Just Being Me — A Mother’s Response to Bullying

This summer has been difficult. There I said it! It has been challenging in ways that I have never experienced and that truly says a lot if you have read anything about me. It started at my son’s fifth grade graduation luncheon when the girl that teased him mercilessly because he had ADHD and Dyslexia for four years walked into our private luncheon to say goodbye and give him some candy after being told that she was not welcome to do so.

Much to my chagrin, this mean-spirited girl walked into our banquet room and I completely lost it! As a teacher, I have never allowed myself to become that angry at a child but: after four years of explaining that my son learns differently, staying up late nights with him to complete his homework only to receive it back with her rude scribblings on it, coaxing him to go back to school and to continue to try his best, lifting his spirits when his spirit was broken and he felt like giving up on everything and remembering the alienation from his classmates that she had caused with her brutal teasing — I LOST IT! I became completely undone. I was filled with so much anger it scared me. If I didn’t have the help of my two “girls” I don’t know what I would have done. My son’s response was much more gracious, he accepted her candy, retrieved it after I threw it across the room, waited for her to leave and then tossed it in the garbage.

I could not process my emotions. I was flooded and bitter over the miserable experiences she had created for our family. I’m not good at asking for help. I never have been. It’s hard to for me to accept my weak moments. I know that it is okay to have them and they rarely get this out of control. I know it’s okay to ask for help, but it’s just something that I am going to have to learn to do because I don’t do it well.

I had intended for this post to be a little bit different and I’ve struggled writing it for the past two days. I’m being completely honest and putting four years of pain and struggles out there for the public to see. I am the parent of a child with learning differences, I accept that! This is not the last time that he and I will face adversity together. This is not the last time that this will affect our family. But I am acknowledging the pain that I felt for my son, my heart, and my little angel because he is just like everyone else — he just learns differently! He is sweet, kind, empathetic, helpful, a great storyteller and struggling with who he is because of the challenges of his learning differences.

As for me, I am not proud of what happened. It is what it is. I am what and who I am. I feel what I feel. I am working hard to gain control over my actions when my child is attacked. All of that is okay as well! I’m learning to ask for help, I am learning that it is okay to have someone support me and that just has to be enough.