why oh why oh why?

Why do I duck and dive

When I wish I could stand

Firm in the knowledge

I have done it all right

Maybe I wavered

But at least I was nice.

It’s funny how you keep your head down and you don’t notice any of the cracks around you, then you step out of line and suddenly it’s all so glaring you can’t quite believe you didn’t see it before.

I’m still struggling to let my line manager know that I’m leaving (she knows, but we haven’t had that conversation yet). The thing is, I’m seeing some of the nastiness that just washed over me and it has made me feel really on edge.

I was almost sick today, because I got so nervous about speaking to the head of department. The look that she gave me in the corridor actually physically hurt me, and I think she would see me as ridiculous for feeling that way.

But there are those in the world that are tough and run departments, and then there are softies like me. I just think that we all need to learn to rub along together nicely.

Much Love

Rachel xx

what a wimp

purple and green paper butterflies
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

So free of courage

Butterflies will keep from

The one thing I am meant to do,

The sickly feeling

Turning stomachs

Gets me every time.

I was supposed to tell my boss that I got the job today… and I wimped out. Which is typical Rachel behaviour, and makes me realise what a flake I can sometimes be. There are occasions where many seven year olds would have more courage than I can muster.

I spoke to Noah about it when I got home and it made me realise that drinking has a lot to do with this. I spent fifteen years masking my feelings with booze and now, when those feelings become too strong, I find it really hard to cope.

Whenever I had a difficult email to send, or I had to listen to my voicemails, or open a brown envelope, I could have a couple of vodkas and I would just about have the confidence to do what I needed to do.

Now, it physically hurts me to do these things with no crutch. But this is all a part of recovery and I will do it and I will learn to become a fully functioning adult.

For now, I’m just a bit of a melt.

Much Love

Rachel xx

now for the hard bit

brown and black bees
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It’s pleasure and pain,

They go hand in hand,

You can never have fun

Without the sting of defeat,

You can never take the win

Without first being beat.

I got the job!!!! Which is all well and good, but now I have to do the really hard part: handing in my notice. I am the worst at having uncomfortable conversations and tomorrow is going to be full of them.

It made me think of a yoghurt advert we had over here in the UK where the tagline was that you can’t have pleasure without pain. You saw a woman enjoying a low fat yoghurt while a man was running around in the background being chased by bees.

The idea was that you could enjoy something delicious and some other poor fool would suffer the pain.

Oh wish that could apply to real life (not that I want to wish pain on anyone else). But this conversation with the boss is going to be cringe-worthy. I’m halfway through my rollercoaster ride and I’m just about to go into the huge loop that terrifies everyone.

For the second day running, wish me luck.

Much Love

Rachel xx

here we go, no backing out now

photo of roller coaster on amusement park
Photo by Matheus Cenali on Pexels.com

The seats are slightly damp,

The person who just vacated, sweating

Sticking to the plastic cover

And the bar’s pulled down

With no way out, no screaming now

Will help as the cogs begin to turn.

The ride has started and

The people down below will wave

Oblivious of the panic setting in.

So it’s the eve of my interview and it feels like the bar has been pulled down on a rollercoaster and it’s clicked into place; now there is no way out. I will interview tomorrow and, as is the way with teaching positions, I will probably know the outcome before I have left the building.

It feels a bit like I’ve tapped the first domino in a domino run and there is no stopping them all going down. There is no guarantee that I will get the job but I have started something that I can’t go back from too easily.

When I’m on a rollercoaster, I love that feeling of knowing there is no way out until you reach the other end; the thrill seeker comes out in me and I just adore it. However, this makes me feel sick. I’m trying to reframe it and think of it as an exciting adventure – but the truth is, I’m terrified.

Bar down, here we go!

Much Love

Rachel xx

i froze up again

white feathers illustration
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Sitting on a sagging sofa,

My body just as deflated, staring

At the blank TV screen

Wishing it could give me answers

To all these questions swirling

Round my head, my arms, my legs

And freezing joints to solid stone.

I know I’ve written about my tendency to freeze before, but it’s been a problem again this weekend and I feel that writing about it is helpful to me, and hopefully to others – because knowing that you are not alone is so important.

I have so many big decisions to make if I get this job on Tuesday and rather than getting on with everything that needs to be done, I have found myself sitting on my sofa, not even watching the telly. I have literally just been staring at the blank screen and playing every possible outcome in my mind.

Some people run and some people fight, but I fall into the freeze category and I just do nothing. It is a horrible feeling to know that you have so much to do and yet you feel like you can barely move.

And it can be quite ‘dangerous’ to try and do things when I’m in this state. I have missed turn offs and gotten lost while driving because I’ve zoned out and I sometimes struggle to follow what people are saying to me as my mind is going so quickly.

I’m calming myself down as best I can, but I just have to accept that whatever happens this week, it’s going to be a bit of an uncomfortable one. Wish me luck.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the politician’s daughter

white house
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She was shepherded on stage

After the win, when the whole world wanted to see

The happy family, the secretive three,

Her father waving in a stately way, and mother

Dressed in designer clothes, hair done

That afternoon at Toni and Guy’s,

While Madison stood awkwardly by her side

Looking out across that sea of waving signs,

Her surname out there on their tainted lips,

Not that she had much of a choice up there.

Ugly dress that some consultant picked,

He said it made her look so wholesome when

The country seemed to be falling apart,

Young people these days, with their antisocial ways.

She stands there, stony faced and wishing

That she could be anywhere else, anybody else

As the flashbulbs pop and people chant her name.

oh, the awkward conversations

two white message balloons
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

I used to get so nervous in certain situations that I’d start to struggle to follow conversations and my teeth would chatter as though I was really cold. This hasn’t happened for probably three years – and it happened today.

The application that I filled out yesterday, came good. I received a request to interview this afternoon, but they also contacted my Head of Department for a reference. I really didn’t expect that to happen so quickly and it was a little bit uncomfortable when she came to talk to me.

I was then told that it may be a good idea to go and see the head teacher so that I’m being transparent with everyone. By this time, I was going into panic mode and the teeth were chattering. My friend literally had to walk me up the stairs and give me a pep talk on the landing so that I didn’t faint, be sick or just run away and never come back.

But the point is, I did it. I was brave and the head teacher actually said she rated the fact that I had come straight over to speak to her.

I didn’t need her to say anything positive about me, but it has made me reflect on the changes in my life over the past five years. When you are drinking you are not on the same plane as everyone else and the social and professional mistakes you make can be epic.

Those situations that once were baffling, are still really scary, but I realise I can do them and I come out the other end looking and feeling like a half decent human.

So, really I just wanted to toot my own horn and say that I wore my big girl pants and did something brave. And it felt pretty cool (although I’m emotionally wiped out right now).

Much Love

Rachel xx

a hatred of the dreaded application form

They want to know the ins and outs

Of everything, your test results,

Your school and nursery, your loves,

Your favourite food, the colour of

Your pants and what your toilet habits are.

Hours they take, when all I want to shout,

Is give me a bloody job,

Please.

feeling too attached for my own good

a close up shot of rubber bands
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The bonds are like the rubber bands

I wrap around the homework bundles

Cutting into paper edges, tight

Uncomfortable but also comforting

A paradox, if ever you have felt that way?

But sometimes they must snap away

Stinging skin but making room

To breathe and be myself again.

I don’t know about other people but, I get really attached to places once I get involved and it really surprises me how strong those bonds are once they have been wrapped around me.

I have a job possibility that has just come up, really close to home so there would be no need to drive. It is also a nice small school and the behaviour is much better than where I am.

I asked Noah what I should do and I didn’t even manage to finish my sentence and he had said ‘go for it’. That tells me that maybe this could be a good move – don’t forget I drive for an hour a day and petrol has gone up by over 50% since I started my job last year.

I wish that I didn’t have this need to please people who probably don’t care all that much about me. I really do like the people I work with but I have no best friend or impending promotion, so why am I procrastinating? Why do I find this so bloody hard? Do you feel unbearably attached to workplaces or teams when there’s little to keep you there?

Much Love

Rachel xx

a gentle dig that hurts so much

a red heart painted on a white wall
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It’s hard to believe that the nastiest part

Of my long Monday took place outside

The grotty Year 10 toilets where a throng

Of teenage girls shot me horrible looks

And giggled behind hands as I passed.

I’m a teacher, for God’s sake

And yet still my heart takes a silent beating

As I pass with my head low, wondering

Why I came back to school for more

Of this horrid abuse, that most fear for life.

Today felt really bad because of one moment caused by a girl who is fast becoming my worst nightmare. I lost my Year 10 class because she was so unpleasant to me and she obviously blames me for the fact that she has been moved to a class where she is apart from her friends.

She has obviously gone to her friends and told them all about how awful I am and when I was passing them as they were queuing for the toilet one of her friends gave her a nudge and nodded in my direction. This girl sneered at me and said ‘ugh’ as though I was something horrible that she had stepped in.

Now, I know I’m an adult and I’m probably being a bit snowflakey, but I felt like somebody had stabbed me in the heart and it genuinely made me feel low for the entire day.

I have been told that my skin will get thicker but it still hurts so hard. I know that it stems from my upbringing where I knew that I would always be wrong and nobody would believe me. Now that I’m an adult I still fear that my boss will believe a fourteen year old over me.

It’s amazing how the things we are told as children can shape us so totally as adults. My colleagues think this girl is an idiot and yet still that fear that they believe her over me is so real.

More therapy, anyone?

Much Love

Rachel xx