• The Tatted Teacher

Counselor > Teacher

The above picture is something one of my kids from last year brought me this morning...She came in during our ACADEX period (basically our study hall), sat down, and handed this picture to me.

I've known this kiddo for a few years, and we have talked a lot over those two years. Even though I don't 'teach' her anymore, she still comes by often to talk.

Yesterday, she came by and just sat down beside me while I worked. I knew she didn't want to talk; she just wanted to be there. After the bell rang, she headed off to class.

This morning, she came to me before school and asked me if she could come to my room during ACADEX, and of course, I said yes.

She came to me during ACADEX and showed me the piece of paper that I posted above. "I'm just tired," she said as she sat down. She is not a real big talker, and I can usually tell when she wants to talk, but today she just started chatting away...

In the past, we've talked about her depression, self-harm, anxiety, her hatred of most people, and really her hatred of pretty much everything around her. Yes, she will walk up to you with a smile on her face, so most people will never know the real her. But, I think the reason she comes to me is that she knows she doesn't have to put on the front and can just be real. Sometimes our conversations are intense, and sometimes we just laugh. Sometimes she cries, and sometimes she screams. Through it all, I always try to be there for if nothing more than just a sounding board and a person to stare at.

So, today, she comes to my room and just starts talking. She told me she drew this sheet of paper yesterday, and that she just got frustrated and started scribbling...she mentioned the fact that she had an early morning appointment with her counselor and that it just put her in a bad mood. I asked her what happened with the counselor that made her angry, and she unloaded...

What follows is a basic recreation of our conversation. She said some things that REALLY hit me, so I asked her if I could take some notes on our conversation to use for writing this blog. She smiled and said of course...Now, before you start reading, know that most of what comes next is general knowledge to me because I have been her friend for over two years. But, some of what she told me today was new ground because she opened up about her anxiety, depression, and self-harm in a way she never has...

She said that she has never taken the Prozac she was prescribed because she doesn't want to get better. I asked her why she doesn't want to get better, and she said because she is scared...she doesn't know what it is like to be 'normal' and have emotions, feelings, and the cares that many people just normally have. She said she doesn't know what it is like to care, and she doesn't want to be responsible for other people's feelings.

She said that she doesn't know her true responsibility because she doesn't know her true self. She has never known anything except a disdain for people and herself. She said she is scared of feeling what she could be. It's the unknown that scares her. Even though she is consistently unhappy with herself, her family, and her friends, she is comfortable because she knows what to expect...there are no surprises...

She said that her parents force her to go to the counselor and that the counselor (along with her parents) wants to fix her, but the problem is she doesn't want to be fixed. To her, it comes back to the unknown and not readily understanding how her life will change if she starts to take her medication and truly try to change her situation.

She said that her mind is a conflicting battlefield, and her counselor is trying to call a truce. BUT, she doesn't like or trust the counselor because, in essence, her JOB is to try and fix her. She said that she knows nothing about the counselor and has no connection to her... She feels forced to talk to the counselor for an hour..."I can't just sit there and hang out like I do here (her words)" She told me that she feels comfortable talking to me because she knows me...she told me "you don't have to sit here and listen to me, but you DO...she is required to listen..."

I told her that she was a puzzle where all the pieces are black... you can't find a 'starting spot' because all the pieces are the same color... she laughed and said I was right...

To me, the puzzle analogy symbolizes a lot of our kids... they are confused, and they can't find themselves because they don't know where to start...they can't find the end pieces easily because everything is the same emotion, color, action...

The above conversation happens quite frequently with her in some sort of fashion, and I am always happy to listen to her. I might not be her official counselor, but I will be her greatest fan until she tells me to stop cheering.

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