The pain of school.

Hooray for half term!!
1 whole week of no school!
1 whole week of no school refusals!

My 10 year old girl refuses school every single day.
She is late for school every single day.
I try and try, so hard, to get her in, but it is so, so hard.

What do you imagine when I tell you my child refuses school?
It sounds like something you would expect a parent to be able to manage.
That my girl simply says “No, I am not going”, and that is that?
That I just sit down and say “OK”?
The truth is far from that….far, far from it.

Imagine your worst fear. Lets use spiders as an example.
Imagine being forced into a room with spiders, for 6 whole hours, with no way out and no one to communicate your fears to, 5 days a week.
That is what I imagine school feels like to my girl.
…and the reason why her anger directed at me.
Me. The Mum.
The one who takes her to school everyday.
The one who locks her in that ‘room of spiders’.

What most people don’t realise is just how exhausting every school morning is.
How every school morning is a fight, a battle.
How every single morning is like groundhog day.
How the biggest fight is between my heart and head.
It is exhausting, both physically and mentally, for us both.

My girl does actually go to school most days.
Yes she is late, but she gets there.
Most days arriving between 10am and 12.
BUT she does go!
We do it, we battle it and we win.
She wins….my girl, she fights that horrible gremlin called anxiety, and she wins.

Still sounds easy doesn’t it.
I haven’t told you about the shouting, spitting, hair pulling, kicking, biting, screaming, self harm, hiding, swearing and loss of control she suffers every morning.
I haven’t told you how the anxiety gives her diarrhoea and panic attacks.
I haven’t explained the need for her obsessional, repititive activities and how if they are disturbed they need to be started again.
I haven’t told you how she calls me every name under the sun, and that she hates me and she wants to live somewhere else.
I haven’t told you that our hearts break together as she cries and tells me she loves me and she never wants me to leave.
I haven’t explained that instant change when she is ready to leave and she gets ready to go.
I haven’t told you about that look in her eye as I leave her at school.
I haven’t told anyone how much I cry as I drive away…….

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