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  • Frustration and Stress

    My situation is a bit complex so it may take a re-read to full understand some of the things I'm going to type.

    I'm 15 (9th grade) & have been cyber charter homeschooled since 5th grade. I went through periods where I truly hated the system and then later matured to appreciate it. I still do, but it has changed so much then when I started it.

    I moved from the middle school program to which I was able to go at a very fast pace with my work and still understand it fairly well to the high school level. The work load tripled and I have to spend double the time than I used to which leads to working on weekends. My grades from the previous semester have shown the results of my having to adjust. I used to have all A's in the middle school program which set a president for my parents to make me continue receiving them. Now I'm only making B's and C's.

    While they understand my struggle, they still pressure me constantly which is expected I guess. I'd be better if they didn't "threaten" though. I've been swimming for a very long time and because I was a freshman this year, I decided to join the High School swim team in my district. It was a great experience but it took up a lot of time and because I didn't go to the school I didn't know everything I was supposed to with scheduling which irritated my parents a lot. So, they said, if I don't get all A's and one B in Geometry (an exception because I was never good at it) that there's no swimming whatsoever even on another team.

    I think it's proven itself already that even though the season has ended, my grades have not improved, in fact, lowered since the end of the swim season so it was the swimming that actually helped me. Their take on it though is that I'd have more time to study and such. It's really hard for me to explain to them how my new high school system and work load is now because they aren't the ones doing it and they just don't understand it.

    Going through all this stress I've had really bad days, weeks, even months of symptoms of stress to get my grades up or face lack of swimming. I get palpitations, insomnia, headaches, stomachaches, delayed periods, the whole shebang. So, I've proposed going to school next year. My dad was "alright" with it, agreeing I needed more of a social environment upgrade from 0. My mom however, was completely rebellious to the idea (Pennsylvania schools have had a record of not being very good education wise). She herself had a horrible experience with public schools, so I'm guessing that's what's fueling her decision. She says that it's the worst thing to do education wise and that the public school is ONLY focused on social life, clothes and other meaningless things and she will not let me go there just because the work load with my homeschooling program is too much at the time.

    While the work load is a big portion of my stress, it's also being in my bedroom every day and even the house every single second. It gets so suffocating and I'm interrupted by my siblings or my mom to do chores on a regular basis. It's hard for me to get anywhere because I have three younger siblings and my mom has an orthopedic problem(I'm the only kid of the four that has an extra curricular activity on a regular basis). I hate, hate, hate, telling my mom she is one of the reasons why I don't want to stay home because I know it will backfire into a bunch of swearing and she'll end up trying to defend herself, even though she says she won't. I am very pessimistic my dad will back me up, because in this situation even if he is on the other side opinion wise, he will still go with what my mom says.

    I know in the end it will never be my decision, but I can't find a way or evidence to show my parents, especially my mom how much this stress is hurting me and that maybe public school will be better off for me, even for just one year. How do I persuade her without painting myself in a corner or hurting her feelings? And if she still says no, how do I continue to manage this stress? I'm really afraid it's going to hurt me in more ways than one long term.

    Thanks for your time,
    (took out name for confidentiality purposes)

  • #2
    Re: Frustration and Stress

    Well it certainly sounds like there is a lot going on in your life right now and we are so glad that you were able to write in and share a little bit about your situation.

    It sounds like you have a lot of things that are causing you stress at the moment and it hasn’t been easy to deal with them. You mentioned that you have been home schooled since you were in 5th grade and within the last year your work load has really gotten out of control. It sounds like you’ve done very well in school but your parent’s don’t understand how much harder school has been for you. What usually happens when you speak with your parents about the situation? It sounds like you are working very hard to keep up with school and that you feel frustrated that your parents continue to pressure you.

    The other situation you mentioned is being involved with swimming. It’s great that you have an extracurricular activity that you really enjoy doing, and it’s understandable that you are concerned with your parents about taking that away from you. You also mentioned that one of the reasons you feel stressed out is because you are stuck at home so often, so it seems that swimming can actually be really beneficial in regards to that.
    Have you spoken with anyone else about this situation? Is there any one you can talk with, a friend, counselor, or teacher, even if you just need to vent about the situation? Have you been able to talk with your swimming coach about this?

    You mentioned that one of the options you were looking at was to actually return to school next year. It sounds like your dad was receptive to the idea but that your mom was quite opposed. Do you feel she may warm up to the idea if there was some sort of compromise that could come of this? Perhaps you would be able to take some classes through home schooling and then take some classes through private/public schooling. They may have a way for you to do a half day at home and then half day at school. Do you feel like that could be an option?

    It’s definitely not good if you are stressed out to the point where it is affecting you physically. Have you mentioned any of that to your parents? If so what did they say? Perhaps if they know that is really starting to affect your life they would understand a bit more what you are dealing with? On the other hand, are there ways that you are able to deal with this stress? Even something small like getting out of the house and taking a walk or talking with a friend? If you even feel like you need to talk with someone more about this situation remember you can call us anytime at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are here 24 hours a day and are a completely confidential crisis hotline. If you need to vent, talk about options, or even discuss resources we are here for you. In the meantime, make sure to take care of yourself and know that we are here if you need us.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Frustration and Stress

      Thanks for getting back to me.

      I guess I'll start with answering your questions.

      What usually happens when you speak with your parents about the situation? - Usually, my dad shakes his head unable to really understand my work load. My mom is about the same since she's not really my teacher anymore. They just keep saying, "You did so well before, we know you can continue to."

      Have you spoken with anyone else about this situation? - I've talked to a couple of my friends about it loosely.

      Is there any one you can talk with, a friend, counselor, or teacher, even if you just need to vent about the situation? - I've spoken with a couple of my advisers/counselors about my schedule. They say that I'm actually one of the better students that has adjusted from the middle school to high school program. Even with that information my parents seem to pressure me still. To me it's like a hot and cold game. They're all "Oh, it's alright for now." or "Just keep doing your best." and when they see my current grades it's total opposite. I really don't know what to base off of that of how they really feel.

      Have you been able to talk with your swimming coach about this? - Currently, all my coaches know is that I'm very busy with school work. My head coach especially knows that my parents are holding a sword over my head when it comes to grades and swimming because they wouldn't let me attend three meets due to a low grade. My coach was upset because she really needed me to be in the meets. I currently don't have contact physically with her because the season is over for me and I don't have a real reason to go to the pool.

      Do you feel your mom may warm up to the idea if there was some sort of compromise that could come of this? - I'm not sure how we could compromise really. Grades are grades and they expect the best and they're willing to take away a lot of what I do to make me meet those expectations. I told my mom that it would probably just make it worse for me because I'd be even more stuck doing what I hate and she looked at me like I had three heads which made me feel like I had them.

      They may have a way for you to do a half day at home and then half day at school. Do you feel like that could be an option? - My mom wants it one way or another basically. She's really adamant about doing things all the way. And with the way the cyber charter school is set up, I have to be enrolled to get the full courses.

      Have you mentioned of the physical symptoms to your parents? If so what did they say? - I always tell them what's going on physically with me because I've had swimming injuries in the past that only got worse when I stayed quiet. They know about all the insomnia and other stuff I've been experiencing and just sigh saying it's not right and go on about their issues which are similar. They're both doctors so it's easy for them to classify what's serious and what isn't. My mom says "Learn to deal with the stress now. It'll be useful in college."

      Perhaps if they know that is really starting to affect your life they would understand a bit more what you are dealing with? - I'm really not sure. I tell them what I can feel comfortable with but it still doesn't seem to change anything.

      On the other hand, are there ways that you are able to deal with this stress? - The only way I've been able to deal with it is swimming because all I have to think about is...swimming.

      Even something small like getting out of the house and taking a walk or talking with a friend? - I only have a few friends. One who lives a half hour away, a few online friends (in Maine and Texas) who I just don't have time to talk to anymore to get my feelings out, and my cousin. My cousin very understanding but I'm afraid if I vent to her too much her mom might figure something is up and tell my mom.

      I've talked to my friend who lives a half hour away about how hard everything is for me. He gets in trouble a lot in school but he says he likes the social part. He admits he could never do what I do and that he'd probably kill himself if had to. I told him I was ready to commit suicide any day (not seriously) and he just yelled my ear off over it because I had tried to kill myself before over this matter when I was younger. I've got more insight now and I don't think I'd do that but my mental capacity is really narrowing anymore.

      I can't just take a walk because my mom is super over protective. I tried to ask her about taking a walk with my brother who is 13 on a regular basis to replace swimming and she said "I'm too stressed to deal with that right now".

      I used to cut to escape crap like this but it ended up becoming a terrible addiction that took a long time to get out of. I still have urges constantly but I know, it just won't help. The other day I tried a little cut on my ankle, just once to see how I felt later to get some aggression out. I was a mess for the rest of the day from the thing so obviously I'm not going to try that again.

      It just keeps going around in a circle and it seems like I've got an excuse that I can't do every option that's presented to me. All I need is time out of the house regularly by myself. Not like a grocery trip which is what my mom would suggest. I need to get away from my family really. I've asked my grandparents about living with them for awhile two hours away in West Virginia (closer to my cousin too); they were thrilled with the idea but my parents obviously didn't like it.

      So yeah...I'm going to try to keep talking to my mom about school next year. The only thing I'm afraid of is that she'll pull what she did the last time I wanted to go to a school. "You can go to school as long as you give up swimming. If you want to keep swimming then you have to stay homeschooled. It's too much for us to go out and pick you up/drop you off just for you to swim. It's not a right that you have that you get to swim, it's a privilege that we give you." I know all of that and still I can't help but feel like they're the ones being irrational. I was wrong before on this sort of thing a few years ago when I had bad relations with them, but I hate to believe that I'm wrong now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Frustration and Stress

        if i can say something
        i am no way an expert in the matter but being a freshman in public school it is a lot os socil things but it also teaches life long socil skills that i cant find in some homeschooled people.
        also have you shown you mom that swimming does help you do better in school.
        finaly you are right that public schools have less work load but your mom is kinda right to that they dont always teach as good as private or homeschools.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Frustration and Stress

          Thank you for taking the time to answer some of the questions that were asked in our last response. We are sorry to hear that you are continuing to have such a difficult time with your situation. You stated that you feel like you have an excuse for every option that is presented to you. At this point, what do you feel your options are? It sounds like you have already tried talking to friends, your cousin, your mom, and your grandparents. As we explained earlier, you are welcome to call our hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY, at anytime. Just a reminder, we are anonymous, confidential, and are available 24/7. We would be happy to discuss your options with you if you decide to call.

          You also mentioned just needing time out of the house by yourself. It sounds like you feel limited with this since you stated your mom is overprotective. Besides the grocery store, are there any other places she allows you to go outside of the house? If you are unable to physically leave, are there any ways that you are able to escape at home. Are you able to listen to music, write, draw, etc.? Or, is there something else that allows you not to think about the situation when it becomes too much for you.

          You mentioned that you used to cut, but do not feel like you will do that again at this point. It must have taken a lot to deal with cutting and hope that you continue being able to stay safe. You also mentioned a prior suicide attempt, but explained that you do not presently feel that way. If you do ever feel suicidal, you are welcome to talk to you at our hotline and there is also the National Suicide Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK.

          Going back to what you think you will do, it sounds like you have decided to try and keep talking to your mom about the option of going to public school next year. It also sounds like you’re afraid that she will only let you do this if you give up swimming. Is that is the case, is that a compromise you are willing to take? It sounds like you have thought a lot in depth about everything that is going on at home. However, if you would like to continue communicating with us, we can be reached via our hotline. In the meantime, we hope you stay strong and wish you luck.

          - NRS
          Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

          National Runaway Safeline
          [email protected] (Crisis Email)
          1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

          Tell us what you think about your experience!
          https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Frustration and Stress

            Thank you for offering your perspective on the situation. It sounds like you have first-hand experience on public schooling, but recognize the benefits that may come with home-schooling as well. We are glad that our readers are able to offer encouragement to our posters.

            -NRS
            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

            National Runaway Safeline
            [email protected] (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

            Tell us what you think about your experience!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment

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