Let Me be Me

The thought in my head: Can I be me..?? 

My life is a swirling bathtub drain full of “stuff” I’m dealing with. I can’t wait for it to disappear so I can be truly free of these overwhelming issues. I’m so b* tired!!

paralisi-nel-sonnoEmotionally tired, physically tired and brain tired.

The things I want to do and do for the Glory of Jesus are drowned out by the things I must do because of current circumstances. Essentially it means that the things that drain me are things I can’t choose not to do, while the things that brings life and energy back to me, are things I have no energy for.

Makes sense?… Well…

What I want to do is to write my book and paint my pictures, open up a webshop and sell affordable original art. That’s me… if I could be allowed to just be me. But just browsing through platforms offering a web-shop makes my head spin… and the good ones costs money. Would people really buy enough of my art to just cover the cost of keeping the website..?

But I can’t concentrate too much on this because I have to juggle finishing the homeschooling year (trust me; It’s horrid to have to motivate a teen when you can’t even motivate yourself!), getting right with the Japanese tax laws (yeah, I missed something there… prayers appreciated!), another psychological test for my child and possible change of medication (would be welcomed if it worked out!) and of course – money issues! My computer is crawling and could use a… well, a new one… As we say in Denmark: Argh!

When I’m done dealing with the day… I’m done and have no more energy (or time) for painting, let alone writing. Both these things needs attention. The kind that consists of cutting out a few hours or more. Making art takes time.

Wearing hats at home gives me a headache. I’m the mom, teacher, housewife, maid, cook… oh yeah, I’m a wife too… which is something I think I forget most days. Poor husband of mine.

The past 2 weeks I have slept about 5 hours pr. night. I’m literally tired. I’m emotionally burdened. I give it over to Jesus, but take it back when I look at my child struggling to the point of my heart breaking and my eyes turns into waterfalls. The money issues I mentioned before? The mental health system in Japan is a huge money pit!

I can’t afford a therapist, though I likely need one. So you good and kind people in the blogosphere are my therapists… Thanks for reading about the thought in my head.

Maybe I’m just being selfish. But how I wish I could be just Me.

love-yourself

Teaching homeschool

Once upon a while ago… about a year I suppose… I began homeschooling. I made a promise – to myself – that homeschooling wasn’t something I was going to blog about.

I may have to eat my words. 6a0134813bd9b0970c01538e76c72f970b-600wi

During my daily life of homeschooling my 11 year old, I often turn, twist and tune a thought, complaint or idea – and find that I want to share it. So I started a “journal input” category here on my blog. It’s basically for short diary-type posts.

The thought in my head is “I’m NOT a teacher!”

Teaching or being a teacher is and has always been as far from me as my repented sins!

I do not like, nor do I wish to teach in any shape or format. However, the Lord has placed me in a situation where I have no choice. And yet – When I go to Him and complain about me being this homeschooling mom, essentially being someone I do not want to be – He is in full agreement with me.

I know! It sounds strange.

I can’t teach (many homeschooling moms say the exact same thing: I can’t do this), but for me, it’s actually fully true and fully supported by the Lord.

By acknowledging the very fact that I can’t and shouldn’t teach, I am able to take on a role that enables me to homeschool; I can give assignments and I can help my daughter by showing her HOW to find out the things she needs to find out… In this way, I am still mom, not the teacher, and despite having a curriculum to follow, it’s a “working together” thing which in its basic form boils down to relationship.

Did that make sense?

In essence; I can do this.

Scolding-Nun

Not because I want to, because I still cringe at every curve, but because the Lord needs me to, I can relax in my “role” – and (for the most part – ahem!) not turn into some crazy frenzied “nun-mom”.

I struck out – Silencing an Introvert 2

I totally struck out on yesterday’s post! I mean really struck out…

My intentions were to write about introverts in the school system, but I got derailed and went straight into a self-pity party or something down that winding road!

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I can’t run from my feelings. I am truly both sad, angry and disappointed in school and teachers. For 3 years I have tried to be “a good Christian” about it, but now that I need to process it, it stings. When I’m done processing the whole thing, I’ll get back to the introverts in the school system.

I’ll get there… Because Jesus is with me and knows me and knows exactly how I feel.

Bloggers: Thank you for staying with me during these tough times. I need you and I love you and I pray Blessings into your lives! THANKS! 

Silencing an Introvert

lead_960.jpgI just did something I never actually believed I would do…
I emailed a link to an article about introverts in schools, to the head of school and principal of my daughter’s, now former, school.
A few days ago I was angry, resentful, sad but most of all disappointed. Really disappointed!1e1ac7e2242da1b7802a8f6fe1e910e8.jpg
How did I get there..? And how did I get to the point of trying to educate educators about personality types in schools…? Me? Really?

On April 4th when my girl verbalized her suicidal thoughts, she wasn’t allowed in school until her therapist cleared her. Understandable. She was cleared pretty fast, but refused to return to school. The school principal is one very Godly person… Gracefully gave me all the time I needed to help my girl get back to school – or not.

The reason my girl refused to return to school was her classmates. The mean girls… (yes, plural). 1.jpgAs I had conversations with the therapist (who had been in contact with the principal) it began to dawn on me, that because my girl has anxiety and depression and therefore her cognitive skills aren’t as sharp as should be, school principal and teachers decided to give the other girls “the benefit of the doubt”…

My child may have her struggles, but she is not a liar!! I can’t tell you how angry I got when it dawned on me that these mean girls got away with bad behavior, regardless of what their intentions were.

We do not train children in the way they should walk, by not addressing their wrongs!

Once I made the decision to permanently pull her out, I emailed that decision to 6 school staff members. One replied with love and prayers. Two wouldn’t reply as they still work with my girl outside of school. The principal replied with usual grace as well. Two others did not reply at all: Classroom teacher and school counselor. I’m choosing to believe they had g-o-o-d!! reason for not replying, but honestly – I don’t think the classroom teacher could have done anything more disrespectful than to ignore that mail.

Brush it off! – brushed it off. It’s gone… somewhat.

In the mail I asked if my girl could pick up her things and get a chance to meet the adults she has loved working with, to help her say goodbye in her heart. That part of the mail was addressed only by one and that was a “cotton candy’ed” sentence that sounded “I look forward to seeing her around the community”. That’s American for “no” in case you wonder. Yes, I’m feeling resentful.

Sadness-understand.jpgBut the last drop – the one that sent me into a twirl of anger and disappointment was when I picked up her things from the classroom. Her classroom teacher was there, her desk was already gone, her things stuffed into a plastic bag. I grabbed it, got her indoor shoes, looked into the eyes of her teacher and thought “aren’t you going to say something… anything?“, but despite the sad-ish look in her eyes, there was no greeting to my girl, no questions asked and literally not a word spoken. I kept quiet myself and just walked down the stairs.

That’s when the sadness overwhelmed me.

Not that she had left school, but that school seemed so… not caring.

My girl is an introvert. When I read the above article I thought about her time in the class and how many times I have heard her teachers say “participate more”… Her leaving school could possibly not have been prevented, but the act of telling an introvert “you should participate more” may feel like being asked to enter a snake pit for kids on the introvert scale… It certainly didn’t help my daughter.

May the Lord speak to the hearts of all teachers around the globe. Amen.

Within a spectrum

I have had my daughter home from school since beginning of April due to suicidal thoughts. I’m a deep thinker and there’s a lot on my mind;
Thoughts and decisions. 33.jpg

Should my child go back to school and finish her 4th grade, or not. School will welcome her back and mom wouldn’t mind getting some alone time, but…
The improvement I have seen in my kid since she left school is truly amazing. The cutting has decreased and the girl I knew from about 3 years ago is sticking out her head again and that’s another reason why I’m not inclined to send her back to school. Unfortunately, her therapist seem to think differently and I would prefer we were on the same page (really; Christian therapists do NOT grow on trees in Tokyo!).

The decision to homeschool from 5th grade was relatively easy. I have been online searching for homeschool curriculums and – wow! The amount of “perfect for your kid” curriculums are stunning.
6fbb2cf6ec1e1128f16547bda099fe09.jpgHowever, only a fragment brings me peace and those are the unit based ones and… dare I say it… I found one that is s-e-c-u-l-a-r…
So I’ll add Bible to it, but hey – Beth Moore’s talk shows ought to spark some interest and then we’ll see where it takes us. I leave that peacefully into the Lord’s hands. I want my girl to get to know the Lord and find a desire to feel Him close. She is wired for that

Being out of school hasn’t been a cure. Therapy is still needed, medication likewise. But I have been reading up on psychology and the latest research and get this: Being an introvert could possibly be considered “being on the autism spectrum” – Now, don’t go frazzle on me now… An introvert isn’t autistic as such, but looking at the big picture I can see why a person with a diploma on the wall, would get the idea and explore it. b226fc0a61384c360840542c10732f0c.jpg

What is generally considered “normal” are people who talk, laugh, play, assert themselves, engage in activities – e.g. socialize, but that’s also (somewhere on the scale) the definition of “extroverts”: outgoing, sociable, friendly, unreserved and are energized by being around other people.
So when we encounter someone who is not particularly social, we see it as something “abnormal”. Was it “socially awkward” I heard the other day?

In schools, teachers try their best to teach students to assert themselves, play well with others and “have red cheeks after recess”. To make it in the world we live in, those qualifications are pretty important, but… In my case, my girl would much rather have a peaceful place for some quiet time. Why?
Because she’s an introvert and no amount of encouragement to become more social will change that.
How-to-care-for-introverts.pngBut it’s not allowed in school to bring anything out for recess, so kids who are by nature extremely introvert don’t really stand much of a chance (and no, there is no place to hide from friends…)
You guessed it; I have a beef with that!
It begs the question in my case – was the social anxiety partly grown because she doesn’t fit the “normal kid” standard?
Was she tying knots on herself for years trying to fit in and yet never did, causing low self-esteem, anxiety and depression?
I really think this is something schools in general ought to look deeper into.

If we do not allow kids to be who they are and help them grow into the person God intended for them to be, then we are just trying to mold kids to become what we have defined as “normal”. 

603652f640bb57a679069acb1bbc22e8.jpgBut God’s ways are higher than ours and even standardized school systems will have to recognize that, because the world is seeing more and more “on the spectrum” kids.
Can we afford to wait with adjusting our standards to meet God’s fearfully and wonderfully made children? 

 

Swopping knots

20140918-379-girl-in-bed-7.jpgShe was stuck in a situation she couldn’t get out of. Circumstance she was unable to change. People who chose to disrespect her. It was like a mental snake-pit. She felt like running away. From home, from school, from everything. Or even better, just go home to God, so she would never have to enter back into the snake pit…

In the beginning of April, these were my daughters thoughts and feelings. She’s 10. On April 4th I found a note where she wrote, that she just wanted to die… It wasn’t a suicide note; It was suicidal thoughts and an intense cry for help. mental-health-thoughts_wide-a514e5c72a55accd8ef792b779b91316864bb05c-s1000-c85.jpg

Because of suicidal thoughts she couldn’t attend school – which makes sense – so she’s been home with me, doing some of her schoolwork, intense therapy and some TLC.

During these 20+ days, I have seen her stress-levels drop, I have seen cutting decrease, I have experienced her courage as she ventured into a sleepover at a friends house. When she’s in school, the stress is high, the cutting is daily and having a sleepover is simply unrealistic!

It didn’t take long for me to realize that there is only one way of dealing with this: Take her out of school. So I have… she will be homeschooled from 5th grade. As for finishing her 4th grade year at school, it may be a long shot, but the therapist really wants her to glean something positive before she leaves school, so that she may one day be able to return. It makes sense, but seems impossible.

And the Lord ain’t done with me yet… so once again I’m swopping “knot’s”:

I’m facing homeschooling. post-41755-0-90463300-1447240753.png

Though I know it’s the right thing to do and I also have God’s peace with it, I can feel every cell in my body resisting the “teacher” part. If you read my blog more or less regularly, you will know that I’m pretty well aware of my own sets of strengths and weaknesses. I’m an entrepreneur, a facilitator, a leader and organizer. Creative in many ways and a bit of a “funny clown” too. But there’s not a hint of teacher in me. The closest thing I get to that is an interest in psychology… which doesn’t really say much!About-Homeschooling.png

I’m praying for the Lord to “define my role as homeschooling mom”, because I’m… well… ahem… not there. I have this sense that if I begin “teaching” my child, it won’t go well. My role isn’t supposed to be a teacher, but I’ll try to patiently wait on the Lord to bring me the answer. I did say “try”… Lord knows, I’m not the most patient woman!

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Way off topic

This post has a content I don’t usually write about…

This post isn’t about Jesus – though He certainly is a part of the healing process.

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This post is about awareness of a condition known as “DYSCALCULIA” and the effects it is likely to have on children in and outside of school. 

 

 

It’s not just about math and not understanding numbers though that is always the main focus. This is about how dyscalculia flows into all areas of a child’s life, how it can create anxiety issues and social issues and the feeling of never being good enough… to even simply “cope”.

numbers_game_numbers.jpgHow a child with dyscalculia will feel too “shy” to trust her/himself enough to go buy a small thing in a shop simply because the concepts of numbers/money are off.

 

This article is from a website called UNDERSTOOD.org and this particular article addresses most of the issues that my daughter struggles with in daily life – despite not yet having reached her tween years. 

I urge you to click the link and give yourself a chance to understand that dyscalculia is a big deal – and if not found and tested in the early stages it will likely affect a child throughout life and not just in school related situations.

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Dyscalculia isn’t as known as dyslexia. Perhaps because the school system places a lot of emphasis on the language arts – but more and more kids will experience dyscalculia in years to come, though I have no way of backing up that statement, I urge any parent – AND school system – to pay close attention.

Thank you.