Working in school librarianship had been part of my identity for so long that leaving it behind has been traumatic, particularly as the break came suddenly and not in circumstances I would have chosen. After a period of depression and anxiety, I sought counselling and am now at the point of putting together the next stage of my life.
I am not rushing into any major commitments at the moment. If this is selfishness, so be it. I would rather be accused of selfish behaviour for a while than make decisions affecting myself and other, more vulnerable people, without knowing enough about my ability to sustain them and carry them through. I’ve found the last few months very healing and, rather surprisingly, enjoyable.
For a while my previous employer kept inviting me to come back in and tell other people how to do the job – well, on one site anyway. On another I was more or less marched out Lehmann Bros style, on the grounds that I was mentally unstable and a potential danger to children. That was immensely hurtful; I’d worked many hours to build that library up and I never even got the chance to pick up my things and explain the situation to work colleagues. With suspicious speed, an in-house replacement took over. I’m glad that someone who appears to be competent and enthusiastic is doing the job.
After a miserable Christmas “do”, when I was rather perfunctorily thanked and presented with some money in an envelope (a great contrast to the beautifully drawn tribute one little boy gave me), I was left alone and able to move on with my life. I still see the Executive Head of the Trust from time to time; he was a good friend and I thought I could trust him, but dealing with conflict was never his strong point and when others flexed their muscles, he threw me under the proverbial bus. I’m genuinely sorry to lose his support. In some respects, he was just too nice to be a manager. He was, I will always maintain, a terrific headmaster who had time for every child in his care. I feel sad that developments in the Trust pushed him so far out of his comfort zone.
But enough of all that. Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. Or other keyboards. I’ve changed the look of this corner, made it somewhat more generic and removed the header image of a school library that I no longer represent (Of the three, it’s the one I feel has been left in the best shape going forward. They begged me to return but I felt it would put them, and myself, in a difficult position, so it is now in the hands of a lovely lady who knows the school intimately and was a great help to me).
And I can’t absolutely promise to keep off the subject of politics, but I’ll give it my best shot. I’m growing personally and intellectually, I’m healthier and happier than I have been for quite a while, and I have a lot to look forward to. I’ll write about some of the things I’m up to here.