OK, I’m busily transferring more of those blog archives from other locations, and have been focusing on some from about two and a half years ago, when my oldest hit a dark, scary, and unfortunately, very common place for kids who are exceptional learners: anxiety, depression, and thougths of suicide.
Here’s the link to the ADHD/Gifted archives:
I could have used this last week after I asked a coworker what made the guy that schooled him on the courts the night before “look like he knew basketball”…
you know he went there.
“Over time, our daugther has developed a kind of public shell she retreats into when others approach. She refuses eye contact, sucks her thumb and puts her head against my side, her arm grasping mine. How much of this sudden shyness, when we are out and about, is due to innate personality, and how much of it relates to having to squirm under each stranger’s magnifying glass, we’ll never know.”
“Perhaps when people encounter a biracial child they often are compelled to look, and look again, in order to figure them (and their family situation out), yet at the same time they feel awkward staring without saying a word. In order to mask their discomfort, they may overreact, touching our child’s hair or commenting repeatedly on how beautiful our child is.Even though our child is getting the verbal message that he or she is beautiful, by being repeatedly singled out, she is also getting the nonverbal message that she is different. And whenever children receive mixed messages, it tends to cause them inner anxiety. This combination of being treated more like an object than a person and receiving mixed messages, explains psychologist Willie B. Garrett, “is so damaging to the child because over time they’re going to internalize these unpleasant feelings, which take the form of the child thinking of themselves as unattractive.” They ‘get it’ that their appearance falls outside the norm.
May 19, 2006 – Friday 11:52 PM
From the Heart of a Child…
Dear Mom and Dad,
I want you to know what it’s like to be me.
My brain runs like a washing machine powered by a Ferrari engine. It runs all the time and it runs fast, churning and tumbling ideas like shirts and pants and socks mixed together.
I can be talking to you and having another conversation running inside my head. I can be in class listening to the teacher, but be fully engaged in a daydream inventing something with my LEGOS.
You know how I sometimes repeat questions? It’s not that I didn’t hear your answer. It’s just that in the second between the time I asked and you responded, I went somewhere interesting in my mind. And I didn’t pay attention to what you said.
Sometimes I have so many thoughts swimming inside my head that I just blurt things out because I’m afraid I will forget them. Read more…
March 28, 2006 – Tuesday 9:30 PM
Current mood: lethargic
Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, here and in your emails. There is so much going on all at once that I feel dizzy. And tired. Friday night I spoke with Tyler about what is leading up to his feelings, which was a terribly scary thing for me. K’s name came up often, as did a couple others I’ve heard before. Tyler is also troubled about his friendship with A, which seems to have hit the rocks. I asked Tyler specific questions about his feelings, and he indicated that he thinks the other kids would stop acting the way they do if he were to kill himself. I asked him if he just wanted to teach them a lesson, or if he really did not want to live, and he said that he wants them to learn a lesson, but he also does not want to live the way he’s been living. I asked too, if he feels like he wants to kill himself when he’s in trouble at home or if he feels like we (his family) also need a lesson… Read more…
I try not to ‘relive’ my life through my children. I make a conscious effort to try and NOT transfer my own emotions and experiences onto Tyler’s life, even while I try and tap into those same emotions and experiences so that I can empathize with what he’s going through, and help him. I’ve noticed I keep saying to myself, things like… we’re going to be OK. I suddenly feel like I am reliving my childhood. I was not a stranger to ‘dark’ fantasies… wouldn’t everyone just feel terrible about the way they’d treated me, if I were dead… whether in some horrible accident, while heroically saving someone from a house fire, or by taking my own life. Read more…
Thursday we had the follow up appointment with Dr. Kessler’s PNP, Theresa Rimer. Dr. Kessler is the director of St Joe’s (not luke’s) AZ Child Study Center, who was on the panel that rewrote the AAP criteria for diagnosing ADHD in children, but you probably know that from the blog link. Sorry, I’m still a little in awe that we see this guy. After we got the referral in 1/2005 when I was worried, we also scaled back on his meds. Things had been better, but in October I noticed some changes in his behavior (socially) that I thought coincided with the last school change, and in November, a spike in other behaviors that coincided with a trial of strattera and Joel announcing that he and Sandy were having ‘baby surprise.’ Read more…