(R): Photo by Neil Woodwards
Dear High School Teacher,
I clearly remember when you told me to quit changing things. To quit making extensions on assignments that were 'simple' just because I couldn't keep up with the class and preparation work of the assignment. I may have forgotten what the other things you said, but I haven't forgotten about how you made me feel. I felt my last two years of high school was a living hell. I did not understand why my other teachers were so understanding and focused on my strengths than weaknesses, but you couldn't do that. You picked out my weaknesses, and I felt you magnified them.
But thanks to you, and when you said, "Suzanne, you need to quit changing things", I believe it has more importantly impacted on my life in a positive way. Thank you for saying that. Thank you for pointing out for something that I thought was to no degree helpful at the time, has become so meaningful to me almost a decade later.
Confidence in oneself doesn't happen overnight - in one's flaws, imperfections, weaknesses. Learning to use those weaknesses, and turn it into your own strength will take days of mental training, weeks of hard work, and years of maintaining. In high school even though I felt I was the most 'unattractive' girl of all - I was shy, quiet and never learnt to disagree with anything. I wanted to be different, I wanted to change things - especially in myself, in my behaviours and my interaction with people. So I went on to pageantry, modelling, fashion to build confidence in networking as well. And it's been interesting, even though I don't participate in pageants/modelling anymore.
Mental Health Resources
1800 737 732 24/7 National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence & Counselling Service. I have called this service several times for the rape trauma I faced in the past. This is a very wonderful service, and although I have only used the telephone counselling service several times, the qualified professionals were always very compassionate and helpful. It helps to have a pen and notebook ready before calling, as they tend to give good, practical tips on how to manage the problem you're having at the time. Highly recommend this service.
13 11 14 Lifeline - Available 24/7. I noticed the times I was in distress and called, the calls were confined to a maximum of half an hour or so. It's good to know someone who can listen. This is a free dial
Acute Care Team (24hr QLD Mental Health Support)
1300 642 255 (also known as 1300 MH CALL) - I use this service as an existing patient with the PAH Mental Health teams as I was an in-patient at the hospital. You have the option to speak with a Mental Health Clinician. I found the clinicians generally helpful. I have a long history with the hospital, and they can easily bring up my file - as long as I say who I am. Sometimes I use this line to check on my future appointments with the team.
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