Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring hit the Lower Mainland while I was away.  It was nice to return to cherry blossoms and magnolia blooms.  And daffodils.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

caught beneath the landslide

We will be in Italy most likely just after the conclave ends, and just in time, perhaps, to witness celebrations and dancing in the streets.  Knowing my obnoxious habit of falling asleep every time I am inside a moving vehicle, I am going to make a special effort, this time, to try and stay conscious when it counts.  When I start to feel anxious about leaving my family for 12 days, it comforts me that RW seems to firmly in control of the situation.


I gave my Crazy Sue saga to the two union representatives at my school yesterday.  They already knew some of it so I just filled in the hollows a bit, and asked their advice.  They want to speak to the principal on my behalf, which is simultaneously scary and wonderful.  Wonderful in that I'd love someone else to fix this for me while I do nothing, but scary in that it leaves my story open to their interpretation in the translation and the same for the principal's response to them as it gets translated back to me.  I suspect the principal is not going to be especially moved by my story because she strikes me as the kind of person who would have stabbed a hole in Crazy Sue on the first day and deflated her immediately rather than allowing her, as I have done, to develop a taste for blood.


Tonight I will be driving out to visit with BB, the first time I will have seen her since her leukemia diagnosis.  I am bringing her food, both food I've made (poor girl) and food that the staff has given me to bring to her.  And some cash, and a giant card made and signed by the seniors.  Before I can enter her home I have to shower, change clothes, and then scrub up a second time immediately upon arrival.  This is to protect her compromised immune system so she does not have to go back to stay in the hospital.  I am both looking forward to, and feeling apprehensive about this visit.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

pretty much useless

I try to examine my feelings about Crazy Sue from a detached, psychological perspective.  I want to say intelligent-sounding things about negative feedback loops.  For example, Crazy Sue shouts at me in front of students increasing my anxiety about her, --->  my increased anxiety about Crazy Sue diminishes my ability to think clearly, --->  disorganized thoughts lead me to slip up and accidentally cross Crazy Sue's path again, --->  Crazy Sue shouts at me...   and so forth.  There are several similar loops, and they all involve Crazy Sue and me feeling extreme anxiety.  But when I try to be detached about how I feel about Crazy Sue, it doesn't work.  If things are going well I just feel angry.  If things aren't going well I feel like barfing.

This morning I was sitting in a workshop (about treating anxiety disorders, haha) when I received an email message from my principal telling me I have to share my teaching space with Crazy Sue on Wednesday afternoon.  I felt my stomach start doing all the things the speaker was talking about.  I stopped listening to the speaker and indulged in a small panic attack.  

The thing is that I know it's irrational for me to allow Crazy Sue to cause me so much stress.  I do not care about her opinion of me.  I do not want her friendship, I do not crave her approval.  I do not respect her, I do not like her, I do not want anything to do with her.  I should be able to shrug off her crazyness and stay away from her.  I should be able to apply an intervention that breaks the negative feedback loop and relieves my anxiety, but I cannot find one.  Or more honestly, perhaps I do not want one.  Perhaps I want to stay caught in this deadlock with Crazy Sue because letting go of it somehow lets her off the hook along with me.  

I talked to my Department Head about it, about how much it bothers me, even though I know it's just one afternoon.  My Department Head said that the new principal who just started last month probably will not care about this kind of thing next school year.  Meaning that it's entirely possible, likely even, that Crazy Sue and I will have to share a space every day, not just once or twice or a year in special circumstances.  And that once or twice is already so painful.  The old principal understood that it was in everyone's best interest for Crazy Sue and I to be separated.

There really aren't many things that get me upset, especially at work.  I'm a person who gets along with everyone.  Surviving Wednesday is one thing, but picturing an entire school year of being forced to be in the same space with Crazy Sue is another.  I will need stress leave by October.

I am doing some voodoo now, some Crazy-Sue-Moves-To-Another-School voodoo, and some Lisa-Switches-To-Full-Time-Counselling voodoo, in hopes that something changes.  

My first thought was to go upstairs to the office and talk to the new boss, explain how crazy Crazy Sue really is.  Tell her about the time Crazy Sue wouldn't allow me to borrow a chair from her classroom for the holocaust survivor to sit down in.  Tell her about Crazy Sue shrieking at me in front of a roomful of students, jamming her foot in the door to prevent me from closing it.  But the problem is, the boss is new.  She won't know if these things are true, or if I'm a crazy girl who makes up stuff about Nice Sue.  Because Crazy Sue can appear to be Nice Sue.  Not for any length of time or anything, but it's only been a month since the new principal got here.

I decided not to go to the principal even though I really wanted to, to go in there with my trembly hands and voice catching in my throat, stomach threatening to heave the morning coffee on her desk while describing the way Crazy Sue makes me feel.  But I didn't do it because I want to believe it's not going to happen.  Not Wednesday, because Wednesday will happen.  But not next year.  There has to be some other solution, because I think I now have a boss who will not change her mind even if I throw up on her desk.


Tomorrow is my birthday.  And one week from tomorrow I am leaving for Italy.  


Saturday, March 02, 2013

to go with sweet lines

I am reassessing whether or not alcohol has a place in my life.  Sure, it's partly that hangovers are different than they used to be.  Much longer lasting, much more miserable.  But it's more than that.  I do not actually enjoy the taste of alcohol all that much.  I mean, I like red wine, but not really the taste so much as the effect.  It tastes good, but lots of other things taste good too that do not leave me feeling ill the next day.  I guess what I'm realising is that I drink the way alcoholics drink, not with the same frequency or the same need but with the same motivation.  I rarely have a drink because I want the taste of alcohol.  I drink with the intention of becoming intoxicated, because I like the way that feels.  And that's the same thing that leads to alcoholism.  Of course I suffer the hangovers too much to really make that leap, but it's not the point.  The point is that I think I've reached saturation with this particular vice.  Maybe.