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Have I completely lost the plot?

(21 Posts)
WhatamIbringingtothismoment Sat 15-Nov-14 12:56:56

I am really concerned that I am completely losing the plot.
I have so many thoughts in my head and have no idea which are rational.
I started a new job in September and I am convinced that my line manager thinks that they made a huge mistake in appointing me. Feel as if nothing that I do is right. I am convinced that I am going to lose my job. It is affecting my behaviour - I can feel myself withdrawing which only makes things worse. I am so tense. I am teeth grinding at night. Terrible headaches.
Not sure if any of this makes sense. I need to turn things around but feel as if I am losing a grip on my sanity.

FreakinScaryCaaw Sat 15-Nov-14 13:00:35

Sorry you feel this way.

Is your line manager treating you any differently to anyone else? Is there someone above him/her that you could talk to? Do you get appraisals?

What sort of work is it? Is it a total change to your usual work?

It's really hard settling into a new job. I changed my job over a year ago and still feel as if I don't know what I'm doing some days.

WhatamIbringingtothismoment Sat 15-Nov-14 13:11:26

It is teaching.
My line manager does seem to have a bit of an abrupt manner but it is far worse where I am concerned - or at least that is how it seems to me. I have never felt so micro managed or nit picked in the whole of my career. Some of it is quite passive aggressive - she had a go at me the other day but via a comment that she made to a student about me rather than to me.
I am probably not doing a very good job at the moment because I just can't relax, I feel permanently on edge and often close to tears.

FreakinScaryCaaw Sat 15-Nov-14 13:15:01

Oh heck, sounds like bullying. The comment to the student isn't very professional.

How do you get on with other employees?

WhatamIbringingtothismoment Sat 15-Nov-14 13:27:25

I have at times felt as if it is bullying.
Other staff seem pleasant enough but there are days when I feel so demoralized that I can't face leaving my room. I know it takes time to build relationships, but my confidence is at such a low ebb now that I feel as if it is just impossible. I am so tense that I seem incapable of making small talk.
I need to pull myself together and find some coping strategies. I am starting to wonder if I am just losing my mind!

FreakinScaryCaaw Sat 15-Nov-14 13:35:12

No you're not losing your mind. You're under stress it's understandable.

Do you usually have any social anxiety?

It would be good to work on your confidence. Some tips here.

Have you tried assertiveness courses or read any literature on it?

WhatamIbringingtothismoment Sat 15-Nov-14 13:51:10

Thank you - I really appreciate you taking the time to post and the link looks useful.
I do suffer from some social anxiety and confidence issues if I am being completely honest but they seem to have been exacerbated by this person. There is something about the way that this person treats me which seems to bring lots of unhelpful thoughts and emotions to the forefront.
I feel better just getting it out into the open.
I was so excited when I got this job and was so convinced that it was the right move that I can't tell anybody in R.L what a terrible mistake I have made.

FreakinScaryCaaw Sat 15-Nov-14 14:03:11

I may be wrong but this this person sounds as if she knows you have anxiety and is taking advantage of it. I work with people like this. I often stick up for people as I am pretty assertive. It's definitely a useful tool to have.

My dsd and ds2 are socially anxious. Ds2 is 14 and had a breakthrough last week buying a Subway sandwich by himself!

I hope you find something to help you. Keep posting.

FreakinScaryCaaw Sat 15-Nov-14 14:04:43

I don't think it's a terrible mistake. She's really not being nice and it's so understandable that you feel this way.

Those who feel the need to criticise others a lot are saying plenty about themselves imo.

NanaNina Sat 15-Nov-14 14:27:26

Can I ask if this is your first teaching job? Is it primary or sec or FE (as you mention a student) My son is a primary school teacher and had a bit of a "baptism of fire" when he was an NQT but the HT was "on his case" all the time, and was very critical of him - there was no balance of what he did well, only criticism and not surprisingly this sapped his confidence (he isn't the most confident of people it has to be said) He became more and more demoralised and finally went off sick with stress. He resigned before finishing his NQT year, but picked himself up and worked for an agency on supply for a year and then a lovely DHT saw the good in him and offered him a temporary contract and from there a permanent one................he's still in teaching 10 years on but it hasn't been without lots more stress and another HT who did I am sure bully him. He's now doing permanent PPA which seems to suit him much better.

I think teaching is an incredibly stressful job and many are leaving the profession because of all volume of work involve outside of the classroom. I hate to say this but I have been told by friends who are retired teachers that once a Head has it "in for you" it doesn't usually get any better. One friend who had 20 years experience was so badly bullied by her Head that she ended up taking early retirement.

You are NOT losing your mind but I do think you are in danger of becoming depressed (and you might already be mildly depressed, as you talk of being on edge and tearful) which are symptoms of mild depression. Anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand and seem to feed off each other if that makes sense. I think you are being bullied though in a covert way, and I don't think you can necessarily "pull yourself together" especially while you are fighting to get through every day. Would you consider seeing your GP who might prescribe medication which could help. Also I think it's really important that you find some support in RL - is there anyone in whom you can confide?

Be kind to yourself - this sort of thing happens to many teachers and others of course. I urge you to see your GP before you get any worse and find someone who can support you in RL through this difficult phase, which incidentally will pass.......just noticed you say you "can't tell anyone in RL what a terrible mistake you've made........" - you haven't made a terrible mistake at all - you're struggling in a new job with a Head who is bullying you rather than supporting you, and unsurprisingly this is causing you to feel depressed and anxious. SO can you try to re-frame this - not easy I know when you are in the midst of something like this, but you really do need to be able to talk this through with someone (preferably someone who is a teacher or understands about the stresses of teaching)

WhatamIbringingtothismoment Sun 16-Nov-14 13:24:41

I am not new to teaching.
I have been teaching for about 20 years.
I have worked with all sorts of people in that time but nobody like this.
I feel so demoralised and I am doubting my ability to do the job.
I don't want to go in tomorrow but I know that if I don't it will just make things even harder. I dream of never having to set foot in the pace again.
I am concerned for my health, I can already see that I have deteriorated both mentally and physically.
I want to be strong and cope with it. I am sitting in front of a light box at the moment in an effort to lift my mood. I have also downloaded two apps to help with stress and and anxiety which I intend to use. I don't want to be beaten by this but as NanaNina says if this person for whatever reason has taken against me is there any hope that things will improve.
Aaagh! I don't want to give up but it is just so tempting!

NanaNina Sun 16-Nov-14 14:13:37

Sorry I assumed you were new to teaching! It's just that your OP sounded a bit like that.......I don't think you should go in tomorrow - I think you should make an appointment to see a GP (and book a double apt) I suffer from MH issues (depression/anxiety) and I think the longer you leave it the worse it will get. You need to listen to your mind and body - and I don't think sitting in front of a light box is going to cut it to be honest. Also I don't think you should see taking time off as "giving up" - you need time to take stock of what's happening and re-charge your batteries.

Given the fact that you are a very experienced teacher, I think you need to get some support to tackle this Head - assume it's a Head. What about involving the Union? Have you any idea why she should be treating you so badly.

Well that's my opinion FWIW...

FreakinScaryCaaw Sun 16-Nov-14 22:53:41

I agree with NanaNina.

How awful for you sad I think you need to stand up for yourself and be sure in your abilities.

Have you read this?

FreakinScaryCaaw Sun 16-Nov-14 22:54:36

Oh and write everything down. You may need it one day?

NanaNina Mon 17-Nov-14 00:17:19

Wow Freakin thanks for the link - very worrying....

FreakinScaryCaaw Mon 17-Nov-14 08:22:38

Shows you're not alone.

FreakinScaryCaaw Mon 17-Nov-14 08:23:32

Oops sorry thought OP had written that post. I need to wake up grin

Hope you're ok today thinking of you OP.

FreakinScaryCaaw Tue 18-Nov-14 08:16:50

How are you OP?

WhatamIbringingtothismoment Tue 18-Nov-14 09:35:23

Thank you - you are both very kind to take the trouble to post.
You are absolutely right Freakin I do need to stand up for myself and have faith in my abilities. Why do I find this so difficult?
I watch colleagues who are probably no more talented than me sail through the day without a second thought whilst at the moment I am just constantly plagued with self doubt. I worry that this paranoia is the fist sign on impending madness.
I am not in work today and wasn't in work yesterday. Was physically sick at weekend don't know if it is a bug or stress.
I need to turn this round before it is too late.
How can I protect myself from the self sabotaging thoughts and actions? How can I stop this person having so much power over me?

FreakinScaryCaaw Tue 18-Nov-14 09:38:33

Did you look at the link I posted? You're not alone.

How disgusting that someone in charge of the future of our children is a bully!

Have you seen the Gp? You need this documenting, tell them everything and write it all down.

Why not start a thread 'Calling all teachers, a fellow teacher in need of help' as I think this could help you? Tell them what's going on. Am very sure you'll get support.

FreakinScaryCaaw Tue 18-Nov-14 09:42:04

By the way is there a history of mental health issues in your family? I only ask as you seem very fearful of losing the plot.

You'd be surprised how many of us suffer from MH issues. I get panic disorder if not on meds. And I'm the most assertive confident person you can imagine. Too much at times wink But it's nothing to be ashamed of.

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