I just can't get over it...

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by ziploc_bag, Oct 18, 2010.

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  1. ziploc_bag

    ziploc_bag Active Member

    One of my favorite teachers in high school has this thing every year where past students come to talk to current students about what college is like. I went to it for the past 4 years since I left high school. I did it mostly because I wanted to see him again. I wanted to talk to him, because I felt like I trusted him. I admired him and looked up to him as a teacher, and while he and I didn’t have that special student-teacher bond that some of the other students had, there were moments where he genuinely noticed me and expressed concern for me, something that my other teachers had never considered doing, seeing as I was a straight-A student, quiet, and never caused much trouble. He knew something was up though with how stressed I was with my parent’s divorce and custody battles and whatnot, and he would ask me if I was okay. He was an all-around cool teacher, and I loved being in his class. At the end of my senior year, he gave me a hug and some advice.

    Since then I kept coming back for the annual thing he holds for his students. Each time I would feel like I’d come there so me and him could “bond” a bit but each time I was the same timid and quiet kid I was in high school, even if I had things I wanted to ask him about teaching or life. During my third visit one year I was so disappointed with not having opened up, I sent him an email later that day, spilling my guts and confiding in him some of my struggles with depression, which I had never shared with anyone else. I did it because I was feeling pretty low at the time, and I needed someone I could trust to help me get some help.

    He responded and told me to come to meet him the next day. When I got there that day, he told me that he wasn’t sure what made him check his email, because he almost never gets around to it, but he did and was glad I wrote. We talked about those issues a bit and he suggested that it was time we told my dad about my problems. He helped me by calling my dad for me, and that was the first step toward my getting help with depression. He helped me so much in that small way. At the end of the day, he gave me a big hug, and a kiss on the forehead as a kind of, “please take care of yourself” and sent me on my way.

    The next year I went back, I wanted to talk to him about teaching, since that is a career I am pursuing. I had a brief opportunity, but we got interrupted by some other visiting students who started talking to him. We had also started talking about my struggles in school and he asked me how I was doing, but yeah, we got interrupted for quite some time. I realized most of the class periods he had free time were up, so as we were all headed back to his class, I grabbed my things and silently left the school without saying goodbye, because I was feeling the same awkward, anticlimactic, nostalgic shame of shyness and general depression. I wrote him another email that night.

    I told him it would be another long email. I wanted to express to him all of my conflicting feelings about habitually coming back year after year, never finding closure. I wanted to express to him that all I really wanted to do was to make him proud, even though he wasn’t my dad, which is a feeling I don’t quite understand. I wanted to express to him how I admired him as a teacher, and how he inspired me partly to become a teacher. I wanted to express to him my thanks for helping me with my depression, and my longing to have him as a kind of mentor—likewise, the shame of electing him as my mentor without his will involved. I felt, and still do feel, a swarm of conflicting emotions whenever I think about him, the things he’s said to me, and the times I’ve spent in his classroom.

    As a result of the email, he responded saying, “Hey, I was thinking of you driving home and I thought to check my email and I'm glad you wrote. I would love to talk and I appologize for things getting cut off by the boys. I did not think we would have company for the 3rd hr lunch. Let me know if your around in the new year and we will get together and talk.”

    I told him it would probably be impossible for me to get to my hometown in the future, so I asked if we could talk via phone or email. He agreed to phone and asked for my number and some times I was available so he could call me.
    I waited a week, and nothing happened. Then I got a phone call that was left on my boyfriend’s voicemail (because I didn’t have a cell at the time and gave him his number) that said, “I’m calling for XXXXXXXXX, if this is the right number, tell her that I haven’t forgotten about her, and that I will be in touch with her in the future.”

    It has been months since that phone call, and still nothing.

    I tried to email him, sometimes apologizing for my email, and sometimes just saying stuff like, “hey, I was wondering if we could talk about teaching”. I only got one response after I emailed him in a really upbeat mood, telling him that I was sure that I could kick ass someday. He said, “Glad to hear some ass will be kicked. I'm currently in class and suppose to be watching a kids digital storybook. Look what you have to look forward to.” I asked him for some clarification, and he told me he was taking a summer class at the time. And I told him about my teaching for this semester and I got nothing back. I haven’t heard from him for a few more months after that.

    I feel so conflicted about this whole thing. Part of me thinks that I have fucked up any possibility of having him as like my mentor or at least as a colleague, and my mind jumps to the conclusion that clearly I have scared him off with my depression stuff. Part of me knows that he is a caring guy, really does care about his students, and once told me, “you will always be my student, and my teacher.” Part of me thinks that since I’ve fucked it up, he is just ignoring me because he is pissed off or annoyed with me or something, but part of me thinks I am being too paranoid, that he probably forgot about the email, or he never checks his email so he didn’t get most of mine, or he is too busy with teaching in general (as I am finding is the case with teaching, it takes a lot of free time away.) Part of me wants to move on and if I get the chance to talk with him, forget about that lengthy email and strictly talk about teaching. But the other side of me still wants closure, wants to know what his thoughts were about it, and if he has any advice.

    I am so conflicted and confused about it. I have tried talking with others whom I trust, and most of them tell me to just “get over it” or “let it go”. But it’s hard. There are so many unanswered questions, and it is important to me. It is hard to just let go.

    So if you have any advice, that would be great. If it’s just to “let it go” know that I have heard that before, and I would appreciate some advice just on how exactly I can let it go. I need to heal, I know that, and I am working on finding a counselor. But for now, this eats at me, many days.
  2. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    It is understanding that you are feeling this way since he is giving you conflicting signals...maybe he does not know what to do and cannot find a comfortable boundary with you...you did nothing wrong and should use this example as a way to find another person with whom you can have a relationship...keep the channels of communication open and use your time to embetter yourself...you have no control here and that is also very difficult...J
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