If there is one word I would strike from my daughters’ vocabulary, it would be the word “hate”. They hate this, they that, and on and on and on. This being said, I try not to use the word myself. However, one thing I truly hate is bullying. Having been the victim of bullying throughout school, and now having my child go through this, I feel the word perfectly describes the hostility I feel towards these people. It might even be a bit mild.
Some would argue that my having homeschooled my girls for awhile kept them from developing socially. This is incorrect. They socialized all the time with other homeschoolers, church friends, and our home was always the hub of activity in the neighborhood. My girls, for the most part, are shy at first, unlike their mom:-) My youngest is especially so. While the older two warm up eventually, it just takes her a long time, and that’s okay. Her dad was never terribly social, so that figures in too.
However, being a quiet girl in school, can be a recipe for disaster. Especially when the school kids know you’ve been anorexic and are still quite thin. Something that seems quite acceptable for size 0 models in magazines, but not for people you associate with. She’s dealt with bullying in grade school as well, just for a quick background.
Needless to say I was ticked off (insert stronger word usage) when I learned that once again, a group of girls had singled her out. While I was able to check periodically for what was happening online, I did not have the technology to view the text messages on her phone, nor could I be with her at school all day.
In short, the girls would make fun of her weight and said she was “emo” (which really ticks her off for some reason) and even stronger words.
When anyone picks on your children, there is this instinct from deep within to do anything to protect your children. The first thoughts of defending them aren’t recommended if you want to stay out of trouble yourself, but it does drive you to do whatever is necessary to right the wrong. Withing the guidelines of the law, of course. 😮
Natasha has a great support team at the middle school that have helped her adjust through this transition year as well as support her emotionally through her parent’s divorce, and she felt comfortable enough sharing this information with two of them. They addressed the situation with the girls, and I was thankful.
Then the girls got a boy involved and took it to the extreme. My daughter kept me informed, and was getting physically stressed about going to school. The final straw was the message sent to her calling her all sorts of expletive-laden names, making fun of her thinness, and threatening to beat her up. A boy? Come on! Thankful for the technology of my computer, I promptly copied the message and sent it over to the teacher who has been helping her through this.
The boy was spoken to by the assistant principal. His parents were notified and were very cooperative, and I believe the case is closed. At least I hope so. This time I am thankful for the words “zero tolerance”. The school chose to act upon this because of the threat, and because she’s one person against four. I am greatful they took this seriously and keep her safe.
Right now the staff are helping her to prepare for a unit they are doing in health about anorexia. Knowing that kids are aware she went through this, they are taking steps to ensure that she doesn’t feel too awkward and wasn’t blindsided by the unit study.
I try to look at it in a positive way. These kids might look at her and know that she’s been through this and want to make fun of her again, but I really hope and pray that they look at her and think “what a cool chick” 🙂 More realistically though, I know God has such plans for her and that this is part of the growing process. I believe she can use this for the good of God’s kingdom as she gets older.
And part of my favorite verse comes to mind. “….for when I am weak, then I am strong”