I don’t think I’ve ever gone longer than a week without posting something here but I’ve been AWOL so far as my blog goes for the last couple of weeks now. I’ve decided to just start typing letters on the keyboard and am hoping something will turn up on the page! I don’t think I have much to say… or perhaps I have too much to say? I’m not sure. Whatever it is I feel stuck and lost for words at the moment.

I feel like I need to document what’s going on for me (that’s what the blog was meant to be all about after all) but there’s a part that just can’t be bothered. It all feels like too much effort. I just can’t focus or find motivation. I don’t have any energy. I feel frustrated on many levels. Nothing I say is going to change what I am going through so what’s the point in bothering?

I feel like I need to kick myself up the backside and cheer up…but I can’t. I am fed up. I am fed up of moaning. You know? Like I am properly sick of myself. I am not happy. AT ALL. Depressed? Yeah. Perhaps. There’s definitely some overtiredness feeding my negative feelings and I was lucky enough to get a horrid gastric bug last week so that hasn’t helped the jolly, energised feelings – although it has gone some way to helping me fit back into my favourite jeans. Silver linings and all that!

I am also a bit angry with myself for once again falling into a situation where my inability to say no (or say it loudly enough to be taken seriously) has landed me with a shit load of stress and anxiety. More on that later.

I feel kind of blank and numb but equally know that underneath that top layer of bleurgh and relative calm there’s a big wedge of overwhelm and panic. (That’s the kind of sentence that makes me wonder if I am actually losing my mind!) Well, really what it is is dissociating from the hell that is my adult life. I am trying not to have a breakdown because I simply cannot afford to crash right now.

I’m getting sick of saying how busy and stressed I am. But yes. That’s is how it is. Still. Crazy busy. No time. Where has the week gone again? etc etc. I keep sort of checking in with myself, trying to ground myself, to listen to what’s going on inside, but it’s hard to hear anything much at all over the noise of current life. I know there are some young parts starting towards a serious meltdown but I simply cannot face having to acknowledge that right now. I have too much to do. I can’t cope with upset children on top. I can’t cope with my adult self either…. man!!!!

It all sounds a bit dramatic and not very specific and that’s kind of how it is in my mind. Stuff is going on but I can’t fully zone in on it because I am scared that if I do I will run screaming in the other direction. This is true of the mental health stuff but also the work stuff.

I’ve been steadily getting more and more worked up over the last few weeks as a big work thing approaches. A while back my friend who owns the tutoring company asked me if I would like to deliver a specific course to a small group of 18-24 year olds at a local venue. The information I was given at the time made it sound good and it fitted well with my current timetable. Great.

Steadily, though, more and more details came out the woodwork and the job sounded less and less appealing. Suddenly the 18-24 year olds became 16-24 year olds studying two different courses at five different sublevels (all at the same time in the same room). Ok. I can do that… maybe. Who doesn’t love a bit of differentiation?! Then the next big hit- the 13 young people have lots of problems and additional needs. Half of them live in a supported unit. Ok, I can do special needs, but even I am worried about this in one room with no additional support: ADHD x 2. PTSD. Aspergers. 2x people thrown out of educational setting for fighting. 2 x Drug and Alcohol dependency. Depression. One on parole.

12 males and 1 female.

And me.

So yeah… it’s not exactly a walk in the park. In any other setting there would certainly be some support staff. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t written anyone off. I am sure I will build good relationships with the students and we’ll get to the end of the course together. All I am saying is, this is not a job I would have taken on had I have known the full details from the start. I already teach a very challenging child 1:1 for 7 hours a week and it nearly kills me. I do not need to be taking on any more very hard work. I simply do not have the emotional or physical resources to put on the level of performance required to do this. I will have to find something from somewhere…I always do…but at what cost?

And that’s the issue.

The cost is too great. I pay too heavy a price again.

All my life I have bled myself dry. Given more of myself that I should have. Hit burnout….and for what?

Does anyone really care that I push myself so hard to deliver the almost impossible? Does anyone know that I drive myself mad with worry and anxiety about not being ‘good enough’. I don’t think so. I seem to be the only one who sees the potential pitfalls of this situation. I’m meant to be on board with ‘it’ll be fine’ but I can’t see it. I want it to work but I feel like I am going to fall flat on my face with this and that’s hard.

My expectations of myself are high. Too high. I have always been a perfectionist. BUT perfectionism is bad. Perfectionism is damaging. Perfectionism is misery. Perfectionism is ridiculous pressure and the realm of the Inner Critic.


Or, at least I thought I was! A part of me is but not a big enough part.

And that’s why I am so annoyed. I have got swept up into a situation of feeling powerless, not being listened to, and now having to perform a fucking miracle ….and I thought that wasn’t going to be me anymore. I thought I was stronger than this. I thought I was able to stand up for myself better than this. I thought, as an adult, my needs were a bit more fucking pressing. I thought after cancer I was a bit more fucking important in my own life. I thought I could be more assertive when it came down to it….but it turns out I am still frightened of upsetting people or disappointing people and so will sacrifice my wellbeing in order to avoid conflict or seemingly letting them down.

The whole thing has been stressing me out. HUGELY. I have spent far too many of my recent therapy sessions discussing the situation and that’s annoyed me, too. Of course I am worried and anxious and it’s tapping every one of my ‘I’m not good enough’ buttons and so it makes sense that I would be bringing it into my therapy, but it pisses me off that I am spending money talking it through with Em. I don’t want to do the job and now I am using what I earn from it to process it in my therapy! NO!!!! That’s never right!!

What’s more is that having been in ‘freaked out teacher’ mode (a technical term) I’ve totally neglected all my other parts and all the other needs that are IMPORTANT to me both in and out of therapy. I’ve been like a bear with a sore head. It’s a fucking great mess and it’s all about to bite me on the arse because now my sessions are also disrupted.

I am furious because I have had to cancel two of my Friday therapy sessions due to last minute timetabling issues. My availability = Wednesday….and so…they have timetabled me for three Fridays in addition to the usual weekly Wednesday session (why????? my availability is WEDNESDAY). This week is not so bad as Em is away anyway so I don’t feel like I am missing out. It was a ‘break’ (fucking breaks!) I knew about but then to discover I have to cancel the 23rd/7th because of this job I am really, really sad…and unsettled.

Now, more than ever I feel like I need the consistent, regular therapy space that I have twice a week and to have to disrupt that because my boundaries have not been respected… well… fuck. And then it’s going to be Christmas break….and ugh I can’t even cope.

I don’t really know what else to say. All I have done is rant like a crazy person – which is hilarious given I had nothing much to say!

I have so much to do tomorrow in order to stand any chance of surviving Friday but having worked most of the day I just have to go to bed and sleep. I have nothing left….

I want my therapist.

I feel so overwhelmed that I just want to curl up on her couch under my blanket and cry. And… I can’t even so much as get close to doing that until Monday….


Therapy blog will resume next post 😉



12 thoughts on “Absent

  1. lifeaftercancer22 November 14, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    Hi, you have no idea how much I love and relate to your posts. I am 25, a cancer survivor, and very dependent on my therapist. I read your blogs and always in shock as to how well you describe your own feelings, along with mine. Keep writing!!


    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum November 14, 2018 / 9:25 pm

      Ah thanks Amanda 💜. I’m sorry you’ve been through cancer too. It’s a horrible ‘club’ to be in. I’m glad you’ve found my moaning (blog!) and can relate … err… sort of. Take care. Xx


  2. behindapaintedsmile30 November 14, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    Ahh it sounds like you were misled about this job. It sounds like a lot to manage. I also think it’s understandable that you do agree to these jobs because I imagine it’s helpful to have connections when you are self employed. It takes time and practice to feel comfortable with saying no and putting boundaries in place.
    Could you maybe have a strategy where you say that you will ‘have a look at your diary’ and call/email them back? Just to halt your default reaction of saying yes to something because you try to be everything to everyone. Easier said than done though. The fact that it’s affecting therapy is really not good. It’s really difficult to change something that is so ingrained in you and perfectionism is difficult to change. x


  3. DV November 15, 2018 / 1:20 am

    The old “it’ll be fine”. And the number of times it *hasn’t* been fine. I’ve grown much more wary over the years but I still struggle to say no. I don’t know how it is for you but as well as being conflict averse and hating to say no if I think there will be pushback, I enjoy the buzz that comes from being able to say yes and the warmth of their gratitude especially if they’re a bit desperate. All good until the reality of what I’ve said yes to kicks in. I would love it if I was able to set clearer boundaries before saying yes rather than having to clean up the mess I’ve got myself into afterwards, but getting to the point where I can do that is *such* a lot of work, plus there tends to be a lot of resistance from people who take it a an insult or that you don’t trust them if you want the agreement fully spelled out beforehand and no “mission creep” allowed. It’s always the people who push or trample on the boundaries who are most offended at others wanting them.

    I wish you the strength to get through this teaching job and to advocate better for yourself next time. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum November 15, 2018 / 7:23 am

      Yes! All of that! ‘Mission Creep’! Love that term. And that’s exactly what keeps happening, I sign up to something and then before I know it it’s evolved into something unrecognisable. If I back out or complain I’m afraid I’ll look unreliable or flighty when actually its not me! I feel sick about tomorrow. All I can say to myself is this is a big lesson learned about going forward in the future and making it very clear about my expectations and mission creep! Thank you x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol Anne November 15, 2018 / 5:10 am

    That’s pretty shit about the job! Im sorry they mislead you! I also wish I was with my therapist now. She’s away this week on training! MIss her sooo much! I hope you feel better soon 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. skinnyhobbit November 15, 2018 / 11:07 am

    They keep giving me more and more work responsibility as well. Therapy gets difficult when you’re struggling just to keep up with work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. easetheride November 15, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    I feel awful to know you are struggling. I hope you know that when you say your adult and young parts cannot cope, you are so mistaken! You are absolutely coping, and admirably considering the myriad of responsibilities you have and the loss of support again because of therapy breaks (madness I tell you!). My friend sent me this quote this week: “A diamond is just a piece of coal that handled the stress exceptionally well.” That is you, my friend, definitely a diamond. If you cannot take on the stress of this job that was truly misrepresented for you, and sounds like more than one persons should be expected to manage, I don’t think there’s any shame in passing it on to someone else. You’re worth it!! xx Hang in there, your strength will get your through.


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