The Little Guys Go to School

For the first time ever, Carter’s hallucinations caught the attention of his teachers and fellow students. Typically, two things happen to prevent this. First, the more actively occupied he is in some specific activity, the less likely he is to hallucinate. At school, where he is busy, the little guys don’t bother him much. Second, even when he does hallucinate at school, he’s savvy enough to keep it under wraps. This means an explosion of anxiety when he comes home, but it’s a price he’s willing to pay.

Today, though, they got the best of him and one of his teacher noticed that Carter wouldn’t look into her face. He seemed, in fact, to be ogling her breasts.

When she asked him what was going on, he told her his brain was going too fast and the little guys wouldn’t leave him alone. They were in front of the teacher, on her chest and shoulders and neck, shooting at him. When I got to the school to talk to him, he said they were on me.  When I asked him if I could brush them off he said, “They don’t care what you do! They go where they want!”

Ask a stupid question…

I cannot hurt the little guys. That piece of my reality? It carves little holes in me, like being stabbed to death by a killer armed with a weapon no bigger than a toothpick. Relentless and stealthy, the illness constantly reminds me that it is bigger than me, but more interested in playing with us than with outright destruction.

It’s like a bully, but invisible, and it does its damage by proxy.

Fucking fucker has a hold of my baby and I would really like to smash its head into a brick wall. Too bad that head is my kid’s head.

Powerlessness is a bitch.

Allison asked in the comments how the teachers are handling it and I think the answer deserves space up here.

First, here’s some info about Carter’s school for the new folks.

His teachers handle it just about perfectly. Most importantly, they are very sensitive to him and know when something is “off” or unusual and seek to understand first.Our experience in the public school was that the teachers sought first to control, so discipline came before they even understood the problem. His teachers really listen to him. They also listen to me. We are truly collaborating to help Carter get the best possible education, and his teachers know that until he feels safe, he won’t learn. There is no cookie cutter at his school.

One of my favorite things is that they are quick to call me to discuss anything. At the public school (and I don’t mean to castigate public schools in general, and certainly not teachers; this is the experience we had with one school), I requested, then insisted, then begged them to call me, to listen to me about Carter’s specific needs, but that was never honored and Carter suffered for it.

Have I talked them up enough? I could go on all day. If you ever wonder how in the world I drop off my sniffling, terrified, psychotic little boy on his difficult mornings (not the worst mornings, but we haven’t had one of those for quite awhile), this is why: he is with people who care about him. What a gift.

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The Little Guys Go to School

16 thoughts on “The Little Guys Go to School

  1. So sorry that those assholes decided to mess with him at school. Sorry for Carter for being unable to always resist. Sorry for you to feel the pain of your child in pain.

  2. Helplessness. When it comes to your children, that has to be the greatest pain. You are one tough cookie. I can't even begin to fathom how that might affect your sanity. This actually makes me feel like crap about griping or whining for any reason. Shoulder to cry on any time here.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you all for your kind words! Good news – the little guys bothered him a bit during lunch, but he didn't see them for the rest of the afternoon at school. Even better? Right now he's pretty relaxed, willing to be downstairs when I'm upstairs, something he can never do when his anxiety is acute.So cheers for a good afternoon! It could all change at any moment, but I'll be grateful for this as long as it lasts.Margaret – Thank you! In my family, the highest praise is, "You're a bad ass!"

  4. I wish you were my mom. Wanna adopt me? (pretty sure you're no where near old enough, but let's not worry 'bout that).psI'm not that crazy, please don't panic. wait! where are you going?

  5. Holy crap, Adrienne. What do his doctors say about that? Can they not help get rid of the hallucinations? How does he learn when he is psychotic? So many questions I have…Hugs, Meg

  6. You are a good mom. Powerlessness sucks and is freeing. Because at least for don't have to waste your time trying to fix the disease. And with that extra energy you get to show your wonderful little boy even more unconditional love. Good for you!!

  7. You can't fix the disease but fighting and rectifying the psychosis is very important. Especially at his age. Fight the good fight, Adrienne. You don't want his brain to settle too much into a psychotic state.Hugs.

  8. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the illness is more interested in playing with us than with outright destruction. Powerlessness is the worst thing in the world…especially when it comes to our kids. It's hard when my son is having hallucinations. He truly thinks I should be able to see & hear what he does, and gets upset when I tell him otherwise. Lately, he's been asking me to say 'goodnight' to these 'visions' & even asked me to cover them up so they wouldn't be cold. What do you say to that?I'm sorry Carter (and you) are going through this. Hopefully it gets better soon. P.S.I agree with Roxanne above – you are one tough cookie!Hang in there!

  9. Thank you all so much!I feel compelled to clarify what I mean by powerless. I can't make Carter's illness go away. There are no magic powers, pills, foods, whatever, that can zap him well. That's how I'm powerless.I'm NOT helpless. I'm taking every conceivable action to get Carter OUT of psychosis (no hallucinations in almost 48 hours now!) and back on the road to stability. Just, you know, because I'm a stickler for clarity.

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