Homecoming Triggers PTSD


My daughter has her first “official” date this weekend as it is her high school homecoming.  I had a very stressful high school career due to growing up in an alcoholic family.  I was a extremely shy yet self-destructive teenager.  Those years looked fun on the outside, but on the inside it was the most painful experience ever.  Well, not ever, because I have experienced painful things that have equaled it since then.  I have experienced many painful situations and emotional states lasting for days, weeks and months on end.  My life in general is pain-filled; right now, physically as well.  My migraines are out of control, and the increase in medication this month I was hopeful would work is not.  I’ll have to call the doctor on Monday.  I am very depressed about the pain I have from the migraines.  It makes me think of killing myself to escape the pain.

Back to homecoming…my anxiety is through the roof because of it, but not because I am worried about her.  Well, I am worried about her, but the PTSD anxiety is there because the homecoming brings back so many horrible memories for me.  Years ago this happened when my kids went to a sports clinic put on by the high school when they were still in elementary school.  When I walked them into that gymnasium, I almost threw up from panic.  My therapist at the time said I just needed to acknowledge the feelings.  She said they will always somewhat be there.  The key was to integrate them.  I forget what she meant by that now.  Wish I could remember because it is obviously what I need to currently do.

I was up at 5am baking.  It is what I seem to do when I am stressed.  I am trying to stay in the moment and I am praying and doing my chores and taking care of my children.  I did my daughter’s pedicure, I’ll take her to get her hair done tomorrow and to the park for pictures with her friends and date.  I am functioning; going through the motions; not totally faking it, but not one hundred percent there either.  I am in pain, physically and anxiety wise, but I can still live.  It is not an either or proposition.  It never was, is, or will be.  My disease likes to tell me otherwise.  I have to be wary of that.  If you have mental illness, you might want to watch out for it, too.

Friends in Low Places

Yesterday at school my daughter’s former best friend returned some stuff she left at her house while her other former best friend looked on, smirking.  Of course this left my daughter with high anxiety throughout the rest of the day, although she has it anyway most days at school. I feel awful for the things she is going through, but have faith that better times are ahead for her.

We are looking into sending her to a private school next year where the general population is much smaller. Right now my daughter is in a high school with over 2100 students. The crowded hallways and lunch room cause her to have anxiety attacks. This has been going on long before the whole friend fall out.  The private schools we are looking at house less than 400 students. Big difference.

The problem, of course, is money. We can’t afford the tuition costs at all, but hopefully will qualify for financial aid. 

I know everything will work out for the best. If the private school route falls through we are going to see if we can switch her to a smaller school in the same district that has half the students.  Her psychiatrist will provide documentation regarding her anxiety disorder if we need justification to convince the district to let her transfer.

I’m debating on whether or not to be upfront with the private schools about her issues…wondering if they knew of her severe anxiety in such a large school if it would sway them to offer us more financial assistance.