I originally wrote this blog three years ago but didn’t have the confidence to submit it. I have tweaked it a bit to take in to consideration the changes to Moodscope, however the feeling still remains.
Do I record my score or take the test? Therein lies the conundrum. Back in the day when we had the option, I wondered if anyone else shied away from clicking on the “Take the Test” button, preferring instead to ‘record’ their score? I also wondered why I winced when I was finally forced to click on ‘Confirm the date and take the test’ as there was no ‘Confirm the date and record your score’ option?
I mulled this over for a while and finally thought that I had found the answer. As a people-pleasing, middle child and only daughter, with an incredibly clever elder brother and a really artistic younger brother, I always had to strive to carve out my place in life.
As a result, my relative success in my exams became a big part of who I was. I wasn’t cleverer than my elder brother but I was better at taking exams! Passing my 11+, getting better ‘O’ Levels than my elder brother, passing my ‘A’ Levels first time, going on to gain my degree and post-graduate qualifications, whilst not being stellar results in any way, all contributed to my sense of who I was.
However, this came at a cost. Tests were always to be passed, and failing put a huge dent in my fragile self-esteem. Tests had right and wrong answers, pass marks and scores out of ten. Good marks resulted in smiles, gold stars and praise. Poor marks led to “See me” and “Could do better” annotations and disapproval from teachers. My parents didn’t complain when I didn’t do well, but I certainly beat myself up mentally for my “transgressions” and for, as I saw it, not reaching the required standard and letting people down.
So, as an adult battling anxiety and depression, I shied away from taking unnecessary tests, afraid of failing and ending up feeling even worse about myself, hence my trepidation about clicking on the ‘Take the Test’ button. Yes, I did want to track and understand how I was feeling but I didn’t want to give the ‘wrong’ answers and ‘fail’ the test. I’d much rather ‘Record my score’ as that was less threatening.
You see, even now I associate low scores with failure and failure with letting people down. My inner child still remembers the sense of shame and embarrassment which ‘failure’ brought me. My adult mind recognises that there is no pass or fail with Moodscope. There is just the gentle unpicking of why I might feel like I do today, in the hope that this might help me find a way out of my current black hole. And yet, I still wince inside when I click on that button, particularly now my comfort blanket has been taken away and I am forced to ‘Take the Test’!!
Is it just me….?