Monday, September 08, 2008

morning angst


I hate mornings. Not only do I have to face the day with eyes open, missing husband, and a household to run, but I have to try to help an extremely reluctant grade one student feel that school is 'the place to be'. Amid tears, pleading and screaming, she tells me that she hates school. It's boring. There are so many rules. That she doesn't want to be away from Briar and me for the whole day. That she wants things to stay the same. I am trying to be strong, sympathetic, understanding but firm that we give it a try. I have to fight myself to not just take her little hand and run. Maybe it's too soon. Maybe she's dealt with enough change and too much trauma in the last five months.
In her sleep, she clings to me like a tick. Her eyes snap open if I get up to go pee. "WHERE are you going? I want to come too!" During the day, the small things make her freak out. If I am not paying enough attention, she suddenly becomes injured and needs a hug. I know it sounds to some as if she is 'controlling' the situation or manipulating me. I see a child who is scared. Nervous. Insecure. A little one who needs more contact, closeness and security. Maybe school can provide that with its' structure and predictability. Maybe home is where she'll find the nurturing enviroment to serve as a balm to her injured little heart.
I spoke to the principal. He was empathetic and provided me with a couple of school resources that may help. But he also said that it was very soon for a child who has dealt with such a traumatic experience to be at school. The guidance counsellor was very kind. She will be looking for a permanent school counsellor for Liv to speak with. She said that I should try for a couple of weeks for Liv to get over her discomfort. Damn, I wish Jeff was here to help with this decision.

10 comments:

Danielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn said...

I wish I had the healing powers of E.T. I recently watched that movie again and it would be so great if all parents had E.T.'s little red finger that could magically heal things and make them better.
Change is many things. Often good, but when it is coupled with several traumatic and stressful situations things together, it can be too much to deal with. Perhaps starting a new school with a new language is too much for Liv right now. Is it possible she could join Krista's homeschool group for the year? (I saw that she was another commentor that lives near you.) Then maybe Liv would experience a little more continuity and familiarity in her life. When you wrote about her sticking to you like a tick at night and her freaking out if you got up to go to the bathroom...well that really got to me. I'm so sorry you all are going through this (big hugs)

darcie said...

Hang in there Jackie - it's all still so very very new ~ It will get better - it has to right? Of course she misses you immensly - it's a hug change for her, amd for you. Keep on keepin' on and you will all be ok. I just know you will ~
xoxo darcie

Kate said...

In the end, no one knows your child better than you do. It's good that the school is aware of the situation. (The school where I taught didn't even have a counselor). I think you are doing an amazing job of helping her to feel loved. Maybe once she realizes that you are there every day and that she goes to school every day, the routine itself will become comforting. Maybe that's all bullshit. I have no idea, but I'm thinking of you and hoping things get easier.

Neurotic Chic said...

How torn you must feel, Jackie...

My father did not die when I was young, but at age 5 we had a separation for about a month or two (job search in another state) and upon his return his mental illness had really kicked in gear. Severely. He was not the man we knew before in many, many ways - so in a sense I lost him. Not the same as what Liv has experienced at all - but a loss.

I had an awful time for awhile in terms of separating from my mom and with leaving home in general to spend overnights and so on. I think I had been rudely awakened to the fact that abandonment by a person I loved and needed could happen - though he certainly wouldn't have chosen to do it. I think at 5 years old I was terrified that the same thing would happen with my mom and I wanted her right by my side. Things felt so uncertain and unpredictable in life - I felt better with my touchstone by my side. This wasn't conscious. It's looking back that I see this.

I hope Liv is able to work through it. It's so damned hard to be a kid sometimes... And heartbreaking to parent our kids through crisis or trauma.

Alena said...

Hi Jackie -
Just wanted to say that I am thinking of you and Olivia and hoping that this transition gets better for you both soon!

13mimosa said...

I'm so sorry that Liv isn't enjoying it more yet, it's so upsetting for everyone, most of all for you trying to be strong for you both. It sounds like the teachers are being supportive of your, which is at least reassuring. I guess you can only try for a little longer and see if it improves. I wish I had more constructive advice to give you, instead of just trying to be supportive.

PB and Jazz said...

Jackie,

I am so happy some of us Creeps are helping some. I think you are doing a great job. Talking to the school administration and counselors are awesome ideas. I agree with the others, trust your gut. You know your daughter the best. It sounds like the school will provide you great resources. I have to believe that will help. I am glad you are getting supported. Keep on keeping on, you are doing great by your kids!

cindy from the wv said...

I wish I could say/do something to make things better for all of you. Go with your heart, you know what is best. If you want to leave her there for a couple more weeks, then do it. If you want to wait another year then bring her home and teach her.

Alison said...

I absolutely believe that your child is not manipulating. A child who is manipulating will be happy a few minutes after you leave. Parent after parent has related to me that instinct really is the best guide. I also believe that sometimes we have to compromise on the needs of one family member to best meet the needs of the family. Try things, but don't be afraid to change your mind if you need to.