Something about going to my son’s middle school orientation has gotten me in a funk. I’m writing this to see if I can figure out why I feel hopeless and anxious (wonderful combination, by the way). Let’s see…
Family was in foul mood on the way to the school. I’d rather not go into the details of why on my blog.
We waited in the long car line to pick up laptop for my son. He wasn’t on the list, which is actually my fault. We didn’t know we needed a laptop til last week (our computer is dying) and filling out the survey a second time last week didn’t work. We’ll have to pick it up sometime next week (school will have already started on Monday, what the heck is he supposed to do in the meantime)?
Okay, that explains some of the anxiety. I don’t want my child to fall behind.
We saw my daughter’s counselor from last year. I didn’t recognize the counselor at first with her mask on. She asked my daughter if she was excited about high school. I felt all the memories come crashing down on me.
Last year, my daughter was having severe panic attacks when entering the school building, dropping to the floor with students moving all around her looking at her like she was insane, while she would cry and not get off the floor. Spending hours in her counselor’s office instead of the classroom. Her refusing to go to school and missing several weeks of school last year. Almost dragging her out of the car. Teachers spending hours upon hours helping her catch up with work.
Months on end of her agitated state. Refusing to go outside. In her better moments I was able to get her into the grocery store. Then she’d need to leave immediately in the middle of shopping with a full-cart because she’d look around with pure terror in her eyes and shake, whimpering, “Please get me outta here.”
“People are watching me. They are too close.” Having breakdowns outside to the point the neighbors confronted us. Telling me in every moment even at home she feels unsafe. It was never dark enough inside. That there is no reason for her to live.
I think seeing the counselor brought these memories, and all the associated emotions, to the surface.
Plus, the uncertainty of what the school year will bring.
My daughter took 3 high school classes last year in 8th grade and passed (amazingly enough, amidst all the turmoil and pure hell). We found out she has to take the classes again this year in the 9th grade as honors courses because she is a specialty program that requires honors courses for certification. No one told either of us this. I inquired with the school when I saw her school schedule and saw she had to take American History again. And it turns out she has to take the other 2 classes again next semester.
Shit. My daughter is NOT happy about this. Understandably.
Memories. All the hours going through her backpack with her. Sitting with her every day constantly helping bring her focus back to her work.
After several months of struggle last school year we got her in to see a child psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnosed her with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, and Dysthymia (a mild but long-term form of depression). The GAD has greatly reduced, but the ADHD and Dysthymia have stuck around. Yay, chronic mental illness!
I felt agitated myself and so hopeless over my daughter’s issues that (until her meds started to work) I had to quit college. And that led to suicidal thoughts.
This year is different, Quix. It is NOT the same.
I don’t want my daughter to fail. What if she can’t handle the honors courses? She got into this specialty school because of her exam and essay. What if she doesn’t do well if I’m not sitting with her refocusing her because I’m at work?
I wish I would have learned some helpful tips for ADHD students when I was in my occupational therapy program. Does anyone have any tips? Like, should she be listening to music while doing school work? Or organizing it in a particular way? She’s 14. She’s got to learn how to do some of this herself. I just don’t want to see her mental illness get in the way of her academics or future prospects.
Where does the hopelessness come in? I think I feel hopeless knowing my daughter will struggle with her mental illness for the rest of her life. And knowing I’m doing everything I can do and it still not being enough is…difficult, to say the least.
I’ve got to let go a little bit. Of thinking I know how things will be for her.
I’ve got to let go of my anxiety that my kids will fall behind.
I’ve got to let go of the frustration and despair of not knowing when things will get back to normal or if this is the new normal (“this” meaning all the things related to the pandemic).
And, in an unrelated note, but contributing to the hopelessness…I’m thinking about my 40th birthday and how I want to do something special, and am worried that won’t happen because I have no local friends. Only acquaintances I see rarely and not-at-all since the pandemic started.
I’d like to leave the state, primarily to visit my mother in New England, but I can’t. I requested two days off of work for my birthday so I can have a long weekend, at least. But I hate being at home. I do nothing special ever. I have to find a way to make it special. I just have to. Otherwise my birthday will consist of drinking myself into oblivion.
I feel like I’m less in a funk now. Now that I’ve written it out. Now I need to go distract myself with something stupid.