Stress and sick leave(6 Posts)
I am so stressed, and now depressed, that I think I am literally falling apart-
I haven't had more or less to cope with than anyone else and what has happened has mainly been my fault: I am mid divorce, moved out in April (left the family home where we had been living separately for over a year) have two young kids, 3 and 7, joint custody, work four days a week teaching, have been in a dreadful, emotionally (and sexually) abusive relationship recently which has thankfully now ended, have serious debts (thousands) and money worries, son playing up at school, live far from family, grandmother very ill earlier this year and nearly died, and have had one stupid illness after another in the last six months- 2 x tonsilitis, one bout of shingles, now a dental/gum infection. I have been very stressed- losing hair, difficulty sleeping etc. I commute 45 mins to work in the car each day and get back at 5 or 6 on days when I pick up the kids.
I took last week off with stress at the behest of the doctor.
Went back today as there was an evening event I was responsible for and I really couldn't let anyone down.
Had emailed head explaining that I was stressed and asking for various possible ways this could be alleviated in the short term so that I can keep working and teaching but also get physically better.
Anyway, met head today and it was a no to all requests. That didn't really surprise me but I was very shocked and upset by some of the things she said and it has left me very upset and fearful about her view of me.
She said that I was impacting on other workers and that other had to come in to work in far worse situations than me, and raised several issues from the last six months, such as that I had been a couple of days late inputting some data and reports, not atttended SLT a couple of times giving apologies at short notice as there were childcare issues. She said I needed to think about working whilst having young children as I clearly couldn't put the jigsaw pieces together.
My results are very good on all CAs, GCSE etc. I care deeply about my work and hate having time off.
In a way she is right- juggling the kids and the job plus commute is tricky at times- usually it's the kids that suffer though as I try to give my all to work.
I have really, really tried but just been knocked flat by one thing after another recently.
I had really hoped to be allowed some leeway and thought I was being proactive in coming up with some short term measures.
I don't really have a question, but was I wrong to expect to be given a fairer hearing? I think the head sees me as just a whiny parent who expects all sorts of favours but this couldn't be further from the truth- how can I change that impression?
I am going back to the GP tomorrow and will take up his previous offer of ADs but now I am even more stressed and scared sick of taking more time off, even potentially losing my job.
What can I do?
Sorry so long, but if you got to the end all advice gratefully received.
I am in a very similar situation and have been off sick since March (meeting re absence on thurs). New and very unsupportive boss (she was the reason for my stress) and potentially looking at no job.
First thing I would say is get in touch with your union; mine have been very supportive and good in all aspects. Secondly, you need time to be well; go back to the docs and have more time off. Thirdly, look at how your life is panning out; do you really want to see your children so little and feel so stressed? Is there a possibility of doing supply instead of full time if the worst comes to the worst? I am looking for other jobs but seem to be overqualified and so never get an interview (want to downgrade but possible employers seem to see this as suspicious in teaching)!
P.s feel free to pm if you want to natter further; teaching can be the most isolating and destructive career with some of the heads that seem to be being employed lately!!
So you ask for help and the head basically said you need to think about whether you can actually work
Ok so some of what s/he said is true, if you can't do something someone else will have too, that's just a fact, but if you are asking for help it shouldn't be used to beat you with.
Was what you asked for realistic? Have you spoken to the union? Does your union or employer have any support functions? Would some time off help you sort a few things out to help longer term?
It's horrible when everything happens all at once. I had nothing of significance happen the within a four years 2 x babies, 1 x mc, my father died, my nan died, my dh was made redundant and so was I, and being bullied at work. Good for you in regconising you needed help and doing something about it.
Go off sick until you get better, you are no good to anyone in the state you are in and your kids need a well parent. Work will have to cope, people will have to take up the slack but that's life. Your boss is paid money to handle this sort of stuff, it's what management is all about!
Really from someone who went through a divorce (and custody battle) whilst trying to keep everyone else happy and ended up on antidepressants, seeing a psychotherapist after nearly stepping infront of a bus, you need to put yourself first for a while.
Thanks so much for the supportive comments.. am now off for two weeks and hopefully after that I will be rested and ready to get on. The annoying thing I think is that there seems to be the assumption that it's being a working mum I can't cope with. Well this is a juggling act and a compromise but OF COURSE I can cope with it! What I can't cope with is the vile relationship I have been in (shades of JLC)- and the shame, embarrassment and general fallout from that, plus the legacy of post viral fatigue from the tonsilitis, shingles etc that I have had in the last six months!
Going to ring Union today as school have asked to see medical records. There is nothing to hide there but I hate the feeling of being disbelieved.
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