This story is by Elizabeth Callahan and was part of our 2017 Winter Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have a complete mental nervous breakdown; I just didn’t know it was only a week away and the repercussions it had in store.
Day 1: I started getting these pains running through my jaw, which I guess could be described as tension pains – not a good sign. As a high school teacher, I’m used to getting upset and stressed with students, other teachers, administrators, …(it’s never ending really). However, one student deciding to heat up their lunch in my microwave with the aluminum foil still on the bowl –yep, that did it.
Day 2: During a teacher meeting, I was trying to listen to our administration droning on about test scores, novice reduction, …blah, blah, blah. There were 2 teachers sitting right behind me in the auditorium, and I swear it was like two teenage girls whispering and giggling about God knows what, but enough that I couldn’t hear anything. In my mind, I turned around and punched them both in the noses. Alas, I could not do that, so the frustration led me to take a nerve pill.
Day 3: The entire teaching staff received an email about getting to work on time and being in your duty spot on time. I hate these mass emails. I mean, seriously this administrator needs to get a set of balls. I’m never late, and I’m always at my duty spot on time, so why am I getting this email? Plus, the person who is supposed to read this email – the person it was intended for – probably didn’t even open the email. I hate mass emails, so I proceeded to tell the administrator what I thought about that. I do this often in a reply to the email; however, I normally delete the email and never send it. Well, I sent it this time – and, oops – I hit “reply all” instead of “reply” so the entire staff knows exactly how I felt about it. My left eye begins to twitch.
Day 4: Praise the Lord it’s Friday. Of course, at 2:55 with only 5 minutes left to go in the school day, one of my students decides to punch another student. (Good feeling gone) This punch causes blood to spatter all over the girl sitting next to the aggressor. Of course, that wasn’t enough, so she proceeds to pass out from the sight of blood. Fabulous. I spent the next hour in the administrator’s office – the same one I had just yesterday given a piece of my mind to – explaining the situation. Then I spent another hour discussing the event with the parents. Today has earned a nerve pill along with a bottle of wine.
Day 5: After sleeping off the wine, I awoke to a phone call from my ex-husband in which he screamed at me about how I haven’t been paying enough for things the kids need. He is wrong of course, but I am weak so I just listen. I also received a comment on my blog which excited me, but that was short lived because it was from my ex-husband’s wife. She attacked everything I said and put me down because of my anxiety disorder and depression. She literally wrote the words “mic drop” at the end of her post. I chose to ignore her, proceeded to cry, twitch, have tension pains in my jaw, take a nerve pill, and guzzle another bottle of wine.
Day 6: Church day – The parking lot was icy and my heels were high and slippery. Of course, I fell on my ass right behind a car that was backing out of a parking place. I screamed “What the fuck are you doing? Jesus Christ!” Remember this was in the church parking lot? Yes, and that person backing out was none other than the pastor. He decided to counsel me for a few minutes about being a good role model. Fuck you.
Day 7: Monday, Monday – This week started with a meeting addressing my insubordination with my email last week. Next I tripped on the stairs on the way to my classroom dropping everything I was carrying and landing on my knee. Now I’m limping. My students were not listening in any of my classes today, and I was developing the twitch and jaw tension pain along with a headache – not to mention my still throbbing knee(and ass from “fall from grace” at church). By 7th period I couldn’t take it anymore. One student asked me why I “didn’t have a real job but after all those who can’t do – teach”. I screamed “Fuck you!” to him and my entire class (two of which were pastor’s kids), ran out of my classroom and slammed the door. I ran down the hall screaming until I collapsed.
Now I’m sitting in a psych ward in a hospital. I’m so fired but so relaxed.