Lovely way to come back to a school, but then it was SENIOR YEAR!!!!
My very few friends I had knew absolutely nothing that I had gone through before I became a “regular” senior in high school. They didn’t know why I needed to go to my special ed teacher, or as they thought, regular teacher, to “do some work”. They never knew why I left lunch early with tears in my eyes headed to the guidance office. They didn’t know that most of the days I went home early were because I couldn’t handle sitting in classes any more. People didn’t know that I had a card I could use to tell my teacher that I needed a break. That one is mostly because I crumpled it up, and told the teacher when I needed to go so I didn’t have to have my classmates see the card.
I sat with this one girl every day at lunch. Our conversations were always about books, or music, or another interesting topic. I often had times in the conversation that seemed more like a monologue (completely my fault. I was terrible at conversations then as well) that I could have shared my knowledge of mental health. I actually did that several times, but never through my own experiences.
Volunteering in the Exceptional Learner’s was one of my favorite things about high school. Even with the purely positive feelings I got from my time with the kids wasn’t enough to keep my mental illnesses in. There were several days I couldn’t bring myself to go. I’d often say that I was sick, sometimes going as far as to try to make myself sick so it wouldn’t be a full lie. I’d try to go back to the classroom I normally went to before I started working with the kids. It often led to me going to my special ed teacher or guidance counselor and making a fool of myself.
My mom is a teacher at the high school I graduated from. Some mornings, I would refuse to go to class, and my mom would try to make me go, because I needed my education. She was right, but I would have a panic attack, which would lead to me going to the teacher. Some mornings I went down the path of calming down before class. Other days, the path led me down the hallway armored with the teacher’s arm and tracing my steps with my tears. I spent full days in the guidance office sometimes, by getting my work and sitting at the table struggling to look at it, much less do it.