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Posted January 19, 2005 

Hyde "The Silver Platter"
"I must remind myself to polish it everyday…
or it might get tarnished"

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 experience.

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
Albany, NY

Copyright © 2004, Woodbury Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(This article may not be reproduced without written approval of the publisher.)

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