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Let Go of the Fears and Tears

I don't know why this is happening, but this former aide from my sophomore year of high school keeps haunting my mind. Thankfully, I am far away from her presence but who she was and what I learned from her will always linger.

This aide was as foul tempered as a dragon in a fantasy book. She got in my face and screamed at me whenever I took extra time on a math problem; erased my answer which did not help me improve, barely hid the frustration in her voice when I asked for clarification and everything I did was wrong. Not to mention, she would be sweet and helpful one second, then demeaning and berating the next. To this day, I still cannot comprehend why she was deemed qualified to help kids with learning differences, but the reasoning will probably remain a mystery.

I stayed with this aide almost my entire sophomore year, and you're probably baffled why I would. I'll admit that was one of my biggest mistakes and I'll own up to it. She was the only reason why I was passing a required but taxing math class. When I look back now at twenty three years old , I realize that I had every opportunity to find support elsewhere, because it was available at the school. As a sixteen year old, I allowed my own shame to cloud my judgement, because I did not want the other math teachers to see my weakness in math, and I was worried that most of them were like this aide. So as a result, I chose her over the possibility of failure, and remained in a trap that had an open door.

That only made circumstances worse, because the longer I stayed with her, the more this powerful hideous vengeance grew inside of me. I wanted to scream at her, to the point where she would think twice about getting in my face. I wanted to get her fired, and see that she would not get hired anywhere else. I did not care if she lost her home and everything she owned. I already had trouble with people back then, but never had such an ugly disregard for them, and she was an exception. To know that I had become so cold and vindictive damaged my spirits, and I hoped that something could lift me up.

That happened a few months before sophomore year ended, I stayed after school to get some homework help and I used a strategy that was helpful to me. However the aide did not like my setup, yelled at me, snatched the marker from my hand and erased my work. "It doesn't bother me," I managed in a calm voice, despite the temper that simmered underneath it. "I don't care if it doesn't bother you, it bothers me!" She snapped back. I don't know if it was her response that did it or if something else, but suddenly reality rained down on me. I was worn out from the tears, frustration and dread that plagued me. I was done with being something that I was not. At that point, it was better to risk failing math, because the circumstances would not get any better . I emailed my case worker when I got home, told her about the incident, and declared that it was over. I struggled with the math class the rest of the year I had some failures but learned enough so that I passed.

The challenge to let this aide go was a blessing, because now I realize that it is better to learn from failure, then it is to stay with a person who has the ability to help yet has a toxic presence. I never had to deal with a horse with a similar nature, but I can relate this experience to the two times I fell. Both times, I learned that it was better to get back on the horse and improve from failure; then it was to stay off and wallow in my own misery. If I had allowed that to happen, I would be on a verge of an unhappy life today.

I know that this was a heavy and perhaps depressing post for many of you, but sometimes a negative experience has to happen to discover a positive. If any of you are going through this or know someone who has, you're not alone. Fear of failure is completely normal, but please I encourage you to find a way to let it go. Life is too short, it's not worth it to be so afraid of making mistakes, that it makes you miserable and become something that you are not. Thank you for your time and as always I hope that you find blessings in all you do.

Warm regards,

Meghan.