Why I Skipped my High School Reunion

Earlier this month, I learned of a high school reunion.  I chose not to attend.  Here’s why: I don’t like how I was treated in those years. As I write about elsewhere, my high school told us if we weren’t good at sports, we didn’t matter.  It was dehumanizing.  I also didn’t wish to hear people bragging about their accomplishments–really fishing for compliments.  No thanks.


4 Responses to “Why I Skipped my High School Reunion”

  1. TexasMom46 Says:

    I am so grateful to have found your blog. I am sobbing as I am reading your posts. My daughter was diagnosed with NLD at the age of 17, after years of psychoeducational testing (at a nationally known evaluation center), that just didn’t pick it up. From the age of about 7 I started “looking” on the internet, anywhere, to describe what I was seeing in her — the lack of motivation, the inconsistency (A’s in English, F’s in Math), her difficulty with organizational skills, awkward speech intonation and speech patterns (cocktail talk), depression, anxiety…it was (and is) so pervasive, and so elusive. Some days it would look like one thing; some days another. It’s so frustrating trying to figure out how much of what I am seeing even now is “normal” teenage stuff, and how much is the NLD.

    She spent a year in intense therapy after her diagnosis, and is now in her first year of college at KU. She called me yesterday in meltdown mode because she is overwhelmed and everything is falling apart. As is typical, she is doing well in English, and classes that call for her to rely upon her excellent memory, but falling apart in Math and Philosophy. She also unilaterally decided to go cold turkey off of her medication, without telling us, and did not use or rely upon the resources available to her at the university (extended testing and paid tutoring). I dropped everything and flew to see her last night. Her room was in total disarray. 8 loads of laundry, a good cry, and lots of hugs later, we are trying to pull together a strategy that will allow her to take “easier” classes next semester, and her required Math and Science courses at home, during the summer, with a tutor on hand. I can see, however, that living independently and in an environment that expects change and adaptability as a high rate of speed is not working for her.

    I personally think she needs to come home, and go to a local 4-year university. However, she is struggling mightily to retain her independence, and I am no sure where to draw the line. I am beyond worried for her. Everything I read about NLD makes me so angry — the future just seems so bleak — underemployment; failed relationships, dependency upon family members, yada, yada, yada. It is so massively unfair. There must, must be hope. Do you have any advice for me as a mother? What motivates you? What helps you? How did you come to terms with NLD, without feeling labeled? How did your parents help you? Would a “coach” help, or a specialized program that teaches life skills? Any advice you can give me would be welcome and appreciated. Keep this up. I am going to give my daughter your site, and cross my fingers that she reads and relates to you in a meaningful way.

    Thank you again for your courage. Your willingness to exposure your vulnerability is truly the mark of a brave soul.

    • hannahcamille Says:

      Thank you for writing. I’ve been where your daughter is now, in breakdowns and the like. Don’t give up. Things will get better, but the progress is likely to be gradual, and there will be setbacks. I often find that due to my visual-spatial problems, I have to re-teach myself (and figure out ways to learn things so I most efficiently understand them) tasks, and be patient through mis-communications and mistakes, et cetera.

      A wonderful therapist–luckily someone who had seen lots of NLD cases before me–made all the difference in my life. Since I also have a speech disorder, speech therapy is essential, too. Though I’m very busy, I make sure to receive both forms of coaching/support on a regular (often weekly) basis. If it’s financially possible, maybe your daughter can drop to a more limited courseload next semester?

      I was very spatially disorganized in college, too, and quite “messy” with my stuff everywhere–in piles, et cetera. I can relate. It wasn’t until a period of unemployment following college that I finally straightened myself out and got organized. I started reading some housekeeping-related articles/magazines (i.e., Real Simple: http://www.realsimple.com, Oprah: http://www.oprah.com, Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking: hipgirlshome.com, and some more I can’t think of right now) for some lessons in cleaning, et cetera. One thing that helped a ton was a) throwing lots of things out (I know it’s not earth-friendly, but when there’s a mess, you need something fail-safe), and b) giving useful things I wasn’t using to thrift stores. Once you get rid of stuff, as you probably know already, it’s way easier to keep things neat. I also got a little extreme about neatness, perhaps to counteract my former, cluttered antics. The cleaning upped my confidence, and improves my life daily, plus has allowed me to take on a hobby cooking/baking, which has proved a fun activity for me and several other people who suffer with visual-spatial problems. Feel free to write again. You’re on the right track, and your daughter is fortunate to have you as a Mom.

  2. Clementine Says:

    I’m proud that I’ll never be one of those people who says “high school was the best time of my life.” While my college years were a lot of fun and I accomplished a lot in grad school, I truly hope my happiest years are yet to come. There’s no point in reliving high school for those of us who didn’t fit into a narrowly defined social structure! Looking back, I’m so glad I got out of there and feel no need to ever return.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: