Mental Issues

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my son and his education. And when I do, I sometimes become very agitated and nervous, and begin to future-project all sorts of uncomfortable scenarios.

Since I had to pull him out of school last February, we signed up with an independent learning school, where we see his teacher weekly, discussing what was done during the past week. At this point, my son’s education does not look anything like it did a year ago.

There is no sitting down doing worksheets. There is no reading a book and then writing a book report. And when I got the *brilliant* idea to have him work with a tutor for math about a month ago, his anxiety became so badly triggered that by the fourth session, he completely shut down into panic. He couldn’t fight it. He couldn’t fend it off. It ate him alive.

It shows up looking like PTSD.

Any time his education even begins to feel like his past school experience, he becomes triggered. Like PTSD. For him, being forced to be in crowded classrooms with inauthentic teachers, and being forced to focus on work that was five times harder for him than for his classmates, created a soup in his mind that gave birth to several very painful beliefs.

“I am stupid. I am slow; and that’s a bad thing. The way you are treating me and what you are expecting of me is killing me.”

Because he’s a child and a student, in our society he is neither respected, nor valued as a person. Students are barked at to be quiet, sit without being a distraction, and do as they are told to do, when they are told to do it, how they are told to do it. Only if they perform, and perform well, are students and children in our society praised and told that they have value. Even with that, they are not respected. They are dictated to and trained like a dog, especially when they are young. (Yes, I’m generalizing a bit, but not overly so).

Children learn in school that their inherent value is tied to their performance. And when they can’t perform well, their self-worth plummets. They learn very quickly if they are one of the smart ones, or stupid ones.

Most of the time in a school setting, the only time a student’s input is requested, is when the teacher wants to gauge how many of the students are grasping what’s being taught, and how much is sinking in. Other than that, for the most part, a student’s input it not sought, and their opinions are discouraged. This is the system.

Once you get into the uppermost levels of education, for example the higher level college classes, this can change; in small classes where information is discussed back and forth, more than disseminated and expected to be memorized and regurgitated.

But at the level of education where my son is currently, the way our society teaches, what they deem important for a child to learn, and the way children are treated, does not work for my son at any level.

He struggles to learn when he’s one of a herd of cattle. He needs to work with either an extremely small group, or one-on-one. When he has less than no interest in something, forcing himself to focus on it, is like trying to thread a needle while riding a rollercoaster. Well, maybe not quite that difficult, but pretty close.

And being dictated to, with no respect or regard for my son as a brilliant and amazing being, can be soul crushing.

He feels the meaning behind words spoken, by tones in a person’s voice, and by the energy they throw off (much like his mom does). So, having a teacher (especially in elementary school, where he had one teacher all day, every day) who constantly felt one way inside, and stuffed it down the best they could, putting on an act that crumbled if there were no adults around to keep them in check, was hell for him.

So how do you teach a child who becomes triggered into trauma, and who panics and shuts down by anything that looks, smells, or sounds like “school”? THAT, has been the challenge.

I am learning about philosophies out there that say that people are naturally curious, and if that curiosity is not shut down or stifled, a child wants to learn all sorts of things. And it’s possible to craft a child’s education around something they get excited about. And that’s what we’ve been doing for the past several months.

My son has a lot of innate intelligence, and gets excited about a lot of things, not many of which are taught, acknowledged, or valued in a traditional classroom. The ways in which my son is brilliant, are not easily teachable. As such, you don’t learn them at school, don’t receive grades or certificates for them, and our educational system doesn’t value them. He has extreme emotional intelligence for one. He’s a great critical thinker. He’s very compassionate. He can be very funny and silly. And creativity explodes out of him.

personal-qualitites-not-measured-by-tests

As much as I know that my son possesses most of the qualities on the above list (and then some), I also realize that we walk in a world where being able to do some things fluidly and with ease, like writing, reading, and math, have value and serve a purpose. Several hundred years in the future, they won’t, when people turn on their ability to communicate using telepathy, and when we live in societies not hung up on money and time; one where people freely exchange things because of need, not out of a distorted sense of want and lack.

But we live in the here and now. And I have to figure out a way to make it all work. What I’m still figuring out, is how to help my son reach a certain proficiency in things like math and writing, so that when he wants to enter higher education, and when he goes out into the world, he’ll be ready for it all.

Some days, I’m ok; confident that somehow, we’ll get there. I have discovered a modality of energy healing that should help my son shift a bit of his anxiety and will hopefully dissolve some of the trauma triggers. That would make this road a bit easier to travel.

And then there are the darker days. The ones I struggle to get through.

As a mother, I have absorbed a ton of values and judgment from my society and family that state, among other things, that unless my child walks like this, talks like this, and can do this, he is not going to be ok in his life. I have internalized a ton of shitty and untrue statements, and they love to fuck with my head (especially late at night). They lie to me. They get my brain to run around in circles. They love to fuck me up. They love to distract me from who I really am, and who my son really is.

During those times, I try to remember to come back to the here and now. To remember that right now, we are ok. And even if my son struggles, he’s at a point of life where he’s changing and growing a lot. And who knows where we’ll be in a year.

The most important thing I try to remember is to breathe. Just breathe. No matter what, everything will be ok.

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5 thoughts on “Mental Issues

  1. I can relate to your post very much. My son is 13 now and there has been some improvement but just last week I got three calls about his “behavior” in the classroom. Because he can’t sit still and be quiet for hours on end. In addition I have found that teachers are often triggered by my son when they themselves have children with attention problems. I say “problems” because that is what they call them. My son had an abusive third grade teacher. After that it has been a struggle to get him to respect teachers or to trust them because of that experience and many that followed where he has been yelled at, stigmatized, singled out, sent to the back of the class sitting away from others, etc. It’s been such a stressful journey for both of us. When you mention energy healing I wonder if you are an empath, as I am and I believe my son is also. My son also had many of the traits listed on the “qualities not measured by tests”. In the end, the school system has always attempted to blame me for his lack of attention. It’s happened more times than I can count. I just want you to know you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My heart aches for your son. Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, I am empathic, and my son is also (in fact, ten times more so). I found that every year, I would start off my kid’s school year by explaining him to his teacher. First, it was sensory processing disorder- what it is, what it looks like in general, and what it looks like in my son specifically. Then, how to help him. They didn’t do much for a long time. I found out that I had to advocate like hell to get even the most basic of accommodations and a 504 Plan. In 4th grade, we got the additional diagnoses of ADHD, learning disabilities and anxiety disorder. I live out in the country, where so much of the attitude is “buck up and push your way through your problems.” And, “things like ADHD and anxiety are within your control if you’d only try harder.” When the SPED teacher wrote his IEP in fourth grade (he had one back in first grade and then lost it), all she wrote were goals; accommodations weren’t even put on there (as if they’d inconvenience the teacher), until I noticed and piped up about them. My son’s third and sixth grade teachers, and his first SPED teacher in 7th grade, traumatized him. And all three of these women have serious personal issues that run very deep in them (needing to be perfect, needing to be right, at all costs); and they have no idea.

      My son finally got to the point where the educational system and all of the energy of everyone he had to be around every day, was killing him. Killing his soul. Looking back, I can see that we needed a major course correction with regards to his life’s path, and with his complete shut down, that occurred last Feb. when I took him out of public school. (I’ve written about it here on this blog, and a little bit on my other one – https://mariner2mother.wordpress.com/).

      I don’t know if your son has a 504 Plan, but if he has a diagnosis of ADHD, I’d get him one and list a ton of accommodations. And I’d require all his teachers to become familiar with the website Understood.org. They have tons of lists and articles about what ADHD is, how it affects a student trying to learn in a classroom, accommodations to help them, and more. I find that the level of ignorance out there is astounding. At the very least, if your son needs to move around during classes, he needs to be allowed to stand in the back of the classroom when he needs it. Would having a fidget in his pocket help him? I got my son a fidget that’s a tiny pillow that fits in a pocket. It’s been infused with calming Reiki energy that he feels. But I think the energies at middle school were just way too overwhelming for his system, even with that. With puberty, his empathic abilities opened way up, and being as young as he is (turned 14 less than a week ago), he has no personal boundaries yet- especially with adults.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can relate to your journey so much. A friend of mine has a son who is autistic and she is fighting the same battles with the school system that you and I have. My son’s teacher in 5th grade insisted that an IEP was the right path for me son and that we needed to fight for it. I went along with it because I would have done anything to make this endeavor better for my son and for myself. After that they put him in a special class called “learning center” where he was required to go instead of choosing elective class. He saw it, rightfully so, as punishment. The learning center teachers have often been difficult to work with and it appears that their form of intervention is just more nagging, which doesn’t work and never has. My son announced he had ADD to his classmates after diagnosis and the school psychologist told me I needed to have a talk with him about what was appropriate to say in the classroom. Two years later a mom in his class told me that my son’s confession had helped her son deal with his own diagnosis. Fast forward to eighth grade and we now have moved from one state to another. The new school immediately wanted to get him out of the iep system, which my son wanted also so I agreed to it and went to a 504 plan. Truly I don’t know that there will ever be peace for myself or my son in the education environment. He describes himself as a monkey in classroom designed for fish. There have been so many awful things along the way that parents whose children sit nicely have no idea about. Along the way there has always a unspoken agenda that if I were a better parent, my son wouldn’t have these problems. I’m finally beginning to assert myself in these situations asking these teachers to work it out with my son instead of calling me to tell on him and then expecting me to fix it when I am not in the classroom. Middle school is brutal. I didn’t even know half the stuff that was going on in my son’s last school until we moved and he told me about it. One of their favorite interventions for a child with ADD is to punish him by denying him recess. I could on and on about the pathetic school system and how it has made my son hate school and the learning process.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You totally triggered me at your son being punished by his losing recess. When my son was in elementary school, his fifth grade teacher was great and he had a great year. But his sixth grade teacher was a nightmare. I literally had it written into his IEP that he was not allowed to miss recess. The teacher had a bad habit of punishing the entire class when one student couldn’t stop chatting (poor kid- I think he’s such a great kid, but definitely needs to talk, talk, talk) by withholding bits of recess. If, and only if my kid did something wrong, would he face any consequences (and they involved other things, but not missing recess). The thing is, my kid NEVER acted out in class, so no “consequences” were ever used. He’s not hyperactive, just can’t maintain focus on things that he’s not interested in, or that are tough for him to grasp due to dyslexia, or when he needs to shut down because of absorbing too much of everyone’s energy. While some kids explode, mine implodes. Taking away recess from kids who need to move is insane.

          I’m so sorry for your son’s experiences. It’s been because of sitting with clairvoyants that I’ve learned how amazing and special my son actually is. These days, I have a very dear sister-friend-mentor who is the most clairvoyant person I know. She was born that way, PLUS, she had a near death experience, plus she spent a decade with a spiritual conference circuit, and learned a ton about energy healing and spirituality. She can literally see energy and understands the workings of the world on the other side of the veil. And like you and I, she came from a childhood with plenty of not so wonderful experiences (to put it mildly). Anyway, my girlfriend has helped me to see the Master in my son (she can see it on more levels than I, for sure). And from what I know about my son and kids like him, they might not fit into so many of our society’s current systems, but they are brilliant Masters. They embody the qualities on the list in the photo. Their brilliance is in areas that often can not be taught, and there are more and more of them being born every day to help us (force us) to break out of old paradigms that no longer work, like our educational system.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you. Once again, I can relate. I finally figured out that my son was going to school for some 5-6 hours a day and getting constant negative feedback about who he was. Then he was getting the same from me. Because the school system had convinced me that there was something wrong with him, that he was useless, that it was my fault. I shifted my perspective to pointing out the things I saw in him that were good. And I listened to my friends who knew my child who told me how special he was. Now I see him that way. As someone who is gifted with those things that were on the list you posted. And truthfully that’s what I wanted from my child. I wanted to raise a child who is kind, compassionate and not afraid to stick up for things he believes in and I got that. So in this Mom-blaming society I can congratulate myself on producing a kind soul, even he wants to climb trees while everyone else is fishing. So good to communicate with others who have experienced similar things. It helps.

            Liked by 1 person

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