Confessions of a Former Public School Teacher

Why do I want to go back to the most abusive relationship I’ve had in my life? Love. I’ve said that entering this relationship was the most difficult, yet the easiest decision to make. Yes, I ran in the opposite direction for years. I admired and held a deep respect for those who made the commitment. Their strength, determination, and self-sacrifice were unimaginable. The relationship I was in at the moment was not what I thought it would be, or should be. Yes, I devoted years of hard work and sweat. I was content, yet unfulfilled. I wanted something more. I wanted to feel that I was complete. So, I looked for something else. I searched for the thing that could quench my thirst. After considering my options, and dismissing this one over and over again, it finally hit me. This is what I’ve wanted all along. What I yearned for. My heart would swell each time I passed by. Yes, when I made the decision to fall — I fell hard and fast. Within a month, the courting began. I learned everything about my new passion in a whirlwind affair. We spent almost every weekend together. Eventually, I had to break it off with my current distraction. It was unhealthy and toxic, and suspicions were growing. I kept delaying the inevitable, trying to make the break up easy. But, in the end, there was a heated argument and it was just over. We were both surprised at how abruptly things ended, but we both knew it was for the best. I could finally devote all my time and attention to my true love.

After our whirlwind beginning, there was a little downtime. There were a lot of changes, and our relationship went through a lot of different phases. In the beginning, I gave my all, trying to prove my commitment. We grew together, trying to find how we fit. We went through many phases, but our love grew. I learned what I liked and did not like, and got a better idea of what our life could be like together. After a year of ups and downs, we made it official in August 2006. We have grown up together, and I’ve learned more about myself than I ever thought I would. I’ve done things I never thought I could. It’s been an amazing 10 years, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I felt like I belonged, and I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

Don’t get me wrong, there has been a lot of crap we’ve dealt with. People trying to tell us what to do and how to do it, who have NO idea who we are and what we’re about. I’ve been reprimanded, talked down to, cursed out, and even hit by those who claim to want the same thing I do. I’ve been cursed at, talked about, and straight up disrespected by those my significant other and I try to help. That’s what we do. We try to make the world a better place. We help everyone, with no respect of person — ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical or mental capabilities, family status — as long as they were between the ages of 3 and 21. It’s not all bad. Those times when I’m not doing paperwork (some necessary, some completely ridiculous) or sitting in a meeting (some necessary, most a waste of time), and I get to do “my thing”. There’s no greater feeling. To share what I can and help those that my beloved has sent my way. Even if 70–90% of my day is crap, that small amount of time when I’m doing what I love to do and being who I was meant to be, what I was called to do is . . . beyond words. That moment makes all the bad stuff worth it.

However, due to circumstances beyond our control and absurd pressures being put on my significant other…I ended our relationship, or at least put it on hiatus. I had to take a step back. I just couldn’t stand seeing what outside forces were doing to us. Those who claim to understand, yet have never walked in our shoes, get to make policies regarding what we do. To be torn down by society, politicians and “reformers.” My once strong and proud partner has been reduced to standardized testing. Our relationship used to be highly regarded and respected, especially by those we served. Relationships like ours are being called ineffective and harmful. We’re villified and blamed for everything wrong with this country. Other relationships are being held up as models of how it should be done. Those other relationships, of course, don’t have to abide by or address the same rules, policies and situations we do.

I stood by my partner as long as I could. I did everything that was asked of me, but it wasn’t enough. My heart was breaking, and my mind would soon follow. I just couldn’t go on. My partner is still fighting the good fight, having no choice. It scares me that those who fight so vehemently against us will one day succeed. Meanwhile, I’m still here and I still care about my significant other. We were great together. I think about it every now and again. Nothing else stirs my emotions like what we had. Sure, others have come along. I’m just not as interested in what they have to offer. More money, an hour lunch, no threats of bodily harm or mental anguish. That sounds good, but . . . I’m a teacher.