Stomaching Humans

Nice title, eh?

It’s day #1424 of no alcohol, and I’m up early on a Saturday morning pondering life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with humans lately. Why do I have such a hard time with this? Meaning, after many interactions with humans, I’m left feeling confused, not liked, taken advantage of, irritated with– or the fear that I said the wrong thing and put my foot in my mouth.

Surely, that thing that I said will cause everyone to talk and dislike me.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially in regards to work. Work is forefront because in the fall I was plopped into a school where I didn’t know anyone- or have any idea on what to expect.

I was paranoid. The family drama and trauma from a few years ago fed into the local school system (the one which now I was a part of) and I’m always wondering if anyone knows that I’m related. I think these paranoid thoughts have been limiting me greatly.

But that wasn’t the only thing I was paranoid about. I’m constantly reading into people and internalizing their words, actions and attitudes. Many times this school year, I’ve felt disliked. When I wonder why, it makes me think that I must not like myself.. but I really don’t know why that is or where it’s coming from.

Do people really not like me?

Sure, on some days! We’re human and we get irritated or hate on people more than we’d like to admit- but we all do it! We don’t think people roll their eyes at us, but they do. It might have nothing to do with us, but it happens. I’m still siding with my thought from a few years ago: I’d rather be on the receiving end of eye rolls, than the one giving them.

I’ve had a sort of epiphany this week- and really hope it lasts. You see, since the start of the school year, I’ve been working with this underlying fear that I’m not going to be good enough at my job. I would overthink very word or phrase written on an IEP or report card, and be terrified of saying the wrong thing at a meeting. I was like this because of fear of either embarrassment or being disliked by families and/or colleagues.

I felt very disliked in the beginning- where I needed help with everything and didn’t know what people’s personalities were like.

Certain conversations made me think. For example, I was talking to another new teacher a few months ago, and we have the same mentor. She was telling me how hard it is at her school (she does the same job as me, but at another elementary) and how her mentor (who is also mine) was so mean to her. I was taken back, because my mentor has always been supportive and nice to me. Sadly, it made me start to think of my mentor differently and to question her motives. I’m about over it now, that new teacher ended up quitting and I think it probably just wasn’t a good fit for her.

Anyways, up until now I’ve been paranoid and trying to do everything perfectly. I realized though, that while I’m feeling more confident now, parents who were angry at me and mean before, are still angry and mean. Teachers who lost patience with my questions, are losing their patience over other things now that I don’t have questions. It’s THEM and not me!! It has nothing to do with me, and never did! Boy, this is freedom right here- to know this is true.

So now, I feel more relaxed and free. It’s not that I don’t care if I get let go, it’s just that I don’t care if I get let go.

I think that was my underlying fear and my wanting to get asked to come back. Now, I know that if they don’t ask me to come back, then I’m not meant to be there anyway. And it wasn’t a wasted year, it was a year of enormous learning. I might not know the lessons quite yet, but am definitely sure they’re perfect for me.

I think this post might be confusing and make no sense at all.

My point is that I have no idea how to take humans sometimes. I think I’ve spent this school year way too preoccupied with trying to smooth out perceived imperfections. The most difficult part is trying to figure out if this perceived negativity is even real or not. I’m not sure I’ll ever confidently know this answer, so I just need to stop trying to please everyone and do me.

One more thing that I want to mention that adds to my confusion. Some of the people who I struggle with, are very beautiful people- at least physically- but they internally play the show too. They are typically put on a pedestal and very well respected. They are nice in conversation, but I pick up on negativity. For example, twice last week I asked a colleague (different colleagues) a question about something and it ended in a rant. Not a rant at me, but a rant directed at the thing I’m asking about (griping about us having to do it in the first place, or griping about a particular person, etc). I’ve noticed these same people making mean comments and snide remarks about others in their absence. I think when my brain sees these things it’s an automatic red flag and I immediately start to think negatively- and it comes back to me and internalizing these emotions.

I hope that this new way of thinking helps me cope and not internalize the behavior of others.

Why are humans so gosh darn difficult???

Or is it just me?