remind myself to polish it everyday…
or it might get
January 10, 2005
I have visited your website for
the past five years in the mist of trying to find places
for my son to recover.
In that search, I discovered Hyde School. I believe that
some force, greater than I, brought me to Hyde. I now look
at Hyde as if it was given to me on a "Silver Platter",
despite my past resistance to polish it; what I now call
a "shining dish".
We were a desperate family tying to find help for my drug
addicted, "out of control" son. He was classified
ADD and Bi-polar along with all the usual crutches we used
to excuse his behaviors. These obstacles and labels have been
excuses for him not to succeed, but Hyde taught him to succeed
despite those "crutches". In the process, I slowly
began to let go and came to understand the vision that Hyde
had for my family and my son. It took three years for us to
get where we are since we first stepped in the admissions
office in Bath, Maine in 2001.
Hyde is not where a student goes to "get fixed",
but to recover and heal the wounds of the past and sometimes
even the present. It is a place where the student and the
family can heal and make amends with themselves and their
family members. For our family we needed, and still do need,
to establish a core group of principles without looking at
the outcome. Hyde does not claim to be a therapeutic. Although
their approach can be therapeutic when applied, and I must
admit the sessions and seminars are better than, or as good
as, any therapeutic session I have been to. I guess that what
makes it so meaningful for me. It's real people doing real
work on them selves and their families.
I trust the Hyde faculty with all that I am, and I have found
that they were "right on" about our family and where
we needed to go. I am surprised by their continual insight
into my child. Early on in the process I would question their
motives and tried to influence them with ideas of how my son
should be treated and dealt with. Hyde uses a saying, "The
apple does not fall from the tree," to describe the behaviors
of parents that are similar to their child's behaviors or
attitudes. I learned to trust in myself and in my ability
to let go of the outcomes; and to let my child take hold of
his own destiny, (good or bad). I realized that my son had
his own life to plan and I had mine. I was powerless over
the choices that he made both inside and outside Hyde. Hyde
believes that we all have a unique potential. My son needed
to buy into that notion and discover the journey for himself,
as did we all. Although reaching the unique potential can
sometimes be a life long struggle, Hyde pushes the student
to go beyond himself (or herself) to see the whole picture,
not just the narcissistic point of a typical teenager. Hyde
pushes the student to reach that potential without handing
it to them. Yet, Hyde leaves no child behind... Doing a singing
solo in front of the whole school (mandatory for all students
and parents) is one of the ways that Hyde establishes that
we are all in this together. Hyde teaches us how to get there
the opposite way, by struggling with a part of ourselves that
is uncomfortable or sometimes resistant to change. It is hard
work and sometimes even emotionally painful.
Early this fall, my parenting skills were tested when my
son was asked to repeat his junior year (for the second time)
at 19 years old. At that time I thought "Oh God"
how can they be serious…. Mostly how can I afford another
year at Hyde!!!! However, know I see it differently, more
as a blessing in disguise. He wasn't ready and either were
we if we were truly being honest about our growth in the Hyde
Process. He would not have been in that place if not for Hyde,
(they never gave up on him). Letting go of the outcome was
crucial for me despite my controlling, guilt-ridden, enabling
behavior's. I have never seen a more dedicated staff.
Hyde is teaching me to step back, when needed, and be parent
rather then an advocate for my child. To be honest if it was
up to Hyde and my husband, I wouldn't need to speak to my
son until graduation day!!!! All kidding aside, letting go
and asking for help is one of the greatest gifts that Hyde
has given our family.
On another note, my son, in all the years he has lived at
Hyde, (and he's lived on both campuses) has never said or
complained about anything negative with the Hyde staff or
unfairness or emotional abuse; except in his inability to
except the truth and confront the consequences of his actions.
Hyde faculty helped us as a family to get honest and change
the attitudes that affected our behaviors. This allowed us
to see how steadfast and dedicated the Hyde staff was.
Over the years, I have found faith in the Hyde process,
and an inner peace that everything happens for a reason.
I was meant to be at Hyde for a reason not only for my son
but also for my family's growth and for myself. I'm not sure
of others families' situations at Hyde or possible reasons
for leaving, but for me, the connection between my behaviors
and motives are tied in with my children's motives and behaviors.
The two continue to be connected from what I continue to
I look at Hyde process as a great gift. And describe it
as a silver platter that I must polish everyday."
Thanks for listening,
Gina Flanagan Mascali
Copyright © 2004,
Woodbury Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(This article may not be reproduced without written approval of the publisher.)
Return to Strugglingteens.com