Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A mother never forgets. @LeoRosanna #antibullying

As my readers may know, my son was the victim of school bullies about a year ago. I blogged about it here as well. The anniversary is approaching and it's brought up a lot of emotions for me.

I still feel anger because, in a sense, our family only got partial closure. Although school administration spoke to the other parents and brought those other kids into the office, we never heard directly from the other families. This was hard to take because we knew these people. I think a part of me would have liked to get an apology, no matter how small.

I still worry about my son. Although we made sure he got help from professionals, I often fear the situation will escalate again. After all, if a kid lashes out once, how do we honestly know he won't lash out again? And although my son has learned some great coping mechanisms, I worry he's still very hurt deep down. These were kids he's known for years. They were friends and they betrayed him.

I feel a lot of hope as well, of course. Our son has made some amazing strides. He asked us if he could take Taekwondo lessons. We enrolled him. He loves it and has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the activity. He'll be a black belt in no time, I'm sure of it. It has given him focus and allowed him to feel pride. After having his self-esteem demolished, he really needed to be able to shine again. And, boy, does he shine.

My son has re-established his friendships with a couple of the bullies. They even hang out. A couple of the boys expressed remorse and honest surprise that they would have bullied another kid. Hormones ... I get it. Combine them with peer pressure and you have a terrible combination sometimes.

For the most part, my son has forgiven them. Well, as much as he can forgive them. They'll never be best buddies, as he says, but they can exist in the same school together.

As for me, I find it harder to forgive. I've tried, believe me. It isn't easy. I watched my lovely son get torn down over a period of weeks. This will be an experience he never forgets. It will shape him. Yes, we are building him back up but I question why this had to happen in the first place.

My husband tells me I need to let it go and I agree. I'm certainly not going to hold a grudge against a bunch of kids. But as the anniversary of the incidents approaches, I'm shaken by how well I remember the pain of those moments. I remember the tears. I remember the helplessness.

Do we move on? Of course. There is no choice. We seek to build newer, happier memories to replace the vile ones.

But have I forgotten? No chance.

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