Life is Heavy

I have been needing to write for ages.

But, I haven’t been able to.

Life has been so heavy, in so many ways.

It is more than just Co-Vid 19 (though, that has been huge). It is also the absolute discord that this virus, our president, and everything else that has been thrust upon us. Continue reading

Forgetting Boundaries

Becoming healthy–overcoming anxiety, setting boundaries, learning self-worth–is not a linear process.

It is not something that you think about and then, BAM! life is perfect.

It’s just not.

It is a lot of small steps forward and big steps backward. It is learning triggers and recognizing them AS they are happening…or, even, not until they have already happened.

Right now, I am in the latter category.

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Another school year, over.

It has been with mounting excitement that I viewed the calendar over the last few weeks. Somehow, without really knowing HOW the year went so quickly, it was already April.

Teachers are quite tuned into the school calendar. Summer is usually met with relief, excitement, and exhaustion.

The last day of school, though? Ahhh. It is such a bittersweet day. A vulnerable day.

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Meds

Tonight, I am a mess.

A struggling, emotional, scared mess.

As a teacher, I recently had a few weeks off for the holidays. Days were busy–a combination of Christmas, traveling, and getting back on track with workouts. (Because, you know, I have somehow gained more weight than I want to admit). Somehow, in the chaos of it all, I began to forget to take my antidepressant.

Last Monday, I woke up and had to go back to work. As I went through my usual morning routine, I suddenly realized that it had been at least a week or a week and a half since I last swallowed that little pill.

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“I HAVE to love you, but I don’t HAVE to like you.”

I teach little people every day. Seven and eight year olds, to be precise. This year, I have one friend who can be particularly challenging. He is a boy on the spectrum, not in control of his emotions and easily overwhelmed by sensory stimuli and frustrations.

He feels best right next to me. Getting one on one attention. Holding my hand. Hugging me. Being up in my bubble. Each day, I do these things for him because he is also a child of poverty and neglect and it is my job to love and take care of him while I have him.

The other day, we were walking together. He had been having a rough day, and his signal is yelling, “I hate (whatever is bothering him).” Often, it is me, or a friend, or school, or his mother. My response is typical–“I’m so sorry you are feeling that way right now.”

After having numerous breakdowns that day, he held my hand and calmed down as I led him on a walk. He squeezed my hand hard and asked me, “Do you like me or do you hate me?”

I looked this sweet boy in the eyes. He held my gaze for a second, and looked elsewhere, uncomfortable with direct eye contact, as I said to him, “I don’t hate you at all. I love you.” He took a deep breath and relaxed, ready to go back into the classroom. Continue reading

More Me.

I’ve been avoiding writing lately. Why? I do not know. Other than, it is always easier for me to write–or really, necessary, for me to write, when I am depressed or hurting.

And, perhaps, that it is it. I am not depressed and hurting any more.

Don’t get me wrong. My stress level as of late has been pretty incredible. There is no tired like end of the school year tired. My days have been a blur of field trips, field days, graduations, assemblies, parties, and behaviors.

It has been EXHAUSTING, and I have been in total survival mode. Continue reading

Teaching through trauma

I have spent the last four years working at elementary schools in various capacities. I have known, for awhile, that education is the career for me. It just took me some time to take the leap and go back to school to earn a second degree.

School was a safe place for me. Growing up, when life was crazy, chaotic, and traumatic, school represented a place where I could go and be free. Loved.

Throughout my schooling, there were a few individuals who saved me. The teachers who saw who I was, and encouraged me to do my best. The teachers who embraced me and made me feel loved and supported. The ones who saw beyond the messy hair or messed up clothes. The ones who didn’t care that my parents didn’t show to parent/teacher conferences and told me I was smart anyway.

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