Mental Health

Walk Away. It’s Okay.

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Let me drive you home.” The mother of my Moroccan students offered.

Oh no but thank you so much. I ate so much I badly need to walk.” I sincerely refused in my broken German.

It is too dark and cold.” She is obviously worried.

Yeah but I will be fine. My house is not so far.” I said while putting on my winter jacket and scarf then headed to the door.

Thank you so much, Danica.” And gave me huge bear hug.

I stopped, smiled and hugged her back. “You are welcome.” And off to the dark, cold night I go.

As the fallen leaves crushed under my winter boots, I felt something else. I adjusted my scarf, vowed my head down and inserted my nearly frozen hands inside the pockets of my winter jacket. I keep on forgetting my gloves. It will take time before I get used to winter and the changing seasons. I took my time walking oblivious to the cold.

How can 5:30 in the afternoon be this dark? My head is throbbing, signaling a migraine but that worried look on their mother’s face keeps on flashing in my head.

She looked older than she really is. One of the girls will stay in the current school level if she will not pass all the subjects and for this reason, I spend most of my nights in their house helping her study. She isn’t dumb as the color of her hair suggests. She just doesn’t have interest in learning. I see my younger self. I was the worst student there ever has been and had I known I’d want to be a teacher, I would’ve been a good student and maybe that same worried look would have been prevented occurring in my own mother’s face.

I actually didn’t introduce any lessons today. We didn’t study at all. Instead, I took them out for dinner where the cool kids hang out: Mcdonalds. It was a bit challenging to seek permission from the Burka- wearing mother to bring these teenagers out but I still tried my luck.

Maybe being in their house almost every night made me worthy of her trust. Or maybe because I allow her to pay less than what private tutors should get. I just don’t know where to get the heart to charge them more when I already know how hard it is to make ends meet. We went to the Christmas Market too though I am aware that perhaps it doesn’t mean anything to their religion.

It was freezing but we were laughing the whole time that it felt like a normal sunny day.

It’s amazing how three people who can barely express themselves can still have fun.

I brought them to the gym where I go to work out. By the way these kids’ eyes light up when they talk and laugh, I can tell they just need a different approach in learning. These kids show that burn out from a young age exist.

Few nights ago, the mother cried and sobbed uncontrollably and hysterically. I can only hug her for consolation. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t see that coming. I don’t have answers to her questions as to what she needs to do with her kids.

First, I’m now good friends with her daughters even if I tried not to. Even if I needed to keep a professional distance. I don’t want to give them that feeling that I can’t be trusted.

Second, I don’t want to meddle with how she wants to raise her kids by telling her what she must do. I’m just thirty, single and childless. What could I possibly know? I’m pretty much convinced that telling her that communication between them is the issue was enough and she, as the mother, knows the best for her kids.

Culture is clashing inside their house and no one seem to go out of their way to explain it in a democratic way.

Third, I know I have been going out of my way to help. I feel there is a lesson I need to learn than I need to teach.

I am doing my best. I am giving myself. My heart. My soul. When I need not to. I can’t help it. It’s hard not to. If I do something, I do it all out. These kids should learn not from the mistakes I made but from the wisdom I’ve acquired from the choices I’ve made. They must be able to enjoy youth so they wouldn’t want to strangle fairy godmother when adulthood was given to them without so much warning.

I arrived home and cleaned up. I tossed and turned in bed and counted sheep in all the languages I know but I still can’t sleep. I have been overthinking again. I’m dreading the time I need to go to their house. Not because the girls are naughty but because I can’t deal with the mother anymore. I am close to stop showing up. Why am I even worrying about their problem? Why do I feel so responsible? I can only teach. I can’t be their mother too.

Few days after…

Dear Diary,

I know I promised myself and not them that I will not give up on these kids but I had to for my peace of mind.

I feel guilty. I’m a massive failure. I failed miserably because I suck at handling stress from too much complaining of their mother.

I learned to walk away from situations that will make me feel that being happy is being selfish and I will not give this an exception.

I need my peace back. Working for banks’ Complaints Department gave me a trauma I haven’t gotten rid of until now and no amount of money can cure it I’m sure.

When money issues arise, I ask myself why I kissed the rat race goodbye.

No matter how overwhelmed and giddy I am to be welcomed in a Moroccan household to learn and see how they do things, I still can’t shake the fear I feel knowing it’s not only the kids I will need to face.

Learning isn’t a spell anyone can cast. Progress can’t be seen overnight and being too strict and b*tchy about it will not help. The more that the kids will lose zest for it. It took me nearly a year to be able to somehow pick up the German Language so it will also take some time for the kids to learn not just English but all other school subjects.

To be a hired a private tutor is a big pressure. If the student showed no progress, it’s my reflection. It makes me a bad teacher which I don’t want to be known for. I can’t explore all the best ways of teaching when culture and religion are on the way. In order for me to learn, I need to remove all the limiting factors I have in myself. I needed to let go.

I wish I can make the kids or my other students perfect English in one month or better, in a snap. I wish I’m from Hogwarts.

I wish I have a spell for things lack of patience can’t cure. I will cure myself first for sure.

Diary, I am sorry that I am not sorry about walking away. I just can’t tolerate unhappiness. It’s not worth it.

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Walk away. it's Okay.

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This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

13 thoughts on “Walk Away. It’s Okay.

  1. Such a lovely post… it feels like it came straight out of your heart. Yes, sometimes walking away is for the best. And then let that guilt blow away, like all of those leaves on the ground in your photo.

  2. I can relate as a teacher and tutor. You want so much for the kids and you really do grow attached to them, but there is so much that is out of your control. I always remember that I must take responsibility for the things I can change, but I must also have the peace-of-mind knowing there is so much I cannot change.

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