Being Teased About Your Past (FASD, PTSD, High School Edition)

Basically, you shouldn't be letting people get to you, but some of us are more sensitive than others, especially when we come from an abusive past, and have FASD with a life that is difficult in the first place. When people make a certain joke and or rumor it goes around the whole school, even other schools. Nobody really wants to face the reality of high school, that you are going to get made fun of because of your disability, mental health, or a traumatic past. Even the "Popular" and  "Cool Kids" will get in on this as if it makes them feel better about themselves to make fun of someone struggling.  This is when everyone should be offering a hug or shoulder to cry on with some caring and understanding.

Adults and kids are all capable of starting something because that's how some of them are. It is nonsense but when you're messing around with kids or adults with FASD, PTSD, etc. it is going to be way worse than the situation actually is, as we are already hurting inside.  Being on the FASD spectrum or being affected by PTSD we tend to have a short fuse compared to "normal people", because of the FASD, abuse, neglect, brain complications, and all of the shit we've been through in our life.  We learn to not accept crap from other people, but sometimes we go a little too far, we can be so tired of the abuse, 
and good chance we can have an attachment disorder and trust issues.  We go crazy about the teasing and the stupid rumors, we have to work so hard in life just to make it through the day with FASD to have to put up with stupid made-up rumors. Then add to that many of us with FASD come from a past of abuse having been Crown Wards people have no idea what personal secrets we carry inside about our past.  That stupid rumors can really hurt and mess up our PTSD, then having FASD it is so hard to work things out in our mind so we obsess trying to figure things out, making our mental health fall apart.

Not sure if it is just me but I find that after being in school for a bit, I found that online school because of Covid lockdowns helped my brain relax, sit back and finish my work on time, be proud of myself, have time to myself not being around other kids that trigger me in a bad way. We talk about mental health in school but not enough to make a difference that people understand what it is to have mental health issues. In my opinion, I hate online school, I like my in-school experience but this time I was so happy to be online, for a bit. There's nobody around me tempting me to do shit I know I wouldn't do at home like self medicate or feeling so bad about myself not wanting to face another day of rumors that it makes me want to jump off a bridge onto a busy highway. I just needed this time to think to myself what I can change so I don't become an easy target and get triggered easily because it is fun for others to watch me run out of class crying. I know other students who feel this way they just gave up on school and went online so they would not have to put up with the crap. Sometimes that abuse can even be by a teacher, not that they name call or otherwise but when I am struggling to send me to the office or to suggest a suspension cause I am afraid to face the teasing in class really hurts. I need a friend in my teacher, not a suspension, I need to feel safe to learn.

From talking to others like me most of us wake up in the morning and roll around, moaning and overthinking before the day starts because we think something bad is going to happen again today. This is because it's happened multiple times before, we just don't want to face those people again, we've just had enough of the teasing and rumors. In the end, I was lucky, I have a school team that most of them get me now and how to support me. Only one teacher last quad didn't understand when I was wandering the halls or hiding in the washroom it was because I was struggling but that one teacher made life so much more difficult it affected my mental health and all my marks. I can't be mad at that teacher they were a super teacher but just needed a better understanding of FASD, trauma, and mental health so they could be better at supporting me and others like me.

In the end, most of the teasing and abuse finally stopped, I talked about it to my FASD key worker and she mentioned it in a school meeting and ask if I would like to tell the others about it. My worker made me feel comfortable enough I could open up and tell everyone what was going on, she made me feel like it was not my fault this was happening. Yet had the teacher who wanted me suspended taken a minute to ask what was wrong I may have been able to open up and stop the teasing and rumors a lot earlier. 

So while school boards may be so proud of their mental health programs it takes a lot more than shiny folders, glossy binders, and talk. A school needs to be a safe place for everyone to be able to say "I Belong". Not sure how this will happen, it will take a lot of people to become more aware of FASD, PTSD, trauma, all disabilities,  and mental health, putting their words and shiny folders into action a lot more than it happens now. Really all I can hope for is for some school board staff somewhere to get to read this and start to understand what needs to be done to help those like me. That those school boards start to understand that they don't have it all figured out that their schools may not be as good as they are telling everyone, but that takes awareness.

In conclusion, I have been working on this post for weeks, my mental health has been going back and forth for good and bad but I keep trying. My FASD and PTSD cause me a lot of problems mentally but only with the help of others will I be able to cope, please for my sake and everyone like me try to understand FASD, PTSD, and the trauma pasts many of us come from, we need all your help. If not for school my mental health could be pretty good, I look back on how every summer I can settle down and be happy, but when it is time to go to school, my mental health will often fall apart. I am luckier than most, I have a lot of understanding people supporting me, parents who advocate constantly for me, and a great support group but it just takes a few people who don't get it to ruin things for me and others like me. So please if you are in a position of power and a parent or worker or someone like me speaks to you about FASD, PTSD, all disabilities or trauma try and listen. We may not have the big words you use, or your education but I can tell you the parents raising kids like me are really smart. Those parents work with their kids every day, my parents chose to be parents by adoption, they know what works, the parents in my support group know what works, they have lived experience which is what really counts.

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