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Black Daddies Club Weekly: REAL TALK: Memoirs of an Unemployed Father

13 December 2010 16 Comments

Christmas is around the corner and I am feeling the ‘holiday blues’. I have so much stress on my brain right now it isn’t even funny, because my E.I. (Employment Insurance) just ran out. It feels like déjà vu because last Christmas I got laid off from my job, so unfortunately this marks my one year anniversary of being unemployed.

What does it feel like to be unemployed for a year? Well, to be honest, I feel like I am pretty low in terms of self-esteem. I have been looking for work for the last year; however, with some college under my belt, I don’t feel like I am what employers are looking for. When I do go for job interviews, nine times out of ten it’s at some dive where they want me to go door-to-door to peddle gas or sell something to people that they don’t need. I have tried employment agencies, but it seems that the only jobs they have for men like me are factory jobs.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not afraid of working, but my experience working in a factory setting has been, shall we say, less than desirable. I have had bosses who treat their employees like garbage, because they are usually working with people who are new immigrants and don’t know much better (in terms of what should be expected in a proper working environment).

On the home front, it has been extremely stressful. My wife is left with to manage the majority of the bills, on top of making sure that the kids (2 girls) have a good Christmas. I know she loves me; however, I can’t help but feel ashamed and wonder if she would be better off without me.

To put it bluntly, I don’t feel like a man.

I am not providing and I don’t feel like a role model to my kids. I feel like I don’t want them to grow up seeing me in this position and feeling that it’s okay for me not to be working. I know my mother-in-law must be thinking I wish this deadbeat didn’t marry my daughter.

My wife and I have been married for a 5 years and I can now understand why they say the number one reason for divorce is due to money worries. With money being tight this last year, it should come as no surprise that we have had many arguments related to finances.

My self-esteem has been taking a beating, and not because of what anyone says, but because of my expectation of what I think my role as the man of the house should be. I should be in a position to build a nest; my wife shouldn’t be working and bringing in all the bacon! And I am pretty sure that my neighbors and the people at my kids’ daycare think I am a bum. When I go to pick them up (wearing my jogging suits), I wonder if they ever think to themselves, does this guy work?

And then there’s the cheating.

You might ask yourself, cheating? Why is this dude cheating? Well, it’s quite simple: you see, because my self-esteem was so low, I looked for gratification and pleasure whenever and wherever I could find it. It started with me being home and in the dark. I would go onto porn sites and start to masturbate and that quickly grew into an insatiable appetite for sex that I couldn’t ignore. This then translated into cheating, because I had so much time on my hands and my wife, after working long hours, couldn’t be the sex slave that I craved. And a part of me felt that my wife was falling out of love with me or maybe not finding me as attractive because I was unemployed. I found sex elsewhere, and this was the kind of sex I was looking for (the rough sex that I saw on porn).

This was causing a major issue in the marriage and my mind because I was coming home at 4 a.m. from seeing one of my mistresses and the cheating – not surprisingly – wasn’t making me feel happy. Depression then set in and I have been in and out of depression for the last few months. I seek escape through smoking weed and drinking, which have sunk me deeper into a place of despair and anger.

But a new year is almost here! I am keeping my faith alive that 2011 will be a better one, but as of now, I am just not sure what lies ahead.

About the Author

The author wanted to remain anonymous for his own reasons (and we respect that), but doesn’t mind to share that he is a father of 2 young girls, he resides in Montreal, Quebec. He is like many men that we know going through their own challenges due to the recession, Black Daddies Club is grateful for his sincere words and is sending him positive vibes to get though this rough period in his life.

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  • EKN said:

    Up until the cheating part I was with you man – this economic downturn is difficult. You sound like you have a beautiful family and they love and need you – if you want to keep them get some help not only for gaining employment but dealing with the cheating, depression and drug use issues.

    Best of luck in the New Year.

  • Tamekyou rea M said:

    I believe that during these difficult times women need to step up and play their role. It means that we must speak courage and strength to our men, this is the time to stick. We know that we have good men, but know what God gave them to us for. Know that these times were known before we were born, so it is up to us to hold him strong, tell him that he is loved and supported and show him that you respect him. It is during these times that your relationship is truly made, or broken. He is looking for afirmation, sometimes it means that we will need to do without, and that is ok. The Bible speaks of our need to have relaionships that represent our love for God, not stuff… So don’t worry about the stuff, know that God will provide for those of whom are faithful to him. Lay down your burdens and trust God, He will show you the way. He will provide for you and He will never leave you and He will never leave you alone. Be Blessed because you are Favored by the most high God.

  • Svea said:

    I feel a lot of compassion for you, in reading this. I can see how these circumstances could create a sexual addiction in addition to all the other issues. You see the effect that it’s had on your family, but at the same time it doesn’t seem like you’ve quite taken responsibility for your actions. You’re down and out, this is true. But you’re also making choices that make the situation worse. For Christmas, why don’t you give your family the gift of you seeking help for your problems? Your local CLSC should be able to refer you to English-language resources. This is also a good list for free/low-cost mental health care: A good list of resources (French and English, low-cost and free): http://www.amiquebec.org/Resources.htm

    Good luck. You can do it!

  • liveliv said:

    “So don’t worry about the stuff, know that God will provide for those of whom are faithful to him. ”

    That’s right. And most women will provide for those who are faithful to them!

  • malik said:

    Scrape together less than an ounce of respect for your wife, if that is at all possible, and STOP having any sexual contact with her while you’re whoring around and reinforcing the black man stereotype of a broho. Go get tested while your at it. The chances of you getting a STI are 250% or more where you’re at.
    WAKE UP!
    Keep in mind that you ARE a slave to sex…its not your wife you want to bend over. And think about the possibility that your daughters will become those mistresses you’re slamming so wantonly. It’s only a matter of time.
    Go get an education. Go help at a charity instead of engaging in the porn trap. Be a man and DO THE RIGHT THING. That ALONE will serve to redefine what kind of a man you could be.
    The least you could do is come clean and be honest with your wife instead of drowning yourself in violating other women.
    GROW UP!

  • B said:

    The pressure that society puts on gender roles can certainly cause much strain-hence, the emotionally struggle. One has to be conscious of this and be one with their partner on this level to truly rise above it all. I took this course and it helped http://www.thealetheiagroup.com

  • Melyssa said:

    I feel your pain, frustration and stress, but cheating is never the answer. During hard times you need to look within, and turn to those who love you for they can be your strength when you are weak. Turn to God and have faith in his love, and never give up.

  • Solomon G McCalla said:

    Ahh my brother I can relate to most things in the article ..as I was unemployed for 10 mths last year going into this year ..what do you do with time on our hands and no money in your pocket become very frugal in your existence …search for possible business for a single proprietor..on not requiring much capital..utilize the skills which u already have..if u are technology savy use up the skills..if not find a course to get u on that train…join some NGOs ohror voluntary organization and net work ur way through the organization Net work Network ..net work u might come up on ideas or possible even unemployment
    Fathers Incorporated

  • DGS said:

    I feel for you brother. Most men need to be the provider. Consider this… Most children these days barely spend enough quality time with their parents. You have the morning rush and then the evening rush. Right, now you have the opportunity to spend time with them in the mornings, the opportunity to take them to and from school. Daddy and daughter time after school. What you can provide for your family right now is your undivided attention, love and devotion.

  • Wifey said:

    Wow. So I COULD be the wife mentioned because the author is describing my husband’s situation and antics. He is broke, lives off my money and is a chronic cheater. I can only put myself through so much for “love”, so my heart goes out to this guy’s wife and kids. Only HE can make the changes necessary to better his life, and he shouldnt be playing his wife and justify it with his need for gratification. He’s an a**hole.

  • SP said:

    @Tamekyou rea M,
    Thank you for sharing those encouraging words. This is the story in the lives of many. How easy we forget when things get bad and we seek to further tear down. How easy we forget when things are going great and we float in our own praise.

    Here is a man crying out for help. I see it so often and yet we either walk by or cast more criticizm. As a man it is disheartening when a man most needs help the best place to find that is with another man who can stand with him and lift him up. However, in our society where does a man now turn. If he does not have a strong woman by his side, other women are only but their to to feed from his manhood. I feel your pain sir, I recognize in the pages of your thoughts that you simply want to live a worhwhile life being the man you were shaped to be.

  • hotta than fiya said:

    my friend,
    get your life outta the shitty!
    country is where its at!
    cruisin down the forest on a bike
    tons of ranches lookin’ for caretaker…local work and gardens all around
    remember how to plant food?!!

  • hotta than fiya said:

    do it for the youth!

  • hotta than fiya said:

    an your cheatin’ excuse is full of sh*t!
    u strong, u not need that!
    flickering light off leaves and water, fresh breeze>>>
    you don’t want your youth there with you?

  • Aisha said:

    I was very sympathetic at the start of reading this article. I felt sympathy because I felt your struggle and was very respectful of the fact that you were trying. You were well aware of your role as the man of the house and seemed determined to push forward and make sure that your family is taken care of.

    Then I began to read further and my sympathy and respect turned into plain ANGER!!! Anger because you gave up, and in the worst way. I’m still trying to pinpoint how you could go from a loving and ambitious husband and father to having ‘porn sex’ with mistresses. What are your true priorities? Where are you getting money for weed? Did you stop to think about your hard working wife and your beautiful daughters?

    Please do your family a favour and just STOP! Get out of that backward spiral!

    What can you contribute to the day to day functions of your household while job searching? What can you do to make sure your wife has less to worry about after a hard day’s work? What work can you do (even if factory) in the meantime that may lead to other opportunities?

    Please find positive influences and activities for your downtime. Finally, STOP, take a look at your beautiful family.

    All the best and I truly mean it!

  • Over The Excuses said:

    It is so pathetic to see yet another black man putting his family through this. What if his daughters ever found out he treated their mother with disregard? Do you know what it does to young females when their male role models have disappointed them? I know first hand how they act out in response. Men like this do not deserve their family.

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