Will it stop?
Will it ever end?
Is there anyway I can make it better?
Can I make it go away?
Another day, another child bullied once again. Another dead teen. Will my teen be next?
I think I can remember the first time my daughter was bullied at school so much it made her cry. It was a fall day and her grade 2 year was just beginning. She came home at lunch and laid her head on the table and asked me. “Mom, why are the kids so mean?” I asked her to explain, my daughter being the perceptive kid that she is said “They won’t play with me, they call me names”. Exclusion began at an early age for my girl.
By the time we got to grade 5 there had been several incidents but none prepared us for what lied ahead. We moved to small town Nova Scotia, where I thought my daughter would thrive, but instead my daughter went through a year of what I refer to as hell on earth. Early in the year she tried to befriend 2 sisters who lived down the street, she invited them to our house, there was an incident ( one of the girls stole from a change dish that I kept out), after that the hell began. Two weeks later, these girls and a small army of 8 fellow 10 and 11 year olds, beat my daughter on her way home from school, just steps off school property. She had bruises and cuts that reminded her for weeks what had happened. Teasing, taunting, fear all became apart of my daughter’s life. The school principal did not take it seriously, nor did the trustees, and the police, well they told me there was little they could do until the kids turn 12. So I blogged it, wrote the newspaper, and prayed. At the end of grade 5 I had had enough so decided to move to Halifax.
A new school, a new year, or so I prayed, but again the bullying began. This time it wasn’t the physical harm. There was just the teasing and the taunts, the exclusion. Those things matter and leave emotional scars that I think are far worse than the physical ones sometimes.
So we moved again, back to Toronto, and the TDSB where I had had some success in getting my dear daughter feeling like she mattered, feeling like she belonged. After years of abuse at the hands of the bullies though, I began to feel like I was losing my daughter. Rarely does she genuinely smile and laugh and her thoughts take her to very dark places. Last year she became the bully when she reacted to the taunts and teasing of other kids, so much so that she was unwelcome at her school. For the last 2 months of the 2010-2011 school year, my daughter was excluded from an education because the board could not meet her needs.
Now this week, after the best start to a school year she has had in years, there was an incident, hair was pulled, words spoken, the investigation is still ongoing but I am a mom who fears for her daughter and the days ahead.
Yesterday the school psychologist called, they have just finished the assessment that they did. It is clear that my daughter has a learning disability, it has to do with processing. She is not autistic or on the spectrum, there may be signs of ADHD, but what worries the psychologist most is my daughter’s mental health. I am a mom who is drawing a conclusion here the years of bullying have left a huge emotional dent in my daughter, depression is at the door. So I think I have the right to worry, as I see the toll bullying is taking on our kids.
I ask myself every day, will it end? How can I help her to have a good day.
Does bullying concern you?
What do you think can be done?