By A. Hosack & P. Berman & K. Hecht
Will I be bullied again? Can I make any friends at school?
Claire had tossed and turned all night, with terrifying dreams about school. She didn’t like to think about all the ways she had been bullied before Larry rescued her. There was no Larry to protect her now. The Carsons had said encouraging things about school. They said she could make some friends who might also have children who could become friends with Davy. Claire wanted to believe the Carsons, but they weren’t foster kids- they were foster parents. She didn’t deserve friends. She was a loser. Someone whose parents just considered a punching bag.
In one of her dreams, two students were holding her down while another used a dental tool to pull out all her teeth. As much as she sweated during this dream. It was not the one that woke her up. Claire’s most horrifying dream started out so quietly. She was sitting in a classroom and watching the teacher put words on the board that Claire didn’t understand. The teacher asked a question and only Claire didn’t raise her hand. The teacher walked right up to her and asked for the answer. Claire didn’t have any idea what was right, she was afraid to admit she didn’t understand the words on the board. She just blurted out something she had read from the textbook- it was not the right answer. Suddenly, the teacher began looking just like her mom. She pointed her finger at Claire and cried out that she was a waste of space, taking up a seat that belonged to someone who mattered!
All the other students had just laughed and stared right through her. Claire’s scream woke up the Carsons. Mrs. Carson rushed into Claire’s room and talked softly to her, reminded her of the mindfulness steps and how she could help use them to her calm down. The fish that had been in the living room was now in Claire’s bedroom. Her special fish that helped her relax. Claire had mastered her relaxation because she had done them so many times before.
Now, just putting her face up to the fishbowl and watching her fish helped Claire calm down. It was 6 a.m. so Mrs. Carson suggested that Claire just take a long shower and they would have an early breakfast. Mr. Carson was going to make her favorite pancake breakfast to celebrate her first day in school. Claire tried to smile at the Carsons at the breakfast table. They were so excited for her. They were smiling and looked so happy. If only she felt like them! But, all her fears had come back in a rush after her shower.
What if I flunk out my first week? What if the teachers agree with my mom about me?
After her first bite, Claire felt like she would throw up. Claire’s fear of failure had hit her like a brick wall.
Have fears of failure every dropped a brick wall in front of you? Read about the ten common warning signs and what you might do to break through the wall at: