My Story: Chapter Fourteen

Waiting for a Job and Life to Restart

Shelter life and roommates


Two women in a business setting talking
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Do you know how hard it is to find a job when you have not been employed outside the home for over 20 years?

The last week of school I had an interview that went surprisingly well. I say surprisingly well because I hadn’t even finished my training and they were still interested. I had almost no job experience to reference on my resume.

The only problem with this job was that it would pay a bit less than I thought I needed to live on. I went home to the shelter that night and went over my budget and made cuts until I got to the rock bottom of what I would need to live on.

I began to apply for any job in the right area but was only called back for two interviews. It seems you need a couple of years of experience before anyone wants to hire you.

I didn’t even know where I was going to live since we were still in the middle of the divorce. The abuser had said he was moving to another town so I began to look for work there. The town we were from was very expensive and I knew I would most likely have to commute because there weren’t many jobs available in the area.

I interviewed for a few jobs and then nothing happened for over a month. I began to despair that I would ever get a job and move out of the shelter.

Things had been weird since I went to school. A shelter is a tough place to live. Everyone is going through a crisis and sometimes that can make you less than kind to others. The loyalties in the shelter shifted from person to person as days and weeks of living together went on. Clicks were formed. Whenever a new woman moved in a new balance had to be found.

I tried to stick to myself while being friendly and helpful to others. I definitely learned boundaries while I lived there. I also started to learn to say no without guilt.

I was lucky that the shelter manager let me have a room to myself for a long time. When I started school I got my first roommate. She worked nights and slept all day but I was gone at school all day so it worked out well. She was also quiet and kept to herself.

I had the room to myself again for a couple of weeks after she moved out. Then another woman moved in. She worked days so now that I was out of school and home more I had the room to myself all day.

After she moved out I had a third roommate. She and I were both believers and she moved in just as I was becoming depressed that I would never get my own place. I believe God put the two of us together to help each other through our difficulties. We were very similar in temperament and both tried to help others. I had become a little jaded by the time she got there and she helped me regain the path I should have been on.

I remember some of our talks right before bed. At one of my lowest points of despair, she asked me to add up how much I had vs. how much I needed to move out. I realized I had almost exactly what I needed to the penny. She taught me to look at the facts when I was in the face of fear. I needed to look at and acknowledge the truth to fight off the fear of the unknown.

While waiting for a job I kept myself busy with a daily routine. I checked job boards and applied for jobs, kept my room clean and organized, and helped out with the common part of the shelter. I usually spent some time encouraging and listening to the other housemates. I checked in with the women who worked at the shelter, helped the food coordinator when supplies came in and kept moving forward.

I continued seeing my counselor and had begun to see a domestic violence counselor each week as well. I was well into my healing and my life was changing.

It was difficult to go through the time of unemployment before my life got going. Now I wish I could go back and enjoy that time more. I would have made more time for fun and relaxation and worried less about when I would get a job. I did my best to live in the moment but there was a lot of confusion and fear about why God was not moving me forward in my life.

We will leave me there at the shelter doing my best to find a job and live a useful life and explore what I think happened to cause the end of my marriage.

Please click Here to read all the chapters I’ve written so far of my story.



Julia Freeman, Trauma Recovery Coach

I believe survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence deserve to live in freedom and peace.