Monday, February 22, 2016

Bombs and Feelings

My interest in all things British began when my sister decided she wanted to travel to England for her 40th birthday.  I am going to tag along.  We won't be going for another year, but in looking at travel guides, I remembered the years of study to get my degree.  I took a full year of British literature and a full year of British history.  I thought I would delve back into my studies.  Of course, watching movies is a part of that.  Well, a few weeks ago, I watched the movie The Iron Lady about Margaret Thatcher.  Margaret spoke words that have really followed me in everything I do.

“Do you know, one of the greatest problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas? Now, thoughts and ideas, that interests me.”

Since seeing the movie, I realize my whole life is about feelings.  Living with an emotionally ill teenage daughter, I am bombed with feelings much like England during World War II.  I am in a war zone.  Today I sat at my desk, the first time in about a week and a half.  As I wrote my morning pages, I realized all I write about is my feelings.  They are not pretty.  In fact, I have felt myself being depressed this month.  I keep trying to claw myself out of the huge crater I am in, but I have been unsuccessful. 

Now, we have been living this way for a year.  We have conquered many battles and lived through even more bombings.  Right now, the bombs are being hurled in the area of education.  Madelle isn't turning in homework.  Grades are horrendous.  At first, I took this as a failure of mine that I had to fix.  Yep, a bomb went off in my face.  I had an emotional breakdown.  Madelle's anxiety and panic attacks have increased due to the pressure of me and the school.  I am at a loss of what to do. 

The school keeps pushing.  They want to know what Madelle can be expected to do in the classroom.  I have no thoughts and ideas.  All I do is feel.  I feel like I have failed raising my daughter.  I feel bad for her.  But, I have worked at pushing the feelings away by researching and talking through the feelings.  With help, I suggested some ideas of what can be done.  The school keeps pushing for more thoughts and ideas.  Yet, I hear no thoughts or ideas from them.  They are the professionals who work with kids all day long.  I don't have lesson plans at my fingertips.  I would love to say just give her this part of the project to do, but I don't know the project.

I could write about this for a very long time by including my thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences.  I will leave with a couple of points.

*I am caught between the professional educators asking for ways to work with my child and the professional mental health care providers not knowing what the educators are asking for her to succeed.  (Hello, I am the parent who is exhausted and feeling like a failure.) 

*Parents need someone in their corner to make the two sides talk and come up with a way for success.  (I am looking into advocates.  I will write about this later.)

* Most parents have no education in either field for goodness sakes.  How are they getting through this type of mess?

*Parents have a ton of other responsibilities.  We pay taxes to pay teachers.  We pay insurance to pay for therapy, medicines, and psychologists.  Where is our money going when we are asked what this kid is capable of?  I can't even get her to church or a full week of school.  I don't think I am qualified to know what she can do in a classroom. 

*All I really want to do is find a bomb shelter and hide until the war is over.