Friday, 4 March 2016

Catch Up Part 2: PTSD. It's that time of year.



I’ve finally written part 2 of my catch up posts.  I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that I first hand write my posts and then type them.  For some reason I can’t usually just type it directly on the computer.  

With all that was going on with Micah’s arm, I completely forgot that November to March/April is Micah’s worst time for her PTSD because that is when the ‘incident’ happened in grade 6.  I was thinking her main anxiety was over not being in school to get the proper instruction in her courses.  It didn’t sink in to either of us until just after Christmas, when she was no longer able to speak.  She had two disappointments in one day on December 27.  Not speaking due to anxiety is common with autistic people who can usually speak.  To communicate, Micah used gestures, mouthed words, and typed.  Before school started in January, I emailed certain staff who were involved with her and let them know that Micah could not speak and that there were alternative communication options.  The staff were supportive.  It is interesting because if I had tried to put her in school as a non-speaking autistic student before the staff knew her, I wonder if she would have gotten the same education.  Emma, from Emma's Hope Book posted this around the time I was thinking about that.  Micah also has three great friends in her ASD class who just seem to go with the flow of whatever is going on with her.  

Since the grade 6 incident and being diagnosed with PTSD, this is the first time Micah has felt like cutting herself. Not talking was just a regular autistic thing to me but wanting to cut is a scary thing.  You don’t know how far it will go.  It showed me how much worse her anxiety is this year.  Part of it is the trauma of injuring her arm, part of it is that she was to start math in the second semester, and part of it is the yearly flashbacks of the problems that happened at this time 4 years ago.  Math was a big issue in grade 6.  Micah was failing and she didn’t get the support she needed so now she is stuck there (in the deep of her mind anyway).  As the days and weeks went on, Micah’s voice gradually came back and she is currently speaking at full volume.    

During that really dark time, mainly in January, Micah started up her blog again and wrote a couple of posts.  One was titled, Rock Bottom and the other was titled, It's Never What You're ExpectingIt was good for her to be able to do that.   She was finally able to write about what went on (some of the timeline was a bit mixed up but all of the facts are there).  I blogged about it almost four years ago, also.

We found out that our local abuse centre is now starting to offer groups for types of abuse other than sexual.  They are going to be starting the groups in the fall, so I asked Micah if she was interested.  She was.  We went to the intake where we were told that they couldn’t complete the intake because the abuse was not reported.  I explained that at first we didn’t even realize that what had happened was abuse and second of all the teacher was no longer living.  They told us that it still had to be reported for Micah to join any programs.  It seems wrong than an abuse program would refuse support just because there is no report.  The incident happened 4 years ago and the teacher involved is no longer around.  Reporting isn’t going to change things, although it would be nice if the school board was paying the for all of the therapy.  As of yesterday, the reporting was complete and we are waiting to hear back about programs.  

Through all of this, Micah completed first semester on the Honour Roll.  After missing over a month of school and her PTSD being really bad, she managed to still get high 80’s to 90’s.  She had some really rough days at school but the staff were understanding and supportive.  Her high school has been an amazing school for her.  I had only ever heard bad things about it and didn’t really want Micah to go there.  They don’t have a great selection of electives but it has been worth it.
 
My anxiety really feeds off everything going on around me, so it has been worse as usual but I am used to it.  I have never had the benefit of therapy.  Micah is doing well with therapy, even with the setbacks.  In the past, she couldn’t go to school.  This time even on her worst days, she was there, even if she couldn’t go to class.  She had an amazing vice principal who was her guidance counselor last year.  She is the first educator whom Micah has felt completely safe and comfortable with, so Micah went to her when things got really bad during the day.  Piano has been very calming for her as well.   The VP moved to another school so Micah doesn’t have her safe person now but she is getting stronger and is becoming better able to trust certain other people more.  She is advocating a bit more for herself and her needs.  

I feel very proud that Micah is my daughter.  She is disabled and able (does that make sense?  I know what I am trying to say but maybe others won’t).  She is doing so well even when she has bad times.  Each year she gets stronger and becomes more of an advocate.  Ever since she was a baby, she has known what she wants/needs and she makes sure she finds a way to get it.  When I grow up I wish I could be like her!