It feels like there has been a lot of that today and i have to say I feel quite overwhelmed and inadequate tonight. Valium in use; Zopiclone planned.
I received an email from an ex-pupil today, on my work email. Its title was calculated to get me to read it: "Please read". Have to say I have my email on the school website and make it available to pupils; am always happy to respond to pupils, whether "chatty" or teaching and learning orientated. It's part, for me, of making myself available. But today this was one consequence:
are you stil going mad????have you been in rehab recently???hope you are feeling better
It was signed - but not in the name of the (now ex) pupil who was issued with this "school" email account.
Turns out it was from a pupil who was in my tutor group 2 years ago.
As part of PSHE lessons we looked at mental health. I was "upfront" in stating I had personal (past) experience of depression. This in the context of "mental illness has similarities to other illnesses". This in the hope that I could enable the "one in four" who would at some point encounter mental health issues to be aware they are not alone. In some idealistic hope of letting pupils know that "normal" people can also need help with mental health.
So then this email. Calculated. Hurtful. From a very "techically savvy" pupil who I encouraged and spent a lot of time supporting.
The ex-pupil's parents have been contacted by the deputy head.
The pupil wishes to see me and apologise to me tomorrow morning.
He has told the deputy that "It just happened". He "didn't think". He's "really sorry and wants to apologise."
My response (not sure how much I will manage to say).
- I don't accept that it "just happened." The title of the email, and the fact that you signed it with the name of another pupil, suggest otherwise. They both suggest forethought and a desire to hurt and mislead.
- How dare you assume that I would take at face value the signature?!
- What an insult to the effort I put in to helping you, teaching you HTML, encouraging you in your ICT studies.
-Online harassment is a criminal offence.
Actually what I feel is guilt that I thought this individual was someone I built up a relationship with. I feel this must somehow be my fault. I feel I was foolish to admit any sign of weakness. I'm allowing this to reflect more on me than on them.
In other "hard stuff" today I had a session with D which was very useful even with the hard stuff. I told her about a flashback I had which was very much hard stuff. She gave me notes (written by someone else) about a joint session we had - that is more hard stuff.
Valium and Zopiclone and alcohol are my friends tonight.