Aug 26, 2015
11:40pm CST

Ok since the kids are going back too school soon, or may have already. I have decided to write a blog in the spirit of back to school week. Now when I actually wrote this blog it was March 2015, but by the time it posts it will be August. I have been working on this one for a while now. I want to talk about my experiences with school and how it was hard for me.

I hated school as a kid, I had so many issues it wasn’t even funny. The only reason why I wanted to go to school was because I could get to see my friends. That was the only thing that was worth it about school. I’ll explain why I hated school in this blog.

First of all, I grew up with a disorder called “Selective mutisim” (I sort of talked about it in one of my previous “Let’s talk” episodes) But here I will explain it a bit more instead of linking to it. First let me post this from wikipedia:

Selective mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder in which a person who is normally capable of speech does not speak in specific situations or to specific people. Selective mutism usually co-exists with shyness or social anxiety. Children with selective mutism stay silent even when the consequences of their silence include shame, social ostracism or even punishment.

Children and adults with selective mutism are fully capable of speech and understanding language but fail to speak in certain situations, though speech is expected of them. The behavior may be perceived as shyness or rudeness by others. A child with selective mutism may be completely silent at school for years but speak quite freely or even excessively at home. There is a hierarchical variation among people with this disorder: some people participate fully in activities and appear social but do not speak, others will speak only to peers but not to adults, others will speak to adults when asked questions requiring short answers but never to peers, and still others speak to no one and participate in few, if any, activities presented to them. In a severe form known as “progressive mutism”, the disorder progresses until the person with this condition no longer speaks to anyone in any situation, even close family members.

Selective mutism is by definition characterized by the following:

  • Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations (in which there is an expectation for speaking, e.g., at school) despite speaking in other situations.
  • The disturbance interferes with educational or occupational achievement or with social communication.
  • The duration of the disturbance is at least 1 month (not limited to the first month of school).
  • The failure to speak is not due to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort with, the spoken language required in the social situation.
  • The disturbance is not better accounted for by a communication disorder (e.g., stuttering) and does not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder.

This is what I had, I could speak to peers, some what. Despite this disorder I had quite a few friends in school. And I spoke perfectly when at home. The following are the symptoms, I have crossed out the ones I did not have.

Symptoms:

Besides lack of speech, other common behaviors and characteristics displayed by selectively mute people include:

  • Shyness, social anxiety, fear of social embarrassment, and/or social isolation and withdrawal
  • Difficulty maintaining eye contact
  • Blank expression and reluctance to smile
  • Stiff and awkward movements
  • Difficulty expressing feelings, even to family members
  • Tendency to worry more than most people of the same age
  • Desire for routine and dislike of changes
  • Sensitivity to noise and crowds

On the positive side, many people with this condition have:

  • Above-average intelligence, perception, or inquisitiveness
  • Creativity and a love for art or music
  • Empathy and sensitivity to others’ thoughts and feelings
  • A strong sense of right and wrong

I read that a small percentage of children with SM even have difficulty speaking with family. Though I was able to talk to my parents and sister, and a few other members of my family, I still found myself having issues speaking and having a conversation with them some times. It was hard for me growing up with this and no one fully understanding what it was that I had.

Its funny now I am 24 and I feel like I no longer suffer from SM. A lot has changed for me in a year. But that is a story for another time. Perhaps I shall make that my next “Let’s talk” episode. Anyways moving on.

I got in trouble a lot, not just because I wasn’t talking, but because I couldn’t speak up and defend myself. One example was when I was in elementary school. I was in third grade, some project we had to do was speak in front of the class. I don’t remember what it was now that I had to speak about. We had this system back when I was in school where we got color coded cards. Green was if you were good, yellow was a first warning, orange was a second, red was detention and blue was the principles office.

You start with a green card, well when my teacher asked me to speak in front of the class I refused. I was too scared, I felt as if I was going to throw up. I started to have a panic attack and felt sweaty but cold and clammy at the same time. All the kids in the class were just staring at me which was making it worse. My teacher asked me again and I still refused. Getting frustrated she decided to force me to go change my green card to a yellow. When I came back she asked me again and still I stood there just staring at her. This went on and on until I ended up with a red card.

Instead of the class standing up and offering to help me or the teacher trying to come up with some thing, I stood there embarrassed not knowing what to do. I don’t remember if it was her or one of the students that came up with the idea for the teacher and the kids I didn’t speak to, to leave the class room. I felt so bad that I had to make these kids leave the class room. I felt as if they resented me for it, as if I didn’t like them. Because kids of that age just do not understand stuff like that. I finally got the project done but I still ended up going home with a red card.

My teachers kept complaining to my parents that I was not speaking in class and that I wouldn’t take part in projects where I had to speak. There was one time that I made the mistake of saying a bad word in third grade and one of the girls told on me. When I tried to explain it to the teacher, I could move my lips but not speak, I was thankful my teachers could lip read. Anyways when I tried to say I learned it from tv the teacher thought I said my sister. So when my parents saw it for a split second I got my sister in trouble.

Once in fourth grade we had to write a paragraph on what we did over the weekend. I wrote that I played video games, watched TV and listened to CDs. We all know what CDs are right? For those who don’t CDs are little round disks that play any thing from movies, to games, to music. When I said CDs I mean music. So that’s what I put and the teacher some how did not understand this. Or she was pretending not to and was just trying to make me read it out loud. But when I didn’t not read it she wrote down on the page that I refused to read aloud.

I didn’t exactly refuse per say, I just couldn’t, but you’re the idiot who didn’t know what CD meant. Anyways, my parents got sick and tired of getting messages from my teachers that I wasn’t talking. So after the Christmas and new year break I didn’t go back to school. I was put into homeschool. But beside the issues talking I had some other problems with school too.

One day in second grade, I had asked my teacher if I could go use the restroom. I went to get a drink of water and I saw a couple of boys come out of the bathroom stare at me then go back to their classroom. I didn’t think any thing of it so I started to head back to my classroom when their teacher came out and stopped me. She made me sit at a desk outside of her room and then left. I had no idea what was going on. After a bit she didn’t come back I went back to my classroom, then she came and got me out of room and took me to the office. They called my mom and had said I had been messing with the light switch in the boys bathroom.

I was like what the fuck! They probably had a faulty light that was trying to go out and didn’t understand so because they saw me standing there at the water fountain they blamed me for it. I’m not sure if I got in any real trouble for it but I explained it to my mom what happened. I was only getting a drink of water and I wasn’t messing with the light switch. I don’t know why they thought I was, but it still shocks me they decided to blame it on me. Like what did I ever do to them to deserve that?

There also use to be this boy in the second grade that I had a crush on. Well eventually it went away like all crushes do. And when I went into third grade there was this girl by the name of Lizzie that started calling him her “boyfriend”. For what ever reason she tried to make me jealous. Telling me about him and her as if I gave a damn. It was funny one day I was in the cafeteria at school sitting at the same table as this guy. There was his best friend sitting next to him and a couple of my friends. We had been talking bout my SM. At the time I didn’t know what it was called, just that I knew I couldn’t talk like other people. They were asking me bout it and why I couldn’t talk. I told them I didn’t know but that I was taking medication for it. Which in fact I was, I was on Ritalin it helps with ADHA to calm the child, the doctors thought it would help calm the anxiety. So yes I was on meds for it. But because kids at that age know very little about stuff like this, they looked at me terrified. Like omg this girl is insane she’s on meds because she can’t talk.  I of course turned around and said just kidding. But I doubt they believed me.

Kids from the age of 5-18 if not taught right can be down right mean. Bullies. I had this one girl that hated me for no reason at all. She pinched me on the shoulder for no reason. I think she even said some nasty things to me once. There was one time in gym where we where playing a game but I had been stuck in the bathroom. I didn’t know how to play cause I missed that part, when I came out I had to stand on a base. I cause it was like kick ball or some thing. The ball got kicked to me and instead of the kids or teacher helping me out, they let me stand there. They stared at me as if I was suppose to do some thing. No one was moving. So I threw the ball back to the pitcher and they all flipped out and yelled at me. I didn’t really cry but I got angry, I walked away and sat at the wall. Very few people even cared. A couple of my friends came over and asked if I was ok. I didn’t know how to play what was I suppose to do. So I just sat out of the game.

That is now one of the reasons I hate being left out of stuff. Things I feel like I should know I want to know so I don’t get yelled at again. I have so many stories of school. So many I can no longer remember. It was not the best time in my life and I choose not to remember it as much as I can. I hated school! Though I had many friends I got picked on and bullied. I’ve been dyslexic and had a social anxiety disorder all my life. So school was 10x harder then it had to be.

I had a friend in fourth grade that had been my friend through third grade as well. Her, me and one other girl were all best friends. Girl #1 bought some best friend necklaces, for her and girl #2. Instead of giving it to her after I wasn’t there, Girl #1 decided to give the necklace to Girl #2 in front of me then turn to me and go “Oh I am sorry”. Like damn am I not your best friend? You could have made friendship bracelets instead of buying them. That way all of us could have one. But I guess I was never really her friend and that was her way of showing me. That did hurt really bad, that still hurts. I hope no one ever does that to me again. I would never in my life do that to some one. I have two besties and if I did buy necklaces I would find ones that all matched so we could all have the same one.

I would never wish that upon any one. To basically be told that you’re not some ones best friend hurts. I read between the lines, it was the way she said Oh I’m sorry that made me realize she wasn’t. She said it in almost a sarcastic way. It still hurts to this day.

I’ve had the chance to go back to school many times. But I decided to stay home schooled. Sure I missed out on things a teenager should have done. I’m now 24 almost 25 as if this June, and I am just now living out my teen years. For the longest I had no friends, cause both those girls stopped being my friend. Girl #1 I got into a fight with and Girl #2 her parents hated me and blocked my number. The only friends I had were those that I met on online communities and gaming. One of my besties is a guy I met 9 years ago playing black hawk down online. He is like the brother I never had, I trust him with my life and never met him in person. That shows you some thing right there.

I did miss out on a proper childhood and teen years, but I am making up for it now. Though I missed out on those times, I wouldn’t change a thing had I the chance to go back. I would have done it all the same. I wouldn’t be where I am today with out all those experiences. I eventually got my GED December of 2013 and my first real job December the following year. And I feel like I am back at school because a few of my co-workers act like their still in high school. Y’all know who you are. I never went to high school, but I didn’t have time for the petty high school drama when I was in high school. Its stupid.

Enough rambling, If I think of any other bad experiences I will post them later. Hope y’all found this blog some one entertaining.

~Kat

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