those in worse of situations than us. 4.5 million unemployed people. Some are responsible for 3 or 4 people; some are homes with children as the breadwinner. The elderly living on a mere R1200.

Funny how we only see all of this when we on the same playing field.

Funny how no matter how in touch one is with their spiritual self, we are after all so human in our fears.

Funny how, with family and friends around you, it just comes down to you and your Creator.

Your vulnerability, fears, obscure thoughts, flow of tears, conversations you never thought you could have, happen in those quietest moments, all laid bare to your Divine!

May the Almighty open doors for everyone going through any kind of hardship if you are going through this like myself, just remember this won’t last forever, might seem like it, but you will look back at this point of your life and say “you survived this trauma”
 
Check out Saffiya's blog or follow her on Twitter.

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Read more on: work  |  retrenchement  |  trauma

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