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Can't Breathe : (

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lala, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    I am a New York State Art Teacher working in a school in Orange County, NY (Hudson Valley). I am so overwhelmed at work that right now I can hardly breathe. I guess I am having a minor panic attack. The new State Education requirements for what we are supposed to teach to our students, along with a new (highly structurured) system for evaluating a teacher's performancs, all in combination with my regular teaching load/preparations has me spinning out of control. This has been a big part of my flare up of TMS foot/neck/hand pain.

    I used to believe I was wonderful, skilled teacher...the top of my game. Now all these new requirements (which many of us disagree with) have me second guessing myself...they feel demeaning, demoralizing and frankly too much to handle without enough training time.

    I can't leave my job as I make the bulk of the money to support my family. I love being with my students but I'm so angry that the arena of public education has not changed for the better...its all about hard science/statistics, standardized tests, concrete ways of measuring progress/growth (for teachers and students)...I teach ceramics for Christ's sake...you can't measure that in a test....UGH!!! I want to run through the halls screaming but i can't. So I sit here with aching feet, a tight chest and tears streaming down my face.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like the logical positivists are attempting to impose their post-Cartesian materialist world view on the arts and humanities, reducing the imagination to facts, figures and statistics. It's a real war with one power trying to impose its assumptions on everyone and everything. At least, when you get tenure in the University, they can't do that to you anymore (or not as much). Good luck in your battle for the arts and the imagination against the all-assimilating machine. Reductionist scientific materialism is just a hard opponent to beat! Best of luck to you.
    Lala likes this.
  3. Michael Reinvented

    Michael Reinvented Peer Supporter


    Please know that I feel this pain with you. It lept off the screen. You are not alone. You MUST believe it will eventually pass. Tell yourself 100 times X day if necessary:

    "This pain is TMS and it is harmless. it will be leaving soon".

    Can you afford some down time? Don't make my mistake and catastrophise over finances. We are so relatively well off, and if we lose a few dollars to recover... it's an amazing investment right?

    Even a couple of days would help. Perhaps ease up on the TMS recovery effort... (like you I went all out and things really ramped up but have since settled), and focus on fun activities/ time with family.
    Lala likes this.
  4. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Being overwhelmed when others, especially kids, are relying on me is a huge one for me too. I so admire the way you are getting at the root causes. I wish I had known all this when my kids were young. For what it's worth, I am sure there are many others on this forum who can understand what you are feeling.
    Lala likes this.
  5. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    I'm trying to set up a yoga retreat day for myself in a few weeks...a friend is organizing a PUT THE 'OM' BACK IN MOM day...a sort of 1 day retreat for moms. I'm pretty sure my husband will be willing to hang with the little guy for a day while I get my balance back. I am doing better today. I noticed I feel more depressed/down/in pain on the first day of each work week....something I'm working on. I can't leave my job, but I do need to learn to accep the things I can't change about it and focus on the aspects I still really love (like being with my students)

    Thanks for your continued support
  6. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    I know just how you feel, Lala. I am not out in the work world. I am a stay-at-home mom of two teenage girls, but I get overwhelmed a lot with all of my responsibilities here with them, my husband, our 3 cats & a small dog, this big house (only 6 years old but starting to need painting), and a mother who lives here in town and is my one most major stress issue and who knows NOT ONE SOUL in this city (after 35 years here) whom she can call a friend. I let her spend the night a couple of nights ago and am paying for it now big time. I almost went to urgent care yesterday for severe abdominal pain, but it has eased up today.

    A yoga retreat sounds wonderful! I am going on a weekend one in January. Enjoy your day! :)
  7. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    i hear you....i find a lot of this process is about learning to set boundaries...as perfectionist/goodists we tend to "do" for others or at least want to be there for others, many times at the sacrifice of our own needs. I am having relearn the concept of "balance" in the 4th decade of my life...that has involved a lot of "no"s to people I care about...but if they really love me they will understand. Best of luck in setting boundaries with your Mom (not an easy task) and create more peace and balance in your life.
  8. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am feeling a bit breathless myself today. My younger DD wanted so desperately to move into a shared house with other uni students. She is only going to uni locally but DH and I decided to let her have this experience hoping it would entice her to live independently in future when she can afford it herself. Since signing the tenancy DD has had some mental health issues over the last few months and is now on Zoloft. This alone causes me to tense up for a number of reasons.

    Today she was home as she had no class until late afternoon and I needed her to walk the dog while I was at work. I came home expecting to find her gone. She was still here saying her class was moved til later and she was going off to the doctor. I am not completely convinced about the class time change. Before she left said she said she really misses living at home and being in our town. Cripes, she is only 6 miles away! DH and I have been a lot more chilled since she moved out. We don't worry because we have less contact with her so don't know what she is getting up to. Ignorance is bliss. Money has been tight but we made the financial sacrifice to pay her rent. All I can think about is her being unable to cope and wanting to move back in with us thus forfeiting the rent and quashing our 'bliss'. I have been looking after my kids for the last 26 years, 16 of them as a stay-at-home mom. I know where you are coming from, honeybear, when you talk about being "overwhelmed with responsibility".

    As for your work situation, Lala, you would find teachers here in the UK would share your pain. Many a good teacher faces surprise inspections by bureaucratic jobsworths and if they are given a low rating, they are left feeling utter despair. I would guess that 'going off sick due to stress' is pretty common.
  9. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    Lala ~ Like you, I am in the 4th decade of my life, and I am starting to have perimenopausal stuff on top of TMS. UGH!
    Funny how you mention the boundaries thing. I had a phone session with a TMS therapist a few weeks ago and that was the main outcome of our discussion. Her words, "I am going to help you set boundaries with your mom." Well, that's been something I have been working on my entire adult life. I thought I had gotten pretty good at it, but it is harder now that her second husband passed away three years ago. She is SO needy! She tets me and calls me almost daily. How do you tell a person you don't want that much interaction...especially when that person is your very own mother?! :( So not only do I have anger about the situation, I also have tremendous guilt about how I feel. My older brother and his family are not local and wrote her off a couple of years ago, my sister is in another state, and my youngest brother here is on disability from TMS (unbeknownst to him), doesn't drive and is a complete mess. It's all falling in my lap and I don't know how to NOT feel responsible for her. As much as I want to, I CAN'T just walk away. After trying to set a boundary with her Saturday night, it left me feeling so much anger and guilt. I ever heard myself say to myself, "You should be ashamed of yourself." And I didn't even do anything more than tell her that I no longer wanted to converse about her feud with my brother...that I could not fix it and wanted out of the middle. Regardless, I feel trapped. Think I have read in TMS books about that feeling being a strong factor in TMS...

    yb44 ~ Sorry to hear about your situation with your DD. I have one getting ready to do the very same thing next year. She wants to go to a local university and live with friends, but she has anxiety issues (driving is a biggie after seeing her friend's accident last year) and I am not sure how it will go. I feel for you!

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