When the school year was over, I thought that’s when I’d be the happiest. Even if I still had to work for an extra week, there’d be no kids at school and we’d all just concentrate on planning for the next school year. And then, that’s when I was given a ridiculous, practically invisible raise. What followed was the news the school is outsourcing us. They don’t give a fuck about their employees and they’re not ashamed to show it. Still, my mood wasn’t being affected by these things, it wasn’t until I was given an utterly unfair treatment that I went kaput.

Some weeks ago I was told they loved my work, they even gave me a bonus for it for god’s sake! And yet, on Friday I found out I’m not going to have a single break in my work-week. I’m not even talking about a free period (they’re 45 min each), I’m talking not having 10 freaking minutes of peace. I’ll be working for 8 straight hours with no spare time to lunch, sit down, or dare go to the toilet. Of course I’ll have to do those things anyhow, but I’ll be stealing time for my Oral Expression classes because I won’t have the prerogative of being treated as a human being and a decent teacher. What hurt me most wasn’t even that though. When I found out about having more classes next year, I approached my boss to see how we could move around my schedule to fit in some breaks, maybe even negotiate my rolls. She stopped me dead in my tracks and said: But Chatte, you’re being paid as a full-time employee, there’s nothing I can do! I was wowed, to say the least… How can they treat someone whose job they appreciate like that? Hell, how can they treat anyone like that? On top of it I was given a task that definitely doesn’t belong to me: since the 3rd grade teacher has just being let go, I’m supposed to hand in a 150-page-long grammar booklet tomorrow, thank you very much.

In any case, that was the moment when I lost it. I swear I had never experienced such a strong headache raising up in a matter of minutes. I immediately took some medication but it didn’t help much, some hours later I was nauseous from the pain. In between these two points, I happened to have therapy. I explained what happened to Mr. Shrinky and expressed how disappointed I was that I was feeling for the first time in months a very big urge to hurt myself. He said he wouldn’t consider it a let-down since I was talking about it, and even when faced with a trigger, I wasn’t acting up on it. That’s when I saw he really wasn’t getting it, so I had to be clearer: R, the only reason I’m not cutting right now is because I’m here with you, because I haven’t had the time, and because I haven’t been alone. Apparently he didn’t catch I was talking about something that just happened, so I had to be clear this had happened just hours before session. Then he got worried.

He said there were things we could do to help my healthier part to stay strong: I could stay accompanied ’til I felt better, I could schedule an extra session, I could call him at any time and finally, he said it might be good to check into a hospital. He should know by now that when he mentions this even as just a possibility, I get into fight or flight mode. I don’t think there’s a quicker way for me to panick during therapy than a mention of an in-patient program. I did stay accompanied during all of Friday. BF and I had a reunion with former co-workers brought together by the return of a friend from Belgium. but I still didn’t manage to get much better, not the entire time anyways. As soon as I saw D, my anger dissipated, I was very happy to see him. However when P and D arrived and I saw their son walk in, whom I hadn’t seen since he was a newborn, something cracked inside. I was only barely able to keep it together until I reached the bathroom. I couldn’t hold my tears any longer because so many things hit me at the same time.

We hadn’t been together like these for years, and we probably won’t for a long time, if we ever do. Time goes by and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop it or control it. We used to work together and support each other, and my fellow teachers just watched me being beaten down without even a word of comfort. P and D are equally responsible for M, who has both parents for him. It was just too much for me so I went for an option Mr. Shrinky forgot to mention: get drunk. When I realized there wasn’t anybody else getting as happy as I was, I decided to stop though. There’s little as sad as being the only drunk so it wasn’t going to work anyhow.

On Saturday I had an appointment with N. I hadn’t seen her in 6 weeks, the longest since I’ve been her patient. I don’t think she saw me that good last time, but instead thought that I was so incredibly pissed at her it was best to let time settle things down. This time I got a fortnight appointment, and only because I’m going to the beach. I had so much to tell her, my life has changed dramatically since we last met: I moved, I met my brother, I discovered my bosses aren’t human. She said she still saw this last issue as an improvement: I’m not triggered as often as I was, I can see the signs coming and I want to stop them.

Still, it was so hard keeping the thought of SH away from me all through the weekend, and in the end I couldn’t hold it anymore. I had to cut. It wasn’t too deep, nor for long. I didn’t because I didn’t feel the urge anymore, but because I didn’t want to be stuck there any longer. I wanted to call Mr. Shrinky or even N so bad, I wanted to get some sort of magic words from them that would help me feel better. But I knew they don’t have such thing, and I know they would completely overreact to this. Me calling any of them would be interpreted as a sign of an emergency, of me going totally mental. Instead, I think I’ve been much worse and the fact that I was so close to calling is a sign that I’m doing better. Still, I obviously wasn’t sure they’d see it like that and wouldn’t end up calling the psych police on me, so in the end I didn’t make the call I needed. Instead, I called L. I didn’t say exactly what I’d been doing, but I did say I wanted to talk, and talk we did, for over an hour.

I am now calmer, still feeling somewhat shitty, but I’m handling it. I would have never thought in a million years I’d meet L. For me, having a brother was the same as having him a house on Pluto. Instead I’ve found he’s a great guy whom I click with, and I’m so happy to have him. I’m very still scared too, though. I’m not yet able to let go of the fear of being hurt. I’m convinced he’s a good man, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t get hurt by the situation in general, I guess there’s a lot of work to be done in that respect still.


10 thoughts on “Try

  1. Chatte,
    I’m sorry its been so difficult, I’d be pissed about work also. But I am glad that you are reaching out and not trying to handle this alone. Its tough to lean to do that. It is courageous of you to reach past the fear. I hope you find some relief soon and can work something out at the job. xx AG

  2. Your job sounds like many I’ve had that seriously expect way too much from their employees. It isn’t you – it’s them. Keep that thought. Pray to whoever you pray to to find a way out of this situation. It’s not healthy for you. I pray you’ll be directed to your next job which will be nourishing, not depleting.

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