RHS Curtain Call

To my son, his classmates and peers;

As you may know, your school is in danger of closing sooner than we thought. The very real possibility of losing RHS 9-12 for this (2017-18) school year is upon us and we (parents, community members and your teachers) along with you are scared and apprehensive to say the least. As frightening as this seems, it would also bring with it exciting and new possibilities, let’s remind ourselves of this often.

I want to express my apologies to you all, as we adults have failed you somehow. Act 46 came to be and without meaning to, we let you all down. Our protective little valley that has been a home to us has been torn apart as the elected officials and voters alike have tried their best to seek a solution befitting everyone.

Here we are, not able to offer you comfort or even certainty. I feel as though we’ve neglected you and forgot that we are supposed to protect you and let you know that you do matter. Your school, your home away from home is being seized and you have no power over the decisions that affect you most. I am so sorry.

I know you have made plans for the last year at RHS. A combined end-of-year trip, the last prom, graduation, so many lasts. All taken from you and who is explaining this to you? I’m sorry. We dropped the ball and have neglected you. Your voices matter, your feelings are just. I’m sorry we’ve not allowed a place for you to share them.

It looks as though our little valley has run out of hope and options simultaneously. Again, I’m sorry. Those with a voice and in a position of power have attempted to find a way around this but it has been found to be a near impossible situation. I think I can speak for many when I say, we’re sorry.

I want to tell you that it is all going to be okay, because it will. That in no way is said to minimize the blow this will feel like to you. Your worlds will be rocked, but you will bounce. I promise. In five years you will look back and see that although this time was sad and unforeseen, you survived and even persevered. Some of you may be grateful for the change, some resentful, some terrified. There are no wrong ways to feel. You will miss some classmates, some teachers and most definitely the familiarity your home-town provides. Still, you’ll be okay.

I am not one to embrace change. I find the most comfort in stable, predictable environments. I feel your pain. I feel your angst and disappointment. I urge you all to recall that uneasy feeling you may have had embarking on middle-school, heading into the unknown. This is similar, you survived then as you will now. These last years of high-school are merely a blip in your lives. The stress and anxieties that come with being 16/17 will soon be traded in for college/life-bound jitters and today will be a distant memory. I encourage you to embrace this change, seek out all you can from it. Find new friends and make new memories. Decide that this doesn’t define you and only offers you new ways to become a stronger, more versatile you.

I ask you to forgive your elders for losing sight of you along our way. I feel that in the heated exchanges, moments of panic and planning, you were overlooked and your opinions possibly undervalued. As we move forward and find our paths, remember where you came from and what you were a part of. Rochester school was more than a school, it was a family. You were a part of that, the biggest part.

Thank you for being the kind of young people we are proud to call ours. You have all been remarkable in countless ways. Your kindness and acceptance of others makes us as a community so very proud. Remember also and lastly that this valley who has loved, nurtured, educated and protected you still does, and we will be cheering you on as you move down that road to your future.

 

My Own Private Paxil-Hell

I was on Paxil HCL 20 mg for over 4 years and then 40mg for about one year.  I feel that for me the depression subsided, as did any semblance of emotion. I was numb. In many ways this was a profound blessing, in so many other ways a curse. If I should feel joy, instead I’d feel empty. If I should feel sadness I would have felt oddly disconnected. If I was to feel angry I’d feel it but it would be tamer than any anger I’d ever felt before. I felt as though I was hovering above myself waiting to feel something, anything.

This, along with the “pooping-out” that occurred for me, all contributed to my decision to end my stint with Paxil. I decided to research and found that cold-turkey was not recommended and that a tapering would be necessary. My PCP didn’t really agree that the withdrawal would be worrisome and directed a 3 week taper from 40mg to 0. That put my mind into a tailspin.

After my taper to ZERO I was in such emotional Hell that I begged for an alternate SSRI and was put on Wellbutrin 150mg. I honestly don’t see or feel any improvements, but continue to take it in thinking that it can’t be hurting anymore than I already am. The following are my personal findings of Paxil withdrawal symptoms and their duration.

  1. 2 months of severe dizziness.
  2. Lack of appetite for 3 months that was followed by an insatiable hunger.
  3. Crying spells that 7 months later are still occurring.
  4. Anger and severe rage episodes that leave me wondering what in the Hell just happened to me.
  5. Confusion and lack of short-term memory

At one month Paxil-free my father died unexpectedly, and one week after that was the Grand-opening of our new business. Every day I was battling the tears and bouts of sadness I’ve never felt before. I would need Lorazepam or marijuana just to make it through the day without falling apart.

At around 4 months I noticed (along with my family) that my rage was brewing and my angry outbursts were becoming more frequent. I could get through the work day fine (minus the tears part) but would feel the anger build the very moment I walked through my own front door every evening. I have been verbally abusive to my husband and both of my children, especially my daughter.

In my mind, at the moment my rage peaks I feel warranted in my anger. I feel as though I must act on it and next thing I know I’m weeping, sobbing and begging for forgiveness. Ten minutes later I cannot believe how I just behaved and find myself overcome with unbearable shame.

Some days I wonder if this is still the lingering withdrawal or something worse. I have convinced myself that I have Borderline Personality Disorder, but then I’ve never been diagnosed in the past so that is doubtful. I wonder if I’ve just lost all common decency and have turned into a complete narcissist. Then like a lightbulb I remember that I basically came off this cold-turkey and everything I’ve read, from blogs to medical journals indicate that it is indeed still the effects of my withdrawal.

This is little consolation to those in my rage’s path. I still need help somehow and have no idea where to start. I have attempted therapy in the past but have found each and every time that they are all cookie-cutter types looking to have me say what they want to hear. I don’t want to discuss my childhood, or my parents or how I feel I was or wasn’t treated in 1980 for God’s sake! I want to tell someone that I am losing my shit and need some tools to control this instead of it controlling and destroying all I care about in this life.

I write in hopes of healing myself. I have hope that laying my behaviors and innermost thoughts out before me will enable me to find some clarity and recognize my triggers and find a way to cope with them by removing myself from a possible out lashing before it escalates into an irreversible situation.

 

 

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