Crushed

Lately, I’ve been feeling crushed. Crushed by this feeling of impending failure. This doom and gloom cloud that follows me as I get closer to the fateful start of my new life. I’m terrified, the excitement is giving way to absolute terror.

I’m already uninsured because my last workplace decided to fuck me out of my plan before my contract ended. That means no therapy sessions or meds until I hear back from Medicaid because now I am Medicare eligible. On top of that, I will probably have to say farewell to my therapist because her practice doesn’t accept Medicaid. No sertraline or lorazepam until I get my paperwork sorted so. I have enough for not even a week. I’m already losing it a bit, probably from the increased panic. I’ve fixated and obsessed a few times this week. I’ve cried feeling overwhelmed when things aren’t even bad. 

Luckily, Stephen has been receptive and despite him displaying a lack of empathy a couple of times he always comes around. I really appreciate that about him. We had a chill movie night and he gave me lots of love and cuddles and food. I am just worried about time management. I’ll have classes, no meds, working as much as I can, and barely any time to see him. How will I make it work?

The pressure is crushing, everything feels like it’s closing in. My therapist texts me to take it one step at a time but I feel like I am falling into despair. When I have orientation for my school, I am going to bring up the Medicaid issue because I know I won’t be the only one.

Precipice

So I have returned from my trip to Ireland. I can say, without a doubt, that the country stirred something deep within me. I had a feeling it would. It’s like I could see my life there and it frightened me. It also thrilled me. I loved learning about the history, I loved the sights, I loved hearing the voices, the craic, all of it. I especially enjoyed spending time with my boyfriend’s family. The roots are deep in the county of Leitrim. Generations of this family and it caused me to harken to that unknown part of me. That part that yearns to learn more about my own heritage.

I also realized so much. How I want to be a mother one day even though the prospect terrifies me. The life I want for my family, a life of love and acceptance and a field to grow up in. I want to be near to loved ones. I keep thinking about what all this means because it means Ireland will be my home. Maybe not for forever but for some time–it makes nervous to think about being far from my friends and far from my brothers.

Yet, I have to forge my own life. I want my life to be my own. I don’t want to forget where I came from but I want all the goodness life has to offer. Even if that means being far away from where I was born. I am standing at the edge of a cliff and staring into the unknown. The precipice of my life and looking to dive into the next bit. The uncharted waters. I have some time to get ready for that moment. I feel I’ll be ready.

Ordinary

Sometimes I want to give it all up, I want to curl up and just say I can’t. I can’t do this anymore because the feelings are overwhelming and  I want to be alone again. It’s easier then. It’s easier to run away or in my case walk away. For some people the brave thing is to leave, but for me it’s the opposite. I’ve dealt with so much heartache and I have a hard time trusting myself in any situation now. It’s like if anything goes wrong, I want to call it quits and say it’s too difficult. Where’s the line between too much work and just the right amount?

When I read Brené Brown, she would talk about “ordinary courage”, it’s not any sort of fancy and amazing feat. It’s about basically showing up to those hard situations and trying to wade your way through the cesspool of fucked up feelings. She said it far more eloquently than me. I show up and I just want it to be enough but it requires lots of introspection. I have so much going on and I don’t feel ready. I feel like I have no clue what I am doing, I feel I am good at being like this will happen but how it will happen is anyone’s fucking guess. In those moments people see me as ballsy but really I am just coasting because at night when I’m alone–I’m scared shitless.

As for my relationship, people again see it through this lens of judgment because they know my boyfriend and I are comfortable in having disagreements and often or they see it in rosy tinted glasses of “wow, he travels with you, gifts you trips and talks about the future with you! you see him 2-3x a week and talk daily… that is serious” and it’s like no this isn’t some magic carpet ride where I end up in foreign cities and my boyfriend and I horseback ride into the sunset.

I have doubts and I freak out. We’re so imperfect, we argue, we are emotionally healthy thank fuck, we still try to figure out how this shit works, he is far better at it than me because my knee jerk reaction is to go outside for some air because I have to unlearn all the unhealthy shit from the past: years and years of unhealthy interactions in my memory and also managing to stand my ground while being empathetic. It can be draining. Sometimes all I can say is “I love you.”

But we have to come round and talk about the icky, hard bits and when he tells me how much he loves me I feel reassured but I told him: “love isn’t always enough” because it wasn’t. I thought it was but you need more than love to make a relationship work. Love is just a fraction of that, you need to have similar core values and empathy. There needs to be all these other components depending on how you’re wired. Like me, my independence is so crucial. My ex was threatened by my autonomy.

I have been listening to a lot of music lately to help me process and John Legend’s Ordinary People is a go to for me because seriously I can relate my life to a movie, song, or book… but it’s so true for us, we’re ordinary people, we don’t know which way to go.

 

Staring At Infinity

I think this is it. This is the moment where I am officially scared shitless at the prospect of all this inevitable change. I don’t want to remain frozen in this space any longer but to look at everything I have to do is so daunting. I want a new job and then going back to school is fucking terrifying. I haven’t even visited a school yet but I am horrified at the prospect of spending more money to improve myself. I have to take one step at a time but I feel every step forward I’m just tripping and falling. Not exactly walking forward, just collapsing sideways and making it look like I moved closer to a goal.

I have been feeling so incredibly anxious and vulnerable. I feel anything can trigger me and I have this dark shadow of shame constantly following me around. This month has been exceptionally trying for me. I don’t know what it is, I just feel I am falling apart because I want to do shit right but I don’t know the right path necessarily.

All I used to want to do was write and I haven’t kept up with it. I could say it’s because inspiration is lacking but that’s no excuse really! If you are meant to do something you will do it no matter what, even if it sucks and you don’t know how to do it. I still want to write and I want to have a job where I create a safe space for others to tell their stories. I want to travel in my spare time, I want it to be that I have time to myself. These are what I need and it’s not going to happen immediately.

I just don’t know how to believe it. I don’t know how to speak it into reality. I look at people who can speak things into existence. Why can’t I?

Losing Battle

Yesterday I did not something I rarely do at work. I disagreed. I disagreed with another teacher and she refused to take no for an answer. She kept repeating herself in authoritative ways but I did not see her point of view. 

My students are performing their play today. They have rehearsed their socks off during school time hours. Sometimes that means they miss out on morning recess/playtime. They are 5/6 years old. There is a schedule for when each grade or year group can go out to play. Occasionally my co teacher and I have taken children up to play when it was not their “scheduled time” with no discord or concern of safety because either my coteacher or I are present to supervise in addition to the 3-4 adults already on the roof. 

Yesterday I brought my students up for 15 minutes. The kids on the roof at that time  as the 12 year olds. Other classes left and my children stayed with 1-2 other classes that were older. One teacher approached me saying it was unsafe for the older children to be up there with the “little ones” despite my presence and all of our supervision. She not so kindly asked me to move them to a very small part of the playground. I acquiesced to her request in part but two groups of my students were interested in scooters and playing soccer with the older children. I thought I will keep the ones running around over here to appease teacher #1 and let the others play in the other sections.

1. Soccer is a contact sport but 12 year olds are mature enough to know when they are being too rough 

2. These 12 year olds are too big for these particular scooters anyway so no one was using them except my students.

Well another teacher came up and demanded I put all 16 of my kids in this small space to play due to safety. I asked what safety issues? I am not concerned. In my mind there are maybe 30 kids up there and 4 adults… What safety issues? Teacher #2 said our students are too big this is their “allocated” time etc. no empathy no room for open mindedness or collaborative/cooperative efforts. I said we would use the space for 10-15 minutes max and leave. No harm or foul. She refused and again demanded (not asked)?me to move the kids. I stood my ground because this did not make sense.

I saw my class collaborating with the older students already and causing no problems whatsoever. I declined to obey her orders per se because I am an adult not a child. A third teacher came up and said well such and such kid is really rambunctious. I again stood my ground while this teacher announced she would take no responsibility should an incident occur. I said I would take FULL responsibility. By the way nothing happened we were gone in 10 minutes while I received eye rolls and death glares from teacher 1 and 2.

I went downstairs to my coteacher explained the situation and she backed me up. She saw their “safety” concerns unfounded and said she would deal with them if they contacted her. Well the teachers contacted the upper years “leader” not my teacher and I was forced to attend a meeting where I was told that my behavior was inappropriate and unprofessional about 4-5 times. Trigger words I am sure. I maintained my cool and tried not to interrupt I only interrupted once which was important for me! 

I explained my side but I was ganged up on by the leader and this teacher. I said I am allowed to disagree and that this safety issue made no sense. These kids ought to be wise enough and also exposed to other years. Also there should be flexibility. I was told I can never say no and I thought that was disturbing. She said she found no validity in my point and NO ONE would back me up. She tried to shame me and say it was so appalling to hear that this was coming from me “of all people”. That this teacher has been here 6 years (ignore the fact I have been here 3 without this kind of issue in this school) and that this was not an authority issue.
Yes it was because if it was not then she would chat my teacher instead of going to tattle and force me into a meeting where my side was not even considered. It was all from these two teachers point of view.
Regardless I did not apologize. I bit some humble pie and merely ended the conversation with “now I understand and thank you”. I left. I will not say sorry when I do not feel it and I was definitely not ok. I was furious and upset! Totally belittled and told my opinion is invalid. Later I was also disrespected by the headmistress.
I am reading another Brené Brown book and in it she said a professor told her “you cannot use shame to change someone’s behavior”. Well that is this school’s mentality. Staying here is a losing battle. If I cannot be myself and disagree with I another teacher in an understanding and emphathetic manner what am I doing here? I have a fantastic co teacher but that is not enough. I am tying myself to a sinking ship. These so-called leaders demand respect and obedience when none is deserved or earned. 
I must make this school year my last. By any means necessary.