VANESSA: When I first came home it was nerve racking and scary because I didn’t know what was going to happen next. But, I did know that I wasn’t going to be living in a structured place anymore. Lets just say I was excited about that!
But, it was different being in an environment that doesn’t require structure. I didn’t have to ask to go to the bathroom; I could have tweezers without someone thinking I was going to hurt myself; and I could go where I wanted to without having to tell someone. But, honestly it was nice not having to do that!
SAMANTHA: I think it was my second day after I left therapeutic boarding school, I knew my life was going to be just a little (and I use ‘little’ extremely lightly) different. It was just me and my Mom in the house and I had to use the bathroom. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Hey, can I go to the bathroom?
Me: Can I go to the bathroom?
Mom: (laughs) You realize you don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom. You don’t need permission. Go to the bathroom.
Embarrassed, I walked away and went to the bathroom. But, the story is funny and we bring it up sometimes because home life is so different from boarding school life where you always have to ask questions and permission to do everything.
Asking for permission to do basic everyday activities such as going to the bathroom, or going from place to place is mostly based around respect for the staff, teachers, and peers at boarding school. At home, asking and communicating is the bond that holds a family together and if not used correctly can break up trust in a family.
It may sound silly and completely non-useful, but asking permission, even in boarding school, is one of the best places to practice for when you return home to essentially the “real world.”
VANESSA: After a couple of months being home it was going great but I was stressing about where I was going to go to finish school, cause I didn’t want to go back to public school, but thankfully I found [our local transitional program] to help me with basic life skills which was awesome! I learned a lot while being at [therapeutic boarding school] and it was time to move on from there and show my family what I learned. I’m not the same person I used to be 4 years ago! Even though I may have my struggles at times and a lot has changed, being home has been going ok!