What an awful situation!! Keep telling yourself that people have lived through worse, survived, and gone on with their careers.
You may find it helpful to practice answering the difficult questions you know you're going to get asked in interviews in front of a mirror, and then move up to practicing "live" with friends. The best thing you can do (IMHO, for what that's worth
) is get to where you are comfortable talking honestly and openly about the previous situations without blaming your previous employers
or sounding defensive, and a lot of that is just "desensitization" -- the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll become
doing it. Be prepared with answers to the tough questions in advance; don't wait to see what pops into your head at the moment in an interview!
I was involved several years ago in hiring an RN who had a history of drug diversion and use -- she had eventually been dealing on the street, was convicted of felony drug charges, and served significant prison time. However, after she got out, she doggedly completed all the requirements and steps she had to in order to get her license back in her "home" state and had moved on from there. When she came for an interview with my organization, in another state, she came in with her head high, a smile on her face, and a huge folder of documentation of all the steps she had completed to get her license back, complying with ongoing monitoring, references from former employers, etc. She was v. open about her past and what she had done to overcome it and move forward. We thought about it long and hard, but we did
hire her, and she worked out great on our staff.
Best wishes for your journey! :redpinkhe