Stages of The Grief

The emotions that I feel about my son’s horrendous year continues to hit me in waves. I know it sounds a bit over dramatic to onlookers, but it feels very much like a journey through the different stages of grief.

I guess I am mourning what school was supposed to be, what it should have been.

Some days I feel content about our decision.  The stress and anxiety had reached a point that we knew we had to act. Now, we see so many more smiles.  We hear so many more conversations, ideas, and questions.  We hear laughter.  There was a really long time where the crying overwhelmed any laughter.

A child absent of laughter? Unacceptable.

Even knowing all this, there are still days that I feel doubt.  Was it really the best decision?  Did we try everything?  Are we only helping him avoid his biggest struggles?

There are days where I still feel disbelief.  Surprised that we are now a homeschooling family since I am a proud, veteran school teacher. I believe in public school.

Today, I am mad.

I am mad that a group of supposed “professionals” couldn’t focus on his strengths or interests. They were determined to make his difficulties and learning differences the target.  They ignored our questions about his needs being met, but were quick to stop us in the hall about his challenges.

I am mad that my highly gifted child thinks that school and learning is for others, not for “a boy like me.”

I am mad at the fact that they call themselves “educators” and “experts”.  I am mad at the damage they do to my profession.

I am mad at the time that we have to spend to prove their harm. Their recklessness. Their negligence.  Their stubbornness and arrogance.

Clearly, I am not at acceptance yet.

Honestly, I don’t think I can claim that place until the investigation with the Office of Civil Rights is done. I want them to admit their wrong doing.  I want them to explain what they will do to make it right. I want a god damn apology for my son and my family.  I want it!  I need it!

Each stage of mourning seems to be real; valid after the hellish time our son and family has experienced.

Some of you will totally get it; you have lived it or you know that unfortunately this could be your future path too.  Others will not get it.  I know that and your ignorant, judgmental comments will only add to the awareness, to the discussion.

If you can’t tell, this is all still raw and change is hard for me.  Transitions take time.  I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised that this journey is no different.




30 thoughts on “Stages of The Grief

  1. I completely understand this. I am also the mom of a 2e child who the school system failed. We have an older child who excels in public school, but not our younger. It is heartbreaking to watch and be part of. Many of the teachers we worked with wanted to do more, offer more, but couldn’t. We homeschool now and love it, but it has been a journey.

  2. I do not know if this helps you, but “I have heard you” and “I am sorry for your loss”. Grieve what is no more, then look forward to what is to come…you are on the right path and it will lead to a happier, healthier child and family. Again….I hear you!

  3. It’s one of those things, like colic, that people can really only understand if they’re been there. (Or are really, really, good listeners or empathizers and had a really good day. :D)

  4. Oh Gosh! Exactly the point I am at!!! This is so terribly relevant, we have left mainstream as of last week! And it hurts that rather than teach my child, or use our words of guidance to work with him, they shut him out, he was a burden in the class for the teacher, too much effort for head of school to fill forms and move his class. Just heartbreaking they broke my child leaving tears almost everyday just because they couldn’t do the job they get paid to do, the job they are supposed experts at!

    I have come to realise the only expert of my child is ME! It will always only be me! I give him my time, I explore his learning with him and lift his confidence and slef-worth. No school will ever take my position, no school will ever know him like I do or love him enough to give him the time to do what is best just for him!!

  5. If anybody gets what you are going through, you know it is me. Former dyed-in-the-wool public school teacher, 2e son, school screwed up, emotions, anger, pain, damage…all of it! It has been a year for us and still I’m angry at the “mental anguish” this has caused our family and the year of life they took away from my son. Somedays I rise above it, some days I try to forget it and somedays, I want to make them pay. I get it! And it is like grieving, maybe even worse. We all know that death is inevitable, and yet we grieve. When your child is traumatized by the very people who are trained to nurture him and it ALL could have been so easily prevented, it is almost humanly impossible to accept. I get it! If I can help in any way, you know where you can find me 🙂 Love and hugs to your family!

  6. I can appreciate your issues. I can from a different perspective and specifically to your child’s needs NOT being the focus of the meeting. That can occur and when it does it is impossible to move to goals to address them, much less selecting the appropriate services to meet the goals/needs. This can be so frustrating–more than frustrating.

  7. We’re two years into this journey, and we started right where you are…plus a couple years further into school. It gets easier, and harder, and more relaxed, and more frustrating. :/ But I have my child back, and that makes all the difference.

  8. Sharing your grief here as well. I have often contiplated writing a letter/email to my daughters old school, after fighting with them for 4 years at the end of it all all I want is for them to take responsibility, my daughter is striving now though she has years of catching up to do. I too don’t understand how not one staff member stood behind my daughter to support and incourage her. Not one educator stood up and said this is a child and she is struggling. I feel guilt for removing her from her school and giving them the satisfaction of not having to deal with her any longer. I feel like I gave them the easy way out.

  9. I was excited to find your blog today…to know that there is someone else out there that has had similar experiences, struggles, and disappointments. We are on the 5th year of my son’s journey, and while I know that my son would have a richer education and learn more if he was homeschooled, the social/physical activity aspects are most important to him…so we continue the daily struggle at school. It took us this long just to get to the point of creating a 504 plan…when we know that what he really needs is an IEP, but it was decided that he did not qualify because his grades/scores are too high…which does not make sense when anyone can see that he is having issues that are getting him removed from the classroom daily. It’s very hard not to be angry, and it’s very hard to understand why they just can’t give my son what he needs to be successful. After all, he has spent years sitting in a classroom re-learning academic things that he already knows…if my son needs help with social/behavioral/organizational skills, why can’t they do anything to help him. It’s still called teaching…it’s just a different set of skills…the ones my son needs to be successful in school. Please keep doing your blog. It helps just to know that there are others out there with kids that are misunderstood by the schools. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone! 🙂

  10. Zyaire2e is my amazing 10 year old. Thank you for your blog and until now I don’t think I realized that the stages of grief have been a big part of our past.There have been many tears. I now view his twice exceptionality as a gift, but it has taken me a long time for me to get there. We stayed in public school and believe me the fight is constant. I believe I got clarity when I realized the public school system is driven by standardization and there is nothing standard about an exceptional child. There in lies the gift, he very rarely sees things the way the rest of the world does. He gets from point A to point B without taking the path that anyone else would or could.and we haven’t developed a test to measure whether his path works. I will never forget our first meeting in second grade after the psych eval was in. The question was thrown at me well what do you want us to do you tell us. I felt like screaming you’re the educators you tell me. The school’s position was that he had an overall IQ in the 99th percentile so there was nothing they could do. I remember losing my cool for a minute and saying I could care less about his IQ if he can’t read. Many meetings later we now have a working 504 plan using lots of assistive technology. Not a standard idea in public school. No remediation,if it did not work the first time pushing it at him again will not fix the problem. I fight everyday to prove he is not lazy,that he doesn’t need more practice, that no matter how fast they want something done it isn’t going to happen, MY SON IS 2E and if you don’t know what that is get prepared he is amazing, he is challenging, he is brilliant, and the path he walks will be a new journey. 2e parents must be part cheerleader, and part prize fighter. (A pom-pom in one hand and a boxing glove on the other, we’re 2e in out own way.

  11. Oh, I needed to hear this today. I’m sorry for your and your family’s pain, but I really needed to know I’m not going insane here. My little boy had to be withdrawn from school because ‘they’ would not educate him. I later found out that one of the ‘they’ had been abusing him. It got bad enough that he was originally misdiagnosed with aspergers. We unschooled for a while and the difference was huge. Then we moved to a new school that ‘gets it’ as much as any school can, but still administration above the school won’t support his 2e needs. So while school works for his HG+, will the next school work (when he moves on to high school), will this school be able to sustain his learning without support for his two second exceptionalities? I grieve the ease that we don’t get of just dropping our kids at school. I grieve his lost innocense, his awareness of the dark side of people at such a young age. I grieve my motherhood, not getting to be the mum who plays with and loves her kid, but has the be his therapist as well. I grieve for my other child’s childhood and constantly having to sit outside therapy activites, stay quiet when his big brother is having a bad day, having parents who are tired beyond belief. I grieve on my son’s behalf, because he doesn’t get to just go to school and learn (“that’s my job mummy, as a kid”). Oh, I hear you when you say you’re grieving and I wish none of us had to go through it.

    • I understand your worries and frustrations! My son’s school couldn’t meet his social or academic needs and so we took him out.

      For a fraction of the time, we get more learning done and it has helped our relationship too.

      I didn’t set out to do unschool or homeschool, but it was the right thing for us.

  12. Thank you for writing this. This is EXACTLY how I’m feeling currently. I’m happy that my little boy is starting to be happier again and seems so much less angry now that we are homeschooling , but I’m still so angry and disappointed with his school. Even worse then the anger and disappointment is the confusion. Not knowing what to do next, or what is the best choice (that we can actually afford) is the hardest part in all of this.

  13. I’m happy to find your blog. I also have a blog at about my 2E son, his siblings, and our journey. I stopped early in this school year – he became uncomfortable with me talking openly about our struggle (he’s 14 and abhors attention by anyone) but I do feel the need to find some community around his issues. We’re about 2 years post diagnosis but a decade past first identifying issues and some days I feel no closer to getting his schooling straightened out than I did when his pre-school teacher first told me, “He’s not likely to thrive in a traditional school.” Keep up the great work and writing about your potato. Best, SK

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