Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue.... is that even a thing?  Well that was what I was told that I have today.

I have been running myself so hard at work and at home that I am just down right exhausted.  This school year has been hard.  Luckily most of my students have been awesome.  They all seem to like me and I have had hardly any behavior problems.  As the school year has gone on we have had a lot of fights and drug issues.  I had a student suspended for two weeks for beating another girl unconcious.  The teacher I share on office with discovered two girls drunk and throwing up in the bathroom at 8 in the morning.
Last week I had a former student walk into my classroom and start sobbing.  I spent a good part of last week with her since she was so unstable.  On Sunday I got a call from another teacher (which is never a good thing) that a student had committed suicide.  I unfortunately have had to deal with this before and sadly it never gets any easier.  On Monday I had to tell my first period what had happen and then filter kids to the counselors office, answer questions, pick up crying kids in the hall and bring them to my classroom and overall just be sensitive to what was going on.  As the week has gone on it has been easier to deal with but there is a somber mood to the whole school.  Today as I was working in my office on my off hour another former student came in, sat down, and told me she is depressed and thinking about hurting herself.  We talked about depression and I asked her questions to gauge what was going on.  I never tell my students about my past with depression but knowing exactly how it feels and the various levels to it I am generally able to communicate with them about how they feel.  I walked the student straight to the office and talked with her and the counselor.
Physically I feel like I haven't slept for two days.  I am dragging and living off caffeine and sugar.  I was planning on not drinking for two weeks (that is a whole different issue) and giving up my 3 cigarette a day habit ( I know I know) but I am thinking that might be put off till everything mellows out.

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