Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A phonecall with my gran

I think I have written recently about my decision to discontinue my uni studies. Basically, although I managed to finish my prac and get pretty good evaluations, the toll on my body and mental health was pretty immense.  I realised that realistically, I am not going to be able to work full time as a teacher any time soon. Which leaves me with the options of trying to find a part-time position when I graduate (near on impossible as a new graduate in this field) or work as a substitute teacher which is a) not what I want to do, it's not the same as being a 'real' teacher and b) would be logistically difficult as I am unable to drive and you can be called on any given moment to work at any given place in the city. I love teaching, and I love working with kids, but the workload of a teacher (inspite of what people think about the "extra holidays" and shorter hours, is quite big. A significant amount of time spent outside of working hours doing prep, marking, planning, extra curricular supervision and professional development. It just doesn't fit in with the sort of lifestyle I need to maintain in order to best protect my health.

This was a hard decision to come to. It's been a dream for so long, and I have invested so much time and energy into it. And, in part, it was me holding on to the person 'I used to be' rather than accepting my current limitations and need to look after myself. I can't do the 9-5 thing like an average person, but I'm coming to realise, that doesn't shut down all opportunities or make me any less of a productive member of society unless I allow myself to think like that.

Even though the most improtant step was for me to get to a place where I wasn't judging myself for these percieved shortcomings, another factor that came into play was worrying about what other people would think, especially my family.

I felt a lot of pressure from my family as the family academic to do well, go to uni and get a good job. When I was diagnosed with the epilepsy, and when my mental health started to become a problem, I felt as though I was letting them down. I was trying desperately to live up to the story that had been created for my life. When I made the decision to drop my studies I felt like they would think I was being lazy and not living up to my potential. In the last few weeks I have had some heart to hearts with my mum, and tonight, my gran about this issue. They both claim that they just waant me to be happy and healthy and they don't care what I'm doing, as long as this is the outcome. I don't think they are being completely honest with themselves. I think on a certain level they are disappointed. But maybe its more a case of being disappointed for me rather than in me. And, through these conversations and others with my various mental health professionals, I am beginning to realise that a lot of the pressure and expectation I am feeling I have been placing on myself. Ultimately in the end, if I can continue to show them the sense of relief I have felt because of this decision and the positive effect it is having on my well being, and if I can go and get part-time work that is more conducive to the lifestyle I need and want to live, then they will truly realise I have made the right choice.

I feel such a great sense of light heartedness and relief having put this on the table to them, and such a feeling of support from them... it's wonderful.

As for myself... I have to keep reminding myself.
-I am an intelligent, hardworking person with one uni degree to name already
-I have a lot to contribute to the world
-I don't have to contribute this in the 'traditional'' 9-5 manner
-Living a good, healthy, balanced life is more important than the popular view of career success
-The right job is out there for me, I just need to stay true to what I need from a job, and when I find that position they will be lucky to have me, because I am loyal to the end and I work my ass off.

And...... I am so lucky to live in a country where, I can work part-time and the Government will subsidise the rest of my income, because it is evident that I am doing the best I can, rather than sitting on my laurels (and there may be times when my best is just keeping my head above water and not working at all...and that's okay too).

So, peeps... I am on a new path.... I don't expect to find this job straight away, and I am prepared for knockbacks while I try and find this perfect-fit position. But I have options and the growing support of most my family and friends.... life is starting to look up. I'm opening myself up to achievable goals rather than setting myself up for failure and then beating myself up when it inevitabley happens.

Peace and love
p.s. I am 9 visits away from reaching 5000 views on this blog. Small fries compared to some of the fab other blogs out there... but for this little blog of my ramblings, that I never really expected anyone to find, let alone read loyally.... wow... tickles me a little. I'm pretty pleased to meet this milestone, just short of my first blog-iversary. Thanks for all your great comments and support and sticking with me, even when I have disappeared for weeks at a time. You guys rock!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Over share....sorry!

Starting with the nice stuff first... I slept right up to the alarm this morning and even hit the snooze button! Loving this sleep stuff!! Off to therapy and a GP appointment, and then shopping! And I didn't even freak out in the crazy school holidays crowd. I bought some warm, casual clothes...(as I am too fat to fit in last winter's clothes) including a cute shirt with two penguins on it that says "Melt hearts not ice caps". Very sacchrine, but I will ony be wearing it as a bed shirt, so won't be too embarrassing...and I just couldn't resist it. Also got an awesome pair of black knee high boots. I have been looking for boots for well over a year now, but current fashion trends seem to lean towards tall stiletto ones, which I cannot wear due to my vestibular system, so when I found these, on sale even, I was stoked.

Tracking back.....therapy. It wasn't horrendous, but wasn't exactly a laugh either. We started off talking about self protection. (D) knew that I had a late shift last night and that I planned to catch the bus home. Because the Busway is behind a shopping centre and the shops are obviously closed at that time, you have to walk right around the poorly lit perimeter, before you get to the better lit main road that I live on. (D) asked why I didn't ask lil sis to pick me up and I told her that lil sis goes to work at 5am so she is usually in bed by 9ish. (D) then contended that I felt lil sis's sleep was more important than my safety and basically insinuated that I leaned towards more risk taking behaviour than the average joe. I don't think that's a fair assessment. I very rarely am out at that time of night, I try to schedule things so I am home before dark. But once in a while a situation comes up where I can't avoid it. It's only a 5 minute walk, and I keep alert (heck, I have PTSD, I am HYPER-alert) towards my surroundings. I have taken self defense. The fact of the matter is, the epilepsy prevents me from driving, so I am reliant on Public Transport. And my independance is very important to me.

I was starting to get quite annoyed with her nagging me about, and told her as much. And then.... the conversation I had been waiting for, but surreptitiously avoiding since I got back from prac. "Our relationship'. Specifically, how I find it incredibly uncomfortable when she shows any sign of care or concern about me ( but paradoxically, feel comforted and validated....grrr) She (with her annoyingly perfect memory of everything I have EVER said in therapy) reminded me of a comment I made right back when we started, referring to peoples reactions to me. I said "Disgust is horrible, but empathy is even worse". So all in all an awkward, yucky session. BUT. I was proud of the fact that rather than shutting  down the topic, I let it unfurl, to see whether anything came of it, rather than give into my panic and discomfort. Yay me! We ended with a kind of heavy feeling in the air, and (D) was worried about whether I would be ok to leave. But I thought about it and felt I would be. And in reality, I walked out the door, and was able to pretty much leave it in there, to pick up next session. Something that I have struggled to do in the past. :)

After that I had a GP appointment, and she reminded me of a test that I have needed done, and been putting off for weeks. ***************Warning: Personal Overshare of an intimate nature following, feel free to cease reading especially if you have a Y chromosome*********************************************************
Basically, I have a lot of gynaecological problems, as a result of the trauma my body has undergone.... and they are quite insistant that they want me to get this ultrasound done. Unofrtunately, this particular untrasound is nnot done externally. UGH! Aside from the fact that for anybody this is an embarrassing proposition, because of my SA history and the PTSD, I can't make it through a papsmear with my own very lovely female GP, without a buttload of aanti anxiety medication. The prospect of some ultrasound technician I don't even know, sticking something up my whoo-ha..... well to say I am freaking out, is putting it mildly. Suggestions from any of the gals out there with similar fears and how they get through it are appreciated.

So that's my day. Still all in all a pretty positive mood. I was reading Pandora's post today over at Confessions of a Serial Insomniac, and I guess she was defending (?) her particular approach to therapy and mentalism in general. And it really got me thinking. How sad it is, that with a good portion of the so-called normal population judging and misunderstanding mentalism, that we ourselves would want to attack or criticise each others approaches. Personally, I don't care if you make the journey kicking, screaming and cursing every step of the way, or frolicking along gently spouting inspirational sayings and personal affirmations. The fact that you are making your way through is what's important. And, myself, I actually like me a little sarcastic, black humoured, 'the glass isn't half empty, its smashed on the floor in a million pieces after I tried to glass the last person who told me to Let go and Let god' type approach. And I love Pandora's raw and unflinching honesty. So even though I seem to be drawing rainbows and smealling flowers at the moment, I'm still on your side, sista! I can be happy, sad, angry, downright going off my brain, but as long as I'm moving I don't care.

Monday, June 28, 2010

That's a first!

I kind of feel like I should be handing out cigars! I had my first mum go in to labour while I was on shift tonight. Ever since I started volunteering at RMH I have been super worried about one of our mum's popping out bub before we could whisk her off across to the hospital. I always tell them they had better cross their legs until my shift finishes!! But when in actually came to it, it was kind of awe inspiring, a baby was on its way into the world!

Anyways, veeeeeeeeeeeeery long day. I'm off to bed.
Peace and Love

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back in the saddle

So after a blissful week of lying on the couch stuffing my face with chocolate and watching crappy daytime television relaxing, today I ventured out into the world. A good chance to take this happiness for a ride and see what it can do for me. I smiled at strangers on the bus, and they smiled back. Sent a warm tingle down my spine. I kind of feel like the fog that veiled me from the rest of the world is lifting. Dramatic much?

I had my first shift back at RMH and it was great. Very easy shift with lots of time to chat with the parents and play with the littlies. I was also given a bit of a project, cleaning out the playroom cupboard and making a list of toys, books etc for the house manager to buy. And we all know I love me some organising! My OCD tendencies had a chance to shine as I not only divided the books into age appropriate groupings, but then grouped them according to genre and alphabetical genre! Lol. They have already roped me into doing an extra shift tomorrow.

I called home and found out my mum's hubby got the job he was going for, which is fantastic news, as it was beginning to look like he might have to move away to find work... not great for a newly married couple. But he got the job, so they can stay settled and living close to my grandparents. He was also really sweet about the decision I've made regarding uni, and told me that he was really glad that I was sounding so good.

On the way home I swung by Grill'd, this gourmet burger franchise that I am totally in love with! The Zen Hen burger is to die for. I ran into and old work colleague and we had a little catch up which was great. He could always make me smile.

Tomorrow I have a full day, babysitting all day, straight to therapy and then straight to RMH to work the evening shift. It will be exhausting, but all fun... well apart from therapy, but its been ok recently...guess it just depends on what direction she decides to push.

I'm listening to Jason Mraz at the moment, which is beautiful and quite upbeat too, and soon I'll head for the comfort of my doona and pillow. Sleep is still remarkably good. Yay!

Peace and love

Friday, June 25, 2010

Unchartered Territory

I'm still....happy.... Go figure? And I am enjoying it, whether it heralds the beginning of a new frame of mind, or is merely a hiatus from my normal messed up self.

I'm enjoying relaxing without the threat of impending doom that usually follows me around like a little dark cloud. I am definately enjoying sleeping. 8 hours a night? How decadant! How luxurious a sleep life do you normal people have! It's awesome. I'm enjoying the energy and motivation I am finding I have now that it is not all directed into more nefarious activities like ruminating, worrying and plotting my untimely demise.

I'm not sure that my therapist quite knows what to do with a happy Ophelia. :)

It certainly does pose somewhat of a conundrum for us.

Why? Well, may you ask! Happy would seem to be something that she would encourage. And indeed she does. She has stated categorically that she wants to celebrate and enjoy this newly acquired harmony with me. that I am not floundering around like a fish on a deck gasping for air, it would also seem to be a good time to attack some of the harder 'therapy stuff', no? Now that I have a bit of balance and stable ground beneath me it would seem to be a good time, I can handle it better. But...... we also don't want to ruin this good place I'm in by miring me in that bog of horribleness. So its a hard line to toe.

My first reaction was one of "Lady! Why do you wanna go blow my mojo like that?". I'm feeling good. Why would you wanna mess with that. But, in all fairness, my argument before has definately been that I was in too bad a place to explore this stuff. So, I can't have it both ways, can I?

Well, we'll take it slowly and see how it all pans out I guess.

In other news, handover with Case Managers went well. (M) said she was going to keep (A) in the loop so I have back up at the clinic should she go away again, which is good. All in all, I think she was quite pleased with how I'm doing at the moment, so I'll catch up with her again in a fortnight. I also got lots of kudos for finishing my prac despite the difficulties, which of course made me squirm, as a) I don't really do well with praise and b) although I got good evaluations, I really don't feel in myself that I did that well. Ah, well, bygones!

And finally, I have a little cash in hand work coming up over the next fortnight, babysitting for a family over the school holidays. They're great kids and very easy to sit for. So far I've planned a few outings to activities the council is putting on, I have dug out a receipe for Ginger bread men, and I've grabbed a few craft things I had stored away... some jewellery making, oragami and clay. So, I think we're going to have a lot of fun! (Last holidays we made a volcano and I taught them how to make balloon animals, so some high expectations to fill! lol) And with the money I earn, I should be able to pay for the dentist to pull out the tooth that I broke....owies. So that's life at the moment. Weekend will consist of sleep, vegging out and consuming copious amounts of food that's bad for me, followed by my first shift back at RMH, which I am looking forward to!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Peace and Love

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Things are going....actually, quite well?

Well, I am nearing the end of my first week back at home and frankly, its been pure bliss the last few days. The stress of Uni has gone, family has departed back to whence they came.... even my sleep is improving somewhat! I am of course well aware that this may well be a bit of a honeymoon period, but I am going to enjoy the calm while I can.

I have of course had lots of appointments to catch up on which has kept me busy. Back to therapy three times per week, Psychiatrist on Tuesday afternoon, GP today and Case Manager tomorrow. My interim Case manager (A) and my normal Case Manager (M) are both coming, as (M) has returned from her two months leave. I have actually been suprisingly comfortable talking to (A), but I am still happy to have it handed back to (M) who I have a more established alliance with. It is good to know that there is someone else there that I have developed a rapport with, in case (M) goes on leave again.

Dr F (Psychiatrist) has not changed any medications this time around. We had previously discussed increasing the Cymbalta, but as I seem to be in a pretty good place for this moment in time, we're going to wait and see. At some point we are going to look at taking me off of the Serepax, but although I am keen to do it, she is a little more cautious... especially since I can't take valium, which they often use to offset the withdrawals, and thus reducing it may be a little rougher on me. I still live in the hopes of a day where I am not stuffing myself to the gills with medications, but I trust Dr F's judgement on this one.

(D), my therapist has really concentrated the last two sessions on examining the prac experience and pulling apart what parts I liked and what parts I struggled with. Lots of positive praising going on, which makes me super uncomfortable... but I do need to start giving myself recognition for things I achieve rather than focussing on what I fail at. She has yet to mention the dreaded attachment word, which I was sure she would harp on about after such a long break, so I am feeling like I dodged a bullet on that one!

Lil Sis, has stood up for me with Big Sis, who wanted to come and spend the weekend again! I feel like a bit of a bitch saying no (I know, even after last weekends shenannigans, my guilt complex is still alive and kicking!) but Lil Sis is away for the weekend and I am really looking forward to, and NEED the house to myself.

I start back working at Ronald McDonald House on Sunday, which I am looking forward to, but other than that, relaxation is on the menu for the next few days. With a little cleaning and washing thrown in (I still haven't unpacked my bags *shame*)

As of next week, I am going to begin looking for some part time work... just two days or so to begin with. I am going to go through the Disability Employment Services at Centrelink, and I was also told the Mental Health Service has an employment officer, so I'll look into that. My aim this time is not to make the same mistake as last time. A) i went back to full time work to quickly and it ended up a big set back and B) I was afraid to ask for the accomodations that I need. This time, with the back up of the professionals, I plan to be completely up front about what I need. I have faith that eventuallly the right position will come along.

Anyway, I'm off to bed, have been averaging 6-7 hours a night over the last few days, with only one or two wakeups during the night... which for me is fan-bloody-tastic!

Signing off from probably one of the most positive posts Ive ever written! :P
Peace and love

Sunday, June 20, 2010



I had every intention of following through on my threat to older sister, that she would have to leave if she was going to create a negative atmosphere for me this weekend. First, finally being home, and in a place of relative safety, I needed the chance to decompress and not have to worry about other people, as I have has to almost continuously over the last month. Second, I have this huge assignment due on Monday. I NEED to finish it. I NEED to concentrate.


Unbeknownst to me, Big sis had organised to pick up her son, so she could spend the weekend with him for his 10th birthday. And it was made emminently clear to me, that I would be incredibly selfish if I got in the way of that, whatever our issues are right now. Fast forward to last night, where I spent most of the evening wrapped in a blanket outside, (its winter here), trying to get my assignment finished. Her son, as much as I love him was being a hyperactive brat. Not his fault really. She pumps him full of sugar, and then proceeds to ignore him. She won't discipline, because she doesn't wan't to be the bad guy. And I can't discipline because she would hit the roof. So he races around the house, screaming and jumping on people.

Fast forward to this morning. Where the whole household has to tiptoe around the house, as my sister is sleeping on the pullout sofa, and more than likely won't wake until close to noon. Not that I have any desire to play music at full blast or vacuum or anything, more just the annoyance that in my own home I am limited to what I can do based on her laziness. Don't get me wrong, if it was actually a sleep issue, I would be sympathetic. But its not, its a choice. She won't go to bed at a decent time, but still ends up sleeping a full 12 hours or so, because she sleeps the day away. Its insane. And of course, her son is bored, and thus acting up.

End result, my ability to concentrate and get the work I need to get done completed is limited. To be fair, I am not sure even if I had the full weekend in relative peace, I would have been able to complete it.... the work load is huge. But at this rate, I can say with relative certainty it is near on impossible. If not completed in time, I fail. Do I keep pushing myself to do it, even though I am pushing myself to emotional meltdown point, even though there is every chance it will all be for nothing? I guess I don't have a choice... I need to do my best to get it done.

I was on the edge of this meltdown last night. I tried calling a friend but she didn't answer (turns out she was at a party and didn't hear the phone), so I went to the next step on my cruddy crisis plan and tried to contact therapist (D). She texted back to let me know that she was not in a position where she could talk, and could I try calling the friend (the one I had already called). I understood. She is not always able to be available, and she had warned me in our last session that there was a good chance she wouldn't be available this weekend. But it left me in a place where I was then wasting time trying to deal with this meltdown myself, rather than working on the assignment. Hugely frustrated with myself.

Tomorrow, I have my first face to face session with (D) in over a month. And I know it will be weird, after a month of not actually being in each other's presence, despite quite regular phone contact. And I am pretty sure a lot of the session will be meta-therapy...talking about therapy and containment etc. I am also pretty sure a good portion of the session will be devoted to exploring dependency issues and examining my feelings about being away for so long. All things that probably need to be talked about and makes sense to talk about. All things that I have absolutely no desire to talk about regardless. Like so many out there, I am aware of how closely I am attached to (D) (uggggggggggggh!) but I DON"T want to talk about it!! But it is probably best I do, I guess. We'll see how I go.

Well, life in a nutshell at the moment.

Take care out there in blogworld
Love and peace

Friday, June 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Finished up my prac yesterday, and got back to hometown a few hours ago.

First, can I say, how absolutely proud I am of myself for finishing out this prac and managing to stay somewhat 'together' for the month's duration of absence from home. Made infinitely harder by being surrounded by my family (I went back to childhood hometown for my prac) and barely having a minute of space and time to myself. Very challenging. There was a time I would have crumbled completely. Sure, I stumbled a bit... but in the end, I sucked it up and got the job done. So I feel ok about giving myself a wee pat on the back. My evaluation was quite good....they offered me a job when I graduate. A good compliment indeed, but living permanently around my family?..... Hell to the Naw! They also gave me a little morning tea send off and a box of choccies which was lovely. And my little poppets from the Special Ed unit made me feel very loved, letting me know that they would miss me. :) This was my first prac since taking up my third specialty in Special Education... but my experience has really cemented the fact that this is the area of Education where my passion lies.

Now, back on the homefront. My mum and her husband drove me back this evening (legally cannot drive anymore because of epilepsy). They are staying the weekend. As is older sis (again!) The thing is she doesn't even ask if she can stay. She just assumes its her god given right. OK. I can put up with that. Grit my teeth and deal. But after a month away, needing to come back to my own house and decompress. Especially given the fact I have a HUGE assignment due on Monday. I do NOT need to come back to her stomping around sulky and throwing narky, passive aggressive comments out. So, I did something I rarely ever do...I snapped and had a go at her. Usually I will avoid conflict by any means... it truly takes a lot to make me yell. My therapist (an many many others before her) have opined that I took on the role of mediator and sacraficial lamb in my family. I have been taught that my needs are less important than keeping the harmony, and basically it was my job to give in and not rock the boat, especially when it came to my older sister. The thing is, for so long we have let her get her way to avoid conflict, that we have created a monster. A narcassistic, drama queen, who constantly places herself in the victim role and has no trouble manipulating the truth in order to put herself there. Nothing is ever her fault, woe is me, oh how hard done by she is....blah blah blah.

Well, today, I am not playing. I have held myself together over the last month, now is the time for me to rejuvenate and have some time to just be authentic and true to my needs, rather than having to supress them for the greater goal. Which is basically what I told her (OK, yelled at her). Basically the gist was, she is full of shit, and never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, and she needs to stop playing the victim, or find somewhere else to play violin. Because I'm done. My house, my needs first. Somewhat, diluted by the fact that I then went and spent the evening in my room, because I was too uncomortable to be out in the living room. Sigh. I think its somewhat therapist (D's) fault. Yesterday, I had my phone appointment with her. My sister, was scheduled to take me over  to my grandparents to take the call, but she did not end up taking me until 10 minutes before the appointment. I got there just as the phone was ringing, with a stomach full of anxiety knots about being late. (D) theorised that given Big Sis's history of being unable to handle any situation where I may deflect the attention off of her or be getting a little love and support, causing her to have to pull off some bullshit crisis, to return the attention where it 'rightfully' belongs.... that maybe she was intentionally trying to sabotage a connection to someone who would give me support and care (AKA D). I don't know really, but it was certainly a case of the whole world revolves around her, and I, and (D) should just wait and go by her schedule. Anyway, (D) did her validating thang, and spoke about how I shouldn't have to push my needs aside for Big Sis's all the time, blah blah blah....and somewhere in my head it actually stuck. Hence my attempt to stand up for myself and place boundaries. The thing is, as good as it feels....its like a night on the booze...feels good at the times, but the repercussions are going to suck in the long run.

Later in the night, I overheard Big Sis, whinging to mother about how she hadn't said anything back depsite my irrational and unfair 'attack' one her (could that be, because I called you out, and you realise you don't have a f*cking led to stand on, huh?)....wah...wah...back to trying to place herself back in victim role. A converstion she wanted me to hear, as she had it right outside my bedroom door. I went to my mum and basically gave her the heads up, that I'm not putting up with it this weekend, and Big Sis better keep her mouth shut and drop the attitude tomorrow or she can find somewhere else to go.

Sigh. I have a feeling things are going to go to hell're damned if you do, damned if you don't

Leaving on a positive note......I am thrilled to be home. And will be up and bloggin more now. And I am gradually catching up on all your blogs (still about 500 posts on google reader to trawl

Peace and love

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sorry for disappearing!

I am still alive and well.... ok...well, still breathing, at any rate .

I know I have been a terrible blogger of late, but the last month or so has been absolutely insane. I went directly from my two week stint in the Psych ward to a months Practicuum for my uni. Not the best timing, but if I deferred the prac, I would have had to wait a year to do it. So, a couple of weeks ago, I packed up my best 'teacher' outfits, all of my resources, my doona and a body pillow and headed to a small town in the middle of nowhere, to practice my craft on a bunch of little interesting group of adolescents in a small country high school.

How has it been going? Well.....healthwise, it's been a complete nightmare. In the first few days I caught a stomache virus, but continued to go to school anyway, because I did not want to have to make days up and have to stay away from home any longer than necessary. Cue trying desperately not to have to rush out of the classroom to drive the porcelin bus. That was followed by a seizure a few days later, where I managed to break a tooth in half. No dentists here in the boondock, so I'm holding that off with Nurofen until I get home. That was followed by a cold, turned into a chest infection (children truly are just little petri dishes of disease waiting to infect you!), which of course was followed by, you guessed it... another seizure. Still I was trying to soldier on and not miss any days at work. The cracking point came when one of the teachers in my staffroom suggested quite kindly that I take my typhoid mary ass home... I had to consider that by coming in unwell, I was exposing others to my germs. Quite rightly so. Unfortunately, this poor sod was unaware that I was feeling a little...erm....edgy......and I burst into tears in front of him. Humiliating. The poor guy didn't know what to say. He asked whether he could pray for me, and being in the state I was, all I could do was shrug. Kind of surreal, sitting in a staffroom with my mascara running and some guy I barely know praying to a god I don't believe in. But the thought was nice. By that point my mentor teacher had arrived, and asked me what was wrong. She sat with me, as I cried (that horrible, ugly cry... made worse by the fact I was totally choked up with the cold...not pretty, no siree!) and rambled on incoherently about feeling like shite, thinking I was doing a shite job, feeling like I was never going to be able to handle the workload of being a real teacher, if in the space of just two weeks of doing it I already had had two seizures...and a whole lot of other nonsense I can't remember. She was quite lovely. She took the lessons I had planned for the day and taught them for me. She assured me that everyone, even teachers who had been at it forever got overwhelmed and had meltdowns, and that prac was one of the hardest experiences you had to go through as a teacher, and she assured me that even if I couldn't see it I was doing a great job. But that I needed to give myself a break and a chance to rest and recover. And when, by mid afternoon, she came in during my spare and found me passed out asleep at my desk, she insisted I went home and take the next few days off. So, despite my determination not to have to have any days off, I submitted to the inevitable and took the next two days off to recover. Sigh....

As far as the Prac itself goes. Well, it has been bloody hard work. Lots of out of work preparation. And my confidence is not what it used to be. But my weekly evaluations have been really good, so I guess I just have to trust in what they are saying, and not my own self doubt. I also had the delightful experience of a teenage girl telling me that I was, quote "A bitch that nobody liked". At first I was quite affronted, because kids normally love me. But then I realised, she is a snotty little 16 year old, trying to be the Alpha female, and really... I could care less what she thought, as long as she did the damned work! And as my mentor teacher said "Embrace the Bitch". Not all of the kids are going to like me, all of the time. I gave her a detention with an essay to write on how to communicate effectively and respectfully, and would have been happy to leave it at that. However, when I told my mentor about the encounter, she told me policy was that the girl had to be written up for it. Yikes! I spoke to her year coordintor the next day, and at one point he was saying it was suspendable behaviour, but thankfully, we settled for her being placed on a behaviour monitering sheet. (She has to get the teacher to sign off each period on how her behaviour has been, and be consistnetly well behaved to get off the sheet... while on the sheet they are excluded from participating in things like excursions). She was being a little brat, but still I wouldn't have liked to have seen her suspended! Despite some of the stresses, there have been a lot of things I have enjoyed. Teaching the kids about things I am passionate about. I have also spent a lot of time working with the kids in the special education unit, which has been throughly enjoyable, and really cemented the fact that this is an area I would really like to work in. I'm still not sure how exactly its going to work... teaching, when my body begins failing me after just a few weeks, but, for now, am just focussing on getting through the prac, and leaving big decisions like that till afterwards.

Now you may well think that being three hours away from home, I may well have gotten a bit of a hiatus from therapy. No such luck! D insisted that we continue twice weekly sessions by phone. If you think its bad sitting in silence for 50 minutes in front of someone, try sitting in silence for 50 minutes over the phone. Awkward! But the reasoning is, the sessions are not to do any heavy duty therapy.... more just as a form of holding and containment while I am away. And I guess she is probably right that that is important.

So, that's where I've been my internet friends. I did not mean to disappear, but I've found it hard to find time to sit down and breathe for 5 minutes, let alone blog. I just under a week to go and then I will be done. I cannot wait to gethome to my little nest, and my cat, I can tell you!

I have been staying with my aunt and her two little ones, which has been nice-ish...but no time or space to myself. Luckily, she and the kids have gone away for the long weekend, so I've had the house tomyself for a few days. Unfortunately, she doesn't want me lighting the fire (she's afraid i'll have a seizure and burn the house and it is below zero here at I am currently freezing my behind off. I can have peace and quiet or feeling in my extremities....not But I am happy to endure a little frostbite for the quiet!

I will try to update during the week, if not, I will definately be back online by next week. Sorry, if I have caused any worry. I hope you are all well

Peace and love