Posted by Emmie Mears
i can tell right now that this is gonna be a toughie. i can also tell that i need to do it, if nothing else for my own clarity and peace of mind, which is something i sorely lack right now.
i have some serious issues.
the one causing me the most pain…actually, anguish…is the fact that i am so used to feeling like a burden to those around me that i am absolutely terrified to ask for what i need, because i feel like it will be treated as something superfluous and worthless. i find myself falling all over myself to be thankful for things that should just be normal human kindness…which on one hand means i don’t take things for granted, but on the other hand means i truly expect people to treat me badly and like i don’t matter.
today was by far the worst day of my teaching career. one, i’m a first year teacher. two, i’m a first year special education teacher. three, i have virtually no training in the field of special education. four, i’m taking ten credits this semester in grad school. five…my mom landed in the ER last thursday and i had a truly terrifying weekend wondering if she was going to be okay.
i woke up this morning to the sound of mourning doves. for some reason, that sound is absolutely chilling to me. like the idea of someone walking over my grave. in the quiet of the pre-dawn, it sort of scared the bejeezus out of me. i felt like crap, but i pried my butt out of bed and went to work anyway, because i had an IEP meeting to run at 9. so i went to work, fixed a few things on the IEP, and then spent 45 minutes frantically running around when i realized that the principals had commandeered my instructional aide, and there would be no one to cover my class.
i was able to get it sorted out at 8:55 am, and i ran downstairs to the office for the meeting…and promptly got yelled at for the IEP not being perfect, then because i had totally dropped the ball and completely forgotten to get a general educator and social worker there. this meeting was scheduled thursday…and a few hours later, my mom landed in the ER, leaving me more than a little preoccupied for the next four days. i then spent 40 minutes running around trying to get these people to come, only to run into a social worker and start crying in front of a student who hates me and once threw a desk at me. awesome. add humiliation to the list, as if getting yelled at in front of a bunch of colleagues in the special ed office wasn’t enough.
i ran the meeting okay and was able to survive it…mainly due to the fact that i apologized profusely to the kid’s mom and explained what had happened to my mom and why my brain was not in work mode at all, and she was so sweet and understanding that i wanted to yell, “take that” to the coordinator and stomp out.
i spent the rest of the day trying to get ahead of my IEPs for the next couple months, mainly due to the fact that i don’t have assigned inclusion classes yet, two days into the semester. i was literally on my way out the door ten minutes after teacher day ends, and got paged back to the special ed office to do something i wasn’t aware i had to do…mainly because the coordinator has done it for every single other IEP i’ve had this year. i was coughing up a storm and sweating profusely and feeling ten times shittier than i did when i woke up…but i stayed and did it anyway. i seriously do not know what to do with myself. the second i got into my car, i burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying for a half an hour.
i’ve only been home for about two hours now, and i still feel absolutely like crap. i spent a half hour on the phone with one of my best friends, and i just…wish i could make some sense out of the way my brain works. because in addition to the way i feel about work today, i also have had some other, more personal things crop up that have left me feeling rather rejected and lonely. the worst thing is, i am pretty sure it’s all in my head.
and once again, it’s because i’m terrified to ask for what i want. in the past, my needs have been treated like garbage — utterly unworthy of being fulfilled. how i felt has been invalidated. and now that has left me feeling like my every breath somehow burdens those around me.
wow that sounded suicidal. don’t worry; no thoughts of that in this noggin. seriously. life sucks right now, but i do think it will get better again.
regardless of how emo i sound, it’s still rather true. i feel that in asking for what i want, i’m merely sticking out my neck so someone can use it as a stepping stone to get what they want from me. which i recognize as a totally skewed way of looking at the world; it’s just so deeply ingrained in me from past experience that i honestly don’t know how to confront it. i suppose the first step is actively recognizing it?
maybe the second part is reaching out and asking for what i need.
i’ve always been very independent; just ask my mom. i think that’s another reason i am afraid to express my needs and feelings when i think it might inconvenience someone — i’m afraid it makes me weak in some way. doesn’t matter. i still need to find a way to do it, or i will spend my life resenting when i don’t get what i need.
saying that reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite movies…also incidentally one of the handful of chick flicks i can a: tolerate and b: enjoy. it’s from sliding doors, and it goes like this: “gerry, i’m a woman. we don’t ask for what we want. but we reserve the right to be pissed off if we don’t get it. that’s what makes us so fascinating…and not a little bit scary.”
i so do not want to be that.
i’m all for the mystique of the feminine (i inverted that because if you have read the book, you’ll know that the feminine mystique isn’t really all that exotic; it’s actually a soul-killing symptom of a wider problem). but i want to take the mystery out of what i need. relationships shouldn’t have to be an elephant dance ; they should be more like a ballet — when you take that leap, you should know you your partner’s going to catch you.
deep down in my heart of hearts (sorry, corny), i know that’s what i have. a partner who will catch me. someone who will pick up the pieces that others have left in ruin and help me put them back together. it’s getting that thought strong enough to conquer the combined voices of past experience that’s the tough bit.
days like today, when everything on earth seems to go wrong, it’s even harder. i guess at the end of a day like to day, i have to somehow come to a peaceful spot and let my thoughts swirl around like a tempest until i find the eye of the storm where all is still and i can see clearly again.
maybe my issues will get more resolved after all.