Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?

  • 12 Replies
  • 269 Views
*

Shearwater

  • Member
  • 7
    • View Profile
Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« on: April 21, 2019, 08:27:02 PM »
Hi! I'm wondering if there's people here with experience with working as a teacher ore another working position in the school system.

I'm in my early 20's, and are now working as an assistant in school (temporary job). I'm exhausted even after 2 weeks vacation, and think I'm gonna quit the following week. The ironic thing is that I really want to be a teacher some day. I love working with students, and they have given me motivation to work for several months. But now I can't take it anymore. It's not really the students that are the challenge. Of course it's hard working with people no matter what. But the teachers in the school it's what I dread the most. I can't handle one more day with the teachers yelling at the student in a unecesarry unfair way. I think I'm struggling with emotional flashbacks. I'm no matter what higly sensitive and easy triggered these days, last month actually.

I want to study to become a teacher. My hope is that while I'm studying, I can heal  better, scince I can then focus more on myself and my learning rather than constantly beeing there for others and feeling powerless in my position as an assistant. I hope I one day will cope better with my cptsd and be more able to work with people.

Any thoughts about this? Is there anyone who handles being a teacher with cptsd and how?

Someone whos quit because of it, and what was your challenges in the profession?




*

Blueberry

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • 5468
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2019, 09:47:37 PM »
My hope is that while I'm studying, I can heal  better, scince I can then focus more on myself and my learning rather than constantly beeing there for others and feeling powerless in my position as an assistant. I hope I one day will cope better with my cptsd and be more able to work with people.

I have 2 university degrees and I had emotional crises in both, where I could barely study for a semester or more. In one degree I passed the courses that semester anyway, in the other degree I had to repeat some exams and get special permission to take the repeats a semester apart in order not to overwhelm me. I had constant brain fog, I could hardly organise an essay never mind a research paper.

I didn't do a degree in education, but I have taught classes at community college and in companies. I had a lot of difficulty and eventually I collapsed basically, then did a fair bit of healing, tried again, collapsed again etc. I have since given up and teach one-on-one only. I was unable to lead the class. You have to be able to exude an air of "I'm the boss here and I'm not putting up with any garbage". Authority is the word I'm looking for, assertiveness probably too. I have been told that when you are lacking those kind of characteristics children and teenagers will run circles round you even more than adults do. Same thing if you tend to dissociate a lot - children pick up on your 'absence' and run riot.

There are mbrs on here who do teach successfully so maybe they'll respond here and give you a different view. I think whether or not teaching might work for you will depend on how your cptsd pans out exactly. We all share some symptoms or even many symptoms, but not all. You're hoping to be healed before you actually start teaching, however. I think there are some younger mbrs here who have come far along in healing very quickly (e.g. a couple of years) so that might be your case too.

 

*

Shearwater

  • Member
  • 7
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 09:00:35 AM »
Thank you for your response Blueberry! It's good to read someone's experience with this.  Education is hard, and I forget sometimes.
 I start to realize that I will never fully heal. I've had symptoms and different kind of depressions for 9 years. Some periods have been good and suddenly I'm down again. I actually startet at university 4-5 years ago to become a teacher. But could only bear one semester. I knew I wouldn't pass the next semester if I continued. Back then I didn't know about CPTSD, and didn't fully understand what I was struggling with. I also had a lot of flashbacks, nightmares, and  stressful thoughts etc. And yes the fog. It was hard for me to read and learn.

Now I have the right to facilitated education, so that might help. I also function better theoretecly. I took one exam last fall to improve a grade, and did very well. So I guess that's what gave me hope, that I might be more able to study again. One-on-one teaching is a possibility I keep in mind, and I can also take special pedagogy in the degree I'm planning to start. 

But I also wonder if my hope to become a teacher is more of a coping mechanism to keep on. That it's easy to think that I will make it, when I maybe should lower my expectations. I feel so unpredictable :blink: I can be really productive sometimes, and suddenly paralysed by my symptoms. Mostly it's my emotions that I struggling with. I cope better with my anxiety now than before. I can't be a teacher with these mood swings I experience now. So I need to manage handling them at some point. I think I have a atypical depression that will end. But I also realize that this won't be my last depression.

Right now I'm mostly sad about having to quit my job this week. It's a loss  :'( and at the same time it will be a relief. 

*

Blueberry

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • 5468
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 07:16:58 PM »
Right now I'm mostly sad about having to quit my job this week. It's a loss  :'( and at the same time it will be a relief.

Been there before a few times myself. Standing with you. 

*

Shearwater

  • Member
  • 7
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 02:42:10 AM »
Thank you, Blueberry!

*

Jdog

  • Member
  • 974
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 04:34:43 AM »
Shearwater-

I am one of the teachers on this site to whom Blueberry is likely referring.  It has been a journey for me, and one worth taking.  I had no Idea of my cptsd when I first began teaching, but the start was rough due to mistreatment against me by another staff member.  Still, I persevered and learned many things about how to assert myself within the classroom setting.  About 17 years in, my Mom passed away and the full fledged cptsd hit me.  It was hard, as I was frequently triggered by student drama and had weak boundaries.  At about the same time, I was mistreated by management and nearly quit.  But I havenít quit, and the lessons I have learned and healing I have done have made me an excellent teacher.  I am more compassionate toward the pain others feel than I ever knew I could be and yet I am seldom triggered by their pain these days. 

So, I cannot say whether this is type of journey is for you.  I donít know whether or not my story is helpful to you.  But if teaching is your calling and you have a strong desire to withstand some possibly difficult struggles, I say go for it.

*

Shearwater

  • Member
  • 7
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 09:04:21 AM »
Thanks for your respons Jdog!

I need that kind of stories. I've wanted to become a teacher since I was 10. For a period I gave up on that dream thinking I was better fit for something else. But teaching is wat I really want. Think I will regret if I don't try. And I can also use my education in  another way if teaching in classroom will be to hard for me.

Hope it's ok if I ask you some questions Jdog.. Have you ever had to leave work for a period because of CPTSD? And do you work 100%?

*

Jdog

  • Member
  • 974
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 12:41:30 PM »
Iím happy to correspond with you on the topic.  No, I never had to leave work for more than a day or so due to cptsd, and I had a wonderful therapist who coached and helped me stay focused upon my strengths.  She is still available to me via email.  Yes, I work full time.....which for a teacher, can sometimes mean some pretty long days, especially when you are a new teacher.  Today, I have both a student teacher and a co teacher who take some of the burden from me.  I am the one who designs most lessons and is ultimately in charge of seeing that our lessons go as expected and that we have an orderly classroom environment, but not being the only adult in a classroom of teenagers is a huge gift. 

Iím glad to know that you are so enthusiastic about teaching.  It is tremendously rewarding most days.  I am currently helping a young lady who is a senior complete her senior project.  She took my class as a sophomore and although we always had a good relationship she failed the class along with most of the other classes.  She had to leave the school and go to another school where she could rapidly catch up on her credits.  She was successful and last year, before returning to her regular classes, she spoke to each of my classes about the mistakes she had made and how she hoped that other students would stay more focused on their studies and not get involved in drinking and drugs.  She credited me with always believing in her and told the students that I only want what is best for them. 

Stuff like that helps me know that even when my job is tough and even when I become frustrated with my job and the politics of teaching, I am making a difference. 

*

Shearwater

  • Member
  • 7
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 03:39:02 PM »
So wonderful too read this, Jdog. I'm glad to hear that this is possible even with the struggles that comes with CPTSD. Even if I might can't handle a fulltime job as a teacher. It's good to know, that it's possible for someone.

How nice to make such a huge different to someone's life.  :yourock:

Wish you the very best! 

*

Jdog

  • Member
  • 974
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 03:03:12 AM »
Thanks, Shearwater.  I wish you the very best also.

*

zeekoctane

  • Member
  • 14
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2019, 10:09:39 PM »
I do not know your entire story but can relate. I have always wanted to teach but was afraid of my emotional state. 2 years ago I decided I needed to do it for me and am now in my last semester of classes. I am both very excited and nervous about student teaching. When I see a troubled youth or read a certain book I have to stop and try and control my emotions. I don't know how it will work but I must try. I must succeed. For myself. For my family. I am trying to take control instead of it controlling me.

*

Jdog

  • Member
  • 974
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2019, 02:14:07 AM »
I hope that you will find a comfort zone within your future career and can have a wonderful adventure.  The need for new teachers is very great and you do sound determined.

I wish you the very best in your career and in your continued healing from cptsd.

*

Yipeee

  • Member
  • 11
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming a Theacher with CPTSD?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2019, 10:04:14 PM »
Dear Shearwater

I second Jdog's approach for you to consider becoming a teacher if it is really something you feel is for you!!  :thumbup:

To be aware that there will be challenges you will face. Like in any job but with CPTSD there are certain things that require the right support in place I have found.  :grouphug:

I teach at a university, which being in a part time role has given me the needed emotional space to do this. So my hat goes off to full time teachers. Although I would take a full time position if offered as I do love my job and working with students!

As I've found that benefits from the very challenges of working as a  teacher with CPTSD have provided me with the very rewards that I had not envisaged. Particularly standing in front of large groups of students has helped me overcome a lot of related inner/outer critic stuff and has helped me exponentially with confidence issues. This in turn has helped me overcome feelings of helplessness related to what many people struggle with in CPTSD.

To give you a realistic picture, this has not been without having to push through floods of tears on the street before giving lectures! and dreadful spirals of anxiety, shame and self doubt!  :'( But this has all diminished over the years with practice to almost zero, as I have worked through a lot of CPTSD related issues. Plus with the support of my T, here, and through other sources.


I think as you have asked about how you would cope here, it shows you are already putting support in place and asking for it! If it helps, having the right support in place has been vital I have found. Also for me in recognising that I need support. Which I have worked on with my T over the years, and in developing back the trust in authority figures from damage in my FOO and to now ask for advice, particularly from my boss where I teach. This has been a vital learning curve, and a valuable relationship I have developed!

As (like jdog) the most challenging aspect I have had to face has also been in having weak boundaries, which as a result I have unfortunately attracted some unsavory colleagues and awful behavior directed towards me.  :stars: Which has been really distressing. and the reason I have wanted to leave many times. But I have kept going, which with my T help I've been able to work through things, and developed healthier boundaries, and ways of coping. In this sense, ironically this has really helped me fast track strengthening myself!
So over the last five years I've been trying to un-attract the wrong type of behaviors. Which I am pleased to say things have got much better.

My strength as a teacher again like jdog is that I have a deep sense of empathy for students also. A lot seem to come to me because I am a good listener and validate them as individuals! In a system which seems to value group identity over individual sovereignty! Which is really confusing for them at this age.


The subject area I teach in luckily I am also able to incorporate research and theories relating to creativity, trauma and therapy which comes out of what I struggle with and CPTSD issues and research. So my job has helped me look at things which are important to me and which I have turned into positives. My bosses also seem to value that I have an authentic and genuine approach in an environment which really is mostly competitive, where the values of care are not truly  at the forefront in peoples interactions. I have learnt to find those that are kind, authentic, and feel like they care! This simply helps develop meaningful relationships

So I wish you and Zeekoctane all the best with your journies!!! & would be delighted to share more with you if it helps!

Best Wishes