Tag Archives: anxiety

My experience with public school

March 20th, 2016

girl studyingThroughout my public school years I always struggled with teachers, school counselors, and just about everybody in administration. When I began school, I started having problems immediately. No one there believed that I had mental illnesses. I did get a 504 plan starting in the 3rd grade. It consisted of bathroom breaks or breaks in general without questions, but my teacher didn’t follow my accommodations at all. I had the same accommodations on my 504 plan each year and each year the school did not follow it. I was given a pass to go to guidance and the school nurse whenever I needed. Multiple times when I would go to the nurse, she would tell me I was faking and send me back to class.

One incident happened where I was having a severe panic attack.  I went to my guidance counselor because I needed someone immediately but she was no help. As I was walking in, she was ready to walk out. She saw I was in distress so she sat me down to talk – or so I thought. I sat down, then she said she didn’t have time to talk because she had lunch duty.  She handed me a piece of chocolate and left me in her office alone. I started really freaking out because I didn’t know what to do. I was not allowed to call my mom because the school didn’t want me to go home when I had a panic attack. I was scared and felt I couldn’t trust anyone. When she came back, she looked at me with a nasty look and asked me why I was still in her office. I couldn’t even talk because of how bad I was panicking.

I was diagnosed with depression right before I started junior high, along with the anxiety I already had. My teachers constantly picked on me for falling asleep in class even though it was my medication making me tired. I had one teacher yell at me and tell me I should go take my meds in front of my entire class. I was extremely embarrassed.

I was always a quiet kid but I started getting mouthy with my teachers because they treated me with no respect whatsoever. They would threaten to take things from me, send me to the office and, in some cases, they would give me detention or an in-school suspension. My teachers still didn’t follow my 504 plan.

My high school years were the worst of all. I tried a new school that eventually didn’t work out due to my mental illnesses. I went back to my old school. After years of fighting with the school, I finally got an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Even with an IEP, the school still did not do what they agreed to do for me. I stopped going because I was having a really hard time.

I got diagnosed with agoraphobia shortly after that. My psychiatrist filled out a home/hospital form, which is a doctor’s order that lets a student be educated at home. During this time, the school sent cops to my house, filed a CHINS on me and called the Department of Children and Families. After being out for two school years, I went back for a short time to see if they would help me get back on track. The only thing they did was put me in a “quiet” room which was really the printer/fax machine/microwave/coffee maker/student file room.  Teachers constantly were in and out to get stuff or do something and would always tried to converse with me while I would try to work.

Finally, after doing all I could do to get the school to help me and listen, I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to leave public school altogether and get my GED. Being out of school relieved a lot of stress and anxiety from my life.

I wanted this blog to end with a happy ending, like most of them. But my story isn’t over yet.   I have big plans for my future and I won’t let anything hold me back.

G.G, a 16 year old youth, is our guest blogger.  G.G. enjoys music, the arts and has completed the intern program at Youth MOVE Massachusetts.

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Hope for the Future

October 23rd, 2014

RedUmbrWhen I look deep down inside, I find myself somewhat of a pessimist. Not just any pessimist though, an anxious pessimist. Anxiety girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound. I usually don’t watch the news, because I don’t want to hear about how the world outside my own head is messed up. When there are issues inside my head, it’s just that. Inside my head. My problem. When there is a war overseas, an oil spill, or a school shooting, it’s the world that’s messed up, and that’s not something any amount of meddling on my part can fix.  That’s the secret to life, though. Don’t meddle in outside affairs. Find your circle of friends, or even just acquaintances, who you can work with together to make each of your lives’ better.

Last semester I was in a program called “The Art of Leadership.” In this program, I got to spend Wednesday nights with fourteen other student leaders from campus. We did things like take personality tests, learn about ethics, and were taught to use our leadership styles to better ourselves. And, to my surprise, after two weeks my outlook on this world that we all live in brightened. Because this was the room on campus with fifteen people who were most likely to actually change the world. And, one week later, I came to the realization that I was one of those people. I can change the world.

Since that realization, I have seen around me the ways that we can all change the world in a little way. Every time someone smiles at me, my world is a better place to be. It is also better when someone compliments me on something. Anything. So, now it is my goal to change the world for one person a day. I interact with people at school, at work, at the coffee shop, and even on the bus.

When I get down and begin to believe that I am just one person, that I am shy and that there is no way that I could possibly make anyone better, I fight back with a mantra:

From the beginning I’ve always been shy
But I knew that someday I’d learn to fly
As days go on and events unfold
I know I’ll someday change the world.

And, even if I’m the only person like this, I still will leave a legacy. I will change the world. There is hope for the future.

Patricia Woodbury just graduated from college. She is currently living in central Massachusetts and is still writing.

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