It has been a stressful day. A couple of things happened at work that I can’t write about here, but the upshot was that I realised (or had confirmed, as I already suspected it) that work is triggering because common experiences I have at work resonate strongly with memories with bad childhood experiences of school and family life. I am not sure how to deal with this. One thing I can write a little bit about here is a couple of students who are acting very friendly to me, despite the fact that they are not the quietest and I have had to ask them to keep the noise down a few times. I am more than slightly suspicious of their motives and wonder if they think that befriending me will mean I am lenient with them or if there is some kind of joke going on at my expense that I don’t know about. This feels very much how I felt much of the time at school, confused and anxious that everyone was laughing at me.
Similarly illuminating are two comments on British Prime Minister Edward Heath seen in The Prime Ministers: The Office and its Holders since 1945 by Peter Hennessy. According to Lord Carrington, Heath was, “a somewhat lonely man… [who]… needed friendship yet found it hard to unbutton himself to others.” Whereas Hennessy describes him as having “the combination of shyness and defensiveness that can, in Roy Jenkins’ marvellous phrase, produce the Heath ‘affronted penguin’ impression.” I think the first quote describes me; I fear the second one does too, more than I would like anyway.
Uniting my first two paragraphs, to the Calvin Coolidge method of dealing with students, I can now add the Clement Attlee method: “A period of silence on your part would be most welcome.”
I think I just drama queened again on Hevria. I can’t actually tell any more. Mea culpa.