Scared of being a failure

I have a busy and mentally and physically challenging job. I have worked with special needs kids for 8 years and love it. Recently I have been through a divorce, my father having alzheimers and now I have been bullied at work. I feel so stressed that I feel sick, headachy, and just want to hide away. I went to the doctors 6 months ago and he put me on ads. I feel numb now and majority of the time I feel fine. But then my mind just goes and I have massive panic attacks and can't stop crying and am scared of doing my job that usually I love so much.

I just feel like I can't do it at the moment. I'm scared that my school will think I am incapable of doing my job. Just because I am feeling so stressed and depressed.. I feel like I'm letting everyone down

7 Replies

  • Hi

    You are having a hard time but the first thing is to accept that you should not be being bullied at work and can do something about that depending upon who is bullying you. Is it possible for you to make an informal complaint about the bullying? I know that's not easy but so long as you feel helpless to deal with it you will continue to feel stressed and cry. Divorce is always really stressful, have you had any support to help you deal with that? I know what it's like to have a parent with Alzheimers, it's depressing in itself. You have a lot to deal with. See whether you can first deal with the bullying which isn't your fault. You should not be bullied in the workplace, that's illegal. If there really is no way of reporting the abuse which in some circumstances there isn't then I would seek counselling help and assertiveness training via your GP so that you are able to stand up for yourself and bring an end to the bullying that way. Then you can begin to come to terms with the divorce and perhaps talk with someone about your father's situation if you feel that will help.


  • Hi there, you have a lot of stressful things going on at the moment. You cannot change the Divorce or your fathers condition, but you can do something about the Bullying and this will impact positively on your other problems. Please make a complaint, Do you have a line Manager, Go to him or her, do not let this go on please.

    Could you share the care of your father, as its a lot for you. So really you are not powerless, take action, and that will make you feel more assertive. You love your job, so why let a bully drive you out. Love and hugs.


  • I work with special needs children and adults as a passenger assistant, it can be stressful and challenging

    I have bad days too, can you have sometime off schools are usually very supportive

  • I have spoken at work. But everyone seems too busy to care. They say oh we only have a few more weeks and then all classes change again. I'm. Just having trouble keeping a smile on. my face for those three weeks. I will try and talk again , I just don't want to Rick the boat and make it worse.

    My dad is in a home. And is being very well cared for. I just miss him so much. As he has been unable to recognise anyone for about 5 years. I feel guilty that I don't visit very much but also when I do I feel like I can't remember the old him.

    Thank you for your words of encouragenent. It does help ne to see things clearer when everything seems so grey .

  • Hi

    I'm not sure what you mean by saying you have spoken at work. Have you spoken to the person who is bullying you or to someone else and what happened. They can't just be too busy to deal with bullying in the workplace, that is not allowed.

    I know what it's like building up towards the end of term as I used to teach in FE and it was madness! What do you mean by all classes change again - do you teach over the summer on a 3 semester rota then? If so then you need to speak with someone before the change so that you have energy to re-charge your batteries! If they do not take you seriously it would be worth writing down what happened and giving it to your line manager, with a copy to the person who is bullying you. Also ask for a response in writing and keep a copy of your letter.

    It's hard with your father, I imagine you are grieving for who he was. I remember when my Dad became senile it was very sad, but you can try to remember him as he was for you. I'm glad the home are looking after him well, that must take some burden off your mind. You say you can't remember the old him but probably that's because when you visit you have to shut down a little because it's so painful to see him as he is now, you haven't really forgotten him but have put who he was to one side. I wonder whether you need to really grieve for him. It might help to see a counsellor for a few sessions to share your really good memories with someone and to grieve with them, because it is a loss for you. Try not to feel guilty about not visiting as often as you would like, sadly he probably knows no different anyway.

    I'm glad you like your job - do you get enough time off to re-charge your batteries, and when you are off are you able to do something completely different that relaxes you, maybe gardening, or painting, or something else that you enjoy. Also you need some emotional input for yourself after giving out so much at work. It's great that you enjoy it, I bet the kids benefit from your enjoyment too.

    Try not to beat yourself up but do defend yourself at work or ensure your boss stands up for your rights.

    Take care and keep in touch,


  • I went into work and talked to the hr and my union rep. I have started the ball rolling but I still feel sick, scared and miserable. What if it is me? What if I am to blame? I just don't know anymore.

    Still couldn't face being in school today but I've at least let them know how I feel.

  • congrats on starting the ball rolling at work. i work in the same setting. When one staff member started speaking out about her own depression last year it led to a lot of other people talking openly about emotional problems, and made everyone a lot more supportive of each other. Clearly our local counsellors are working overtime, just from our school staff alone.

    In the care setting there is always that fear of letting other people down but if you know there is a day when you can't keep your cool then the best thing to do has to be to take time out.

    It is a stressful job and sometimes I feel like a stage actor having to put on a smiley face after a day of pooy bums scratchy nails and verbal abuse. We all have a urge to scream, luckily this terms' phonetic sound is aahh, great excuse to get to scream in a lesson!

    3 weeks to summer hols, enjoy them, recharge your batteries. Hope the management can help sort out the bullying issue before then. A

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