One, I don't know if this site is going to help and two, I can see where this site has a lot of potential for...self-absorption isn't the right word but I'm not sure what is. What I mean is, if all of us are in so much pain that we are willing to end everything to end it, then we want help with our own problem. Put more poetically, I'm not sure how much listening goes on when everyone is screaming. But here is my scream. Right now I should be getting ready for work. If I don't leave in the next 20 minutes there will be an exponential increase in my traffic time for every five minutes I leave after 5:30. It will take 30 minutes to make the drive. As I walk toward the building, the drum beat will start in my head. Worth-less, worth-less, worth-less, every footfall sounding to the outside like an ordinary crunch, but on the inside an endless litany of failure. I will attempt to get my classroom ready for the kids I know I'm going to fail. As I walk past people in the hall, I will smile and speak pleasantly, but on the inside I will wonder, "Do they know? Would they speak to me if they knew?" (The same thing happens when I pass strangers on the street. I see them walking and I think, "Can they tell I'm a failure? Does it show?" I bet I just look ordinary.) I might stand in line with other teachers, waiting to get my testing materials, and feeling like an interloper, like a wolf among the sheep, except that's not a very good image because the wolf is powerful and predatory. I'm more like a virus, or a poison pill. I will fold my arms in toward myself, trying not to contaminate others. The entire building might have a job as we do the mock testing, but I won't. I will sit in a room, babysitting a single non-testing child, knowing there is a logical reason for it, but still feeling as if there is an attempt to limit my contact to as few children as possible. I will work, and I will teach, and every week someone will come in and tell me why it's not good enough, and I will get a memo I have to sign, and someone will talk about all the interventions they have done trying to make me good at what I do (which I have been doing for the last seventeen years and often outstandingly) and then I will be told (without being told, because that would be illegal) that I am going to be non-renewed at the end of the year. And the worst thing is that I know they are right. I HAVEN'T done a good job this year, and the weaknesses they see are genuine. And I am starting to believe that all those good evaluations were just somehow getting lucky, like my stepbrother who has been a cocaine addict for 30 years and has NEVER gone to jail, despite the fact that he has repeatedly engaged in behaviors (stealing from his employers, stealing cars) that should have sent him there. So I know it is possible to fool people for a long time and I wonder if that's what I have done. And I look at all the times I have fallen short and not measured up and I see that there is something missing in me. Suicide is said to be a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If I was killing myself because I am a failed teacher I would agree. But I am not a failed teacher. I am a FAILURE. That means that were I to change professions, I would only bring my defects, my toxicity, my fundamental inadequacy, with me. If the problem is permanent, which is my abilities or lack thereof, then the only solution which makes sense is also permanent.