The first- my job moved to a different city, and didn't take me with it.
The 2nd- I was low on the pole at a business that experienced seasonal swings. They hired me back in a different position within 6 weeks.
Third- poorly managed company closed.
Less than six months later: the 4th- I have no idea what happened. 40 of us lost our jobs that day and I'm still not entirely sure why.
The 5th was the most painful- a job I loved, a company I would have worked for for decades if they'd let me.
Because of the number of times I've been axed, you'd think I'd be used to it by now. That I'd be able to shake it off and move on, thick skinned and armor plating.
If anything though, each layoff made it worse. The last one... I wasn't sure I'd make it through to the other side after that one. It's been over a year and a half now and I'm just starting to feel the fog lift.
I was joking with a friend about "PLSD" (post layoff stress disorder) and by no means am I trying to trivialize PTSD, but the more I think of it, the more I'm convinced PLSD is real. My fight or flight is on overload, any sort of job or work-related criticism (real or perceived) puts me in a panic, terrified at the prospect of another layoff, even though they were all out of the blue, sneak attack, ninja job losses and not performance-related. I continually wonder if today's the day they'll decide to outsource, or condense, or switch or move or change and I'll be out. If today's the day they decide I'm expendable.
Breathe in. Breathe out.