Thursday, April 28, 2011

Been a while

This has not been the easiest of winter/springs. Certainly not rough on the scale of Meggies, I know, but rough all the same. Battling depression, ADHD (without meds), and low-self-esteem is no joke. The upshot is........i tend to lie. Why? because I can't face the truth, since what I desperately WANT to be true and what is actually true seem so far apart to me, I tend to try to go with what I wish were true. And those that i could probably most gain support from are the same people I most am terrified to "let down" - so i freeze up. And when I freeze up, I pretend nothing at all is wrong, even when others probably know I am lying through my teeth. But most of all, I lie to myself. I act as if my life were just like I perceive everyone else's to be - i.e. not always on the edge of disaster.

Unfortunately, that sort of thinking eventually catches up with one. And if it were the first time, it would be a case of "live and learn". But this is far from the first time that i have been caught in the same trap. It doesn't matter that the economy over the past 4 years has exacerbated the problem, that I chose the exact wrong time to abandon one career and attempt to embark on a new one (one that was ill-chosen, no less. ask ANYBODY who really knows me, and they will tell you i am not lawyer-material. advocate? yes. "counselor"? definitely. Lawyer? no way - and then there is that little "sit-and-pass-the-bar" hurdle that i can't get past for at least 3 reasons i can think of and probably several more to boot.)

right now, i am working two part-time jobs. one I love. I just started teaching as a paralegal instructor based on my law degree. it is low-pay and a tremendous amount of work - 4-week concentrated classes involving 12-teaching-hours per week and a tremendous amount of material to cover in that time, but I love it. I just wish it paid better, so that i could concentrate solely on it. The other problem with it is that i am contracted month-by-month, and there is never any guarantee that I will be teaching every month (I got the month of April "off" for example, when the course I was going to teach was cancelled.)

The other part-time job is in my "old" profession - the one that I originally pursued and from which I burnt out not once but THREE times before I finally said "enough" and tried to burn all my bridges to it by going to law school.....but when i graduated and failed the bar, nobody would hire me. I tried for over a year, and then tried to go back to my old profession: school psychology. don't get me wrong. i was honestly good at what i did. i consider myself a "diagnostician" - i honestly love kids, i ADORE testing them and trying to figure out how their brains work and what sorts of learning difficulties they are running up against. i love testing them, talking with them, working with them. i even like the part where i talk with their parents about what I found out about their child (generally things they already intuitively knew) but in terms that might help them understand and be able to work with their kid at home a bit better.

what burnt me out about school psych? 1) administration(s). my view of my role and their number-crunching often clashed. not only that, but never was there any sort of realistic support; nobody ever had my back. ever. not in the school setting. and even when i worked clinical, the demands finally outweighed what i had tried to do and overwhelmed me so that i once again felt isolated and alienated.

regardless, in the past 3 years since leaving law school, i have once again attempted to return to school psych. the first attempts, granted, was a disaster. a company for whom i had worked in the past and vowed to never again work for. the second try was for a school district, and i signed on with the understanding that it was only until the end of the year. i had hoped to parlay that into something more permanent, but - despite the very positive feedback i got from the high school principal and assistant principal both - my actual boss found sufficient flaws to not recommend me for the upcoming part-time position. Ironic, really, since she had seen less of me in action than the principals had - but that is what i mean by politics. However, if i had stayed there, i would never had been able to teach paralegal - and that WOULD have been a shame.

Currently, i am working for a smaller independent company that supplies psychs and speech paths to charter schools in the area. This, too, has been not without its challenges. I was placed in a school that was already behind right from the get-go, and given less than sufficient time to fully meet the legal timeline demands placed on me. I screwed up several months in by not requesting assistance when i should have. when it came out, i apologized and did my level best to not only correct the problem (while working the second job that i'd picked up in december) - but to communicate better. despite these efforts, several other things out of my control occurred and .........long story short? the principal finally revealed her true identity as Dolores Umbridge. She managed to get my boss (a Cornelius Fudge type if ever there was one) to pull me from the school as a scape-goat. the problem was.......i WASN'T the problem. However - it matters not to her. I was convenient, I had admittedly screwed up before, and she needed someone that wasn't her - or someone she'd personally hired - to blame.

Miss Cornelius, however, wants desperately to believe she can save that school for her company (despite the solid rumors going around that it is my COMPANY they want gone, not me personally). Therefore, she's torn between giving me other assignments and believing Dolores. Upshot? I have in effect lost that part-time job.

Why am I spilling all this out on a knitting-project blog, you ask? Well, ok - the vodka might have something to do with it. But the truth is.......the troubles I am going through - work, financial, personal (and yeah - there is more to the story than i have told here) - they all get poured into my knitting. I think about the "troubles" that have plagued Ireland for so long. my own struggles are nothing compared to that. yet there is a similar longing for freedom, for peace. for a sense of belonging. these are going into my next part of my shawl, as I start on "Part 3" (picked up the stitches tonight.)

wish me luck.