Photo: Lel4nd, Flickr Creative CommonsSomething came up recently that happened indirectly because of one of my personal failings. I'm not going into the details here. That would be unfair to those involved and quite unethical considering my relationship to these people. True, it's also unfair to even bring this up without letting you in on the details. It makes me a tease, one of those Twitterers and Facebookers who post vague references to personal drama without any details. You know they want the attention, but they don't want to give up any dirt. As for my issue, let's just say that I'm not a good disciplinarian. My strength as a leader always been in getting respect by showing others respect first. This made me pretty successful as a teacher with the worst of the worst when I was at an alternative school. I didn't antagonize them and they eventually behaved for me and not because of me. I've never been one to escalate a conflict and my ability to empathize and hear what's really being said keeps me from making some of the mistakes that I see other teachers make at times.
The problem is that Mr. Touchy Feely isn't the right person for every job. Sometimes I just need to suck it up and tell a kid to shut the hell up, in a respectful manner of course. It's for their own good in the end. This time I let something slide in the past and it recently grew into something I never should have let happen. It's actually settled now. No one was hurt or made any life-altering decisions, but if I'd done my job before, maybe it could have been prevented. I was too busy being happy before and I got to pay for it this week.
I don't even think of this post as being about what happened, though. I think this post is more about the fact that as I was lying in bed last night mulling over what I could have done and should have done, I had the urge to post everything here. I knew instantly that I couldn't, but it made me wonder why I so felt that urge. Was I actually one of those exhibitionists like those Facebookers I mocked earlier? Did I want to post here for some feigned sympathy from my commenters? Did I secretly desire to draw attention to myself by using the unpleasant experiences of others?
I really want to think that this blog is my way of getting my thoughts in order, but if that were my only reason, you'd think I would have just written it down at home and kept it private. That just didn't feel good enough. In fact, as soon as I realized I wouldn't post any details, my desire to write it down faded. Maybe I just needed to vent, to know that I had an ear or an eye that would just listen or read as I wrapped my head around it and learned my own lessons from this. Yet I told my wife the whole story and that apparently wasn't good enough. I hate that. She's always appreciated my ear. I'm a good listener. I've always been there for her when she needed to talk. I usually seem to be able to know what she needs to make things better for her, but I've never allowed her do that for me. Part of it is that we process these things differently. I turn inward. I want to process anger, frustration, sadness, and grief on my own. I want to be in control before I start to share. By the time I'm willing to talk, I've given her no chance to return the favor of what I do for her, and I think that hurts her. It's another character flaw to add to my list.
In the end, I'm still left wondering if I wanted to post here for less than honorable reasons. I've always thought of myself as a good guy. Maybe there's something else a little more exploitative, a little more voyeuristic in me than I'd like to admit.
I didn't even lock the comments to this post.