Often times we divorce our spouses if the situation becomes too volatile. However, how many of us move our children away from bullying situations when they become volatile? As a mother of a child who suffered from extreme bullying, I would warn you about keeping that child in the same school. Right after my daughter’s attack we moved her away from the school, but when she started middle school the next school year the girls all filtered into that school. The counselors at the school were a complete joke. They told me that my daughter was no longer getting bothered and that they even called the children into the office to see if anyone was talking to her.
One morning I watched Ariana from the corner of my eye silently cry as we drove her to school. Something just told me to not go home so I waited. After a few minutes I drove around and then I found her hiding in between two buildings with her books pressed up against her chest. She was in a tight spot crying and scared to move. I got her attention and told her to come here. She walked to the car with tears still running down her cheek and talked about being sorry. She said she just couldn’t face anyone it was too much. I nodded and told her to get back into the car and we drove around the school and then I enrolled her out. I enrolled her in a private school a few miles down the street. She was loved at the school and did really well. She was a favorite in her French class and was well liked by many of her teachers, but there was the issue of interacting with children that still needed to be dealt with.
We still lived in Garland, so running into those children was an issue. Every time we thought we were doing better an encounter with one of them would send her crashing once more. Soon her Freshman year of high school was calling. She wanted to go to her home high school which meant she would be around those girls again. I wasn’t for it, but I finally decided if she felt ready, I would let her try once more. She was scared out of her mind her first day of school. She had started second guessing the idea of going to the high school, but she wanted to try it out.
She came home that day with this corky smile on her face. She had discovered she was a magnet for boys. She also said one of the girls that used to bully her, came up and said hi. She talked about being blown away and she didn’t know how to take it at first. In the common weeks she would talk to numerous people and even stand up to bullying against others, she was no longer the target. She was still known as the one who was attacked, but it wasn’t something that the children often talked about. She didn’t get invited anywhere so her nights were pretty much always lonely. She was still having a really hard time making friends, so we all decided that perhaps we just needed a new beginning.
We moved two maybe three hours away from that area. She was finally able to do things like go to games with people, go to eateries, and even to the movies. Ariana was able to have a life because we got her out of that broken environment. You see bullying is very mental and I think keeping the children in the environment hurts them more than we know. We still deal with social interaction issues, but she’s no longer constantly by herself. We have to make sure our children aren’t isolating. In many of the incidents with bullied children turning to violence or committing suicide they often isolate and target certain children. We have to make sure that we are doing all we can to repair the damage that has been done by the bullying. As parents, we can’t take the position that it will make them stronger to make them stay.
In Ariana’s medical record it had chest contusion, aggravated assault, leg injury, but it never had a broken spirit. We were ready for the physical stuff, but it was the mental stuff that nearly shattered my daughter into pieces. Talk about it with your children and truly ask how they are doing. Take notice of behaviors that could be problematic and above all else, tell them you love them.