Before my first day of kindergarten I bore a scar on my forehead from being hit with a beer bottle. While my mom panicked, I stood there emotionless as blood ran down my face. I had developed the skill to internalize my emotions for protection.
I carry memories of observing drug sales and drug use, homelessness, seeing lifeless bodies in the street, taking cover in the middle of shootouts, and escaping house fires – all before my first day of school. Yet the system in place for me to learn, develop social skills, and cultivate my talents was not equipped to help me beyond the classroom.
Although I was constantly reminded of this, school always came easy. I finished homework assignments in class, never really had to do much studying, and I never bothered anyone. So, it was easy to ignore my unexpressed nor assessed needs because I was the exception. Read full story here.