@Alaya I can relate I am a mother of a 14 yr old girl who has been diagnosed with Selective Mutism, Agoraphobia and Generalized Anxiety disorder. In fifth grade she was bullied and much like your story, It started with wanting to come home early and feeling ill and then straight up school refusal. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that she could have had an anxiety disorder and the bullying was a catalyst that made matters worse. It was impossible to get her back into school even with transferring her to anew school because the trauma of the bullying not only by a student but also by a teacher was too much for her to handle. Took 6-8 months to get a therapist and put her on medication. She spent two and half years not talking to this therapist and the medication dosages were increased. Until I realized that she was becoming depressed and having suicidal thoughts from the medication. Stopped all medication. Changed therapists. Now she is definitely talking about everything to her therapist and is off meds. She was homeschooled for these last three years. At first she would not even go out for an hour anywhere. Slowly she has increased and is able to go out and be with us and travel. However speaking with anyone else is very rare unless a one word answer. There’s lots of progress in this last year and she will not start going to school again for high school. I’m hopeful that progress will continue. But it has been a long and emotional road.
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Thank you @sunflowermom and @Taylor-RO for your support and suggestions regarding managing my sons behaviours. I will try finding an appropriate time again to talk with my son about what works best for him although at this stage I feel not giving the negative behaviours any obvious attention seems to work best for us both. Safety of course is paramount and if his outbursts get too bad I just need to leave the house. An awful way to live! Prevention however is important too and I have really been working hard on my own reactions and responses to his behaviours by not retaliating and like you mentioned @Taylor-RO, not taking his attacks personally. This is a real test because I find being sworn at and spoken to really disrespectively very demeaning. However, I don't lose hope that one day my son shall realise his disrespect and develop into the beautiful soul I know he is capable of being. Due to his extreme anxiety (for whatever the reasons and there are probably several) I know in my heart he doesn't mean these dreadful things so if I continue to stay calm, not take his words personally and not lose sight of compassion, love and understanding then things shall improve. This is all unconditional of course and I need to give myself breaks along the way because I am also learning all about self care which is so important for all of us particularly when living in these situations. I have just done a lovely walk in the sunshine and am giving myself some "time out" by being on this forum. Nurturing myself by finding enjoyment in the simple things in life. Nature, writing and reading are gifts to myself. Also talking to select others over a cup of coffee/tea about my sons behaviours when they occur. These are basic things but for me they work. If I am calm and happy, hopefully one day my son shall be too! This is the plan. @sunflowermom....what you are going through with your daughters behaviours takes patience, love and compassion too. But please give yourself some time out and pampering. You deserve the gift of self kindness and nurturing. Listening to your daughter screaming can be really hard to deal with as you know. What about putting some head phones on and listening to some relaxation music when she begins screaming? That way you are still on the peripherary but not giving the behaviour undue attention. Possibly your daughter could try this technique too although she may have done already. Look after yourself @sunflowermom as I shall be too.
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