Yesterday at seven in the morning my boss came into my classroom to tell me that students have been complaining about me to their counselors. A number of students have said that I am mean and they think I hate them. She then asked, “Do you hate them?” Wow. Glad to see that she knows me. Then she said that they think I’m brusque. To which she added as a statement of fact, "well, you are brusque." Thanks for that support, lady. Some more words of how horrible I am and onto the next topic. Oh, but she did say, in a I-can’t-believe-this tone, that she knows some students like me because they give me cards, but really, what are you going to do to make them think you love them?
Honestly, I have no idea. Some days I feel like a snapping turtle; there I am, calm in my mud and then all of a sudden someone says something, or does or doesn’t do something and SNAP. I know that it is not professional to bring my outside life into the classroom, and I don’t, I don’t talk about my life, but sometimes my nerves don’t realize where they are and SNAP. The SNAP could be a tone that is not the most loving or a comment that is not the most supportive. I’m sorry kids (you boys especially) but honestly can’t you just sit down, stop talking, stop chewing gum like cows, start doing your homework, start doing your classwork, stop talking, stop interrupting me when I’m talking to ask irrelevant questions, stop talking (oh, I said that, but did you hear me say that?), start caring about more than getting out of class to talk to your friends, stop thinking that you know more about everything than me, start paying attention. (That could be an example of a SNAP.)
The next topic was about my colleagues and how she says they feel that I don’t shoulder my weight or I’m not committed enough to the cause. This stems from the fact that I had to cancel helping out at a workshop one afternoon because I had a parent-teacher conference (not for my own child mind you, but at school for a student), and instead of going from person to person to see if someone would cover for me, I just sent out an email. Now I know that that is a big no no. Thanks everyone. One slip-up and you’re on the bad colleague list. Oh, and I came late to the last department meeting, or should I rephrase that as saying I was late to one meeting and poof, I am not a full member of the team.
And with that she left.
At that moment a student walked in (can’t you hang out with your friends and not come to my classroom 20 minutes before class starts?), so I had to pretend that I wasn’t as weak as a 14-year old inside. Then a student, whose sister I had last year and who often comes to visit me, came by herself to visit me. But I was about to cry, especially after I told her that I’m having a bad day and she asked me if I wanted a hug. (I saw her today, and she asked me if I was feeling better. Sweet, sweet girl.)
Then I read an email that notified the staff at school that the mother of two students had died. (I had her daughter two years ago. Another sweet, sweet girl.) I thought, oh no, not another woman dead from breast cancer. But no, I was to find out during my break, this mother of three committed suicide. That information just made me sit, sit with new tears brimming thinking of this woman and how horribly horrible the pit she was living in must have been. Then I just sat some more, unfolded. And there I was, at the wall of ENOUGH, unable to do anything but sit in stillness.
In the afternoon I went to see two short-term rental apartments. One was nice, in that it wasn’t expensive and there was no need to sign a long-term lease. But it really was for a single person, and not one with two teenagers. I imagined the reaction of my daughters if I would take them there: it would be that mom doesn’t want us. It was so obviously a place for one. And it was far, so far from the house, and more importantly from my younger daughter’s school that I wouldn’t be able to drive her in the mornings to school and get to my job on time which would be essential since the house was not in her school district. And the second apartment was actually a wing in a lovely woman’s home. I wish I could have taken it because it seemed that we would get along so well and her daughters are the same ages as mine. But it was too expensive to seriously consider.
And today I am back to wondering how I can save myself and leave them? Yes, I know this situation is unhealthy, but the price that my daughters would have to pay unless I find a place that is really suitable for them would be too high. How good would I feel sitting alone in a basement without exman around if I feel that I abandoned them to him? Would I really be able to start healing? And, would I really be able to start losing weight (thanks for the reminder that I have gotten heavy, mom) and exercise and get my life in order if I thought about them, alone in the house or with his toxic presence.
So this weekend I will be doing the realtor’s “to do” list, and she will help organize some repairs that she thinks will help sell the house. I’m still looking for a short-term rental, but it has to fit us all, hopefully I will find it before my birthday or we will have a contract by then.
Lastly, please drive carefully. In the past two days I have passed three accidents.