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In a black box, feel desperate, unstable - dont know whether to tell the school

(16 Posts)
ElectricBlue Mon 20-Jun-05 12:14:53

Ive been seeing a psychotherapist for a few months and its been intense. Im feeling really vulnerable atm, because all the lids have been taken off all my boxes and Im know Im feeling every bad thing that has ever happened to me all at once. I had issues from childhood, a miscarriage that Ive never had the chance to grieve for (7 years ago), domestic violence, and so much pent up pain about other things I cant put on here. All finally led to some nervous breakdowns in the last few years. Im feeling very overwhelmed, bursting into tears a lot. The therapist told me to expect strong reactions, but Im retreating to a black box away from the world. Am feeling very agrophobic. I want to slow the world down.

Today Im supposed to be seeing my ds teacher. Ds is 6. She has noticed he is distant and unfocussed. I feel so guilty that indulging in therapy has crowded him out. His teacher and the head teacher are OK, but both have not been discreet in the past about other children/parents personal lives. If I say Im in crisis, Im scared about what they will do with the info ... I dont want it passed on to other parents. Im a very private person (she says putting it on the www!). Has anyone had exp of telling their school about low mental health/depression. There is a stigma about it, people dont always react positively. I dont want to be monitored closely, Im feeling self consious enough as it is, hating doing the school run. Im leaving for the school at 3pm and Im in bits. Please help/advise ... Thanks.

ElectricBlue Mon 20-Jun-05 12:16:54

I'm going to tackle some house stuff and check back in a couple of hours. Thanks.

stitch Mon 20-Jun-05 12:18:17

just say its postnatal. whilst teachers heads should not let it slip, as it is confidential info, it is also important they know as it is affecting your son as you said.
if any of th emoms think anything, they are likely to think it is pnd, and id say maybe half the moms at a school gate have had it.

mandyc66 Mon 20-Jun-05 12:25:20

I think you need to tell them. Its important that they understand what is going on in ds's life. Saying that I dont know if I would myself. You may find they are ssupportive. Do you have any close friends at the school?

Earlybird Mon 20-Jun-05 12:27:34

TBH, I don't think I would confide in those who have a history of being indiscreet. There is enough going on in your life without the added worry of gossip/whispers.

I would simply discuss your ds at the meeting. Ask how the being distant, unfocussed is manifesting itself. You might feel comfortable saying to the teachers something along the lines of "yes, there are some things going on at home at the moment, but they're being addressed". Also, as school is about to break up for the summer, don't think I'd confide in the teachers as the issues might not be there in September.

In the meantime, who is around that could support you/your ds? Do you have a partner/dh? Family? Friends? Maybe they could help you, and also give your ds some attention if you aren't feeling up to it. Do you have a workable plan for how you'll cope over the summer holidays? Maybe you could plan some special activities with ds.

Best of luck. It's brave to start rooting around in your past, but is the beginning of getting better too.

mandyc66 Mon 20-Jun-05 12:30:10

think taht is good advice EBird.

stressedmummy Mon 20-Jun-05 12:53:25

I am sorry to hear you are having such an awful time ATM.
I can sympathise with what you are going through, as just over a week ago I had to have a meeting alongside my HV with the SENCO at my ds's school about my home life & had to tell her all about my H & his terrible temper, which could have contributed to my ds's social & interaction problems (he also finds it hard to concentrate & stay focused on anything)
It was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do, as I also work at the school & know all the staff personally.
The SENCO that I spoke to is also my line manager!
I was led to believe that staff must NOT speak about anything confidential outside school.
We would get the sack if we did this.
Tough as it was, I am glad my SENCO knows a bit about how bad it can be at home, as she can now supprt ds accordingly (as they really didn't know where to go with him & even considered AS)
I think it helps a little if school are aware of any problems at home that may contribute to a child being unsettled at school & they really should keep everything they hear strictly confidential.

ElectricBlue Mon 20-Jun-05 14:16:08

Thanks for your replies. I was sobbing this morning and it seems to have done me some good, I am feeling slightly better. This advice is making me feel better too.

I'm still reluctant to tell the school, although I see good reason to. I am going to go and see what happens and just play it by ear. It might go against me if I'm honest, but it might be the only way. If I do tell all, I will stress the privacy of the matter to his teacher. There is very little in the way of family and supportive friends who are available and close by. My xdp is going with me to the school. He has been really supportive. We are on good terms. I will let you know how it goes and reply properly. I'm feeling a bit calmer. Thanks again.

stressedmummy Mon 20-Jun-05 14:39:22

I felt exactually like you, that the school may have held things against me, especially as I work there, but it was not like that at all.
You have a lot on your plate right now & none of it is your fault.
You may find that the staff at your ds's school are actually quite supportive & it will help for them to know why your ds may be finding it hard to concentrate etc.
Good luck though, as I know how tough this is!

almostanangel Mon 20-Jun-05 14:44:23

hi i would not like to tell you what to do as it is your choice,,i had a very bad depression a few years back and i di go into my ds school ,i made an apointment with the head and just told her that i was going though a bad time and that i just wanted to let them know ,,as my ds s had seen me bad [which i hate] but i want them to make sure they knew that there was a problem so if she got upset etc at school they knew why they were very nice to me [a few tears] coffee and tissues and thanked me for letting them know ,

almostanangel Mon 20-Jun-05 14:47:27

may i add that when i got upset at my drs re the fact that my children had to see me crying and having panic attacks ,,my eldest two actually learnt how to talk me down when having a panic attack he said ,,your children will grow up verycaring and thoughtful people because of this so you have to look at it from both sides [hugs] hunny

ElectricBlue Mon 20-Jun-05 17:00:37

It went OK. His teacher only noticed him being unfocussed last week. Otherwise there was no major issue and he was fine today at school and he is doing well. Both me and ds had staggered cold/aches bug with a long term low grade temperature recently - I blamed it on that and a few other small things. I know I've side stepped the issue, but I couldn't face it today. I am starting a job tomorrow after a long time away from outside work so I'm in an apprehensive state anyway I didn't want anything to take my energy today.

My therapy finishes soon and I want to get a grip. Starting work again was one step. I'm working on quite a few others. Once I feel my confidence return I hope I will go from stength to strength which is my usual pattern. If things decline more, then I will have to be honest with the school eventually. Couldn't manage it today - I was feeling too desperate.

All your words of support really helped. Thanks again. xxx

ElectricBlue Tue 21-Jun-05 00:29:28

I've been really touchy today. Any little thing upset me today. Then I realised that my period is due in 2 days. Explains a lot.

Thanks again to all of you for your advice, I really needed it. Stressedmummy, I do admire you for being honest with your school. I don't feel strong enough to do it atm. There are some parents in the class that I wouldn't want to share my vulnerabilities with and they are the type who always know exactly what's going on regarding school gossip/parent wars/playground incidents/who's in the SENCOs office, etc. They also help out sometimes at at school and absorb what's going on. If my mental health gets leaked accidentally to them by ds's teacher, because they are not staff they can just gossip about it. I know I sound paranoid but I will feel more unable to cope if people gossip about me being an unfit mother on the edge.

Earlybird, with term closing in 4 weeks, I tend to agree that my situation could change before September. If it doesn't there will be a new teacher to deal with who might be more politically correct about confidentiality. I always like to be straight and honest with people and I hope to be when I'm stronger. I feel a bit of a wimp but I've just got to get through this.

ElectricBlue Tue 21-Jun-05 00:45:53

Almostanangel, thanks. What you did with your headteacher is similar to what I've been doing in psychotherapy every week lately - the tissues and tears. It is hard for me to confide in people I don't trust. The trust in my therapist built up slowly. I hope one day I can approach the school about my problems. It takes me a bit longer. Trusting people not to hurt me is an issue that has come up in my therapy.

almostanangel Tue 21-Jun-05 09:23:12

no problem ..can i just say it does get better,,,you have hit rock bottom and as the song goes the only way is up ..dont get me wrong i have some shitty [sorry] days you can search my name on here to find them lol ,,but instead of every day thinking ,,why was i born ,i wish i was dead,its just once in a very blue moon....i do have to fight it though i woke up this morning thinking oh oh bad day ,,but im telling my self life is not woth wasting worring bout crap i have 3 dds and a hubby that love me ,,so bollo*ks to the world!

almostanangel Tue 21-Jun-05 09:24:10

it wasnt that i trusted the head [i did but] it didnt matter who it was any one who said you ok ,,,got the tears ,,

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