It feels so soothing, stepping back
Away from lapping flames that lick
At body parts, scorching, scolding,
In a vicious way.
But then recovery is so much harder
That I’m sometimes left to wonder
Would it be much easier
To let the lot go up in angry flames?
I wrote the other week that I had a bit of a tricky situation in my tutor group when when of my tutees had a meltdown and started screaming that she was going to kill herself, to later go to a teacher and say I’d told her to go ahead and do it.
I decided to take a bit of a step back, for my own mental health. I’ve had terrible trouble trying to create boundaries in my life and it’s led me into some really dark places. So this time, I decided that I would give myself space as I was feeling really overwhelmed by that behaviour.
I still believe that it was sensible of me to do that, but now that I’ve been missing from their sessions for two days I wonder how easy – or hard – it is going to be to integrate myself back in?
When I’m stressed, I feel paranoid and like everyone is whispering behind my back, so I worry that they’ll all be whispering about my disappearance. I feel like I made the right choice at the time, but now I realise that if I’d just sucked it up and carried on, I wouldn’t have the drama of making an entrance.
This is a fine balancing act that I am still learning and I hope that I have done the right thing by myself this time around. And I need to keep reminding myself that the decisions I make need to be for myself so that I can serve the kids. If I make myself sick, trying to see things out, I’m no good to anyone. And this needs to be kept in the back of my mind at all times.
3 thoughts on “stepping back is never easy”
(1) Do you really want to be in the group or leave? If you want to be there, what benefit is it to stay away?
(2) You can’t control what other people say or don’t say. For what reasons does that matter? It’s just words.
It is a difficult balancing act, isn’t it? I understand completely your need to step away for a bit, but I would say with Vic that if you want to be there, then don’t stay away. That student must be really hurting for her to act the way she did. That’s about her, not you. I hope you don’t internalise what she said; it’s not on you.
What a hard place for you to be in. Perhaps when you return, if that’s the decision you make, it would be best to boldly preempt negative comments by saying something first about why you returned. Maybe by taking that hard and brave step you will get to control the narrative of your return.