Admitting Defeat, Finding My Place, and Still Trying to Understand
I am so tired. I won't lie. Life has not been easy for the past 21 months and 7 days. It has been a long struggle and a battle that has made me worn out and tired. I am exhausted if I am being honest.
One of the biggest problems that I have had in life is that I struggle to admit when I am wrong and to admit defeat in any way. I haven't written the past month because I am terrified to admit that I failed at yet something else. I really thought that teaching was going to be what I needed and what was needed for the students in my class. However, that is not the case. What happened as the first few weeks of school went on showed me clearly that teaching is not what I was meant to do. No matter how much I wanted it to be my purpose, my heart and soul showed that very thing.
It was not for me. I had no control over a classroom. I could not get the kids to sit in their seats and I honestly could not teach them anything. I tried so hard to build relationships in an attempt to get the kids to respect me enough to teach a lesson, but most days I sat at my desk with my head in my hands and had the ones that would work do pages from their workbooks while I sat there unable to do anything but hold back the tears.
I was assaulted more than once physically. My things were thrown and my desk was cleared one time. Students continuously pulled the fire alarm so that other students could get into fights in the parking lot. It was really a toxic environment to have to deal with the fire alarms. Having to sit there while the alarms were blaring and having to try and evacuate a class was difficult. The kids would run around the parking lot and there was no way to manage and ensure that all of my students were there. The panic and emotional toll of this was very damaging.
However, it was not until a 7th grade girl (whom I believe is a literal sociopath and I am scared that she has a younger sister in the home with her) said the most horrible thing to me that I decided that it was time to part ways. This little girl did not want to do the work that we were doing. We went through how to write an introduction paragraph, writing sentence by sentence together. This child chose not to participate and I simply ignored the behavior. Ignored her throwing papers on the floor to try and throw a fit. Ignored her yelling at me and saying she didn't want to do work. Ignored her asking to go into the hall, offering her a safe seat that was in an area where I could see her. Then as we moved on to the body paragraphs, she demanded that I help her with the introduction. I asked her to wait a few minutes for me to get the class working on the body and then told her that I would be happy to work with her as soon as everyone else had something to do. I turned to start writing and working on a sentence about my career as a teacher. She said "no one cares about your stupid ugly fat ass or your ugly ass dead daughter." This was the final line. The mental anguish that I felt in that moment made me understand that I was never meant to work with kids.
I know that kids can be cruel and I am not immaturely sharing these intimate details of what happened to me for any inappropriate reason. Instead I am wanting to share to you how important it is that you make sure that your children know to be kind. I should haven ever had to deal with being physically assaulted or mentally tormented to work a job. Parents are always complaining about educators and yet when I was in the classroom, I saw the bigger picture, the problems that no one wants to admit. You want your kid to learn and grow in the classroom? Teach them to be good for their teachers, teach them to show respect and have major consequences for them if they have inappropriate behavior. The moms that I would talk to, specifically for the girl who said this, make excuses for their child's behavior. They don't want to do the hard work of parenting, but instead want to make everyone else parent their child, while they remain their child's friend.
In this case, you have to know that being a parent is not always going to be fun. It sucks sometimes. I hate having to correct my children, but if I didn't the things that were said about my children would not be that they are kind and respectful. I struggle each and every day enough with the loss of my child, but knowing that there are children out there that are behaving this way makes it even harder. I want to know why. Why did God take my little girl from me? Why didn't God allow me to see my beautiful daughter grow up into a beautiful young woman?
So many things were taken from me that day when God called Adeline home. The joy that my family once had is gone. The long-term laughter that was continuous in our house is no longer there. The joy that we shared feels so different from the joy that we share today. Today's joy has a underwriting of sorrow and sadness. Life will never be the same for any of us. The kids will carry the memories of their sister and they will carry the sorrow that we are all left with. These feelings will never leave us. Yes, we are happy most days. Yes, we still have laughter, play games, and share tons of joy, but there is a sorrow that makes it hard to do these things with them. It is something that is never-ending. I struggle each day to understand my feelings, but I am also having joy with my family.
One thing that Adeline was to me is joy. She was pure joy. She was the most amazing and joyful human being that I have ever known. There was a wisdom about her that I have never really seen in another person and the things that she said were things that I needed to hear. I would give anything to go back in time and just have her here with us. I wish that I could relive that fire and make sure that I saved her. I don't think that there is any possible way for me to ever forgive myself for making the wrong choice that morning. Everything that I was taught about fires was wrong and I would give it all to go back and make the right decisions that would have ended with her being here today with us. I will forever have to live in this permanent hell due to the fact that I messed up. This does not mean it's the end for me. It's not. This is my life. This is everything that I have ever wanted.