I messed up. Big time. At work. And was called down to the principals office because of it. Now, it wasn't so big of a goof that I was in trouble, just I did need to know that I had done it. Simple thing, I had used a wrong criteria to send truancy letters to some students that should not have received them. I asked how to make it right and was told that it was ok, the principal would take care of it by telling parents to ignore the letter, it was a mistake. He then let me know, nicely I might add, the correct criteria so I didn't make the mistake again. He was nice, kind, and not at all accusitory and more than willing to take the blame with the irate parents. But I started crying in his office anyway.
I hate when that happens. And I hate why it happens. It happens because of you. Because of all the times in the last 23 years you have taught me that messing up equals failure. It happens because failure equals punishment. It happens because even though the principal and the vice principal were being kind, they are men and you have taught me that men cannot be trusted- especially when they are being kind. It happened because I have a job that I hate, because I have to work because I cannot trust you to take care of me and this is the job that lets me still be there for my kids. It happened because of all the tapes that run in my head when a man tells me I was wrong. No matter how many times I think I have erased those tapes, somehow you manage to put them back. And now I have to start the erasing process all over.
Someday, I will be whole and trusting again. And I will have learned a thing or two along the way. I will have quashed this facade that I don each morning as I go to fight, I mean face, the world. I will be strong and not prideful. That, too, will be because of you, but I will be the one that has earned it. And it will be mine and you will not be able to take it from me. And I will no longer be afraid of being called to the principal's office.