Multiple Meltdowns

I consider myself, dear reader, fairly stoic in my οutlook. There isn’t much point in worrying about things that might not be able to βε changeδ. I think part of it is due to the fact that Jasper is also fairly stoic. On some level that makes it much easier for me, because without him I might be much more volatile. Jasper is one of the only people that I know who is not afraid of doctors. In fact, he is the one who lets the nurses experiment on him when they’re learning how to take blood. The man’s tolerance for pain is legendary. It is this attitude that I try to emulate most of the time. But sometimes for me, it simply isn’t possible. That was the case this week in all areas of my life.

In my professional life, I became exceedingly angry at my continued passing over for teaching assignments from The English Centre. At one point midweek, I had just had enough. I’ve been feeling like I am the only teacher not to get gigs unless someone, usually Rose recommends me. Like with my Palestinian girls. It’s hard not to feel like you’re doing something wrong. Objectively, I know that I’m not necessarily being singled out. After all, the company has 30 teachers on its roster. Usually what that means is that there’s only about a 33% chance that a teacher will get an assignment. If you factor in the seniority of teachers, I am at the bottom of the list. I’ve only been with the company since 2019 and realistically cannot expect to get as many students as people who have been with the company for much longer. But it still stings, and I found myself irrationally angry this week when I put my hat in for a teaching gig and was the only teacher to do so until The English Centre pushed to see if anyone else was available and then two people popped up. One of them has been with the English Center for about 5 years so that means that my chances are quite low.

The second meltdown was a bit delayed. I was not sure if I should post on the blog what I am going through, but as it directly affects both teaching and writing, and that’s the focus of the blog, it’s relevant. I had gone on a couple weeks back to the optician to see if I could get glasses because it’s very difficult for me to see the computer. The results were not encouraging. While my sight in my left eye has remained largely unchanged, according to the optician, I have lost 30% of the vision in my right eye which is the one that had the cataract. My vision is a little cloudy and I do see lots of floaters so I’m hopeful that it has to do with the cataract and it’s not more serious than that. It’s quite common for a secondary cataract to develop after cataract surgery. Apparently, the lens goes cloudy and then eventually opaque affecting vision. Fingers crossed that’s all it is, but that didn’t stop me from completely freaking out on Thursday this week. And I mean tears and sobs and hyperventilating. Frankly, dear reader, it was a disgusting display. Luckily, it was with my therapist where I feel completely safe and Justified in having a meltdown. After all, if you can’t do it when you’re trying to unpack all your mental health baggage then when can you?. Since I already had an appointment with the eye doctor on the 19th of April, she encouraged me to advocate for myself and try to get an earlier appointment, either somewhere else, or harass the eye clinic to change the appointment on the 19th for an earlier one if possible. Unfortunately, that was not to be as there were no appointments available. Even getting the appointment on the 19th took 30-minutes on the phone. But it was a good exercise in self- confidence building.

Meltdown number three happened Thursday and Friday this week. As I get older, dear reader, I have less patience for people who do not read. It seems that in the writer’s group there are plenty of people who lack the skill. On the Meetup site for the writers group, I have written every pertinent detail for the meetings. The address of the location is on the website, the structure of the meeting is as well and still, I get questions about those very things. We have a WhatsApp group as well, and I was irrationally upset when a member changed the description of the group without asking. While I have no problem with change, I do have a problem with people doing things without telling me or asking me if it’s ok to do. I’m a pretty copacetic person and will probably say yes. This was just a start, however. I was able to laugh this incident and even thank the person for changing the description even though I said to her that I didn’t think anybody would read it. She also has a sense of humor and concurred with my sentiment. But there was more to come. On Thursday evening another member contacted me and asked if there was a zoom meeting planned and I said that there wasn’t but she was welcome to start one if she wanted to. She did not start a Zoom meeting. Instead, she changed platforms to Discord thereby forcing those of us who want to write online to change platforms simply because she wanted it. When I called her on it and told her how I felt, it was a bit of a fiasco. Again it was not about the fact that she changed the platform, it was about the fact that she didn’t ask thereby undermining both me and the other organizer of the group. I spent about an hour discussing with her why I was upset but she still couldn’t see what she had done wrong. She is a little bit myopic that way. It’s not that I don’t see the benefit of changing to a platform that doesn’t cost any money and allows people who live away from Amsterdam to participate. But in effect, it also makes two groups, and that is not something that I wanted. The intention post-pandemic was to go back to our Thursday night in real-life meetings without the online meeting. To have those intentions summarily dismissed and have someone else take it upon themselves to force the change is what I have a problem with. I will get over it and maybe in the long run it will be better for the group to have the discord platform but I am also allowed to have my feelings about it.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

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