today i had a really horrific experience. an experience so horrible that i cannot yet talk about it without crying, as i did in my principal's office at brunch today, with my head on her table and her patting my back. green-haired tiara girl (ghtg) is back and i think you all need some background. ghtg was with us at the beginning of the year, off and on. i REALLY liked her and she had NO friends, so we would sometimes spend lunch together, when she was in attendance. she had this little problem of never coming to school, and her grandma, who she lived with, would lie to get her out of school. she lives with her grandma because her mom is in jail and she doesn't know her dad. anyway, it was hard to do much at first, because, of course, her absences were excused
by her grandma. after weeks and months of sparce attendance, however, we called in the police, who deal with serious truancy problems. i had to write up some statements, because i had actually called her grandma and offered to pick the girl up every morning, but grandma said ghtg "wasn't comfortable with that". then ghtg just stopped showing up altogether. for about 3 months now, i've seen neither hide nor hair of her. then apparently, she showed up at the attendence office on friday, asking for an admit. slip. the principal took her into her office and somehow they worked it that she would be on a super-shortened-day schedule, where she only comes to my class. so i expected her monday, and then yesterday, but she never came. i was beginning to have doubts that we would see her again. then today, about 10 min. into 1st period, the door swings open, and in she walks. i about broke down at that point, but managed to stay calm and keep the class going. she has seriously lost about half her body weight in the last three months. she was always thin, but she is 5'7 and now weighs probably 90 lbs. her hair is partly green, partly blond, and she clearly hasn't been showering. the circles under her eyes were shocking, but not as shocking as the scars from the cutting and suicide attempts up and down her arms. she has been in and out of the psych. ward for the last three months, and i will tell you now the first thing i thought when i saw her, the most horrible thought that has passed through my head- i thought "she is not long for this world". she is the most broken person i have EVER laid eyes on, and i have been around some seriously broken people. she looks like death is knocking on her door, and she is 14 years old. i couldn't really teach- my students were in groups and i normally walk around and monitor them, but today i just kept her in the corner, away from the prying eyes of the other students, who were absolutely horrified, and sat with her. i felt as hopeless as i have ever felt, not just as a teacher, but as a human being. she is honest- telling me about her time at the hospital, and answering all of my questions with direct eye contact, and i took out my breakfast and MADE her eat something, because i honestly had fears she would keel over right there. there is not much for me to do, legally speaking, because she is being treated for her depression and the police are already involved. i guess what i can do is feed her and try to be her friend. like all teachers, there have been students i have wanted to take home before, but this kicked open something inside me that i have never felt before. i wanted to take her home and never let her out of my sight, for the rest of her life. i seriously considered just taking her right there, putting her in my car, and not letting her go, regardless of the fact that that is kidnapping. i don't know what happens to a person that could make them turn out like this- so lost and void of everything
. it honestly makes my most horrible trouble-makers- the ones i want to give referrals to every single freakin' day- look like the most well-adjusted, stable, and ALIVE people i have ever seen.