I've never been so moved by a posting here as I was by yesterday's writer who wrote the chilling and sad piece, I've Done It To Myself.
I have mixed feelings about this site, but when I see something like that, I see that RYS can do a lot of good. Where else could that writer say those things and be really heard and understood? His fear and discouragement just jump off the page, and I must confess I know how he feels.
I wish I could reach out to him and tell him that others feel that way. I, in fact, went through the same self-doubt, and the same self-loathing, and I can tell him that there is light and air on the other side.
Once I realized I'd done nothing but try to please everyone else - and never myself - I took over my own life again. I stopped worrying about bowing down to my students, stopped worrying about scraping apologetically around my superiors. I did what I'd been trained to do, and if it wasn't good enough, I didn't care.
I'm lucky. I have a husband who loves me, two grown children who live near enough to visit once in a while, and a dog named Ricardo who I take for long walks in the woods. And now I go to work feeling confident. Confident that I'm doing what I know is right, and unworried about what others think. They, I assume, have their own problems. Let them worry about that. I'm fine.
I feel younger, lighter, and better about the world and my teaching.
It wasn't like flipping a switch. I got just as low as yesterday's writer. I felt the same way. And at some point I said, "Enough!"
To you, my brother in arms, I hope your realiztion will be something that will save you. Your life has not been wasted. It is never too late to stand up.