Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Pain in My Heart

Right now, there is this low-level pain in my heart.  I feel it more deeply at some times than at others.  But, it doesn't really go away.  My child is being bullied.  All last year, he was subjected to teasing and heckling everywhere he went at school.  This year, although it continued, he chose to keep the horror of it from us.  As he held it in, he became distant, cold, difficult and angry.  Finally it all came rushing out.  As it came out, the guy that I know and love began to return.  He was back to hugging me and talking to me.  He was willing to work more on his academics.  He was not escaping so much with Legos and video games.  But, for me, the pain was just beginning. Before I knew what was going on, I was angry at him and figured that he was going through that growing up thing that can really sideline some kids.  I was a bit over the top with nagging him about his homework, lecturing him about all he was NOT doing, and trying to deal with a person I didn't know.  Now, I am trying to love him and heal him from almost a year of this torture and help him learn to make it quit.  I want him to deal with it himself, but mostly right now we are intervening by seeking the administration's help.  I am grateful for these people who love kids and want to help.  I just wish that we could have handled it ourselves.  Mostly though, my mind is caught up with how to make it stop and the WHY of it all.  Why would someone tease my child?!!  He is (to me at least) handsome, charming, sweet, moral, and up until now, a hard working student.  I don't deny that he is a "nerd".  He is smart and likes to talk about what he knows.  He is a bit awkward socially, a bit "aspergerian", although he does not have enough of these traits to be diagnosed.  But, I don't think he stands out that much.  But, when I have seen him at school, he seems to be not so different, but sort of in a bubble, socially speaking.  One step behind, one comment too random, one too many weird sounds or funny ways of doing things.  He knows he is different, but he is not willing to (or can't) conform in those tiny little things that everyone must conform in order to not stand out.  So, here I am overanalyzing the difficulty and hoping things change for him.  Last year, his one saving grace was that he loved his teachers and they, him.  This year, if anything, the teachers are a negative.  They are legalistic, strict, not encouraging, and sometimes taken to singling out kids to correct them in front of others.  This child, who gets along with adults much better than peers, is not getting along with the adults either.  Because of the pain he has endured, he is becoming prickly to everyone around him.  So, my solution is to pray and to love.   Mostly, though, it is to pray.  I know I can't change things for him.  Only God can do that.  And only God can change him.  Hey, maybe God can even change me in the process!!!  


Rachel said...

I'm so sorry he's going through this. You know, I think it's good to involve the administrators. I get that you want him to learn to cope, but at the same time you don't want things to go so far that he's permanently scarred by it.

I saw an article in Wondertime called "How to Bully-proof your Child." I didn't read the whole thing, but maybe there are some ways you could work with him.

friend S said...

Is there anything worse for a parent go through with their child that they love? Not much. I'm sorry this is happening to such a wonderful family. But for whatever reason this is your task to date. I thing you are on the right track... and doing all the right things. I know you said you have your moments, but I can't help imaginge myself in your shoes... Indeed I may be in your shoes before schooling is over for my own. My first thought is hysterical tears and sadness. Your calmness and strength which comes from your Father, is a witness to all of us, no matter what our cross is now. At least it speaks to me.
You and your sweet child remain in my prayers.
Friend S

kosovacajun said...

Uncle Mark is ready to lay aside all his pacifist convictions and fly to Alabama to beat someone up!