‘Me and my EBD school’ – Beeswax style

As you will guess for the title, I have convinced Beeswax to write something for this weeks’ #WASO post in an attempt to try something new with him to try and help him (and Bumble and I) understand why he is struggling so much at weekends at home (Ok, truth be known, I will try anything at the moment to offset his endless rejection, aggression and general teenage angst).

I am not suggesting that the EBD boarding school is the cause of his difficult behaviour at home – that responsibility will remain with his significant attachment difficulties as a result of his traumatic early years history mixed in with a mammoth surge of hormones, but I do suspect, knowing the level of mistrust he has in adults, that there is a chance that his daily routine (or specific incidents) have him feeling out of control – and, Beeswax doesn’t ‘DO’ loss of control. To be fair to Waxy for some time now we have suspected that school are missing important signals/triggers that he is then bottling up because he presents as such a ‘well adjusted, mature, intelligent young man’ to most adults who he is not close too.

Anyway enough of my drivel!  With Beeswax’s permission here is his description of an example of a day in his school.

“Beeswax here! I am going to give you a taste of one of my busiest mornings in the week.  I have a 3 hour lesson which is not in the classroom and is always outside somewhere (most of the time even the teachers don’t know where that is, but more about that in a minute)”

“THIS IS HOW MY DAY USUALLY GOES”

7am – They wake us up and tell us to have a wash.  Admittedly I am always already up (mum I am not telling you how early because you will give me the ‘Paddington’). The staff do knock on the door but then run in shouting to get up and wash and we’re like “shut up” (not to their faces of course)

7.15am – OK my mates and I are washed and dressed and we are allowed to go to the games room to play pool but the annoying kids run in and messes up the game normally.

7.25am – I finally get in a decent game and other kids come in and start calling “next game” (for all you adults who are not cool enough to know what that means. It means I can’t play another game I have to give the table up to the others).  Sometimes we get called into the lounge for a group chat before breakfast (FFS!)

8.10am – Finally we get to go down to breakfast and eat something (I have been awake for hours and I am always bloody starving by now). The kids are all so bloody noisy and staff are always shouting “be quiet”, “Stop talking”, “If don’t stop you will be taken from the dining room” (blah blah blah).

8.40am – *wait for it* Breakfast is finished and now I have to wait for about half an hour for staff to get their arses into gear so they can take us out where ever we are going for our 2 hour lesson.

11.50am – We are back and get told by one member of staff not to go upstairs and get out of our dirty clothes, but to be then f**king told by another to go up and change. But when I try to explain what the other staff had said, I get told off and given ‘evils’ and told to do as I’m told and go and change. 

Noon – Get to maths just on time and plonk my arse down just in time to listen to the teacher blabbering for 20 minutes before letting us get on with our work. Apparently if we didn’t make so much noise she wouldn’t take so long explaining things.

1pm – Race over to the dining room for lunch (I am starving again) only for staff to stop me and send me to the toilet to wash my hands first FFS.  Another member of staff is stood outside the toilets watching us kids.  IS IT ME OR IS THAT JUST REALLY WEIRD? 

Break-time – Finish lunch and go out to play football until end of lunch but the kids are getting annoying and messing about so I get bored with playing and stressed. 

2pm – Back to lessons and I have to walk over to the science block and I am 5 minutes late.  I get told off for being late but she won’t listen to the fact I have to walk further at the moment to reach the class (apparently this is not an excuse because it is my first lesson after lunch and I should be better f**king prepared).  I find my seat as LOUDLY as I can and the rest of the lesson is full of fun science stuff. 

3pm – Tutor time (ugggghhhh, here we go).  I walk over to the technology building and go on computers for half an hour or until it is my turn to ‘have a chat’. 

3.30pm – Assembly, yippee! (can you feel my excitement though my writing?). I don’t really listen because they are SOOOO boring! 

3.45pm – School is finished for the day! Yay! Back to unit and oh lucky me I have laundry to put away before I can grab a snack and watch some TV before activities for the next hour before tea. 

5.30pm – Half an hour for tea so we just eat and talk and it gets REALLY LOUD so you have to shout above everyone.

6pm – Back to unit to do homework or play the Xbox unless you are going outside for activities like football or rugby. I can tell you which one of these you won’t find me doing and it is not the Xbox or sports!

 7.30pm – Showers and wind down time (or is that wind up time? It is hard to tell most of the time).  We then watch TV or a DVD until it is time for bed, which could be anytime between 8.30 and 9.30 (it depends on if you have been a little sh*t or not). 

school

Pros and cons of boarding during the week

Pros:

  • Have loads of computer time during lessons and on unit
  • Get to be with other kids all the time
  • Get loads of food at mealtimes
  • Get up too early in the morning but not having to go to bed until 9.30pm
  • Some staff are really cool
  • Some people you can have a sensible chat with
  • Get to do lots of sports
  • Get to watch loads of television
  • They have the latest electronics
  • They have cool facilities
  • Get to go on lots of trips

Cons:

  • Lots of people want to go on the computers
  • Don’t know what Buzzbee is getting up to in the week
  • Food is regularly rank
  • Early bedtimes if you have not done what you have been told and the staff are being dicks
  • Some staff are ‘dicks’
  • Some kids find something dirty in anything I say (just because I do it doesn’t mean I think it is funny when they do it)
  • Some of the kids majorly suck at sports and we have to be ‘patient’ with them
  • I am not allowed to use some of the cool facilities
  • The trips are not always fun and we still have to behave ourselves even when it sucks
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14 thoughts on “‘Me and my EBD school’ – Beeswax style

  1. As a former challenging teenager myself what is apparent is your determination to try and help him sort this out – this is the best thing that you can do so stick in there and ‘well done you’, its not easy!

    When I was growing up, parents with teenagers like Beeswax would be exasperated but ultimately they would be getting on with their own lives in order to preserve their sanity …and their often selfish needs. They would unaware of the underlying issues that were going unchecked.

    I’m no expert on these things so this is my personal opinion based on my own experience.
    From the moment he wakes up Beeswax is being told what to do. He’s continuously being told off and frustrated by what he feels are others incompetencies. It feels horrible and so confining. Added to this he has a deep rooted anger from his traumatic past which he has to keep in check during the week. As a boy its likely that to let his guard down and let it out through crying is hard because he’s wired to be tougher. Lets face it, school is often about survival of the fittest so he’s possibly spending the week with so much suppressed emotion.

    When he gets home he’s allowed to be ‘freer’ because your family is unconditional and therefore his suppressed emotion is let lose.

    Professionals may have a much better answer but in my eyes its about you spending time concentrating on the things he is good at – it sounds like sport might be the answer. Weekend clubs, practicing his sport with you, his family…. He needs to let off the steam so he needs a channel.
    Being there supporting and praising him or just allowing him to do these things may help him feel calmer and more connected with you. If he is connected with you then he will feel sad that he hurts you – emotionally or otherwise.

    I’m sure this is what you do anyway so apologies if I’m teaching you to suck eggs.
    I’m on the adoption journey and what I’ve found amazing is the dedication that adoptive parents like you have. You’re doing a great job by trying everything. Good luck.

    • Thank you. This exactly how we see it with him and his needs. His biggest problem at home is he really struggles with “being in a family” and if he gets even the slightest whiff of us parenting him (even if that means we are doing something nice with him), his instinct is to derail it. Thankfully in the past we had a fabulous ddp therapist who really helped us understand how he ticks (even though he resisted her all thr way too). School try to understand but it is hard for them when he won’t let them in. I love that he allowed himself to voice his frustrations on paper – this morning he almost managed to get through breakfast without biting everyone’s head off or trying to breakfast.

      • My goodness that is tough. I have so much to learn. You’re right, voicing his frustrations (expletives and all) is good. Little by little… How old is he ?

      • Aww, tricky time with extra challenges. I’ve said this before but the fact that you’re doing this and taking the time with him is amazing. From what I read with adopted children (as should be all children for that matter) your commitment is unwavering and this really shines through. There will always be waves and sometimes tidal waves, you just need to learn to ride them ready for the next. I look forward to reading your blog for those break through moments.

  2. I can totally see that it is a struggle but I for one am extremely impressed with Beeswax’s writing skills (please tell him) and that he is able to look at what for him are difficult things from such a variety of perspectives, seeing both the positives and negatives in everything.

    • Thank you, I will let him know. It is rare to get him to do anything like this but even if it is for a short period, getting some of it out and onto paper has helped him feel his voice has been heard.

      • He does miss Buzzbee (not that he would admit it) but it is mostly about control and his constant need to parent his little brother as he had to for the first couple years after Buzzbee was born. There is also an element of fear that he isn’t getting something Buzz is.

      • It is difficult at time and I think that is why I become really gushy when they have wonderful moments of truly enjoying each others company and are laughing and joking together 😻😻😻

  3. That’s because it is is wonderful and you got them to this point. I think we all gush in the good times, especially when the norm can be aggression and rejection which is about as demoralising as it can get when you’re just trying to be a good parent. You’re doing well though by the looks of it…. Two steps forward, 1 step back will get you there in the end.

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