This week has been a bit shite. I feel like I need to vent about it a little bit. It is very odd how I have been able to continue through some really awful and very distressing events over the past 2 years but then sometimes seemingly little things throw you over the edge and make me feel as if I am unraveling…
I have been in my “new” job since about halfway through March and my contract finishes on the last day of June. My job is as an Examination Officer at the local college and Monday hailed the start of the dreaded exam season. This week at work has been really manic. Largely it has been hitch-free but there have been a few times where things have been a bit frantic and stressful. Getting exams started, making sure the right papers are in the right rooms with the right students, making sure that exam papers are printed on the right coloured paper for the students who need it etc etc. So yes, it has been hectic. I have been taking walks during my lunch break but that has had to take a back seat as there isn’t time, mostly I have been eating quickly at my desk and not leaving the college all day. This is what I expected, I thought it would be a full on role but this week did come as a bit of a shock to the system.
On Tuesday, I went along to my evening class. I am doing a Level 3 in Counselling at the moment. Normally I really enjoy it. Since the Level 2 the group has got a bit smaller and we seem to be really working well together. This week was entitled “How we defend ourselves emotionally” and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The first task was to write on a slip of paper, one for each member of the group, a few words to describe what we think about each other emotionally and then on the back whether or not we would have counselling from them. We then handed these in to the lecturer and she sorted out our feedback and handed them back to us. In pairs we had to read each others feedback and then discuss our thoughts and feelings in regards to them.
To start with, I really didn’t like this task. I tried to give everyone positive feedback and for the most part it was fairly easy to do. There are a few people in the group who weren’t on the Level 2 course and so I don’t know them very well so I was honest and said that. There was one member of the old class who I haven’t really spoken to very much, they don’t talk to me very much and I have only worked with them once and I found them very difficult to work with. But I felt that I gave everyone fair and positive comments.
Working in my pair, 10 out of the 11 slips of comments I received were really positive and made me feel very overwhelmed. However, the other 1 slip was awful. Whereas the other slips had about 4 or 5 words or phrases on, this one was full (about 15 words or phrases). They went to town on it and the comments were largely very negative and I thought, unfair. As my partner was reading them they seemed puzzled too. I was really taken aback. Part of the work in pair was to discuss the comments and to try and “own” any negative feedback. And I tried. I really did, we did as a pair but there were so many. I felt so terrible that someone in the group felt such vitriol towards me.
During the discussion at the end of the session with the whole group I wanted to speak up and say how I felt but I just couldn’t. I felt so ashamed and upset. So I sat there, willing the time to hurry up. I wanted to cry. I wanted to hide. As I left college, there was a huge full double rainbow in front of me and it felt like a little wink from Eilys telling me to keep my chin up. I cried most of the way home. I just felt utterly broken and saddened by the whole experience. I know it is selfish but I was really getting a lot of out the group in talking through the events of the last 2 years and I felt like it was a safe place to share. But I felt utterly betrayed. I got home and broke down. Joe hugged me and talked through it all with me and made me feel better (ish).
I made my way up to bed and found that Dylan had left me 2 basket of toy fruit and veggies (and a Welsh dragon snowglobe) and Joe explained that he left them for me so I wouldn’t be hungry after college, what a sweetheart. I took a snap of it and wrote something on Insta about wanky my night had been but left out most of the details due to still feeling so embarrassed by it. I was send a lot of really lovely messages from my truly awesome friends on Instagram and I felt a bit better. My friend Lisa, who had done the same course a few years ago, advised me to email the tutor about how I was feeling. I really do have some absolutely amazing friends, I am a very very lucky girl!
I didn’t sleep very well that night. I just couldn’t switch my brain off. I can’t even explain fully why it had effected me so much but it really had. At work the following day I wrote a really long email to my tutor about the night before and how I was left feeling like I couldn’t go back. It sounds like I am being over the top but I really don’t need anymore stress at the moment. I figured that she’d probably email back quite quickly to reassure me… wrong!
Wednesday was a bad day. Work was relentless and manic. I don’t think I sat down all day. And lots of things went wrong. It was very stressful and tiring. I completely missed my lunch as I was starting exams and then I had some exams to set up etc etc. It was none stop. Joe and Dylan had gone to the theatre together. I managed to yet again cry on my way home. I got home and went straight to bed, sobbed a little bit more and then got up for dinner.
I could literally feel myself unraveling. Like there was a coil of ribbon somewhere in my tummy that was coming undone. This time of year is the time that Eilys was getting more poorly last year and all those memories are haunting me too. The next few weeks are going to be hard, especially June. I am starting to think that getting a job wasn’t such a good idea. To start with, it felt so good to have a job. I felt like I was doing really well at it and I was enjoying it but now I am feeling like it was maybe a mistake. But I am also quite trapped by it. I can’t exactly quit now, it would totally leave them in the lurch at their busiest time of the year and I couldn’t do that to them.
Thursday was a better day. I woke up with the mindset that it would be a good day. I wrote myself to do lists and tried to manage my time a bit better. As a result I had a good day. Things went my way a bit more. I still managed to miss my lunch break due to being stuck invigilating an exam as the person who should have invigilated didn’t show up and then I had 2 online exams that I needed to start. When I got back to the office it was 2:30pm so I asked my boss if I could just leave an hour earlier instead of taking a late lunch and she said yes, yay! I was able to get Dylan from preschool early and we went home and baked Rock Cakes! Baking really is good for the soul as are cuddles with my little lovely.
Friday was a much better day. Me and Squish went to Wheelock Farm for the day. We fed animals, played on the soft play, I fell in love with a calf and then Daddy came after work and we spent some quality time together. Late Friday afternoon my tutor finally replied to my email and her words eased my mind a bit. She apologised for how hurtful I found the comments and said that she wanted me to put them to one side and concentrate on the good feedback. She said that she wanted me to come to speak to her to talk it through and that she didn’t want me to quit the course. I am feeling a bit stronger and more positive about the whole thing now. I hope that by the time I have my next lesson I will be able to tell the group how the comments made me feel or failing that, I hope that I’ll at least be able to turn up and pretend they didn’t happen! We’ll see. I have a 2 week break from it anyway.
Since Thursday I have been feeling a lot more positive about things but it has also been a constant struggle to keep things positive. I really hate feeling like this especially as it is over something that shouldn’t have upset me as much as it did. Sometimes people don’t like me and that is fine but to confronted by it was very tough. The thing that hurt the most was that the week before during a group discussion I had said how much I was dreading the coming month and how fragile I was feeling and this person still went a head and wrote all those things down. It seems so unbelievably callous. Anyway, I mustn’t dwell on the negative. Here’s to be positive! I really hope next week is better. This week has been utterly shite!
Thanks for reading