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Tue Feb 19, 2019, 01:01 PM

Have you ever been fired from a job?

I was in 2016. It came after I had filed for a bankruptcy the year before that still wasn't resolved. That combo really hurt me. It was a traumatic experience. The thing about getting fired was that it was unjust as well. It was a result of someone with more power than me playing politics. But I guess that's another story.

This has made me somewhat anxious about my employment situation. I no longer feel the security I once did even though I've got a good job now with a company that values me. I realized just now how that has been weighing on me.

I'm a trucker and I have to pass a D.O.T. physical every year to work. It's usually done once every two years, but I have a health issue (as you all know) so I have to do the physical every year. Ever since I was fired from that job and had to scramble to find a new one, I have had a lot of anxiety surrounding this annual physical.

I go in for the procedure and I'm so anxious that my heart rate gets jacked up to about 130 beats a minute and my blood pressure spikes and gives me a high reading. My normal resting pulse is in the 80s and my blood pressure is usually in the normal range. What I've been doing when this occurs is telling the nurse that I have white coat anxiety, and that if they'll just let me sit quietly by myself for about 10-15 minutes my readings will return to a normal healthy range.

That has worked for me. Just acknowledging the reality in the moment and asking for a little time has gotten me past the physicals without any added hassle. But I don't want to have to deal with this every year. I want to be able to go in there with confidence, feeling normal and unafraid.

It took me a long time, but I realized that this anxiety has its roots in me getting unjustly fired from that job at a very sensitive time for me financially. I guess I hadn't realized how traumatic that truly was for me.

I'm going to try hypnotherapy for this. The realization that I've just had will surely help, and I think along with a helping hand I just might recover my confidence on this issue.

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Reply Have you ever been fired from a job? (Original post)
Tobin S. Feb 2019 OP
ret5hd Feb 2019 #1
Tobin S. Feb 2019 #2
Merlot Feb 2019 #7
Eyeball_Kid Feb 2019 #3
Turbineguy Feb 2019 #4
Tobin S. Feb 2019 #5
zipplewrath Feb 2019 #6
MountCleaners Feb 2019 #8
PeeJ52 Mar 2019 #9
no_hypocrisy Mar 2019 #10

Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 01:05 PM

1. This sometimes helps me:

(you might think i'm messing with you, but i'm not)

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 01:13 PM

2. Meditation helps me. Swearing does not.

I meditate daily.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 12:54 PM

7. Swearing helps me, meditation does not.

In fact, trying to meditate, or having someone recommend meditation will inevitably lead to me swearing. For me, swearing is a good, harmless way of relasing anger.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 02:40 PM

3. You're right in more than one way.

I've been fired/let go/left under duress many times in my career. Yes, there is always a political element to those, as well as my own idiosyncratic views on work performance, ethics, and professionalism. I also must say that working for employers who rely on "soft money" is also a risky business. But that all aside, your health issue, as you describe it, can wreak havoc with future employment, as you well know.

At times, when I get cursory medical exams, I can use self-hypnosis to keep my blood pressure and pulse rate at an unquestioned level of "normal." Self-hypnosis, for the most part, is another way of defining relaxation and self-awareness rituals for other purposes. Deep breathing and awareness of slow and steady exhalations are the key. Load your internal dialog with words that can cluster around "calm", while exhaling. Give it some practice sessions before the doc's office visit. You can even use the second hand on a watch while taking your pulse. You'll SEE the change.

Best of luck.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 02:48 PM

4. I don't know if this is a factor for you....

I found that one of the problems in being unjustly fired is the desire to obtain revenge. And of course, getting the revenge you want and feel you deserve. I found I did not get that. I did not have to go back to the terrible working situation. The problems there got worse after I was gone. The person who fired me got fired. The arbitrator who ruled in favor of the company and against got fired. Eventually I got a really nice job with a great working environment. You gotta take what you get.

A colleague of mine was unjustly fired and he spent years getting revenge and hurt a bunch of people who had nothing to do with his firing. I talked to him about it but he couldn't adapt. It came back to haunt him.

Getting fired is a deeply emotional event and the anger lasts for years. It's a challenge to overcome.



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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 03:08 PM

5. I entertained revenge fanasies for a short time.

But I was able to drop that after a few months. After that it would just make me pissed off at the unfairness of it all. Over time I've been able to think about that less and less. I don't really hold a grudge anymore, and I don't have any residual strong feelings about the event.

I guess that unconsciously I've just been concerned that it could happen again. I felt so afraid and helpless during that time- like I was at the mercy of a force much greater than me. It was like I had no control over the situation and my feelings.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 03:14 PM

6. A good first step

Acknowledging reality is a great first step.

There are physical little tricks to get a lower reading. Don't cross your legs. Your arm should be relaxed and really should be lower than your shoulder. DON'T TALK. For that matter, a bit like you describe, see if you can't stop talking a good two minutes before they take your blood pressure. Control your breathing, take a couple of deep breaths when you first sit down, then just stay very calm. It'd be nice if the room wasn't too bright either. I'd probably close my eyes too.

I say these things not so much to say that they'll "fix" things for you, but that if you can do some physical things to give you confidence and encourage you to believe that you've "got this", it can affect your mental state favorably. In golf we call it the "pre-shot routine". It's more about concentration and one's brain in general than anything to do with the body.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 10:55 AM

8. Yeah.

I got fired for erratic behavior some years back. The thing was, I was under grave duress during that time, and while I do have a diagnosed disorder, it hadn't (until then) been the sort of thing that would interfere with my job. But to compound things, I had a nasty, nasty stalker. He broke stuff that I had in storage, left weird things outside my apartment door, was always breaking into the building I lived in. I used to see him all of the time around my workplace. My landlord even relocated me to a new building because of him. They knew this at work, but it didn't stop them from firing me. See - the stress combined with my anxiety disorder caused me to lose lots of sleep at night, and that can make your behavior erratic and even psychotic.

I guess I can understand why they fired me, but it's funny - they were really sympathetic during the last two years that I was there. They even allowed me long-term disability while I recovered for a while. But when I came back, they just fired me.

It's funny, at the time I had anticipated it, and I remember walking out of the office where I was fired and headed home, laughing. I mean, they would be stuck with the creepy stalker hanging around the building where I used to work, and I moved in with my dad where he couldn't stalk me anymore. So they were left with the problem, and I guess eventually he tried to start a fire in one of the buildings or something. So I guess they're sorry now that they didn't recognize the problem was him, not me.

Only thing is, I did get disability but I haven't had much luck with work since. I do some odd jobs from home and am doing okay financially, so I lucked out. Right now I do various volunteer work and attend therapy groups and I'm hoping my therapist and case manager can help me get positive experiences to overcome the fact that I was fired. Plus I'm older and my skills are out of date so I don't know. My future is up in the air right now.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 10:12 PM

9. You've got to find a way to let it go. I couldn't. It ate me alive. Get help.

 

I had worked 30 years without any issues until 2002 when my life went to hell. My 26 year marriage ended in divorce, 3 months later I find out I might have lung cancer, then 9 months after diagnosis and surgery to remove the cancer, I get fired from my job only 12 weeks after returning from surgery. I was a high performing employee when I left and couldn't understand my treatment when I returned. It took 9 months to get anther job where I was scared to death someone would find out I was a lung cancer survivor. I guess my weird behavior tipped people off and was fired after 4 years there. The next job it was the same. Fired after 5 years. Then one more time lasting another 5 years. It was always issues with my supervisors, where they really liked my work at first, but I guess I couldn't take any kind of correction and got too defensive because I thought I had to stick up for myself or I'd get fired. It was almost a self fulfilling prophecy. Luckily I'm retired now and don't have to worry. The biggest thing though is getting over that fear it will happen again. I couldn't do it.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 12:08 AM

10. I've been fired maybe 5 or 6 times.

First time obviously bothered me more than the others.

Once I got over the sour grapes, I did realize that I really didn't like the jobs and my bosses actually did me a favor.

I have issues over how I have been fired. Some were downright cruel. One boss screamed at me. Another fired me after I tore my ACL knee ligament while working for him and filed for workers comp.

Another plus is getting fired means unemployment benefits. I only once got them via "constructive termination", meaning my boss was so impossible that I couldn't stay.

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