I don’t know about you, but my school days have continued to walk beside me since the day I left, and not in a good way.
It is safe to say that school was not ‘the happiest days of my life’ and that I definitely, do not ‘wish I was back at school’, two sentences that were repeated to me over and over again, during my school career.
I never truly fit in school or into social circles, and always felt I was on the periphery of each group of friends, never really feeling 100% understood or even visible at times. Even now I envy those that have lasting friendships from school.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was not bullied and actually this admission would come as a surprise to many. I recently disclosed how I feel to a person that I was at school with, and she was genuinely surprised, as it appeared to her that I had had quite the opposite experience.
As a pupil, all I desired was to fit in or be part of a close-knit group, so I compromised who I was to get there (although I know now I never did). I became a master chameleon and changed myself to blend in, I never wanted to stand out. I guess I just wanted to feel part of something.
I HAD many skeletons from those years; after all school comes as such a hugely formative time in our lives, particularly senior school, and so many of our behaviour traits will come from what we experienced then.
I have been challenged by my beliefs and experiences in adulthood, and more specifically when entering a school like environment i.e. Training days that involve group work, networking groups. I instantly feel the urge to retreat and get back to a place of security.
I have worked on lots of my school baggage and as I say above, I HAD many skeletons. Most are now gone, and I have a strong tribe of friendships/relationships, where I am authentically ME. When I find myself in situations (mentioned above) where ‘teenage Steph’ is triggered, I speak to her gently and remind her I am now all grown up and have totally got this. (thank the lord for Hypnotherapy and EFT for getting me to this place)
Anyway, so why am I sharing all this with you?
Well fast forward to the person I am today, Mum of three sons, confident and self-assured, and yet today I have been triggered BIG TIME!
Triggered because my youngest son is struggling to fit into an environment that refuses to bend for him. He is in year 11 and the school model is just not right for him.
I feel overwhelmed, muted and at times……. guilty (here comes mothers guilt again)
Guilty that I didn’t know then, what I know now……how crazy is that!
I know now, that I could have held him back (he is an August baby) and given him another year at home to grow and develop. He was a baby when he started school, literally just turned four.
‘If I had just held him back, he may be more mature now to cope with the pressures and demands of school’
Watching your son struggle – and by that I mean, withdraw and feel frustrated, angry and defeated most days- is heart-breaking.
So today, I practiced what I preach.
I told the mother’s guilt to fuck off!
Hindsight only helps when you are reflecting and growing from it, and I was allowing it to make me feel shit! Nope……off you go.
I took some breaths, reminded myself this is not my experience, had a little chat with ‘teen Steph’ “I have got this, you don’t have to worry anymore” and reflected on what I CAN do to make my son feel supported and safe.
What tools do I have in my belt to un-mute myself and communicate in a way, I wish someone had for me?
How can I use MY experiences to make HIS better?
I believe that every experience we have teaches us SO much, and we can CHOOSE to feel hard done by or we can CHOOSE to grow and learn and move forwards.
Today, instead of letting my past trigger me, I consciously decided I was going to blast through it and be authentically ME, and it feels so much more powerful!
The overwhelm has subsided, I allowed the tears to release and let it go, and I feel heard after communicating my concerns to his school, and as I said above, I have banished the guilt……end of!
So many of our past experiences can come up and bite us on the bum, when we least expect it, and so often when we are parenting ourselves. The simplest of things can push a button we didn’t even know existed.
But it is how we chose to have that experience and move forwards that is the important part.
I have done the work (hypnotherapy and EFT) and each time something pops up, I am able to catch it now and process really, quite quickly.
Self-awareness to me is the KEY And THAT in itself is TRANSFORMATION
Ready to put your skeletons to rest?
Book in a FREE head-space call HERE now, and you can share with me what you are ready to blast and release.