A Mental Health Check In

Hello World 💜

Welcome back to my blog! Its been around a week or so since I last posted on here and its safe to say a heck of a lot can happen within a week. I genuinely feel as if I’m cursed or perhaps I did godawful things in a past life and now karma is repeatedly punching me in the face because of it. It may seem I’m ranting, or maybe you think I’m just dramatic, but I do feel as if the only thing I have left inside is to give up this never ending cycle of brick walls and impossibility.

On Thursday I made the conscious decision to move away from a career in teaching, it definitely wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve made but after four years of pure hell, I just can’t take it anymore. All I have ever wanted to do and everything I have accomplished were all building blocks to fulfil my Six Year Old dream: to be a teacher. Its safe to say I’m struggling at the moment, which is why I wanted to do a Mental Health Check In – I’ve always been honest on my blog, the good, the bad and the downright ugly, and to be my authentic self as well as to continue my journey battling self love and critique with my BPD I have to be honest on this blog.

One thing I have to admit is that I haven’t been able to personally vocalize the words, just three simple words: “I’m leaving teaching,” perhaps this is my mind protecting itself from the inevitable feelings of failure, that again I’ve shown people that I can’t simply stick to something or someone, that I’m nothing more than just a loser who has a crap load of student debt and with no way of being able to pay it unless I sell some organs on the black market. Forming a post on Social Media about my decision has been an easier way to hide the true pain that I’m currently in, I feel as if the last eight years of my life have truly been a complete waste of time and energy. I have three University degrees that are just a useless bit of paper, I mean its expensive paper considering the cost of it going into the several thousands that just formulating the total cost makes me want to cry and harm myself – I’m being serious, that has happened before.

** Side note, this post may be a trigger to those who have been abused, self harmed and or have even attempted to end their on lives.

Why have I made the decision to end my career you may ask? Simple. The British Education System is corrupt – it is filled with discrimination, sexism, racism and downright cruelty – and that’s not just the students themselves, but those in charge of school departments, the Headship teams, as well as the idiots in Downing Street. During my time as a successful History / Humanities Teacher (even in my training year) I was forced into receiving a daily barrage of hate from those with authority, when I was punched in the face by a student twice my height and build, I was informed by those in charge of the school that it was my fault. That I provoked the attack, that I antagonized a student so much that he was justified in punching me.

To give some context, I just asked him to stop talking so I could explain an activity of what the class needed to do as part of their GCSE exam question. His response? I was called every derogatory name you could call a woman, the rest of the staff in the building turned a blind eye, despite having three classrooms within a meter of my room – did anyone help me? No. In the end I was the one punished, not the student because in his culture women were kept at home and not in the workforce. I was left bewildered, it shouldn’t matter what your culture is, at the end of the day a school should be a safe place to teach, educate and inform the difference of what is right and what is wrong – that was the first time I lost faith in the education system. After that first incident, I was working in Birmingham at the time, I became a regular punching bag for both students and the staff, I was seen as an unwed woman from the South of England with a ‘posh totty’ accent and therefore an easy target. Even now I can’t even tell you the amount of times I was told to ‘kill myself’, I even had my tires slashed, yet every time I asked for help I was just laughed at by those in charge. In a way I did consider whether both the staff and students were in cahoots to get rid of me simply because my ethnicity, my academic background and my Southern bringing just wasn’t considered acceptable.

Within four years of teaching the following happened to me:

  1. Punched in the face twice
  2. Tires slashed
  3. Table thrown at my face
  4. Equipment, including textbooks and a castle display thrown at my head
  5. Threats towards my own life and those of my family
  6. Told to ‘kill myself’
  7. Called homophobic and racist – I’m not, I was trying to educate my tutor group on LGBTQ+ Pride
  8. Comments made about my race, weight and sexuality
  9. Comments wishing that I would die of cancer
  10. Asked if I was a lesbian as that was the only feasible excuse for not having children or a husband and still having to work

That’s only a handful of daily abuse I was facing, my passion was to help these students become the best versions of themselves, in the end it was thrown back into my face, pun intended!

The British Government, in particular Gavin Williams, need to wake up when it comes to education, because it is failing in its ability to mold the next generation, no way should it be acceptable for a twelve year old boy to repeatedly kick, punch and spit at an adult. No wonder 1/20 Teachers have a Mental Health diagnosis and that 81% of teachers have left or are in the process of leaving the profession.

Yet teaching is my blood, and I’m stubborn as hell, so after leaving that god awful school with an agreed reference because I sued them for Mental Health discrimination – they tried to fire me for being on sick leave with depression and for later hanging myself – and within less than 12 months I finally found a school that I was proud to join and to be apart of. To work for a school, recognized and run by the National Autistic Society, this was my dream job. I always favored working with SEN classes and I was finally going to work for a school that was dedicated to Autism. I started on the 1st June, by the 3rd I was fired.

Why? Because the previous school I mentioned, the one where I ended up trying to kill myself, purposely called my new Employer, I was called unstable, that I wasn’t safe, that I would harm the children and so forth, that I couldn’t manage a classroom.

** Side note, this ‘Head Teacher’ is now on adverts made by the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION to encourage people to Get Into Teaching. FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!!! My mind is utterly blown!

When you have a reference, in particular an agreed reference it is ILLEGAL to talk negatively about an individual, this school purposely ignored the agreed reference (a reference that was agreed between myself, my Union and the school) and instead blacklisted me to my new employer. I admitted my Mental Health diagnosis and that I was safe to work, that I had worked at a different school even before starting with them – but none of that mattered. A school that focuses on supporting pupils with Autism, with the majority of those with Mental Health, a school that teaches their students to fight against discrimination and to seek a meaningful life despite being on the autistic spectrum – has openly discriminated another person, someone whose only passion was to help, guide and support our younger generation, a generation that is now lost because of the coronavirus pandemic.

I am beyond hurt, I have never felt such a pain, my cries of explanations and to be even assessed by a psychiatrist of their own choosing were ignored. It sickens me, that we as a nation can march for the rights of women, for the rights of race, for the rights of sexuality – but Mental Health? No that’s too much. I cannot and will not continue this career, in this situation, my health is the priority, my mind is the priority, my LIFE is a priority.

This is why, after four years of Teaching and five years of Studying and three University degrees later, I will no longer be a teacher. I cannot support an institution that is discriminatory, sexist, racist and cruel. A part of my soul is dead and I’ve had to come to a very dark realization that the hole left behind will never be filled, but if it means leaving and ending my Six Year Old Dreams behind for the sake of my sanity, I know there is no other option. And I’m slowly starting to feel ok about it, it may still take a lot of time to be vocal about my decision but that’s ok as well, the most important thing right now is that I’m still here. And these ‘people’ can no longer hurt or control my future.

Being alive and focusing on me is exactly what I need to be putting my attention towards, maybe that is the reason why I haven’t self harmed or even had suicidal thoughts – this is huge!! If this was to happen twelve months ago? I wouldn’t be alive to post these words to you, I’m a work in progress and I feel as if I’m finally finding myself and putting my best foot forward which is why I wanted to do this check in. To show that even if everything goes to shit, you can get through it. And since my ‘firing’ and my conscious decision to leave teaching for good, I’ve actually made the decision to go into counselling. To use what I’ve learned through my own struggles to actually help and guide others. This does mean going back to University (I’ve had two offers already to start in September and I only applied on Friday), and having more student debt, but the fire within me is fighting and its excited and ready to actually do something good in this world for not only my Mental Health, but for the Mental Health of others. Maybe I should thank the kid that punched me and the Head Teacher that drove me to suicide? Should I buy some flowers? Perhaps this is where I was supposed to be all along and that to find my true passion was to go through hell and back.

But you know what? For the first time in forever (yes I’m using Frozen here) I’m ready for my future.

5 comments

  1. what a disgrace too be asked about your sexuality .you have done very well
    my blog.http;//mark-kent.webs.com
    twitter.supersnopper
    i have Aspergers and m.e .
    mark,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, first off I’m so sorry you had those terrible experiences with teaching. It sounds like you had a very unsupportive and traumatic environment. Sometimes it can be so, so hard to leave the thing you love the most, even if you know it’s what’s best for you and your health – I can relate to that. But ultimately I’m glad to hear you’re comfortable with the decision and looking forward to the future. What a transition! Thank you for sharing your story. ❤

    Like

  3. OMG – I had no idea how bad the experiences as a teacher were. You hear “it’s bad”… but reading your list of experiences in JUST 4 years, it’s horrifying! Maybe sending the kids home with their parents for a couple of months IS the best thing that could happen – so that parents can experience that it wasn’t the teacher’s fault!

    Is there any way I can support you in transition?

    Like

  4. I am so so sorry that this has happened. I can’t even get my head around how this can happen. It is shocking!

    I hate that you’ve had to step away from the profession but I’m so glad you seem to be so in control x

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s