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working within helping profession while recovering from relational trauma - May 4th 2021, 12:20 AM


So I'm an elementary school teacher and I taught middle school last year and before that worked as a direct support professional etc. All my jobs had in common that it is a human services field. I'm wondering for those of you who are teachers, social workers and other professionals that requires emotional labor and is recovering from abuse/neglect/bullying/toxic relationships how do you manage with triggers that come up at work?

This past week I've been dealing with a spike in kids lying, cheating, manipulating and blaming. This was very triggering to me. I also get triggered when kids say means things and laugh about it.

Another thing is dealing with judgemental, critical parents. It brings me added stress from the pressure to perform in a way that they approve of while trying to acknowledge to myself that realistically I am going to make mistakes along the way especially in my first year having my own class (last year as an apprenticeship) and these parents while it is natural they care about their childrens' education and want the best don't know what it is like to be in my shoes and and truly see how far I've actually come in my life journey.

These are different relationships than the ones that were the source of my trauma but in the moment the similarities make that distinction blurry and it feels emotionally like I'm back in time. Also because certain personality traits make me feel unsettled and part of my traumatic experiences occurred at previous workplaces.

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Re: working within helping profession while recovering from relational trauma - July 3rd 2021, 07:14 PM

I work in human services, and my latest job has had me working a lot with Covid patients, albeit over the phone. I have had some people who have been terrified or upset and it reminds me of the health scares my family has had over the years. I sometimes remind myself that if they're up and talking to me, it probably means they're doing all right for the moment! Sometimes I have to take a step back though and take a break between calls just to kind of process things. Maybe if there's someone else who can watch your class for a little bit you can take a walk or go to the bathroom just to breathe?

I've dealt with parents a lot too, although for me I can escalate issues to my supervisor

I don't have great advice, but I do wonder if you have found some things that help since this was posted a while ago.

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