Wednesday, 20 January 2016

It's Never What You're Expecting

A few days ago, I was re-reading my first blog post, and I realized I barely touched on what happened to me. I was in a bad spot there, and I couldn't handle saying everything that happened to me. I've decided that I'll tell you exactly what happened to me, the full truth.

So, quick trigger warning: Verbal abuse and emotional abuse

I remember first going to meet my grade six teacher, it was, what, maybe a few weeks before summer ended? I don't know, my sense of time during those months is extremely messed up, what was a few months feels like years. Now, when I first met my teacher, I passed him off as odd, maybe a bit eccentric, even. I figured he'd be an okay teacher, I figured it would just be school as usual. We all know how wrong I was to think that.

The first few weeks were fine, just as I'd expected it was school as usual. I don't remember when exactly it all started, but one of the first memories was getting kicked out of class. I forgot to do a few homework questions, so the teacher kicked me out while the class took up answers. I was sent to sit on a bench in front of the main office, and I was there for a good twenty to forty minutes. Finally, someone came to bring me back to class.

 "Sorry, the teacher forgot where he sent you to finish you're work". Yeah right. I was in the most obvious place to look, and no matter where you were walking, you were bound to pass me. I missed the lesson for the math work we were doing that day. I was left scrambling to figure out what we were doing. Of course, at that time, I thought nothing of it, it was an accident of course.

After that, I failed the math unit we were doing. I don't remember why exactly, but it was probably a combination of fear, being unable to concentrate, and missing most of the instructions. Of course, I told my mom that I was failing the math unit, but the report card that got sent home said I was getting all A's and B's, when in reality, I was scraping by with D's and F's.

 On parent teacher interview day, my mom asked my teacher how I was doing in math. "Micah's doing great in math, she's really good at it, she picks it up really quickly." I UNDERSTOOD NONE OF THE WORK AND I WAS FAILING. HE FLAT OUT LIED TO MY MOM. She tried to have it so that the EA taught me in the school's resource room, but I guess the teacher got to her first, because to be brutally honest, they didn't do shit. She ignored me most of the time, and only occasionally helped me out, and when she helped, it was "Micah, it's length times width" or "It's length times width times height, Micah".

My mom resorted to trying to teach me herself, but by then, I was too terrified of the math and being taken into the hall and yelled at. To this day, I can't remember if I was ever taken into the hall and yelled at, and I can't completely recall everything that happened during that time. My brain seems to think the forgetting helps. 

The teacher would take students into the hall and yell and scream at them, and the gifted class that was across the hall would just laugh and make fun of anyone who got yelled at. They were all horrible people, every single person in that class. 

English went okay, but even then, I was still just barely managing to pass that. I bought one of the books we read in that class, and I can't read it anymore for fear of flashbacks and panic attacks. I have a few memories of History, it was nothing special, and I have one or two vague memories of science class.

Now, in some ways I'm glad I can't remember everything that happened to me, but in other ways, it terrifies me to even think about what I've possibly forgotten. I honestly have no idea if I was one of those unfortunate people screamed at in the hallway, and the not knowing is a horrid feeling.

I can remember him shaming me and him gloating and bragging as well. Not happy memories. The memory that sticks in my head the most was from when my mom didn't realize how bad it really was. Now, by this time, I was refusing to go to school, and I only went to school when my mom and I were picking up my work. The teacher always made it a point to come and 'chat' (read: brag and shame me). 

He apparently had a kid on the police force who worked for the canine unit, and got his kid, another officer, and their dogs to come in and visit and chat with the class. He told me "It's a shame you missed it Micah, you would have been there to see it if you were actually coming to school." and my mom responded with "See Micah, you need to start going to school again. You missed out on something really cool!"

This went on for a bit, then there was the meeting. The teacher had me write a list of what I didn't like about school, and I wrote 'school in general'. Now, the teacher kicked out all the board psychologists, and the teacher turned a blind eye. The people involved in the meeting were myself, my mom, my dad (I think?), my autism consultant, and the autism consultant I would be switching to. 

Now, after kicking out the psychologists, he wheeled around the face me and proceeded to tell me "What you wrote was a slap to the face" or something that like, that's the main part I remember, The whole meeting basically consisted of him telling me off, then eventually a tiny bit about strategies to get me back into school. 

Now, it was decided I would work in the office. I'm honestly surprised I managed to drag myself to school everyday. Every day the teacher came into the office to bring me my work, all the while gloating and bragging about what I was missing, and making me feel horrible. The office staff never cared, they just ignored it all. 

Well, I started refusing to go to school again, and it was decided that I would just sit in the office doing arts and crafts in hopes that I would realize school wasn't that bad. I spent my days doing these sticky Mosaic by Numbers kit, and listening to the office staff gossiping about their kids and friends. I stopped wanting to go to school, and my mom eventually gave up on trying to make me go to school. 

By Christmas break, I think she'd figured out that it was Verbal Abuse and Emotional Abuse. She never told me it was abuse, I assumed it was just extreme bullying and never asked. Before school started back up in January, I was officially withdrawn from the school. My mom home-schooled me for a while, 

My parents sent me to a child psychologist for a while, but I had no interest in talking, and I ended up playing monopoly every week. I was put into the public board not long after, and I started getting home instruction. I was put into an autism class for my grade seven year, I was officially one of the first students in that school's first ever autism class.

Life was good, and I slowly started making friends. Then in grade eight, I had my first relapse. It was mid November, and we'd just gotten back from a week-long trip to Florida. I was terrified of going to school, and found myself trapped in the habit of refusing to go. My parents were upset, and I can remember that one night my mom said to me "We should never have gone on that trip because you just want to stay on vacation now".

I was upset, and, if I remember correctly, that was the first time I stopped talking. I gave my mom the silent treatment for a day, but I was back to talking quickly. Then one day, mid December, I was Facebook messaging some of my friends, and was telling my mom about the dream I'd had. I'd dreamed my teacher (who was dead by that point) had come to my new school, became principal, turned the school into a military school, kicked me out, and blocked me from being able to see my friends. That was when my mom realized that I likely had PTSD.

She had me take questionnaires and read about PTSD, and a few weeks later, I was officially diagnosed with PTSD. I started taking music therapy, but I broke down in the car just before my third session. I quit that therapy, then I tried art therapy. I manged the first session, but it was too unstructured, and I refused to go to my second session.

Then my mom started looking for equine-assisted therapy. After weeks of searching, she found Horse Spirit Connections. I've been taking therapy there for almost two years now, and it's worked wonders for me. It's the only therapy that actually works, and I'm comfortable enough with my therapist that I can tell her what's going on.

Grade nine went well for me, and my therapist had helped me prepare for that and helped me throughout the year. I was passing every class I took with an average of over 95%, and I had honor roll both semesters. There was one incident where I got angry with my mom and refused to talk, but she bribed me into talking again after I was silent for a day.

Now, not that long ago I was looking up emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and psychological abuse, I can't exactly remember why. I remember starting to realize things were adding up, too many similar occurrences to just be a coincidence. I remember thinking that it couldn't have happened to me because that type of abuse only happens in family situations or in romantic relationships, because that was all the media ever told me.

Well, after taking multiple questionnaires geared towards romantic relationships, I realized it was way too likely that I was an abuse victim. A few weeks after researching, I got up the courage to ask my mom if I had been abused, her exact response was "it was definitely abuse".  I had thought it would just be something new to know, and that life would go on as normal.

It didn't. I was horrified and relieved at the same time, I wanted to go back to not knowing. I've started to get used to knowing, but it still feels horrible. To this day, I can't read the phrase 'slap to the face' without having to change the words to another phrase as if I don't I risk flashbacks and a panic attack. If I hear the phrase 'slap to the face', there's no way I can try to stop the oncoming flashbacks and a panic attack.

This week's song:

I'm Not Okay (I Promise) by My Chemical Romance

1 comment:

  1. Well, that makes me sound like an awful mother. I'm sorry you felt like I wasn't there for you. I was trying to be encouraging but I guess I'm not so good at that. Now, we know that every year starting in November, you will have what appears to be a months long flashback. Of course we forgot this year because of your arm. Hopefully, next year will be a little better for you. You are doing really well considering all that has happened.