Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Taking stock

I suspect I am succeeding in making those closest to me believe all is going OK at the moment. Superficially it is. I am at work, I'm not falling apart, I'm managing to tackle things and not obsessing too much.
However, I do see warning signs. I'm putting my life into little compartments again - home, school, therapy. I'm also starting to wear those masks mentioned elsewhere. I know that neither of these are helathy for me. I'm also starting to volunteer to do things, even though I feel overloaded. Some of the daily self-nurturing is not happening. I'm finding I'm scratching myself again, without being aware of it. Alcohol ... no, we won't mention that! And I'm having moments where I am terrified at all the things surrounding me.
I'm trying to "park" certain things, to be discussed with D. (D - there's another one; this month sees her leaving her current post and ceasing to be my Care Coordinator, and that terrifies me on so many levels). I'm making lists and prioritising, and sometimes managing to complete tasks (I did finish a load of marking today). However, faster than I can tick one job off my list, another two arrive. And the 200 or so pupil reports I have to write have not been started yet. Nor have the learning modules I have to write, which are part of my appraisal, part of the school development plan and the focus of sessions with one of the consultants. This weekend is full - I have a sewing course on Saturday which will be lovely, but ... and then we go to my parents' for Saturday evening and Sunday. Planning? NO idea when that will happen.

In the midst of all this our senior managers have given us a long list of things we have to do to raise performance at SATs tests. We are measured by this performance. We have been given joint responsibility for the results. However, it's the pupils who will sit the tests - not us. So why does it feel that, if the pupils do not meet the silly targets set by our local authority and national government, it will be entirely our fault?

I can lay guilt trips on myself - I really don't need anyone else to help me with that!

Stop the world - I want to get off.


mandy lifeboats appeal said...

Hi C

I don't want to presume anything but I pick up that you are quite a perfectionist with yourself. Am I right? And feel free to tell me to sod off if I am wrong.

I used to be much more of a perfectionist when it came to myself than I am now. that's not to say I let up as much as I should do but following a massive break down I had to review alot of things. And being a perfectionist slid down the list of priorities.

Wanting to do things right is of course sound. Nothing mad about that. But people can drive themselves further to the edge by pushing themselves too hard.

It is okay, cos I say get things wrong...make utter balls ups even. It is okay to do things okay. As in not with shiny knobs on. It is okay on those ocassions when things come together (as if by miracle) and everything is in full working order and working well...but that is rare.

It is hard though just to let go (sometimes). To let things be. It can feel like there is a void that needs filling or something that should be being done. To justify existance, to feed the self that it is a good person.

Jeepers am sounding like a ruddy counsellor here...but am picking up that you do push yourself and sometimes I think too hard and if I could do anything right now, apart from making Dad feel better about himself, I would press a button to help you to have a calm space for you to be in. Doing not much of anything but being.

Anyway, as I said, feel free to tell me I am talking rubbish. If I knew you better and was in close proximity would give you a hug.


Disillusioned said...

Hi M

I'd have to admit your description of me is pretty accurate...

I'm still struggling (something I have worked on a lot) with allowing myself to be less than perfect, get things wrong etc. And you are very astute in picking up that there is a lot of that going on for me right now, and alongside it the struggle to improve myself, specifically my way of reacting to situations (which is very unhealthy and damaging at times). I have a crap view of myself and sometimes it feels that only by doing everything just right can I be acceptable.
Calm space - that would be nice too. D told me today I am to do something nice for myself this evening. Haven't managed it yet. Was going to have a bath but younger daughter got there first! Maybe an early night and a revisited book are on the cards.

I'd take the hug, too.


Kathryn said...

I've just spent a long time talking to a parishioner about being "good enough" as opposed to absolutely flippin A* perfect...and, you know, you are doing tremendously to be doing at all.
Having spent the last X years telling assorted children that SATS are a pointless invention that really don't matter, it feels faintly amusing to be saying the same thing to a teacher, but you know it's true. Same as league tables and all those other hurdles we seem intent on placing just so they can be tripped over.
Do hope you did manage your early night with a good book and that today has seen more opportunities to be kind to yourself.
Hugs and prayers xx

Disillusioned said...

Thank you Kathryn.

Today has been more of a struggle than I would have liked....

Our head is obsessed with SATs performance and league tables, and is doing his best to enforce that on the rest of us. It's hard to keep up some sense of the absolute unimportance of SATs (for I agree with you there) in the face of his insistence...