Question About Schooling

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marta1234

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2020, 08:36:44 PM »
Hi, I just wanted to share my experience of school as well, although it's a bit different from everyone else.
From kindergarten till 4th grade, I was in an English speaking school. However, after my 4th grade, my family and I moved to France, and I attended at first a french (private) bilingual school for one year, and later on till 12th grade, a french public school. Now looking back I would suppose that if I had stayed in an "all" English speaking school for my whole life, then I would probably have had good grades, and my story would be like most of yours. However, when I moved to France, I was 11 years old, and I understood that French was a language that I could not understand and not be confident in, as I didn't really know much of french prior to moving. Therefore, throughout my whole school education, I have never felt confident in French and I fear homework and classes, as most of my subjects are in French. This means that I have not learned much in subjects such as science, philosophy, economics, french literature, etc. and I am triggered many times if I try to learn or read about these subjects when at home. Thus, my grades in most subjects are average and below average.
I guess I just want to know if someone out there has had a similar experience like mine, and not feel so stupid about my situation (I've felt like that after explaining some of my problems to other people).
Also, I just wanted to say that right now I'm finishing 12th grade, and this year has been the hardest for me, symptom wise. I get triggered so many times by teachers and homework assignments, and I even skipped almost 3 weeks of school because I would just be overwhelmed so many times. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, then what has helped?

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Kizzie

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2020, 05:06:20 PM »
Hi Marta and welcome to OOTS.   :grouphug:

I can well imagine what a struggle it must be to receive your education in a second language on top of having CPTSD. It's getting a bit late in the academic year but it might help to see if your school has some tutoring/extra assistance available because you're struggling. You may even want to explain why it's more than just dealing with a second language. 

Do you live on your own or with your parents? Are they the source of your trauma? (It would help for us to know a bit more about you.)

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marta1234

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2020, 06:10:54 PM »
Do you live on your own or with your parents? Are they the source of your trauma? (It would help for us to know a bit more about you.)

I do live with my parents, and they are partially responsible for it, but most of it is because of my older brother. The thing is that this is a big public school, so I've just presumed that most teachers don't care about you personally. I haven't reached out to any of them, but especially because I feel like I shouldn't have this big of a problem with the french language as I've been in a french school for more than 7 years, therefore most people assume that I don't have a problem.
I want to also thank you for your reply, it makes me feel less alone.

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Kizzie

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2020, 03:04:28 PM »
 :grouphug:  Students can struggle at any time and I imagine your school knows that and would be willing to help. 

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Kat

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2020, 03:26:25 AM »
Marta, thank you for sharing your story.  That must be such a frustrating and isolating feeling. 

Unfortunately, you moved at a time when your ability to pick up a new language was starting to diminish.  When I was studying language acquisition in college, we were taught that it takes seven years for a person to become fully fluent.  However, I think that they are finding it takes longer than that.

You're probably capable of conversing well in French, so people do not see the extra work you are having to do as a language learner.  On top of that, academic language is not the same as conversational language at all, so that's an added handicap. 

I admire your bravery and strength.  You were placed in a tough situation.  You might try reaching out to one of your teachers.  Sometimes they simply don't know you need help or they don't know how to help or what might help.  Be well.

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Blueberry

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2020, 12:02:32 PM »
  When I was studying language acquisition in college, we were taught that it takes seven years for a person to become fully fluent.  However, I think that they are finding it takes longer than that.
That depends on how "fully fluent" is defined. I live and work in a non-English-speaking country and even though I did a B.A. in the language before I came, I would say it took me longer than seven years to become more or less bilingual. I would say "bilingual" is more than "fully fluent" but again it's how you define it. Also if you add some other problem to the mix like cptsd - well, it just could take longer.

To really be able to learn all those intellectual, academic subjects like philosophy, economics, French literature etc. and write about them or discuss them in class requires fluency, which you didn't have when you started in the French public school system. cptsd is a cumulative problem and not understanding at school is cumulative as well. The problem will tend to get worse if nothing is done about it. ime - I tutor school children.

I admire your bravery and strength.  You were placed in a tough situation. 
:yeahthat:

You might try reaching out to one of your teachers.  Sometimes they simply don't know you need help or they don't know how to help or what might help. 
:yeahthat: although I know it can vary by country, school and even teacher whether a teacher would be willing to help.
How about your parents? Would they maybe be willing to pay private tuition for you for the rest of the school year in the subjects where you have most problems? Or just in French? Teachers might also know where you can get good tutoring. Sometimes parents might pay this kind of thing even though they don't want to know about the causes of cptsd in their family. Paying for tutoring is 'safer' than having to look at themselves.

I didn't experience any really tough situation like yours when I was at school, but my parents did move quite a lot back and forth between 2 different English-speaking countries. Even that was difficult. Different school systems, different curricula, variations in language, changed schools in different years from everybody else, even mid-year sometimes. On top of all that: ongoing cptsd. Not just unacknowledged by family, but positively denied. It was really tough, I have no idea how I finished highschool - I scraped through, totally depressive and with my brain often blank. Fortunately I was able to go on to university where I did a lot better. I feel for you  :grouphug:

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woodsgnome

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2020, 06:25:39 PM »
Marta, I've no desire or need to overwhelm with my own views from my vantage point somewhat further down life's strange path. But I do feel drawn to point out one thing -- your best teacher is yourself, and you've shown great courage and self-care by reaching out here when your other avenues seemed closed up.

I hope you can keep at it, even when it seems so discouraging.
The best learning, for good or ill, still comes from within.
 :hug:
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 06:27:37 PM by woodsgnome »

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Bermuda

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2020, 07:32:45 PM »
Well, I would say that I exceeded in school, and graduated two years early. I didn't have any friends, and was teased and bullied a lot mostly because I didn't have school supplies, dress well, or have good hygiene. I was never in trouble for anything other than rolling my eyes or correcting teachers. I corrected teachers regularly, and exacted my defiance subtly. School was my way of trying to be loved. I thought if I did THE BEST, I would be loved, or even noticed by someone, but I wasn't.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 07:39:47 PM by Bermuda »

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buddy9832

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2020, 08:52:07 PM »
Thatís very interesting I guess for me it depends what age in school you are referencing. In grade school I was a poor student, acted out, disrupted class, got in trouble etc. With life experience, I relate it to a deep sadness that is till canít really piece together.

High school through college was a different story. I was more withdrawn. I had core group of friends but I just did my thing and preferred to be in my head. I was definitely withdrawn. Rarely actively participated in class. I had no problem eating alone etc. I did do well though, exceedingly well. Perfectionism started taking over during this time to the detriment of my health. I always got good grades (mostly As and some Bs) but it came with a price. It wasnít uncommon in college for me to only get 2 hours of sleep a night for months.

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alwayslikethis

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2020, 08:09:21 AM »
I know this is a pretty old thread, but thought I'd jump in anyway because I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

I was home-schooled for most of my childhood, but when I did go to school as a teenager, I was probably every teacher's dream student. I paid attention in every lesson, I got my work in on time, I was polite, I was never disruptive in lessons, I helped other students when they didn't understand something. One of my teachers actually used to direct other students to me when they needed help with something. She would say, "I'm just helping _________, could you ask Alwayslikethis?" I realise now that was another example of me being given too much responsibility, but at the time I didn't find it weird because I was so used to being given adult responsibilities at home it just felt normal. And, actually, I really loved it because I looked up to my teachers and wanted to be one myself, so I liked being given extra responsibilities. In my mind, it elevated me higher than the other students and got me closer to being on the same level as the teachers.

I was really desperate to please the teachers and I feared being reprimanded. I once got into trouble for helping another student too much (i.e. I did his entire assignment for him - I was desperate to please everyone, basically) and I felt so humiliated I worked extra hard for teacher approval after that because I felt like I'd let my teachers down and had essentially failed them. I think from an outsider perspective, I just seemed like a great student, but the reality is that I was just desperate for approval from adults in my life. Everything I did as a child was to gain adult approval.

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Bella

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2020, 09:34:47 PM »
Wow! This is an old thread, but it has been so helpful to read all responses here. My IC has been so busy scolding me for even thinking the thought of having CPTSD. I've always performed well in school and have never had any behaviour problems. Perfectionism hanging over me at every task, minor or major.  Desperately trying to be good enough. Like someone else mentioned, I've never really been able to acknowledge my accomplishments, which is very sad really...
Thank you Kat for starting this thread! It has calmed my confusion for now.

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Gromit

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2020, 04:48:30 PM »
Not sure why I didnít spot this thread before.

I was the quiet, withdrawn kid, borne out in my school reports where it seemed that teachers were not even sure who I was, I was so far below the radar. Never acting out, or playing  truant but often ill as my immune system was terrible.

I certainly did eye-rolls in primary school, more from not knowing what to do or where to look whilst a teacher was examining my work.

I was bullied throughout school and stuck with a small group of people I felt safe with. I was also a day dreamer and never raised my hand unless I was absolutely sure I was correct and no one else volunteered. Of course, generally I was asked things when I my head was elsewhere.

I did ok, average although in a Grammar school, so only the brighter kids went there. I did ok in exams at work too. I think it started to unravel when I had children myself, too many other things to put first ahead of my own studies.

Basically I was trying to survive without anyone noticing me.

G

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ultramarine

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2021, 10:53:53 PM »
Elphanigh's description captured very much my experience too. So, Kat, you are not alone in being the highly functioning student at school. In Pete Walker's book, he talked about how much safer he felt in the army than with his family. In the army, there were clear rules. You follow them, you get rewarded. You transgress them, you get punished, while at home, there are hidden landmines everywhere. That really describes very well what I felt at school. I was a good student, followed the rules, kind to my fellow students, did real well in exams and extra-curricular activities. I was loved by my teachers and fellow students. I had much happier school memories than many of my friends who had more loving families than mine.

Also, the idea to become the best and get into the best college became a hope for me during those late teenage years. I chose to believe that once I've given my mum what she wanted from me - best of the best - then we are even and I would be free to live my life. Problems started when I actually did get into the best college, and they continued when I tried to get a job and enter into the "real world". There, it's no longer enough to obey rules, listen to the teacher, know how to study for exams. People want boldness, creativity and confidence from their top students or candidates for their competitive jobs. Well, after spending years developing skills to be very sensitive to what other people what from me, and being polite and obedient, I had no idea what I would want to create nor did I have a single shred of true confidence left.

I can so relate to this. Growing up in a family where achievement was everything, I forced myself to bring home straight Aís at any and all costs, so that I would not have to face the wrath and shame that my parents would deal to me otherwise. I pulled all nighters starting in middle school all the way into graduate school in order to deliver exceptional reports and to excel at tests. I didnít have time for friends, it was not encouraged, and I didnít enjoy that interaction because fun was portrayed to me as a sin. I didnít have time for my own interests, it was also not encouraged unless it was something impressive I could include on my transcript.

So to appease my parents, because otherwise I would be kicked out of the family, I worked myself to the bone to study something I wasnít naturally interested in and something I wasnít naturally good at. I graduated from a top university only to find out as Arale said, the real world has no closed system like in the classroom where thereís a single authority figure, planned tests, planned preparation time, and an objective ranking system. Because the job market is so open-ended, those who have confidence, initiative, and resilience (all the emotional skills that were crushed by my parents) tend to have the most success.

Now Iím still in this field that was not my choosing, and wish so hard that I had listened to my true self back then. I know being a minor, it probably wouldnít have been possible, but then that just makes me more angry that I was born to these parents.

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starkravingsane

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2021, 01:29:17 AM »


I apologize for the length of this post but I think it's helpful for me to put it out there even if no one reads it.


I relate to so, so much in this thread. I am really not surprised that so many people here, whether they excelled or not, are highly intelligent people. Just the way that the posts are written displays a high level of intelligence.


bluepalm beautifully stated something I have experienced--
It's been my paradoxical experience that although I was able to perform well academically throughout my education, no achievement was ever sufficient to banish a debilitating level of self doubt. So, while on the surface I was resilient, in that I kept on jumping hurdles, inside me I was never able to grab hold of my abilities and own them with confidence.


My experiences from infancy onwards so eroded my sense of self that external validation such as excellent academic results seemed flimsy to me.


I'm sure this is common among us, but my childhood was one of deep shame and "othering." My brother and sister were not abused, and I was told that the abuse was my fault, that I deserved it. When I was eight I told my mother that I wanted to tell my guidance counselor or teacher about what my father was doing to me and she told me that they would just laugh at me because "nothing wrong is happening to you." She was an elementary guidance counselor herself, so of course I believed her and really internalized the shame and doubted myself and my perceptions of reality--still do to this day.


I think I was a pretty good student in elementary school, but honestly I have few memories of my childhood. Like Kat said about her crying going unnoticed, in third grade I cried during the pledge of allegiance every single morning. One day in the beginning of the school year I thought about how bleak my life was and started crying, and even though I was immensely ashamed and tried so hard to stop, I guess there must have been a really strong cue associated with the flag and the pledge that I just could not stop it. No one said anything;  the class just recited the pledge and my teacher never said a word to anyone.


My therapist has suggested I finally felt safe enough to cry when I was at school. 
This sentence actually gave me goosebumps. I never thought of that. I think while I was deeply embarrassed about the crying, at least I wouldn't get hurt for it in school.


One thing I do recall from grade school was that I always had just one best friend who, as I see it now, displayed strong signs of BPD--controlling, manipulative, jealous, cruel. I still wonder how I could have ended up with this series of budding abusers, but I guess it was just because I was so very timid, such low self-esteem--I was an easy target and I would put up with it. I remember in fourth grade I consistently forgot to bring home the textbooks I needed for homework and got in a lot of trouble when my parents had to bring me back to get them. I think I had issues with dissociation, which caused a lot of forgetfulness.


In high school, I excelled, but without doing a lot of work or paying much attention. One French teacher would constantly say that I looked at her like her cat looked at her. Now I realize that was the glassy-eyed stare of dissociation. I guess I learned pretty early on how to make perfect eye contact and even smile and nod when I actually was not hearing anything that was said, so I was perceived to be attentive. My parents expected me to get good grades but never praised me when I did, and I think I just took the AP courses and got good grades because I thought I was supposed to, because that was what everyone else was doing.


I breezed through classes like AP Physics without even doing my homework, despised by the whole class for messing up the curve, but I still never thought of myself as smart. One reason was that my brother and sister were in the gifted program, but when I was tested I didn't get in. It was determined by an IQ test in fifth grade, and I distinctly remember multiple questions where I just said I didn't know the answer because I thought I would sound stupid if I tried to explain my answer. But then by the end of high school it became apparent that I was actually far more intelligent than my siblings despite the family mythology.


When it came time to look at colleges was really when it first occurred to me that I was intelligent. I ended up going to one of the best schools in the country, and my parents really, really took this to mean that they were excellent in some way, like Kizzie mentioned. My father especially would boast about it all the time, but neither of them had ever taken notice of my accomplishments up to that point, and they certainly had had no hand in it. And my personal response to my achievements was one of disbelief and maybe something like imposter syndrome, feeling like it was all some big mistake.


The college I went to was extremely rigorous, and even though my grades and scores were above average for the students there, I walked into every class convinced that I would fail, that I couldn't match the other students' intelligence and work ethic, that I didn't belong. So I would be afraid to go to class at all, and almost every semester, I would get halfway through and decide to just give up entirely on half of my classes, because I was never going to pass anyway, so why was I bothering to torture myself. In addition to the trauma I didn't realize was trauma, I struggled with an eating disorder, addiction, and bipolar disorder. I went to college on and off for three and a half years, my parents pulling me out every time I failed a class, until finally they pulled me out permanently after a suicide attempt in my fourth year. Others said that they functioned well until mid-life, but I functioned well until a very, very abrupt shift upon entering college.


I am still learning about all of these factors. It's been a very long time since I dropped out of college but I am now probably going to try taking a community college class in something that used to come naturally to me to try to build back up my confidence in my academic abilities. I wonder sometimes what my high school classmates would think if they knew what my life was like now. When I graduated, it seemed that I was without a doubt going to do incredible things with my life. But I guess that was because no one, not even myself, knew how deeply I was struggling behind the scenes.


Kat, I don't know if you are still reading this, but I think what you are studying to do is so deeply important and I really have incredible respect for those who work to better the education system.

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Alter-eg0

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Re: Question About Schooling
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2021, 08:49:05 PM »
Hmm.
I guess it was a midway for me. Academically, I did excel. Socially....not so much  :whistling: