"An aweful feeling never left me. It was dread. A silent and prolonged fear that consumed my day, from the moment I woke up until I stepped off the bus at home at the end of the day.
But I soon found out that this dread could continue into my after school activities, when I couldn’t learn as quickly as others. When I was asked to identify left and right quickly during sports. When I had to follow directions that were new, and I needed to see what to do before I could really follow through. My world seemed exhausting at times.
This left me feeling “ill”, due to the daily amount of “fight and flight” responses I had to manage every day. I recall feeling ill and wanting to lie down. I believe my blood sugar was low as I would feel light-headed, dizzy and nauseated. Was this due to my body’s response to daily stress?
I seemed to feel physically better when I was home without the demands of school. How could that be? Was the panic of “having to perform” in school making me ill? Was the stress of school--which for me seemed like an unforgiving place where peers and adults spent the day telling me what I couldn’t do--leading to physical symptoms? These symptoms were real at school, but they left when I got home, making it appear as if I was “faking it”.
So I pushed through this physical state of nausea and tried to learn. Feeling sick was yet another part of me I didn’t understand and couldn’t seem to communicate to others. What was happening to my body? Why did I not feel well at school? My body did not feel this way in the summer, only during my school days. It was incredible how one breath of ‘fresh air’ outside would make me feel free. It felt good to be outside and away from the rules and demands of the classroom. Most of the time, recess was fun but I recall times of play with no friends. I really don’t remember being sad about this...I felt free, away from everyone and everything. Outside offered a sense of freedom that I couldn’t describe. It made me feel better...but outside time seemed to slip by so fast.”
When I think about this little girl that didn't feel well, I get it now.
The demands of learning were leading to other issues. Issues with my health, as my body had to deal with the constant state of 'survival' which most likely led to continuous adrenaline rushes and blood sugar lows. When we look at learning, we don't always look at how learning difficulties can lead to so many other issues, like anxiety, depression, health issues and so much more.
It's time to look at all parts and see them for what they truly are. When a child feels 'ill' during school days and not on weekends, we need to notice this and consider what this means. Instead of focusing on whether they are faking it or not?
I have part of a module that works through some of these issues in my BEYOND OK Mama Bootcamp, as I feel Moms need to know what they are dealing with and how they can support their child in a new way. We can do this. We can help our kids that learn differently.