Retired and depressed(58 Posts)
I have been forced into early retirement at 57 years of age. I was a teacher but when my school became an academy I was forced out due to age. I can't prove it but its strange that everyone over the age of 50 have been "pushed" out. It's a long story which I don't want to go into.
My problem is I miss the classroom but I can't go back as I was dismissed without a reference due to "ill health". I'm sort of okay now.
My problem is that my pension doesn't go very far and I'm struggling money-wise. I'm also bored and don't feel part of society - on the scrap heap and no longer valued.
Family don't bother even though I've tried. Neighbours are awful and I have no friends. So, I have whole days where I don't see a soul.
I feel very low as if I'm useless and just waiting to die.
Recently I've had a scare health wise. I'm waiting for the results of a biopsy. A relative has died and I've lost two beloved pets.
Things are just getting worse. I use to be considered a fantastic teacher until someone told lies about me to get my job from me. The lady who did this still has my job. I loved the job but the headmaster didn't believe me. The lady had the gift of the gab and I'm quiet and rather naïve.
I feel really stitched up not just once but several times in teaching but I love the classroom. It has broken my heart to be dismissed. I don't like private tuition. my love is in being in a large classroom full of kids.
My husband doesn't understand. He goes to work and then comes home moaning about his job and then falls asleep for the entire night. At the weekends he mainly sleeps.
This is my life in retirement. On my own all day, husband asleep all night, no family to visit, no friends, no good neighbours, no money, cancer scare and just marking time until I die.
I'm waiting for counselling but having had it before it doesn't do me a lot of good. I'm on maximum dosage of anti depressants. I take 10 tablets a day for various ailments which I've really fed up of.
Has anyone got any magic answers because I really need a miracle.
I'm so sorry
Counselling might help you deal with the way you were (mis) treated by your ex employer. It doesn't sound like your current medication is working for you. If you're so low you're thinking about death that is a medical emergency. Sounds like you're also struggling with insomnia. I would advise making an urgent GP appointment in the morning.
And maybe you could get a p/t job teaching adults returning to education/ evening classes? When you feel better obv.
Sounds like a horrible situation, retirement can be tough to adapt to when you are ready to go.
Are you able to do supply work? Lots of supply teachers have already retired. What about volunteering at a local playgroup? Or with the scouts/guides?
I'm sorry you are feeling so low, being forced into retirement is not good. However, your post sounds as though you don't feel you have any control over your own life, and if things are going to improve, you really need to take some control.
No friends, really? Then you need to find some, at least a few people you can hang out with sometimes. Perhaps when you were working full time you didn't have time for friendships and socialising, but relying on your DH for everything isn't a good idea.
In your position I would consider:
Doing some daytime adult ed classes
Taking up a sport that brings you in contact with other people
Getting a dog (apparently v good for mental and physical health)
Joining a choir
Volunteering in a charity shop, or anywhere where you're meeting colleagues and service users.
Join a research group at your local history archive.
Libraries are usually a good source of information on local events and opportunities. My borough in London has masses going on for over 50s.
I retired at 60 and I absolutely love it, I feel so happy and lucky that I was able to. Try to see the positive side of it and start making a new life for yourself! Good luck!
Well the world really is your oyster
If you want to increase your income you could do some private tutoring or invigilating. Depending on your speciality exam marking is another earner.
If you want to broaden your horizons you could volunteer, as a teacher you have great communication skills so getting involved with a local attraction that hosts school groups or foreign visitors be it museum, cathedral, stately home etc would be a great use of your skills
You could join meet up and meet new friends ( the range of activities is vast and not expensive)
Adult education classes are just starting, a daytime class trying something new would introduce you to other people with time in the day. Or even U3A.
You will soon be wondering how you ever managed to fit work in too once you've adjusted.
What about teaching English abroad for a few months.
University of the third age. www.u3a.org.uk. You be busier than you know and as a teacher could even run a class if needed. Others have given good ideas too. Its a massive change so give yourself time to adjust. X
Hmm ... I'm not terribly happy about the "dismissed without a reference" issue. I see you have another thread on that - I wonder if you have indeed exhausted all your employment law options.
But leaving that aside and looking to the future. Do you have a postgraduate degree? I'm rather hoping not. (Vocational or professional qualifications don't count in this instance.) If you don't - may I suggest you consider returning to university to study for an MA or similar?
You may or may not be aware of the brand new Government Postgraduate Loans. Look them up. You'll be eligible until you are iirc 64 or thereabouts and it will cover your tuition fees.
You probably have a university within commuting distance? (As you already have a home.) And you will almost certainly have a subject at the back of your mind that you might like to pursue.
What do you think? Everything you feel you lack at the moment, like-minded company, mental stimulation, a plan for the near future and the prospect of gainful occupation in the longer term would all be wrapped up in one.
I'm sure that the loss of your former career is a terrible wrench - but that would have come anyway. It needn't be the end of all enjoyment and purpose in your life.
I sympathise with your situation, all too common for older teachers I think.
You must be made of tough stuff to have managed in the classroom for so many years and I think you need to dig deep.
I have not tried supply but a friend retired last year and signed up with a supply agency. She has had 2 days when she was up and dressed for work but not called in.
I love being retired and my situation does have some things in common with yours. I don't think u have moved on from what happened and maybe this is key.
I can't see how you get a reference? From your HoD at least?
Some great ideas here!
Lots of ways to still feel useful and have a great life.
Supply teaching as already suggested. My sister is your age and a teacher and works when she feels like it. Good money too!
Volunteer for something like Victim Support, Witness Service or CAB. Interesting and fulfilling work.
If you can afford it, think about a holiday abroad. G adventures do some great ones. You've got plenty of life in you and a lot to give. Go out and grab it with both hands!
Also I can understand how you're feeling, I got made redundant a few years ago and felt quite useless and depressed for a long time. I went to India on my own which was brilliant. I've finally got a new job but it took a long time!
Contact a supply agency and talk to them about the reference situation. A friend joined an agency with a situation a little bit similar to yours. She said they took it in their stride as they'd heard it all before and got some of their best workers through this type of situation.
If you don't fancy supply you need to get out and about in other ways:
Volunteer (a local school or something completely different)
Join a choir, or a book club or a drama group or a church.
Get a dog or borrow somebody else's to go on walks.
Do a college or ou course, retrain for something completely different.
Get a different type of work all together?
If you have any money how about buying one of those franchises for things like monkey music or tumble tots (not the best example as expensive)
You get the drift though, there are plenty of things for a retired person to do maybe start by adding one small activity and keep building. In a few years time you'll have a full and busy life and wonder how you ever managed to work!!
OP you are still young. I am the same age as you and excited about the future. I haven't had an employed position for 20 years, but I earn money. I am self employed, and always look for new ventures and ways of earning.
I would take some time to invest in yourself.
I cannot over emphasis the importance of exercise. Having some regular activity that will increase your fitness has a major impact on your well being, energy levels, stamina and mood. For me its weight training and yoga.
If I keep fit then I find everything else falls into place.
This is the second time that you have posted about this, did you follow up on the employment advice? Have you spoken to your union?
Have you tried to register through an agency. The references that they require are shockingly limited. Basically can you confirm that this person worked there.
Thank you so much. There are some excellent suggestions posted. I will go to the doctor's today and will follow some of the suggestions. I have considered joining a choir, doing an MA and doing some exercise. I am so glad that there are so many good, caring people out there who have taken the time to offer help. I can't thank you all enough. It has given me the confidence to get out there.
One other suggestion is volunteering for ChildLine if you are near a centre! Taking calls is really worthwhile and challenging but a teacher is likely to have the right skills you also meet a lot of people through it!
Would you consider fostering, maybe? Volunteering in a contact centre?
Hope things are looking brighter for you soon.
Have you any workshops that you could develop if you set yourself up as a freelance trainer?
I was also forced out of teaching on health grounds and am just a bit older than you now. I retrained and work full time as well as being self employed. I've done more worthwhile career development in the last 15 years than I ever did while I was teaching. I'm happy for you to PM if you'd like to run through some ideas.
Just thought I would say that I understand the loss you are feeling. I have recently retired at 60 from nursing after serious illness . Financially and emotionally my plan was always to work until I was at least 64 but circumstances have changed.
My identity has always been wrapped in being a nurse and bringing up 2 daughters alone . The girls are grown up and independant and I have stopped nursing. Initially I was lost and unsure where my next chapter would be in life. But gradually I am putting a structure to the week with yoga,swimming,being part of an amateur drama group and from this week will be looking after my baby grandson for 2 days as mum returns to work.
It is a different life and change is hard to adapt to. But I am thankful I am still alive to embrace the changes.
Take your time to grieve for what you have lost and then slowly make changes and you will start to enjoy the freedom from the stresses of a hard profession . Good luck !
I'm pleased you're feeling a little more hopeful.
Here's the link to the Postgrad Loan info.
It really is worth knowing about - particularly for women in late middle age who may have wanted to do something like this for ages. Completely new and who knows how much longer it may be available for.
Lovely replies to op. Mumsnet at its best.
I gave just had to leave social work on health grounds as the stress was making me ill
I think you need to resolve the loss of job and how it affects you via talking with some one ?
I've just got several cleaning jobs for now to give me a structure and a bit of cash - it helps me to feel I'm contributing but also I'm contacting my local uni re the option to do student support work
I Wd recommend walking daily in all weathers it raises mood .
I'm seeing it as a start of a new chapter as well as a wee mourning period to the loss of earning , passion and direction as well as mental stimulation . It's hard I know but things are around the corner - dip your toe in
Some local authorities run a mentoring service for teens needing support. You are obviously good with children so maybe consider that? I know they are desperately short of volunteers. 57 is not old, you have so much to give.
Hi op - what a sad post - I can feel your distress.
As constructive as all the advice is, you seem very depressed and I wonder if this needs to be addressed before you have the confidence to "get out in the world".
Maybe time to have another go at the therapy and go back to the GP and say that the medication isn't working.
A kick up the bum to go out and take up all the opportunities out there can feel very intimidating and self perpetuate feelings of "being on the scrap heap" if you don't make friends straight away etc. It's hard to be positive and feel robust if you are depressed.
How awful for you.
I think signing up on supply or exam marking would be difficult without a reference. There are some jobs of course where they will accept a personal reference but these are badly paid.
I wonder if fostering children would be an option for you?
I understand. I have just been through a school reorganisation and most of the over 50s, including me, were made redundant. Some of us had put ourselves forward but others were made compulsory and the whole experience was very unpleasant. Although I had volunteered I still feel sad about it all as my career has ended in a way I had not envisaged.
I have made a list of things I might do to fill the time as going from full-time teaching to nothing is a shock, eg adult learning classes in the daytime, joining a gym. Exam marking is a good idea. You will need references but do you have some ex-colleagues you can call on?
I still have children at home but if I was more free I would definitely travel out of season and I would do something social with no responsibility like work in a bar, restaurant or shop. I might volunteer for a charity too.
You have had some great advice. Hopefully you are going through a period of adjustment although you also sound depressed. I think the way you had to leave has affected you and you will need some time to come to terms with it. Some of my colleagues were treated very badly during the restructure which took several years and some are only just accepting it two years on so give yourself some time.
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