Surviving the end of the school year

Back. Back in the saddle again.

A month after my last post it is time to get going again. Writing requires habit, and when life decides to happen, writing can take a backseat. So although it is not the deepest, most meaningful post ever, it is my attempt at getting back into the habit.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from my ex, which I showed to a colleague who has followed my story for a few years. Her first reaction after reading it was, “You can’t seem to ever catch a break at the end of the school year. Can you?”

My colleague had brought voice to the exact thought I have had for many many years. Even before my divorce the end of the school year was a stress filled time.

My professional life in the last few weeks of the year is filled with helping students meet their graduation requirements, writing narrative progress reports for 60+ students, end of year celebration activities, and managing the emotional and behavioral need that students bring to school. Finishing off a school year is hard for teachers.

At home the emotional and behavioral issues also ramp up. Especially for my daughter. It isn’t clear why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that we got to know her during the month of May when she was 6, and she came to live with us at the end of June.

This year was no different for my daughter:

  • Police called to ex’s house in March and daughter began 2.5 month period of being full time at my house.
  • Daughter wanted to run track. It was 1.5 months before she admitted that she stopped going to practices and was at the computer in the library after school each day.
  • Three detentions for being late to class or not where she was supposed to be in school.
  • After returning to the regular custody schedule daughter ended up in an ambulance and the ER after a weekend at her mother’s house ended with her saying she wanted to kill herself.

At the same time my ex ramped up her own behaviors and demands:

  • Body-shamed daughter by telling her she would be raped if she wore a revealing dress to dinner and danced provocatively.
  • Threatened the school district with “reporting” their ineffectiveness at protecting daughter to the state, paper and police.
  • Accused me of being an alcoholic to the therapist (again) and demanded I get a summer job since, as a teacher, I am underemployed.

On top of that:

  • Eldest had graduation from high school and conservatory.
  • All three kids had numerous end of the year concerts.
  • Planning summer schedule for the kids.
  • New dog continues to use the house as her own personal lavatory (at least she is cute).
  • Oh…and my girlfriend and I had some serious relationship tending. Our relationship went from being on life support to urgent care to recovery.

And now here I am. On school vacation. “Underemployed”. In recovery mode.

 

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