The First Mrs. Rochester, reborn

…that’s me.

I reckon the poor lady locked up in an attic in “Jane Eyre” just needed some TLC and maybe some progesterone and she, like me, would have passed for normal.

I nearly blew a gasket this morning in class. I MEANT to deliver a calm oration reminding them that gum was outlawed and so on, but what happened was thankfully mostly internal. I somehow controlled the volcanic eruption that came boiling up like overheated sugar, and all that really showed was me raising my voice above my comfort level and getting a little red in the face. I felt my blood pressure surge as the accumulated anger, ansgt and fury of just about everything decided to have a party in my soul and what should have been a mildly sharp telling-off almost got out of control. In my head, I ran rampage with an axe, hacking bits of students, throwing tables out of windows and chasing my head of department with a Kalashnikov. As I felt the surge of blood, I tried to pull back and I must have done so because the rest of the morning went remarkably well; I didn’t have to yell at them again, and none of them were cowering away from me as I walked round the class, marking work and chatting.

But really, I felt dreadful. I’d spent about half an hour on the phone last night trying to speak to someone at NHS direct because I’d been having such severe chest pains I was really worrying I was about to have a heart attack. NHS direct were too busy to speak to me, because of swine flu, so I gave up and I guess it must all have been hysteria because I woke up at 6.30 this morning, and nothing worse occurred. I’ve still got chest pains but I think it’s just stress now. Walking to work, I would have welcomed a minor run-in with a car; not enough to kill or maim, just enough to not have to go to work and maybe get a sympathy card from work mates.

At break, I discovered my period had just started so some of the madness will subside, now. But the fact was that the students nearly saw me lose it in a big way and really, it wasn’t due to them at all. It felt like all my anger at so many things was just waiting for an opportunity to escape.

I need a holiday, I need something to keep me calm and stop this insane anger. And it’s just not going to happen any time soon. So it’s up to me to try and limit damage until I can figure out a better way to live with who and what I am and how I react to the world. An island of my own would be nice…

10 thoughts on “The First Mrs. Rochester, reborn

  1. “I somehow controlled the volcanic eruption that came boiling up like overheated sugar… I felt my blood pressure surge as the accumulated anger, ansgt and fury of just about everything decided to have a party in my soul…”

    What a great description.

    Over and over I find that I’ve reached my boiling point before I even knew I was on the burner. Somehow I don’t mark the little irritants that are incrementally rubbing my nerves raw.


  2. I agree that the description quoted above is absolutely precise and I have felt exactly the same way.

    What I dread about it is that lately I seem to totally lose control and I start spewing such malicious and spiteful words that I never thought I was capable of uttering. What’s more, that’s shockingly unlike my otherwise quiet and reserved nature(which probably means it’s mot my real nature). I always feel disgraced and extremely embarrassed afterwords. It feels as though some demons have taken possession of my mind and body.


    • I know what you mean about the demons, Shiona.
      I do sometimes wonder if this is maybe my shadow side showing itself and screaming like a toddler having a tantrum..
      I fear being violent when I’m like this; I’m a gentle soul and it horrifies me.
      But today, much better.


  3. I know this feeling very well! I am getting better at controlling it but at times I too feel the blood pressure surging to sky high levels!! These days I tend to leave my office door closed as I seem to develop tourettes when this happens!!

    When it gets really bad I usually end up beating the **** out of a pillow (call me insane) and afterwards I feel strangely calm..


    • It’s a good one; I like to go to the bottle bank and smash glass.
      I’m lucky as I have lowish blood pressure normally, so when it surges I don’t have a stroke….
      Had a funny old day. Turned up with about 100 students(two coaches) to a local and very famous church only to discover there was a big funeral…. whoops! No one in the office ever checks this sort of thing…


  4. Oooooh I haven’t tried the bottle bank trick yet but I like it!! When I used to run a restaurant & bar in a hotel with a friend, our stress relief on a bad day was to line up a tray of glasses & bottles, armed with a bucket of ice cubes and.. well I sure you can picture the outcome. I did miss the whole tray of glasses once only to break the light switch on the wall in half!! Strange how I still somehow see that as an achievement!!

    I am speechless reading that the people in your office didn’t bother checking if there was anything going on at the church. What exactly do they spend their time doing???


    • I assume they think that nothing ever happens there; it’s a first for me, I admit, to find a funeral there.Sometimes we’ve come when people are doing the flowers for a wedding which is nice. It was another bit of negaitve serendipity because I wasn’t sure at first if it was all over so I walked over and spoke to a chap outside the church and asked. Of course, it was the son of the man just buried…who was lovely and wanted me to come in and speak to his stepmother, who was also churchwarden, and he thought she’d be happy for us to come in…which she wasn’t….so I gave my condolences and my thanks and rounded everybody up and back to the buses. Of course, of the four couriers on, I was the ONLY one who’d ever done this excursion before or knew anything about anything..Hey ho.
      AS for what they do in the office, well, they still haven’t sorted numbers for August yet… I was getting worried as I hadn’t been booked to teach or anything after the 7th. I’ve now got something till the 14th, but it’s a one-to-one each morning with the father of one of the Chinese students….I’m quite pleased because adult one-to-ones can be fun but also, there are only four of us being offered this because we’ve done it before, and I suspect we get paid at a higher rate going on the last one I did.
      It’s got shockingly slack at school this week; last night at the weekly social, certain members of staff, including the Goblin Queen went and photocopied their faces and said copies are now on the wall of the staff room. I’d have refused to use the copier if it had been any other part… Plus people are late collecting students and so on.


  5. There is something about being in a classroom that defies description for those not having an “adult” experience of the environment. Those in the classroom, aside from the supervising adult, are still ruled by instincts, hormones and unconsciousness for the most part. There isn’t the same level of differentiation one finds (and expects) in the adults.

    What happens, is classic transference. It takes a lot of skill and self-knowledge to not get so caught up in the swirling mass of unconsciousness that is bound in the transference, that one “loses it.”

    It is enough to survive this without losing it for us to learn yet that much more about who we are. Well done for your act of surviving with dignity intact.


    • That puts it into a very helpful perspective, Robert.
      I’ve got a lot of boys in my class, too, who seem to be larger than life and need a firm but gentle hand to keep them from running riot.
      I’ll have most of this lot into next week so I am glad I set some boundaries as I’m feeling under the weather now. Swine flu has been diagnosed at the high school where I work and we’re all twitchy about it. I was quite ill yesterday afternoon with symptoms that have moderated but not vanished and I’m concerned about being in today but haven’t sufficient grounds for staying off.


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