Posted in Uncategorized

down

My general Internet persona is usually pretty cheerful, or at least, that’s how I try to present myself. I don’t usually post much on Facebook, even less on Twitter, and my main blog here is usually just me gushing about the books I love. It’s easy to be upbeat when talking about something you enjoy. Until I started this particular blog, I didn’t have a place where I could really be myself, not caring about how I was perceived, just laying down my life issues as they come. I don’t think anyone reads this anyway.

I’m really down right now. Part of it is seasonal depression. I don’t mind the winter too much, but when it is so cold and cloudy like it has been the past few days, it is physically draining. Which, of course, makes everything else harder to deal with. Couple that with just getting through the anniversary of my father’s death, and it’s just a sucky, sucky time of year. I know it will pass and that I’m probably through the worst of it, but still.

I’m also really, really worried about my kid. She is having a very tough time at school right now. Her grades have always been low, and I try not to put pressure on her (she has inherited my depression and anxiety yay), but she is dangerously close to not passing this year, which means she would be stuck for another year in the middle school that she hates instead of moving on to high school with her friends. It’s more than just teenage laziness. Something else is going on in there, something that she has less control over. She just doesn’t understand what she is being taught. I don’t know why. The next step, I think, is having her tested for learning disabilities, which I have been hesitant to do because I don’t necessarily want that label to stick with her the rest of her life, but at this point, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t even know what that all entails. We’ve tried everything else. I’ve tried to help. She’s stayed after school with teachers to try and get help. We’ve had professional tutors hired to help. She sees two different therapists outside of school, not to mention the school counselor that has been trying to help us, and nothing seems to improve. Short of doing her work myself (which I admit, I have done a few times just to get teachers off her back and give her something to turn in), I don’t know what else to do. For her, school is nothing but a constant reprimand about how much of a failure she is, and doesn’t do anything to encourage the areas where she shines. It’s really frustrating.

When I get really overwhelmed, I isolate myself. It’s hard to talk about it with my loved ones because I blame myself for a lot of it and feel like they probably do too, even if they don’t want to say it out loud. It’s very hard to talk to my husband about this because I feel like there is no way possible he could relate. His son has always excelled in school, except for one moment in sixth grade where he just stopped doing work for some reason. He had to follow a very strict schedule to catch back up, but he was able to do the work easily enough. Even then, it was his mom who really took control of that situation, not my husband. She was the one who dealt with the school, dealt with the teachers, made the schedule and made sure it was enforced. Now, my stepson is excited about school, signing up for honors and AP classes with gusto. I know I shouldn’t compare the two kids – they are VERY different and have had very different upbringings – but it’s hard not to. I know my daughter does. She has told me that she is the screw up of the family, while my stepson is the good kid. I hate that she feels that way, but I can totally see where she gets that from. Just another issue that I don’t know how to handle.

Isolation. It’s comforting, in a way. Dealing with people can be overwhelming and stressful, even if they are people you know and like, but it also brings with it guilt. I used to be heavily involved in the local theater community, performing in several shows. I would always go see my friends in their productions, even if it was far away. One weekend, my mom and I went to see four shows in three different cities. This past month, I have missed seeing my friends in two different shows because the thought of being in that crowd, surrounded by people, even people I care about, sounds so exhausting. Despite that, I still see pictures of the friends I used to hang out with and wish I could be there with them. I feel so damn lonely, even living in a house full of people. I want more than anything to be able to lose myself in a show, to be on a stage performing and feeling that energy from the cast and crew. I can’t justify the time commitment, with all my daughter’s issues, and I can’t justify the physical pain I would be in because of my health issues. The last show I did right before Christmas nearly killed me. Before that, I hadn’t done a show since February 2018. It’s really hard having to give up the one thing in your life that made you feel good about yourself.

And even with all of this, I feel horrible about complaining. My problems are so much smaller compared to most people, but it’s really hard to see it that way when you are stuck in a vicious cycle of stress. I am grateful that my current job isn’t anywhere near as bad as the last one was. I have more time to breathe, plus I work with some awesome ladies. One less thing to worry about.

Anyway, I should probably stop this meandering ramble and get back to trying to be productive. If anyone does read this, thank you for listening.

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Posted in Thoughts

school

My daughter and I are very different in many ways, and unfortunately for her, also quite the same. She has been having trouble at school for a while now. Her grades are in the toilet and she doesn’t want to keep up with anything. Even when I have tried to help her with homework (at times literally telling her the answers and having her write it down, just to get it finished and turned in), I still get met with open hostility towards it.

This is completely foreign to me. When I was in school, I was a raging perfectionist, often to my own detriment. Just giving up was never an option for my psyche. I don’t quite know how to handle this, but if she’s not careful, she will not pass this year. We’ve had enough issues with her school’s administration – staying there for an extra year would be disastrous, especially given her emotional state.

We’ve tried after school tutoring with her teachers, professional tutoring services, and nothing seems to work. She has been seen by psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as her primary doctors. Nothing seems to help.

I’m not necessarily looking for suggestions or advice (although I would welcome it at this point). I’m mostly just screaming into the void so that I can be as calm as possible at home.

Posted in Thoughts

loss

Warning for discussion of depression and suicide.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My daughter is learning a valuable lesson right now.

We found out last week that one of her friends committed suicide.  This was a young girl, not sure of her exact age, but she was in the 8th grade class at school. I’m guessing she was either 13 or 14. While she wasn’t a super close friend, this was someone who had been in my daughter’s art class for the past few years and they had fun joking around together a lot. My daughter is also very sensitive, very empathetic, so this is hitting her very hard.

It’s tough to watch. This is one of those situations as a parent where you wish you could take away their pain and suffering, but there really isn’t anything you can do to help, except let them know that you love them. We went to the funeral this weekend and, while it was very sad, it was also very uplifting seeing these young people come together and support each other. Lots of hugs. Lots of tears. But that’s healthy. That’s the way it should be when you lose someone.

This is the first time my daughter has ever lost someone she was close to.

There were some family members that have passed, but she was still a baby and doesn’t remember anything about them. This will be the first one that she remembers losing. This will stick with her for at least most, if not all, of her life. She has spent the past week staring at her phone, looking at pictures and videos of her friend, smiling and looking happy. No one saw this coming.

My daughter has had her own issues with depression and anxiety, including suicidal thoughts. The school knows this and has worked with her as much as they can, although they can only do so much with the resources they have. She has been going to two different counselors for a few years now, which has helped quite a bit, but there are still underlying thoughts and emotions that she has a difficult time controlling. I think part of why I have been having a hard time with this (including being in tears for two straight days, even though I have never met this particular friend) is because I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if this were my kid. It’s terrifying.

What I am hoping is that, as tragic as this has been, that it has also shown my daughter how something like this affects everyone around them. She will understand why I get so worried and scared when she goes through a bad phase. Part of me hates that I am taking a tragedy that belongs to another person, another family, and making it about us, but I think that is human nature. It’s how we process things. And really, it’s all we can do. Whatever pain brought this young girl to do this, I hope that she is at peace now. All we can do is remember her and learn from her experience.