Feel like a failure
SRM - Dec 17 2018 at 09:42
I don't know where to start really. I suppose when it all started to go wrong. I was an outstanding teacher and was moved into a new year group in September 2015. I had a TA who wasn't very experienced and my job share was on maternity leave. I had a class that were very challenging, a girl who had anger issues and half a dozen boys with behavioural and emotional needs. I found it difficult to support all the needs in my class and do everything required of a teacher whilst bringing up my daughters.
I only worked three days a week so spent the other four days being a mum and trying to keep on top of my school work. I was responsible for getting my children to school everyday and this usually meant cycling 3.5 miles with my two children, supervising them before and after school whilst trying to get everything done as a teacher on the days I worked. I was expected by my partner to be home by 5pm bearing in mind it took at least 40 minutes to cycle home not leaving me much time to do my school work. Once home I had to make dinner,take one daughter to training severaL nights a week, prepare for the next day and try to finish school work. It meant that often I didn't start work until 9pm when I was tired and had to face a moaning partner.
I was struggling in class to control behaviour and keep up with marking. Parents went to the head to complain so naturally he would observe me to see what the issues were. Most of the complaints were unfounded but because the complaints kept coming in he observed me once a week. With every observation my confidence was slowly chipped away I began to feel anxious about going to work, I couldn't sleep and felt physically sick all the time. The head was absent a lot that year due to illness so I didn't get much support. Four weeks before the end of the summer term I was put into informal capability and I was at breaking point. My head sent me home because I was in such a state. He advised me to go to the doctors and arranged for some counselling sessions for the next academic year. I was signed off sick for 4 weeks. My partner was angry because I hadn't told him what was going on at work and had gone running to the doctor. He told me I should have shared everything with him because if I had none of this would have happened. I didn't share because I knew he would see this as a failure on my part and would go wading in potentially making things worse.
The head retired at the end of the year due to ill health. A new head was in place when I returned to work in September. I was placed back in my previous year group. I had weekly observations and to begin with I handled them well. I had to have regular meetings to review targets with my head, someone from the education department and my union rep. My head was positive to begin with,she thought I was going to make it through the process. I met targets but not quick enough and then there were other targets thrown in which I met even though I was given very little time to implement changes. It became very clear I wasn't going to get through the process, my rep was little help and the head just continued to slate my lessons. Heads from other schools toured the school and she let them come into my classroom, they picked up on the fact that my classroom belonged to a struggling teacher. My job share did very little and I was expected to pick up the pieces. She also asked an outsider to observe a lesson with her and I was deemed inadequate. I was heading towards being sacked. Meanwhile the teacher in the other class and my job share who had returned from maternity leave were at war with each other, both would constantly be in the heads office moaning which was unhelpful. I resigned at Easter because I just couldn't take anymore. I was made to work until the end of July and on occasions was asked to cover my job shares days when she was ill. The observations stopped.
This happened between Sept 2015 - July 2017. I began working as supply teacher last September so that I could continue teaching without the workload and stress a teacher has to deal with. I also felt that this would help me find my love of teaching again and build my confidence. I am a very shy, introverted person so going to different schools, meeting new people and having little time to familiarise myself with plans would be a challenge. I have enjoyed walking into schools teaching, marking and leaving. I have met some lovely people and all the feedback has been positive. However,the work is not regular, at times there is no work and it is poorly paid, £120 a day but £84 after pension, holiday pay, tax and NI are taken out.Then there is the yearly battle with the tax man that can take months to resolve to claim back a rebate and the overpaid NI that can't be claimed back.I have to rely heavily on friends to drop my daughter at school and collect her. I miss important school events because I am working (I need to take anything I can get). Last year a long time placement kept me afloat financially.
I have had very little work this year meaning I am struggling to pay for bills, food shopping, my children's activities and clothes. I used to pay half of everything but my partner is having to help me more and more. He is paying for all the holidays, spending money, to run and service two cars (because I need a car for work) and paying some of the bills I used to cover. I get so down and most days I don't have work I sit in my PJs and do nothing. When he comes home he is furious because I haven't done enough. He works part-time, two days a week, but has been working three extra days for most of this year with builders, doing rubbish clearances etc He has lots of savings and owns another house which he rents so doesn't need to work so much. He is working so much that there are things that aren't done at home because I just don't know how to do them (fixing the car). My relationship is strained and not surprisingly he resents me. He is paying for more things, I am not working much or earning enough. He is angry that I didn't handle things well at work and that I got signed off sick. He thinks this is weak and pathetic and me running away from the problem. I have applied for jobs but I haven't had one interview this is certainly down to being put into capability. He is also taking our younger daughter to school which he resents despite the fact he is working 5 minutes from the school.
I am overweight and as result my sex life is non existent but recently he has mentioned more than once he hasn't had oral sex for ages. He is always nagging me about my weight and over the years I have got heavier. There have been times after the birth of my two daughters when I lost lots of weight. He insists I weigh myself every couple of days and report my weight to him. He often calls me thick, ugly and fat. He was angry with me this morning calling me useless and thumped me twice in the arm really hard and my younger daughter saw him do this. He has hit me before (not often) when he loses his temper. He used to apologise but he doesn't anymore. I find I make lots of silly mistakes and that fuels his anger as does disagreeing with him even if I am correct and trying to explain myself.
I am supposed to be going abroad at the end of the week with him and the girls. I am dreading it! He will constantly moan about my weight and give me disapproving looks. He will refuse to do the tiniest task because he works hard the rest of the year and I don't. He will moan if we take to long to get ready for the beach, have a shower etc He will decide what we do and where we go. He will get angry if we stay in bed too long despite staying out to the early hours. I will feel guilty all week because I haven't paid any of the spending money or for the holiday. He will monitor what we eat because we are eating in the hotel. He will complain I haven't eaten enough healthy food and I haven't done enough swimming.
I am sorry this is so long but it does feel good to get it all off my chest. When I started to type I was in tears but I do feel a little better now. It has taken me a long time to type which mean I am not doing other things.He has already rung whilst I have been typing giving me errands to run.Thank you if you managed to read all this.
You need to leave your husband. Seriously. He's toxic, in so many ways. It's bad enough for you, but your children are growing up, thinking that's what love looks like. I know it's scary to think about turning your life upside down, but nobody should just accept that kind of behavior. I highly recommend you see a counselor and work on your self esteem. He's eroded your confidence because it serves his need for superiority. Research emotional unavailability and narcissistic personality disorder. Learn about what you're living with, so you can make an informed decision about your and your kids' future.
I left after 26 years. It was terrifying and painful at first. But it wasn't long at all before I felt relieved and happy to be free of the toxicity. Spend more time with your friends and family. Take time to take care of yourself. Find a counselor that can help you. And before long, you're only regret will be that you stayed miserable so long.
I should add...
Your husband has obvious control and anger issues. If/when you muster the courage to leave this jerk, you should take some precautions. People like this don't take rejection well, and it may get ugly. So please make sure you and the kids are safe first and foremost. There are several organizations that can help if things escalate to dangerous levels. Good luck and take care of yourself!
Agree most emphatically!
Thank you for your advice.
I'm not finished.
FYI, you're the opposite of a failure because you have managed to keep functioning under terrible duress and stress. Oppressive bullying, actually. First your husband... and then, rendered extra-sensitive to finally spotting it - AND REACTING TO IT AS BRINGS THESE THINGS TO A MORE PALPABLE HEAD - your place of work. Home AND work - my god.
I realise your performance has dropped by *your* standards in Situation Normal, but you've managed to stay functional under fire of Situation Seriously Abnormal far-far better than your average person (as this is a common abuse-victim symptom and outcome).
You had already proven your permanent, default capability. That is not up for questioning. Nor doubting during what is an extenuating, long, drawn-out, very negative circumstance.
Given that you've had your partner AND a number of work colleagues all sat on your head - you've managed to still walk upright and at a decent pace.
And look at that opening post! It was PERFECT. Anyone would think you were a professional reporter! (Bloody hell, I wish *everyone* posted that coherently, eloquently and articulately!)
Failure my a*se.
Just summon up the courage and determination - and the right timing - to throw those weights off and - VOILA, you'll start steadily returning to normal shape. Not only will you return to your prior performance levels across the board of your life, but you'll surpass that past level. Reason being, because having 'monkeys on your back' does NOT stop you meantime learning and improving on the purely intellectual/theoretical - or if you like, conceptual side.
You're just weighted down. That's it. The problem is the fact of those monkeys plus the fact of their being on your back - not you and your capabilities, attractiveness, potential trim figure and fitness, and confidence, etc.
*Everyone* walks with a stoop with a giant monkey, medium monkey and few other smaller monkeys on their back. And yes, it's true you can remain stooped for a wee while even after they've been shaken (machine-gunned :-p) off. Because it's a period of adjustment again. But once you do - there's no stopping you!
(MamaBear, tell her about last year's White Water Rafting expedition!)
Have that surf, SRM, and then feel free to return here to discuss, explore and query your findings.