Friday, October 10, 2008

Let ME Have Five Minutes Alone With Those Bullies!!

A lifetime or two ago I attended a college with a visually challenged student. That student had a service dog to help her navigate the campus and life in general. I don't know if the dog was poorly trained, a dumb dog, or if the woman was a weak dog-handler, but that poor woman was pulled all directions but the one that was best for her. She was pulled into the side of parked cars, into snow banks, into on-coming pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Sometimes the dog would get tired of walking and would simply stop anywhere he pleased, while his owner stood helplessly by.

It really was a terrible thing to see. So a few of us stepped in to gently alert her about the dangers her dog was choosing. When we saw the dog heading off the sidewalk into a heavily wooded area, we let her know. We screamed when he was pulling her into traffic. We helped wipe her off when he would decide to plow through the deep snow even though the sidewalk was perfectly clear.

But, funny thing is, the woman wasn't so appreciative of our efforts. In fact, she became rude. Maybe it was fear or embarrassment or denial: I don't know. I do know that after we stopped helping her, we would see her in the middle of a snowy field standing helplessly while her dog took a nap. We would see her pulled abruptly off the sidewalk and into the road. And we shook our heads and walked on by.

I've got a precious child now. This child is socially passive and a "great fit" with other aggressive personalities. This child has been and continues to be bullied. My child's decisions are always impacted by the question, "How will the bullies respond if I do that? I don't want to make them angry." They make my child miserable at lunch. They threaten my child after school. They call my cell and demand that I make my child do what they want. They have pushed my child physically, emotionally, and socially.

Calls to their parents are pointless. "Oh well, children will be children," their moms answer.

We have pleaded with our child, fought with our child, laid down "the law" with our child, reasoned with our child, interceded for our child, prayed for our child, and been willing to do almost anything to help get our child out of the path of those bullies.

My child is still very much controlled by them.

I see now that like that poor woman with the rotten service dog, my child has to ultimately be the one who gets tired of being pulled off the path. My child has to be the one who says, "I'm sick of this. No more!!"

Until that happens, I can move the parked cars, remove the snowbanks, and stop the on-coming traffic, but how long will it take my precious, precious child to feel strong enough to let that miserable service dog go?

8 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

Taking the high road is not always the easiest choice. But he sounds like he has an inner grace and tolerance that many of us could use. But, everyone has a breaking point, and I bet he'll deal with it just fine.

Julie said...

Oh my, I am so sorry. I am not there yet.. my son just started preschool, but he did tell me there was a mean boy at school who pushes him and another little girl who is also American and doesn't speak much Hungarian... I ask him if he tells his teachers and he says "no I just move away from him, that is my way of forgiving him." I smile, but my heart cries out for him...

Big Hair Envy said...

OK, wait a minute. These bullies call YOUR cell phone to tell YOU to make YOUR son do what THEY want him to do??? What is this world coming to? With kids like that, the non-response that you have gotten from the "parents" doesn't surprise me at all.

I agree with MPM - he will reach a point where he has had enough. All you can do is continue to pray about it and monitor things from a distance.

Hope your weekend is bully-free:)

Laura ~Peach~ said...

hugs!

Living on the Spit said...

Let me come out there for ONE day and I will get it to stop. I can not stand bullies. I have had experience in the past having both kinds of children as flowers in my little garden and I will tell you what...I pair up one with the polar opposite. I have a child, who is now 15 and he is the sweetest, most gentle, loving, will cry at the drop of a hat young man while his older brother, who is 16, is unfortunately sometimes an overly agressive pain in the butt...but together they have learned to balance each other out.

As crazy as this sounds, maybe invite one of the bully kids over to participate in a family activity or something equal to that...you get more flies with sugar then you do with salt.

I am so sorry that you and your child are experiencing this, but you child doesn't have to tolerate abuse and it is not acceptable.

Your friend,

Marlene.

Sue said...

OMG, that is horrible! I can't believe that they call you. What a horrible feeling and what horrible children. (And obviously their parents are not much better). Good luck with this sticky situation. Here's to a stress free weekend.

LadiesoftheHouse said...

If I remember right from past posts, aren't you talking about your daughter not your son?

My younger daughter is very gentle natured and could very easily be a target. My thinking has always been to prepare her for her own battles rather than try to clear the path for her. By that I mean I have gone out of my way to make her into a stronger person by building her confidence from the inside out.

One of the best things we did was send her to music lessons! Mastering an instrument boosted her confidence level like nothing I've ever seen. Probably the most important thing throughout her life has been her commitment to God and the knowledge of His strength inside her.

At almost 12 she now has a quiet, rock solid strength about her that bullies don't find very attractive :-)

I hope things get better--I have a hard time with bullies. And an even harder time with the shoddy parents that allow it. Children will be children? What a cop out.

Lisa J said...

Hello from Tulsa Oklahoma. I was reading several of your postings, coming over from Mental P momma and this one really struck a cord with me. I do not know you, or anything about you, I have not even read your profile yet. But my heart is just very heavy about what you wrote. I may be butting in where I don't belong, however, that has never stopped me!! ha ha
I am a retired police officer and I spent about 17 years in the school systems teaching the DARE program. I was very well recieved by the students, teachers and administration over the years and built a very close relationship with them. I am very disturbed that your child is going through this. Please PLEASE look into your school policy on bullying. Most schools now have a no tolerance rule. If you approach the school and they are not willing to help you I wish you would go to the board of education. Your child (hopefully will be ok with you stepping in??? They may not be ok with it and that is another issue.) But if your child sees how you stand up for them, they might feel like they are worth standing up for. It sounds as if this child might be just a quiet one, but it might also be a lack of self esteem which does not mean you have done anything wrong, some children just lack it. It is hard to stand up for yourself. I was a cop and had a TERRIBLE time standing up for myself when it came to my peers or administration within the department. I was taught to always respect authority and never question it. That carried over in my adult life. Your child deserves to go to school feeling safe, happy and secure. Please make sure they are ok. Too many kids commit suicide and at younger ages now. I do not want that for your family and so my heart is very heavy that she/he is going through this. I want someone to make it stop. I hope you can help make that happen.

Sorry for butting in, and I hope that all is better, I have not even looked at the date of this posting. So I hope you and your family are all doing fine. thanks for letting me rescue you even though you didn't ask for it...another bad habit of a retired police officer...with a very big heart!