Recently on the news I saw a story about a town grieving.. a 10 year old girl came home from school.. asked her mother if she could be homeschooled.. her mother, a working mother said no... as would most of us.. the little girl went to her room.. Several hours later her sister found her in the closet, hanging from bar with a scarf wrapped around her neck.
This poor baby had had enough.. she couldn't take it anymore and decided to end her life. I saw this and just cried. Were the signs there? Did they even know what to look for? Our children are under constant daily attack.. and we are often so busy we put their complaints down to minor issues.. The little girl came home and asked if she could be homeschooled... Did the mom even know enough to ask why? If she did.. did she know the despair that her daughter was feeling? Did she understand that bullying is more than kids beating up on other kids. Yes that kind is bad BUT it is far worse, when one is battered by words.. a slow insidious drip.. at best it wears away at self esteem and does a life time of damage.. at worst.. well a 10 year old girl died..
I can't help putting myself in this mother's shoes.. Blond Girl for years had a stomach issue.. acidy stomach, heartburn.. yeah I blew it off.. turns out she has the makings of an ulcer.. For years she has had breathing and or passing out issues.. light headed.. no one even the nurses took her seriously.. turns out she has syncope.. a very real disorder..
PITA Boy got in trouble once in band for being where he wasn't supposed to be then reacting very negatively to the discipline enforced on him. I was appalled!! I read him the riot act.. turns out Word Girl had been there.. and PITA Boy was hanging out in that place to get away from a constant barrage of verbal abuse by one of the popular kids.. When I found out I went to the school and DEMANDED that this other child receive at LEAST the same punishment that my son received.. That of not being able to perform Middle School Night at the local HS.. yeah.. didn't happen.. The other Boy was a talented member of the band and a teacher fav.. He was not seen as someone who caused problems.. Bullies, real bullies, seldom are.. They have power, charisma, charm.. whatever. This other boy got to perform... the teacher tried to BAN PITA Boy from even attending.. yeah I in your faced her and pointed out.. it was a HS event and she had no power there.
I went to the Principal every day for weeks trying to get this boy punished.. according to the district's very By Laws.. there was NO TOLERANCE for bullying and there were witnesses.. Other than his sister.. of course anyone who knows Word Girl knows.. she won't put up with crap from her siblings and had no problem telling it like it is.. if they were in the wrong.. shoot if she just THOUGHT that they were in the wrong she made sure others knew it.. This boy was never even reprimanded.. He got away with it.. why? Because he was popular, charming and charismatic and PITA Boy was ADHD, stuttered and needy..
My point here is often we don't see what is happening, we don't understand the damage done and we don't fight hard enough to demand our children's rights.. Oh not the right to be in the advanced classes, when our child is at best a C student.. or not the right to make Varisity sports.. No the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Bullying is WRONG.. pure and simple.. but we need to learn just what it is and how to recognize it..
I weep for this poor baby and her family and her poor mother.. who will always wish she had taken just a little more time.. She did what probably every other mother in the world would do... and yet she lost her precious baby to despair..