These last few months were rough, like drag me and Hope through life kicking and screaming rough.
And then, the hassle hustle stopped. Just like that the stress melted away.
School ended last week, and we got a chance to breathe and I realized that this last school year was a doozy.
Hope started high school, rough by itself. All the academic gaps that she was able to hide became glaring. Her issues with executive function—or rather lack of executive function—manifested with a vengeance. Crushes, social anxiety and miscellaneous teen drama just made for a really hard time.
For my part, despite reading numerous blogs about how some kids who have traumatic histories and who have neurocognitive conditions really, really struggle with school, I utterly refused to accept that this might be my reality with Hope. Hope desperately wanted to be successful, and in retrospect I realize that she also wanted to please me. She worked as hard as she could with what she had and simply struggled, and it wasn’t until the last month or two of school that I began to really believe that something else could be affecting her performance.
How devastating for her it must’ve been to think she failed me over and over again. I could kick myself. It’s nothing but pride that prevented me from even considering that we wouldn’t follow a similar pattern. I am devastated that I piled on more pressure, more anxiety, more depression on to my daughter because I couldn’t bear to believe that she might have a problem beyond her control.
Although as the school year drew closer to a close, I did step my game way up in terms of advocacy and interventions, but I still could just melt away into the floor I’m so disappointed in myself that I couldn’t get past my own hangups earlier.
But, it’s a new day and I have another chance to help her and get it closer to right.
This summer I’m trying to keep the pressure light, give her lots of opportunities to be successful, to relish in that success and to help her work on developing the ability to say, “Help me please.” My girl’s pride is huge and she fancies saying that she can take care of herself. Ultimately my goal is to have fun this summer and to build up enough strength for both of us to go into the new school year more confident and armed with the tools and support that will aid success.
Today though, it’s all about grabbing some beach chairs and just chilling at the free neighborhood park movie night. #summertime
July 11th, 2016 at 4:15 pm
Friend, from the things that you have read, and the way that you help and advocate for Hope, sounds to me like you are an AWESOME mom! This is all very new to you, and dealing with a high schooler in and of itself is just, the freaking pits!!! I remember being a teenager, and if i had to parent a teenage me, there would be a lot of @$$ whoopings, that for sure! So, it’s all a learning curve. Be gentle with yourself as you learn to navigate teens and trauma and tragedy and love and light and learning! You’re doing all the right things friend, even if sometimes they don’t feel that way…cheering you on as year 2 of high school starts creeping up. Also, thanks for the “neurocognitive” bit. I had no idea what that was, and with Mary being in CBT and having a FULL psyche eval coming up in 2 days for her adoption, this might be something to look into a discuss with her therapist because we have noticed..things…like still at age 8.5 not being able to remember the difference between morning, noon, and night, or breakfast lunch and dinner, or a lime and an orange! Just random stuff…but yes…thanks for that!
July 11th, 2016 at 4:44 pm
Thanks friend! ❤
Ahhh, yeah, the neuro stuff is so serious. It's tough because I read the stuff and I see it in play, but I know that I'm the one who needs to change behavior. That is sooo dang hard. 😦
I've got so interesting stuff on my neurocognitive board in pinterest.
Check it out.
July 11th, 2016 at 4:49 pm
Following your pins!