Day In The Life of A School Counselor
Let me tell you something you can’t tell anybody, not the principal, not my teacher, not nobody.
I stopped the ten-year-old midstream. If you tell me someone is hurting you I have to tell. I am required to tell.
No. Nothing like that.
He did not think it was, and yet it was exactly like that, but not reportable.
He has been sad since he can remember.
I finally pinned him down to one happy moment five years ago.
His mother is having surgery, and he is afraid she will pass away.
She has told him that when she does he will be forced to live with his father.
He asked if I was angry with him. I said no.
I asked about grandma. Why wouldn’t he stay with her? They live there right?
Mom had already told him that DFS would come tear him out of that house and take him to dad’s
And he would rather be adopted than live there
Mom has shared all the nasty texts between her and Dad with him.
I asked him what he did to calm down?
He could not think of anything.
I asked what he did for stress and anxiety.
He said How do you know I have anxiety? His hands are still shaking, and he keeps saying he is not going to lose control and scream or anything because that would be disrespectful.
He asked if I was mad at him; he asked if I had something else to do.
I said no I was not mad and assured him I have nothing else to do.
He told me that in 1997 Dad told Mom that he hoped she would die, and Dad’s brother died that week.
That was Karma he said.
Two days ago Dad told Mom he hoped she would die during surgery, and now he was thinking that he could die. That would be karma, right?
I asked him if he wanted to speak to the nurse about surgery, knowing she was an expert and all that.
Three people in my family have died, he said. All of my family dies. The hands were shaking again.
I have already spoken to this child’s mother about sharing wonderful things with him.
We tried again to think of something that would calm him down. What is it he likes to do that works?
He told me six or eight things that do not work.
Are you mad at me?’
No. Do I look mad at you?
I am not mad at you.
I asked him to think about something that helped him calm down.
It might take two or three minutes he said.
I told him I would wait.
He could not think of anything.
Wait. What about a trampoline?
He used to have one, but it was left at Dad’s house.
Now it made him mad to think about it.
He told me he cannot wait to grow up and be a soldier, so he can fix his anger issues.
I told him that sometimes when people are mad they are really sad.
He told me he is always sad. The next secret he told me is that he has a black heart.
None of these secrets are secrets because my office door is open and he has a loud voice.
I asked him if he had a bike.
Do you like to ride it?
Is that relaxing?
He almost had a heart attack on his bike once.
He was going down a big hill and he thought he was going to die.
Like the guy who had a horrible bike wreck by Quick Trip.
He saw it. Not the dead body, but the cops and blood on the bike and stuff.
I walked him back to class and he told me his next secret.
His mom told him he has some special defect in his chest.
If he gets pushed or shoved or anything he can die.
When I returned to my office three adults who had heard the conversation
Said to me “I would like to call his mother.” I already had, so I knew it would not help.
Her reaction was, "Are all these phone calls REALLY necessary?"
That was our first phone call.
Maybe our last one also.
The saddest part?
There is a three-year-old living in this house also.