Tuesday, 29 November 2011


There probably isn’t much in this world that’s more embarrassing than sitting in a classroom full of teenagers and being utterly unable to stop tears from pouring down your face. Except perhaps doing it twice.

What triggered it? Who knows? Sleeplessness, exhaustion and relentless overwork, more than likely. Whatever the cause, the descent into marking and reporting hell put me over the edge this semester. My brain, over-tired, decided that if I wasn’t going to give it a break, it was going to take a break of its own.

When I couldn’t stop crying, my head of faculty sent me home via the doctor. The doctor put me off work.
I didn’t cook a single meal for myself. I rarely ate. I slept a bit. I babbled inanely on Facebook, just to have some communication with the outside world, to prove to myself that I was still compos mentis (because everybody knows how much brainpower Facebook demands, right?)

I decluttered the house, but couldn’t declutter my mind.

I couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t think straight. I still had to get my reports written. It took me about four days to churn out some embarrassingly bad reports (wonder if I can get four days of sick leave restored? Hmmm, probably not. And unfortunately I now have no sick leave left.)

I’ve been back at school for 5 days now and I’ve cried almost every day. I feel like a ghost, drifting through the days and trying to hold it together. Some days I manage better than others, but I have to show up for work every day for the next 3 weeks; have to supervise and mark exams, proofread reports, go to meetings; have to listen to the very public digs of a bullying boss. What the hell am I doing to myself? A job is not supposed to reduce a person to this, to strip a person of their sense of self worth and turn them into a gibbering and inadequate wreck. I’m better than this.

An hour ago I marked my last essay for the year. Can I have my brain back now, please?


Geoff James said...

Oh dear Sue,
So sorry to hear of all the grief when what you need is a good, long ride to blow the cobwebs out. It's a Catch-22 at present isn't it with all the increased activities towards the end of term?

Perhaps you've already moved towards a more permanent solution with your recent property purchase?

With every good wish for a far better 2012.

Take care....

Sue said...

Ta heaps Geoff - just have to hold it together for another few weeks, and having finished all the marking - finally - is a big plus. Plenty happening round here - my son (Boomerang Boy) is getting married on Saturday - so there should be some more cheerful posts coming up soon!

dunc said...

hey there sue
damn work is a inconvenience but the year is ending soon for the work and a nice break coming up for you
better visit the new abode to see the tourist funny season
congrats to your sons wedding on saturday .
suppose a tear will come along for you then as well

waiting for the new posts with the pics of course

lemmiwinks said...

Sorry to hear Sue. Stupid work really gets in the way of living.

This time of year is my busiest/most stressful just when everyone else is winding down. Hope you can wind down soon.

Congratulations to BB and his Lady Friend. Enjoy the day!

Gerry said...

How's it goin' kid? How as the wedding? things getting ab it less frantic?

All the best from us here.

Sue said...

Hi Gerry :-) Thanks for thinking of me! Still a bit up and down, although we're on the downhill run now. Still so much to do before I can say I've finished for the year, and have to start planning for next year.

The wedding was lovely - there WILL be a wedding post, with pics. My house guests (Dad&Diana) left yesterday, so have been pretty flat out. Moving furniture to Mallacoota this weekend, hopefully, but then things might calm down for a couple of days. Watch this space!

AndrewM said...

Erk. "Moving furniture down to Mallacoota." Does this mean you're leaving Canberra permanently very soon?

Hope you're feeling much stronger now, btw - according to my fridge magnet calendar next week is the last week of term.

Sue said...

@Andrew - what it means is I'm putting furniture in the house for holidaymakers :-( I can't live in the house until (a) a year elapses and (b) I can earn enough money there to cover the mortgage... But there's definitely a light at the end of the tunnel!

Four days of school to go. Phew!