Definition of Psycho-education: verb
Education provided to the average psycho on the street.
I work with Deaf people and I witness oppression, prejudice and discrimination pretty much every day. In my role I am a passive witness to this oppression and when I first started working in the field I wondered why Deaf people don’t take every opportunity to confront this oppression head on with some nice in your face activism. Over time I realized that if I was regularly witnessing these oppressive acts then Deaf people must deal with this crap every day in every possible situation you can fathom. My conclusion is that it comes back to that expression pick your battles.
So, when my son started to experience more overt symptoms related to his TS I went from witnessing prejudice to experiencing it. So here is the thing.
There is always a thing with people have you noticed??
I am generally not a very nice person. I can be nice. I do nice things for people but I don’t love being around people for long periods of time and I can get cranky if I am forced to do so. BUT, I have this annoying British upbringing that compels me to be polite most of the time. I am a walking bag of cognitive dissonance. This translates to me being mostly conflict avoidant while simultaneously simmering a quiet hatred thatsometimes reaches a rolling boil which then compels me to do something about it. I pick my battles in a dysfunctional sort of way.
Hey man, we all have our things, don’t judge.
When we are out for sushi and people are giving us the “control-your-kid’s-bad-behaviour-stare” I aggressively stir more wasabi into my soy sauce and keep eating. Proper British Upbringing prevails.
However, the other day he comes home from school and tells me that a substitute teacher told him to stop whistling in class and he has the insight to know that this woman can’t possibly know that he has TS so he suppresses his tics for 40 minutes. Then when the class is given time to work on their assignment he goes up to the teacher and quietly apologizes for whistling but explains that he has TS. (Great strategy right?? Pretty mature for a 15 year old dealing with TS without any outside intervention or treatment right??)
Teacher replies “Yeah right, go sit down.”
He came home and felt like crap which made his TS symptoms worse and now I am a simmering ball of animosity.
Yes. This is the hill I am willing to die on.
Raging Alter starts to emerge but Proper British Upbringing intervenes and begins to reason with Raging Alter and brings up the fact that teachers deal with a lot of diversity in the classroom with little training into how to deal with the needs of these students and she even conjures up the memory of the time when I convinced a substitute teacher that I had intractable hypoglycemia and if I wasn’t allowed to eat in class I would probably die.
But seriously intractable hyplogycemia isn’t even a thing!! I think substitute teachers should at least know that or they are fair game!
So the plan was to do some psycho-education because this would be for the greater good. How very utilitarian of me. Us? Shuffling into the school the next day I allowed Raging Alter to know that Plan A was psycho-education but Plan B was code named “Operation Mama Bear”. Raging Alter was amenable to this strategy. Save your strength Raging Alter there will likely be more opportunity for you to do battle.