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Posts Tagged ‘teens’

For those of you who read my posts on a regular basis, you might remember my post from August 20, 2012 regarding my son and his ‘time-management’ issue involving his homework, being up all night, etc.  I resolved to distance myself from all aspects of his homework and only assign him a bedtime, allowing HIM to assume full responsibility for the results, either positive or negative.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time; the only solution that allowed my husband and I some freedom from the stress that kept our stomachs in knots.  We were done saving him.   I also wrote in that August 20th post that I would update you on the results of our non-involvement in a couple of months.

The ugly truth is, he progressively got worse; worse than we’ve ever seen him. He continued with the all-night work habits (he got up after we went to bed), the exhaustion and bags under his eyes were hard to watch, and yet, we were bound and determined to let him hit rock bottom if that’s what it took.   But for all the time he spent working (albeit, in the middle of the night), he was getting further and further behind.  He kept complaining that he had so much make-up work to turn in.  Little did we know that this was due to the nine days of school he’d missed.  Nine days?  How can this be happening to OUR son, who is super smart , extremely motivated and capable of getting straight A’s in a program that rivals most college courses?  A kid who last summer was planning on applying to Yale? He was damn near suicidal when he got his first B, and now we’re seeing D’s and F’s?? . . .  “And you’ve missed how many days of school?” How could we not know this?  Something is wrong, really wrong; something much more than a procrastination or time-management issue.  And to make matters worse, he didn’t care. Depression was setting in.

We quickly scheduled a parent-teacher meeting and I spent the following day calling every child psychiatrist in the book, hoping that one of them (any of them) could see him tomorrow.  In the real world, I guess that everyone who finally decides to call a psychiatrist needs to be seen tomorrow.  Four to five weeks was the soonest, anywhere.  No one seemed to understand that my son is having difficulty getting out of bed; he won’t make it four-five weeks.  Not knowing what else to do, I called The Children’s Crisis Center.  Wonderful, wonderful people working there, but I was shocked to hear that the only solution to being seen immediately was if he would agree to a 72 hour ‘volunteer’ Baker Act; the only way to get him help NOW.  Baker Act?  OMG, are you kidding me?!  The sad truth was, it seemed the only option; “Let us think about it, we can’t make that decision without some time to think.”

It was then that I had to stop and get centered.  For the previous 24 hours, I was on automatic pilot, calling psychiatrists like a mad woman, looking for a solution quickly.  FIX HIM, SOMEONE FIX HIM NOW. I had to remind myself that he wasn’t dying, even though it felt that way.  I had to remind myself that everything was okay, and the stress that my husband and I were feeling wasn’t helping him at all.  He needed us to respond logically, not emotionally.  He needed us to be strong and figure it out.  I was amazed that the anger I’d been feeling for the slow decline of his mental health over the last three years (what we thought was procrastination/poor time management) turned to compassion.  The poor kid didn’t know why he was having trouble focusing.  He couldn’t seem to start a project, much less finish one.  He says he spends the dark hours of the night staring at his work, accomplishing very little.  When we woke him for school (after he’d only slept one-two hours), he was a zombie.  There were nine days that once we’d left for work, he couldn’t muster it up to get dressed and go to school.  He was so far behind that he couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Two good things happened after we stopped responding emotionally and everything was on the table.  The first was a call from one of the psychiatrist’s offices that previously had no openings (a highly recommended one); they had a cancellation on Monday at 4pm, did we want it?  “Yes, thank you” . . . tears of joy.  The second was our parent-teacher conference.  They all expressed their love for Jordan and felt that he was an ideal candidate for the IB Program; to drop out in his senior year with only months to go, would be a crime.  They were compassionate and willing to give him incompletes, rather than zero’s for his unfinished work until we know what’s going on.  They’ll work with him and support him through this.  As we left the room, several teachers hugged me and said, “Tell Jordan that we love him and that he has a community of people here to help him.” More tears of joy.

Our appointment is on Monday and although we don’t have any answers yet, everyone feels lighter.  Jordan has always loved the relationship he’s had with his teachers but in light of his recent absences and unfinished work, he thought they had all lost respect for him; he thought they viewed him as a slacker. Now he knows better and this one factor alone gives him hope. 

I am humbled by the desire of everyday people to extend their hand when they see someone in need.  In the midst of my 24 hours of sheer panic, I poured my heart out to many of my daily customers at my job, frequently on the verge of tears.  Everyone took time to listen, give a hug and assure me that it would be okay.  Many had suggestions of places to seek help, business cards and phone numbers of professionals that had helped them or their own family.  An ex-deputy sheriff  connected me with the Children’s Crisis Center and took the time to tell me about the wonderful work they do.  Human beings are amazing creations.  We love to give of ourselves and when we do so, the law of cause and effect is set into motion; our own life is brightened in miraculous ways.  Being on the receiving end of the outpouring of love and help is a different experience for me as I seldom fall apart; I handle things myself.  I urge anyone else who is like me; someone who always holds it together, to reach out to others when you have a personal or family crisis.  It’s a humbling experience and I feel centered again, at least for the time being.  It certainly makes me want to pay it forward.  I’ll keep you updated.

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Photo courtsey of www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

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