February 15, 2012: A day that will live in infamy- At least in my mind anyways. That is the day that my teaching career took a fatal blow. On that day, I was like a little kid trying to please a parent who I could never measure up to. I was already a nervous wreck, but I so desperately wanted to please my bully that I did as she requested. I worked really hard at trying to raise my teaching to her standards. I often did this at the expense of my own family. I was working about 60-70 hours a week.
On this particular day, there was a lack of communication on both of our parts, my administrator and I. Early in the morning she felt the need to clarify some things with me. She chose to confront me in my classroom in front of my students. I remember feeling humiliated and numb. My students were shell shocked as well. One of my Kindergarteners even said, "What the heck just happened? Why did she just yell at you?" I knew no one would believe what had occurred in my classroom and they sure as heck would not believe a class full of five and six year olds.
I really wanted to run home at that moment, but I knew that wasn't the answer so I somehow muddled my way through the day.
Shortly after that I began having recurring nightmares. I also started to lose my hair. About two weeks later, I suffered a panic attack on my way to school. I don't even know how I taught that day, but I did. That night I decided to get serious about taking care of me. My emotional well-being was more important than pleasing my boss. I sought the advice of our family psychiatrist who agreed to put me on stress leave. She also gave me some medication to help me cope with life. In addition to this I began seeing a counselor on a weekly basis.
This experience was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to face. It shook me to my very core. I eventually ended up leaving teaching to care for my special needs daughter. I'm OK with that because I am no longer in that toxic environment.
Today, three years later, I may not be richer in material wealth, but I am richer in mental health. This morning at church, as we sung the words that are listed below. I truly felt that I have been set free.
Note: To read more about this, read my original post here.