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Old 06-04-2015, 09:34 PM
 
10 posts, read 26,785 times
Reputation: 17

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While not new to City-Data, I have never ventured into this forum before. So hello to everyone

Basically, I need an outlet. So I am using this forum as one.

Today, I finally admitted to myself that I've been depressed. For a while now (months). I've had family question it a few months ago, and I adamantly denied it. I don't want to do anything, not even things I enjoy.

Why? My job. I hate it. I have to go back a few years for the whole picture.


BACKGROUND: I graduated in 2006 with a degree in Elementary Education. I live in a very saturated market (1000-6000 applicants per position). I applied for jobs, had one interview, spent the year subbing and working retail full time. I applied for jobs again in 2007. No luck. I decided to move to North Carolina. Alone. I had actually never even been there before I drove down for an interview. I didn't know a single person in a 700 mile radius when I packed up my car and moved there. It was hard at first, but I adjusted. Luckily my job was wonderful and they became my second family. My last year or two, I found myself becoming more homesick. I usually drove back and forth for vacations, and for the first two or three hours on my trip home, I'd drive with the radio off sobbing hysterically.

In 2012, I started aggressively looking for jobs back home. I had a few interviews, was the second choice twice, but still no job. I spent that school year volunteering for anything and everything to build up my resume. It worked. I sent out over 300 applications, interviewed with about 25 different districts. Went on over 40 interviews when you count first round, second round, third round, and even a few fourth round. I was the second choice a few more times. I was offered a job at an inner-city start-up charter school. I accepted. I quickly regretted it as two days before the first day of school, I still had a room with no desks, chairs, books, etc... Literally nothing but four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. They had no timelines or plans. I found out the principal had been fired from her former district, along with the superintendent who had embezzeled. I took advantage of the clause in my contract that said I could terminate it without notice. I gave a week's notice and quit (they had extra teachers on staff waiting for enrollment). I took a job as a sub covering a maternity leave. It went very well. After that, I was able to secure a mid-year job, which is rare. The downside is that it came with a 90 mile commute- one way.

Last summer, knowing I had a secure job, I looked only a districts within 20 miles of home. Early in the summer, I was hired 4 miles from home, so I quit the 90-mile-away school. Biggest mistake of my life.

CURRENT:
This year was my 8th as a full time teacher, plus the year of subbing. I've always had great classroom management and great evaluations. (Well, my evaluations were just OK my first year, but after that, it was smooth sailing.) This is the worst place I've ever worked. The staff is unfriendly. (Here we are at the end of the year and there are several teachers who haven't spoken a single word to me. I've said hi, but no response. We only have 15 teachers on staff!) I was warned that I would have a challenging group of students. I was not told that I would have zero support. I sent dozens of emails the first month begging for help, and none was given. (I asked in person a few times first, but quickly saw that I was going to need documentation, so I began to rely on emails.) The secretary told me that my principal will not support me at all because she avoids the kids. (And this is so true.) Several students in my class have a history of violent behavior. It continued this year. The problem? No consequences. I've been pushed into lockers, fracturing my wrist. I have had a student threaten to kill me three different times. Said student even brought a weapon to school one day. NO CONSEQUENCE. I have had students bully and verbally abuse me. I've suffered from insomnia and anxiety. I even had a panic attack in my classroom one day. Needless to say, I have not been a great teacher this year. Last year, they went through 6 different teachers. I turned in a resignation months ago, after the wrist fracture. Because I am single, have nothing in savings, and a lot of debt, I have worked to the end of my contract. (I have one week left.) I was so excited to find a job so close to home, and I can't believe what it turned out to be. I should have stuck with my 900 miles per week commute.

Reading has always been my passion. I haven't picked up a book in months. I read over 150 books last year, most coming before September. I have read about 4 this year. I do absolutely nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV. I have no desire to do anything. My house is a mess (I'm typically on the OCD side), I do laundry maybe once every 2-3 weeks once I have literally nothing to wear, I don't grocery shop.

I thought things would get better once I decided to resign. Maybe it will once the school year is actually over. But, now I have the 'no job' thing hanging over my head. What is worse, I don't have the energy or desire to even LOOK for a job. I'm tired of looking for a job. I have looked every school year since 2006! (Some years harder than others.) It should not take 10 years to find a job. (I have friends that have been looking longer, so it is sadly normal for my area.) I'm honestly to the point where I want to give up teaching. But unemployment is high here and I've had no luck getting even an interview for a non-teaching job. This year has killed all the joy of teaching. I was very happy last year, but I fear I will never totally get that back. Someone told me that I may qualify for unemployment even though I quit, since I gave my reason as 'fear of personal safety causing stress and anxiety'. I have documentation of everything. But, as a teacher, you don't actually qualify for unemployment until the school year starts. That is what I've gathered by doing research, anyway.

So I sit. Watching TV. Broke. Jobless. Desire-less. Gaining weight.

I guess I always associated depression with sadness. That is how I felt the last few years in NC. Sad. All the time. I guess that is why I didn't really realize what was happening. I'm not sad. I'm not really angry. I feel nothing. I probably should see a therapist. I know that. But I won't have insurance in three more weeks. (Well, I will have limited insurance that covers prescriptions and primary doctor visits). And being jobless, I can't pay out of pocket.

If you read all of that, thanks for 'listening'. I'm just not ready to talk to anyone about it in real life.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,751 posts, read 6,495,531 times
Reputation: 6071
I can totally understand how you have gotten to where you are now. I have had my moments in life where it was just wall after wall after wall, and when I thought I had finally gotten over one wall, that I found the floor was made of spikes.

I'm one who will ignore the fact that I am depressed. The last time I was in a bad depression, I was raising children, so I could not exactly stay in bed (my favorite spot) or sit around. Having something to do is helpful.

I suggest that you figure out one activity, that is something more physical, to do every day. My husband who is more susceptible to depression, his way out is he picks one project to accomplish each day. Something really small on bad days, and something a bit more involved on better days.
Eventually he sees the product of his efforts and he starts to feel better.

Since you are not working, go find something that is in alignment with the things that you enjoy in life and find someplace to volunteer.
Have you thought about being a private tutor? Might help you mentally as well as give you some needed money.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:37 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,330 times
Reputation: 36
Have you considered asking if you could return to the job with the 90 mile commute? I'm sure you left on good terms. If that's possible, you should definitely look for a residence closer to the job.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:43 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 11,822,368 times
Reputation: 7879
Well first of all, your county health department may offer low cost counseling. May want to try there. Also call any counselor/psychologist in the phone directory, say you have no money, and ask if there is any free counseling in your area. I'm sure any of them would be glad to point you in the right direction!

Then depression is caused by a double-bind situation... You are stuck between a rock and a hard place...

For example, if you are ordered to "do this"... Then someone else says "If you do that, I will hit you!" You are darned if you do, darned if you don't! Then depression sets in.

The way out of that is to remove one of those "walls". Give yourself a bit of elbow room!

With that said, you DON'T have to be a teacher! Period! Be flexible and allow yourself to bend a bit. Don't be ridged and insist to yourself that you MUST be a teacher.

Also DON'T insist on living where you are living now. Allow yourself to move to an area with low unemployment. Move to an area with a low crime rate.

And you DON'T have to find a job! Correct? You CAN live in homeless shelters and hitchhike around the country. Not the best choice, but I'll tell you those people always have a smile on their face! Maybe because they don't have a job and don't have any bills? (It has done my mind wonders to just think that I had that option in the past. I never did it, but it was there if I needed it.)

Maybe you could go on craigslist.org and find a companion who will support you? Or maybe a roommate situation where you get free room and board in return for cleaning the house or something?

Go to a senior center and ask if someone needs live-in help. Many of them do. Plus they are lonely and want some company. Better yet, find a city with low unemployment and a low crime rate. Then find a senior who needs live in help. While you are living there, you can look for ANY job available (don't limit yourself to teaching [AKA jail house guard]).

You are FREE to do as you wish!
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: USA
1,589 posts, read 1,822,343 times
Reputation: 1659
This life is very very tough for some people. Hang in there... Unless you want to stop it all. Different people have different desires on the subject and I wish we had the freedom to choose. But as it is now, the people who are not in pain dictate to those who are in pain what they should be doing. That's not fair. But life is not fair. I just wish that someone brought some changes in this area. To be able to go to some nice quiet place to just end it all.... wouldn't that be just the best thing ever? (for some people) The "healthy" ones would say: "no, not a good idea". But what do they know.

That would be the true freedom. But for now, people are trapped and forced to do someone else's will. Because they are too weak to rebel maybe, because it's hard to find the way out, because they don't want to be judged. So for now, some people are the victims of the "healthy" ones or those who proclaim themselves to be so. (And whatever thinking is not according to THEIR way, is considered wrong.)
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:19 PM
 
1,110 posts, read 894,798 times
Reputation: 2290
I'm so sorry to hear that you're suffering from depression. You, no doubt, have every reason.

Did you apply for Work Comp for your wrist because it was due to a work injury? I'm disgusted that too many of our teachers have to put up with this abuse from kids, and that's exactly what it is!

I do agree that you need to see a therapist and be diagnosed. I was misdiagnosed with depression for 4 years by 2 different therapists even asking them if I could have PTSD from my work situations because I had done some much research on the subject.

Something else happened years ago that came up and I was just diagnosed with PTSD in Feb. for that situaion. I attended workshops regarding everything associated with PTSD. I asked the speaker if my work situation could have caused it and she said definitely. My therapist also agrees and I'm being counseled for both situations now.

Also, if you have everything documented, you might want to try to contact an attorney to see if you can file suit against the school district for not providing a safe working environment and causing you bodily injury. Our teachers should NOT have to risk their safety while they're trying to provide education to those that want to be educated. That principal needs to be fired ASAP.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
6,322 posts, read 5,073,209 times
Reputation: 9781
You can absolutely have PTSD from a work situation.

At my last job I was targeted for being late due to my sleep disorder. After they fired me for it, i would have nightmares of driving when stresses and my whole body clenching, getting reprimanded, crying at work etc.

Op, I'm sorry you are going through this but I feel strongly that things will improve with time.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
6,311 posts, read 5,136,406 times
Reputation: 13829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian Slums View Post
You can absolutely have PTSD from a work situation.

At my last job I was targeted for being late due to my sleep disorder. After they fired me for it, i would have nightmares of driving when stresses and my whole body clenching, getting reprimanded, crying at work etc.

Op, I'm sorry you are going through this but I feel strongly that things will improve with time.
That is also my opinion. I don't think you are clinically depressed. I think you have PTSD, too, and that is exhausing you.

I am so very sorry for the job situation and deeply commend you for hanging in there so long trying to use your education and what, and am sure, you have felt is your "calling." You must have strong connections to the local area if you were homesick and moved back. Is it possible to move in with family or friends so your expenses will be less and you can take lower paying jobs? Preschool teacher? Administrative work in an HR Department and possibly get into corporate training? Tutoring privately after school? Free lancing to the homeschooling crowd for various subjects?
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:59 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 11,822,368 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by cam1957 View Post
...you might want to try to contact an attorney to see if you can file suit against the school district for not providing a safe working environment and causing you bodily injury...
How about suing the KIDS or THEIR PARENTS!

That might shake things up a bit [nationwide]!
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:20 PM
 
1,110 posts, read 894,798 times
Reputation: 2290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_J View Post
How about suing the KIDS or THEIR PARENTS!

That might shake things up a bit [nationwide]!
Now there's a great idea!
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