Breaking Free From People Pleasing: The Brave Burial of Expectations

By Sharon Hines

God's Brave Women - Sharon's Story

October 2, 2011. Sandi, the school counselor, was starting an after school exercise group with some of the teachers the next day. I planned to join them, so that evening I packed some workout clothes and put them in my car.

After going to bed I was startled when I angrily slapped a student in my dream. Shaken by how real it felt I decided I would talk to Sandi about it in the morning.

October 3, 2011. I got up with the alarm, turned on the shower so the water would be nice and warm by the time I got in, then sat down on the toilet. Just like always. But this time, I couldn’t move. I just sat there, frozen, staring at the running water. I knew if I stepped inside that shower I was saying yes to another day of personal hell.

When I was at work, I let my role as team leader consume me, taking it upon myself to fix a dysfunctional dynamic between the other teachers on my team. I regularly took up battles on their behalf that, in hindsight, weren’t mine to fight.

"I regularly took up battles on their behalf that, in hindsight, weren’t mine to fight."

Meanwhile, I had a classroom of twenty something Kindergarteners to tend to. Two of my students were diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder. Everyday was met with one or both of those students turning over tables, throwing school supplies across the classroom, and sometimes running out of the room. Unfortunately, I didn’t have adequate support to meet their needs. I never felt so incapable as a teacher.

The stress of my job was taking a toll on my health. I had regular bouts with gallstones and was extremely sleep deprived. Things weren’t any better at home. Between my declining health and spending what little energy I had at work, I felt like a failure as a wife and mom.