JJ Brewbaker Academy, 1979-1981

That was my high school and those are the years I attended. This post is one written out of shock, dismay and anger. You see, my teachers and the school principal repeatedly called my parents to pick me up because, “She is asleep and strung out on drugs.” Specifically they accused me of being on valium and Quaaludes (a horse tranquilizer). This I found out yesterday, thirty years later, from my step-mom. I had, at that time, never seen those drugs. I may have never even heard of them before my Dad gave me the ass chewing of a lifetime on the way home one day as I struggled to remain conscious through a fog of sleepiness that I could not beat.

Of course I then went right out and found some Valium and Quaalude and tried each. Hell, I didn’t need *anything* that might make me sleepier! But I’d been tried and convicted with no evidence. Eventually my parents tricked me into having a blood test done for the purpose of drug screening. I actually laughed at them because I knew what they’d find: slight traces of THC and nothing else. Which was the case.

So my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Bryant, was apparently the teacher who made these accusations and who also recommended that I see a psychiatrist. Dad took me to this guy forthwith. The Dr. did absolutely nothing during our sessions. He sat and stared at me, waiting for me to break I guess. It was all very odd. Now, I understand that this is a specific psychiatric method though I can’t remember what it’s called but really? Take a troubled teen and stare at her for an hour…? It doesn’t make much sense to me even today.

Why am I writing this? Well, for one, take care before listening when an unqualified person tells you that your kids is on drugs. For another? I want to let the word out that I was NOT strung out on drugs in high school, dammit. I was deeply depressed, horribly abused, afraid all of the time and, in all likelihood, narcoleptic. (My own daughter is narcoleptic and it’s been a learning experience for me! If I am not suffering from the same disorder she has, there is very definitely a sleep disorder at play.)

So be careful with your own kids and believe what your children are telling you first and foremost if someone accuses them of drug use. Be honest and have your kids tested. It’s easy to find out if someone is using drugs via a simple drug test. If they aren’t, don’t think the problem ends there because your child could be depressed, perhaps suicidally so, and you don’t want to miss the signs. There is a lot of information available online on depression, as well as on sleep disorders.

I managed to graduate with poor grades and high SAT scores but if I’d known what the teachers and staff at my high school were saying about me, I might not have made it. What made them think they knew what was wrong with me?


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in health and well-being, personal. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to JJ Brewbaker Academy, 1979-1981

  1. Terry says:

    Great post, Tina!

  2. Kerry says:

    AMEN!!! *HUG* I fully feel your pain. My parents were told i had a million learning disabilities and was on drugs, too, by various teachers. I was told I wasn’t college material. That I was ‘slow.’

    In reality? HORRIBLE depression. Why? Abusive family.


    I didn’t snap out of it until I started riding. And even then, its a roller coaster.

    There is solace to be found in the hug of a horse.

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