Sunday, 29 April 2012

Is there an F in "Ofsted"...?

Title stolen, but unapologetically so.
Yes, someone knew just what I need right now.
Ofsted are visiting our school on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I have spent 12 hours (at least) planning 6 lessons (one will be delivered to three different classes).  That works out at around 90 minutes planning for 60 minutes teaching. 
The anxiety comes and goes in waves.  If anyone else tells me "You wil be great" I might just hit them.  I no longer know what "great" means in Ofsted speak, after some very bruising lesson inspections.  My judgement seems to mean nothing; my understanding of differentiation called into question but no answers provided on what I should be doing to meet the new criteria.  So I have to go with what I have always done but, bearing in mind where I am right now, doing so takes much longer and causes much more stress.
I have Tuesday and Wednesday planned.  I'm not entirely sure what I am doing for at least one of my lessons tomorrow, but a good part of it will probably be spent sorting out folders and books, making sure everything is filed away and all the corrections I asked the pupils to do weeks ago have been done. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Crisis point?

People won't give up on me. For all my trying. I manage for a while to distance myself from everyone. I managed it for most of today's work time - until the end of the day the most anyone said to me was "hello", apart from one person who broke me by asking how I was and giving me a hug. Then at the end of the day something similar happened with another person.

Then I saw my GP. I intended to hide things. I couldn't. I think she saw something of where I am, and I let things out that I had no intention of showing - like how I want to push people away so that if I do take that final step it won't hurt so much.

The upshots were that I agreed to see J again, agreed to a change in meds (back to Venlafaxine, which worked well for me for a long time) and agreed to see Dr M next week. In return she won't make me see the crisis team or one of the psychiatrists. (She even offered a psychiatrist in a different team, a "good one" as she put it, but after previous experiences I don't trust any of them).

I broke fully after that and phoned J. It felt distant. Not sure if that was me or her or both. She said lots of things. I asked if she had phoned Dr M - she said not, but that she would have if I hadn't seen Dr M tonight.

I'm scared about seeing her on Thursday - scared she will be angry or distant or both.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Steep slopes

I can only say things are getting worse.
Have made the decision to cut myself off as much as possible.
Found myself looking at ropes in a sports shop recently. They were climbing ropes. I wasn't thinking about climbing. Didn't buy. The thoughts are there. They went away for a while but they are definitely there.
Phoned J today to tell her I thought it best to stop seeing her. She didn't agree. I couldn't explain that it isn't that I don't want to see her. I do, but I know I am beyond her help and that if I see her and if I do something to myself then she will blame herself.

Thursday, 12 April 2012


So I have "new strategies" and I am trying to use them to stave off the things my twisted brain seems to want me to think, possibly do.
Some work, some don't.
At the same time I'm urged not to try so hard all the time. There's an interesting conflict! I'm trying not to try so hard!

Life is full of interesting conflits right now.
The thoughts have been triggered by a "situation" at work. A situation which arose from me trying to do another thing I was urged to - be assertive. In fact J and I celebrated the fact that I had been assertive and had expressed my feelings about the pressure being put on many members of staff by the management. I was feeling good about it. Feeling I was making progress.
Then the management responded.
And I switched right back into childhood and childish responses, and self blame, and self harm, and dark dark intentions and thoughts which left my GP wanting to refer me to the crisis team. And to me refusing that offer (which will be no surprise to anyone who read my blog during my previous contact with the mental health team.)

So new meds, revisiting old meds, increased contact with my GP (who IS wonderful) and with J (who is also wonderful). All occuring during the holiday - which is probably a good thing in some ways, but in others is crappy, because being away from work allows me to catastrophise and imagine and think everyone there must hate me... and because it's the holidays and I want to be enjoying and appreciating them.

Oh, and I have a broken tooth so imminent dental work (big trigger) and an "invitation" to make an appointment for a smear test (even bigger trigger) and money is tight and and and...

But there you go.

All kinds of things are conflating at the moment, and I am just working at staying upright and functioning. Compartmentalising to the nth degree. Feeling very uncertain that this will ever end in a good way, but trying to hang ont o the fact that J and my GP both assure me that it will end in a good way and that they will stick by me until it does.

Depression sucks. Just in case you didn't know it.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Rollercoaster - I'm back on you.

Here I am again.
Scars on the arms and aches in the soul.
Not knowing what is going on but finding it all too familiar.
And fearing that I know all too well the answer to that question, "So what happens now?"

Saturday, 5 December 2009


I am so tired, and there is so much to do and so little space to do it in.

Today was spent failing to do Christmas shopping.

The run up to Christmas is so stressful. J being away seems to make it more so. Plus things are tough at work right now.

I want to find ways to release the pressure. In the past I have used "negative" coping methods. I don't want to resort to those again, but I feel like I am running out of options. I'm not even sure I can talk to J about why things have been so difficult when I see her again. There's some internal shut down going on. It's scary.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Long gaps..

... between my postings... I feel somewhat shy of posting here lately. no idea why.

... between T sessions. J is away on holiday. She's entitled! But I am finding it hard. I feel like a pressure cooker about to explode. I recognise that I am irritable, tired, short-fused and tearful - and feel pathetic that I need someone so much. A large part of the problem is that I haven't had that one hour space each week where I can let things out. I am getting into the "deep stuff", have just started really opening up about some things - and they are festering inside me while I can't let them out in little parts. There is nobody else I can talk to about some of what happened. Nobody. It would be unfair, it is too shameful, there is nobody else I trust enough, and there is no time...

I don't know how to release the pressure. Something might happen.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Term is well underway. I have gone into my overdrive mode and am trying (failing) to slow down.

Saw J today. Muddled session; small parts were out and confused and upset. Which left me confused and upset.
She was talking about the wise mind / true self. I'm to try to have compassion for my needy attachment and submit parts, and try to bring calm. The theory is that I can learn to say no, can learn to break old patterns of needing approval. I just feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

I visited engage-live, who run online safety sessions for students. I've used them and am enthused by the concept. We discussed ways of making other schools aware of the resource; it is free in our area but underused. Have a few projects in hand, including an online event at the student e-learning open day I am going to run next month.

Tonight I am going to my second lace-making session and am very much looking forward to it, even though I am feeling very tired tonight.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

School today...

Well, it was OK in the end.
Some difficult things. One that I have changed the year group I am attached to. In the year group I was with last year I felt safe. I knew the other members of staff well and trusted them. The current year group are nice but very young - don't have as much in common with them - and not the same sense of trust. But it was a difficult situation and I didn't really feel I had any option other than offer to change.

The patchy support in Maths was a challenge; having been forced to change year groups (a mess up in the timetable I am sure) I am taking bottom set in a different year group (so need to plan a completely new set of lessons). I asked for a room in one area of the school, which would have made the situation more manageable because of access to resources; looks like that got forgotten. I assumed I would get teaching assistant support; turned out that while the parallel set had one member of staff for each lesson, I had support in only three lessons, and that from three different members of staff. I protested and have now got the same member of staff for three of my lessons, and another for the fourth.

It's a bit galling that, as the newcomer to the team, I have been given no support with planning - but have shared my plans with the member of staff who has been teaching this set for three years. Equally irritating was her comment that she will need to plan because "I will have to teach them something this year because they are brighter than previous sets".

Tomorrow I am leading 45 minutes of the training. I need to add something to my presentation tonight to make sure I cover what is needed. Am teaching about computer security to an audience with very varied knowledge!

Recent news items are causing me some internal angst...

So, more training tomorrow - looks like being pretty heavy - then my consultancy day, then a day in school with pupils (but no lessons). Monday the term starts properly.

Monday, 31 August 2009

School tomorrow


Part of me is looking forward to it - to the structure, to teaching, to seeing things change.

But I know how busy it is going to be. Especially as I have just signed up to take 3 MA modules this year. (Yes, I know. I'm mad. A danger to myself. I know.) I am going to miss the space. Lots of demands over the next few weekends as well.

So I have mixed feelings. To say the least.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Session with J

It was messy. Trying to move from seeing everything as "my fault" to a place where I can see that things happened to me is really really uncomfortable. Trying to talk about things that tie in to my inner shame - things I know I need to talk about, things on one level I want to talk about - that was really difficult. Putting things into words which, deep down, I feel I must not talk about because it exposes how shameful I am - it was terrifying, and the amount of fear I felt surprised me.

I'm trying to reposition things. Trying to take that step from "I am bad and mixed up and so bad things happened to me and really I deserved them" to "Bad things happened to me and that made me mixed up" is a hard journey. It's a move to a place where things can change, and that is good, that is the place where I want to be. But it is so difficult to take the step and look at things from a totally different perspective. Me being "wrong" is part of me; to move to a place where maybe it is not all my fault, not all my responsibility - it feels like asking me to climb into a plane knowing I am going to jump out of it at fifty thousand feet, without a parachute, and trust that those who tell me I will have a safe landing are telling the truth. It goes against everything I know to be true.

So today I tried to talk about things - and a lot of the time I failed, because it was too scary or I didn't have the words. I accepted that logically certain things are not true - but that doesn't help too much when I feel that those logical rules just don't apply to me.

I allowed some emotions to surface - and felt overwhelmed by them. All those tears are just not appropriate for a so-called adult (even if I am still an inadequate child inside). And "not appropriate" totally misses the point of all the rules I broke in crying.

And then I came home. And acted as if things are normal, as if I am normal. But inside I am broken tonight, and so very lonely.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


I have just about two weeks left, and looking over things am satisfied with what i have done. Have managed to complete MA module essay and hand it in on time. Decorated hall and stairs. Sorted mortgage. Filled freezers with meals I have cooked. Cleared garage and got rid of massive amounts of stuff through Freecycle. Chosen and ordered flooring for hall and lounge. Got paint for lounge. Planned lessons. Had a break in Stratford on Avon.

Really do think I need to turn down the speed for the last fortnight. If only I knew how to do that!

Sunday, 2 August 2009


Feeling a bit overwhelmed as I seek to move forward. Uncovering the hidden things of the past and putting them into words is scary and disorientating. I have so many ideas about how to uncover, and so want so much to move forward and out of this, but it is hard. I battle with self-destructive impulses and childlike terror. How far to push it, and when to take a breather?

Friday, 31 July 2009


Well, maybe.

Counselling is continuing. J is great, and it is helping - but it is also very hard at times. Yesterday was an example of it being helpful and hard. After every session I seem to go a bit haywire internally as I process things; it makes Thursday evenings ahrd. However, yesterday I went into it with my focus on how to manage the hard feelings, and I did seem to manage them OK. Not brilliantly, but OK.

I'm still working at my first MA submission. I guess the first is bound to be the hardest. I have a fortnight left to complete it... Gulp.

Have done some work in preparation for school. More to be done (of course!) We've also been decorating, tackling the massive task of repainting the hall and stairs. Nearly done now and it does look better, but of course the house is a mess as a result. really hoping today will see an end to it.

Next week we have a busy week; H's birthday, and a weekend away in Stratford. This time last year we were in Crete. I think I am glad to be staying at home this year. With both girls having had courses (E orchestra last week; H drama last week and this) it feels like we have been busy enough.

The last thing is I could really do with my sleep patterns settling into holiday mode. That's to say, I would like NOT to wake at 5 am every morning. Not sure how much of that is down to cutting down my Trazodone combined with cutting down the sleeping tablets, but after a month of a smaller Trazodone dose and two weeks of less Zopiclone, I'd really like my body to have adjusted.

Today I have plans to keep myself busy; after dropping H off this morning I am going for a swim (don't really feel like it, but am going to do it anyway!). I want to finish the decorating as I said, and pull the weeds out of the lawn. Not sure I intend to tackle the essay today - so tired it might not be very profitable!

Monday, 27 July 2009

When is a Serious Untoward Incident not a SUI?

Presumably when the organisation responsible decides it is not.

See Mandy's recent posts about her dad, here.

BLPT state in their own (recently approved)
"POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ADVERSE INCIDENTS (INCLUDING SERIOUS UNTOWARD INCIDENTS)" that a SUI is one which involves "· NHS Staff, patients, relatives, carers or visitors" which
"· Causes death or serious injury or was life threatening
· Contributes to a pattern of sustained reduction in standards of care that the provider or commissioner identifies as being below agreed minimum safe standards".


It causes me some concern that BLPT's prime definition of a serious untoward incident is that it is "a situation in which one or more service users are involved in an event which is likely to produce significant legal, media or other interest and which if not properly managed may result in loss of the Trusts reputation or assets", and that the definition I posted first here is an afterthought, qualified as "the principles as defined by the Strategic Health Authority for the East of England ".

Monday, 25 May 2009

The broken place

Here I am
In the broken place.
Surrounded by fragments.

Promises echo from the walls
Of those who can reform Humpty Dumpty
The potter who makes all things new
The fixer, the great mysteries of Time.

They all sound hollow.

You are not in my brokenness.
You come from a place of wholeness
Safe in your still place.

What do you know of the tornado which has ripped me into shreds?

Look at me now.
Look closely.
Don't filter this through your tinted glasses.
This is my life.
This is my mess.
These are my pieces
Scattered, fragmented, distorted.

It's easy to say it will all be OK.

But look now.

Because here I am
In the broken place
In fragments.


OK so I admit it. Tis all impossible. merging the pieces of my life, the broken bits, with the me other people see - the me I let them see, the me I want them to see - that is impossible.

Seems I have a choice. I have to choose. Am I the broken one or the 100% fine one? Am I the jigsaw or capable and coping?

I've tried to be coping. Tried to ignore the cracks, the joins. Tried to pretend they are not there. But they are.

Tired of disappointing people. Tired of letting them down, wasting their time. Tired of believing it will be OK. Maybe it won't. Maybe it can't be. So what then?

Can you accept me as broke? Can you sit with me knowing that I may never be whole? Maybe you can, but most people around me can't. So tell me, what is the best thing to do? Disappoint them (and myself) for the rest of my time here - or put a stop to it all now?

Monday, 27 April 2009

Scary Sunday

I spent most of yesterday at our local A&E.... All scary stuff.

Went to bed on Saturday evening with pain in my back. Woke with same pain but more so, like someone pressing on my back. Through the morning it progressed to the front of my chest, and up into my jaw. About 12.30 I phoned NHS direct for advice - and before I knew it there was a paramedic at my home and I was all wired up. Tracings were all normal (thankfully) and I thought that was an end to it, just felt bad for wasting their time (an ambulance had also arrived by now), but they were quite convincing that I should go to A&E to be properly checked over. reluctantly agreed. Spent the next few hours there (got home about 7.30pm). Can't fault the care; they were incredibly thorough, very reassuring, told me I had done the right thing. Had more ECGs (all normal), x-ray (also normal) and a blood test. Ah. The first one showed "some raised levels" so they had to do another. (Couldn't take the second sample from the cannula already in my arm though - thank goodness I'm OK with needles!) I ended up waiting (fortunately on a side ward) for the results. Thankfully the second blood test showed no raised levels. Conclusion is that it is probably muscular; ordered to stay off work till Wednesday (when I already have an appointment with my GP) and likelihood of a stress test just to confirm there is no problem.

I feel guilty on all sorts of fronts, despite reassurances from everyone. I also feel very relieved - it was extremely scary at some points. And I am very thankful for my friend from work who offered to come over and sit with me (W having stayed, at my insistence, at home with the girls).

Let's NOT do that again, please...

Monday, 20 April 2009

"Training day"

Rubbish first day back.
Now feeling isolated and inadequate.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Lots of postcard making going on, albeit in a different style to those I have made previously. Posted here for your consideration. Make of them what you will; there is meaning to each one.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

T session

J was, as ever, supportive, encouraging, challenging....

It was another tough, dissociative session. Progress made - as far as I remember the session anyway. I wish that I could remember more clearly.

Have booked an extra session next week - both to try to build on what I think happened today and because I feel so wobbly and anxious right now. Wish I had got another prescription for Valium yesterday when I saw my GP; I feel so in need of something to numb.

The rest of the day was positive - training, for me this time, and a meeting.

One more day...

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Counting down...

...tomorrow is my consultancy day. Big sighs, small smiles. That I can cope with. Am looking forward to being on the receiving end of some training rather than giving it - I have a session booked with one of the regional trainers. If nothing else it will hopefully show me I am telling others how to do things "properly"! I expect to pick up some useful tips and tricks as well.

Also tomorrow is my session with J. I know it will be useful but am slightly apprehensive; there's a lot of bottled up stuff inside me. Am thinking about whether I can book in some extra sessions over the holidays, to try to process a little faster.

Then the last day of term - assemblies and events. Then... the holidays!

What is in store?
Well, space, for one thing. Hopefully time to sleep and rest and regain some energy. Time to sew. I'm hoping for time to go and do some genealogy. Reading - I want to go to the library and stock up on some undemanding books. Have recently discovered Harlan Cohen's books - something outside my "normal" reading style, but interesting and enjoyable.
Cooking. I need to stock up our freezers. It's something of a chore, but also rewarding.
I really hope the weather will allow me to do some gardening. I've been thinking about hiring a skip; our garden is still very "raw", and a large part of this is because the soil is so rubbish! I've dug out a couple of beds and refilled them with compost, but getting rid of the clay is a challenge. I've been taking barrows of it up to the open land (farmland) and putting it into the hedgerows. But it makes for a major task. If I hire a skip (and find a plank to wheel the barrow up!) it ought to be possible to dig out a few beds, fill them with some kind of compost and plant them up. I'm tempted by the idea of a fruit bed - raspberry canes, blackberries, strawberries, that sort of thing. Maybe even a small apple tree (we already have a cherry tree). So getting a skip is a possibility and planting out a couple of beds is another thing which I think could be extremelly rewarding.

That's the extent of my plans so far.

How about everyone else?

Friday, 27 March 2009


I don't have any words left in me.
J is away this weekend. It shouldn't matter but it does.

One more week of term left. For me, that is 3 teaching days. (I don't teach on Thursdays as I do my consultancy work, and on Friday we have "activities").

E is 17 tomorrow. 17! Every time I look at photos of my neice (now 18 months) I see E. The resemblance is uncanny. How can E be 17?

I would like to hide away for a long time.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Not sure what to say really

which is probably why I haven't said it.

We have three weeks to go to the end of term, and I have about 6 weeks worth of work to fit into those three weeks. Not sure how it is all going to get done.

This week I have something on after school on every day. I have training to run, training to attend, a meeting to run and an open day to plan. I have a budget to write and a subject improvement plan to review and write.

I need to develop new schemes of work and address shortcomings in the existing ones. I need to work out why on earth I can't get my students to remember how to create simple formulae in Excel!

Oh, and I need to try to stay sane....

Monday, 2 March 2009

Just another Manic Monday

That's how it felt, anyway.

From the moment I stepped in the door I seemed to be sorting out IT issues. Logons, video players, Excel, links to our VLE, Internet connection disappearing - all came my way today. At lunch time I resorted to taking my lunch to the office to eat it, because that way nobody could ask me to do anything.
I need to practise using that two letter word beginning with N and ending with O again.


More positively, I went to the gym and swam this evening after work. Haven't done that in ages, and it was really good to do. On from there to Tesco. I was intending to do some marking tonight, but on second thoughts I think I may just relax for a bit.

My daughters have introduced me to a book which I began last night. It's called The Hunger Games and is by Suzanne Collins. I thoroughly recommend it - it has me hooked.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Gleanings from BLPT Trust Board Papers part 5

It seems the interim chief executive has his moments of frustration with many of the current directors of BLPT. This from one set of Executive Board minutes:

PG expressed his disappointment that a pre-meeting was arranged with the Director of Finance from Beds & Luton and senior staff, including operational staff. PG had requested that his contracting team and senior Directors change their diaries as a means of ensuring that they could provide appropriate advice and support to the Bedfordshire & Luton team. However on the day only TD came to the meeting. PG queried was this a reflection of the commitment people had within the Trust to our contracting process.

Do I sense something of a slap on the wrists?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Gleanings from trust Board Papers part 4

This from the Executive Team Meeting minutes from January 16th:
PG expressed disappointment following a visit that although considerable investment in the infrastructure and new beds Ward Managers were allowing beds to be made up with dirty sheets and duvet covers.


Where's the dignity in that?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Action from BLPT

After I emailed them, the Board Secretary has arranged for the incorrect links on the Trust Board Minutes to be repaired. She has also had the Performance Report uploaded again and it is now available online.

Do I get paid for acting as their quality control?



that the computer network at school is a little more functional today than it was yesterday!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Gleanings from BLPT Trust Board Papers part 3

Changes afoot.
As well as the resignation of the entire Non-Executive part of BLPT's board, the Director of Strategy and Business Development seems to have departed, to be replaced by Peter Wadum-Buhl. He is also associated with South Essex Partnership Trust - where Patrick Geoghenan is the Chief executive. Also joining BLPT from SEPT is one Oliver Shanley, acting as Interim Executive Director of Integrated Governance and Executive Nurse. Hopefully they can help to move BLPT somewhere towards caring for its service users....