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Crying Shame

Crying Shame

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Published by Claire Hennessy
Bullying - nothing changes. As upsetting now as it ever was.
Bullying - nothing changes. As upsetting now as it ever was.

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Published by: Claire Hennessy on May 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2014

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Crying Shame
I went to bed crying, I woke up crying, I went out in the car anddrove home crying. Why on earth was I so upset? Somethingabout the events of yesterday had triggered a huge emotionalresponse in me.I woke up yesterday in a great mood, that just got better as theday wore on. The sun was shining and I jogged for the first time inages. I worked satisfyingly for a bit. I had leisurely chats withfriends back in England. I cooked a delicious meal which everyoneenjoyed. I met a friend for a coffee and a catch up. I rememberfeeling so grateful and happy that all was well with my world.But all it took was one short phone conversation and my wholemood plummeted to one of shame, guilt and despair. The call wasfrom a teacher at my son’s school. She had taught him previouslyand wanted to speak to me ‘as one mother to another’.Apparently, she had found Tom hiding behind the classroomsduring his PE class and had been struck by how incredibly sad helooked. After talking to him she had discovered that some boys inhis PE class were bullying him and wanted to let me know.Unfortunately, this was not news to me. I had known about thesituation for some months and had already tried a number of avenues to try and stop it. I had written and spoken to his PEteacher, I had written, telephoned and had two meetings with thePrincipal, and I had spoken at length to Tom about what wasgoing on. Nothing seemed to work or make anything better. Infact, Tom’s view was that whenever I intervened, he felt thatthings just got worse.My instant reaction to hearing this kind, concerned teacher callingme at 9 o’clock at night was to feel like I was completely toblame, that it was all my fault and I should be doing somethingmore to stop it from happening. I didn’t even know the name of a
 
single one of the bullies as my son is not good at rememberingnames. I felt like the worst possible kind of mother, one whomeans well but is completely ineffective. I felt like I had let Tomdown, like I wasn’t protecting him which was my job as hismother.He had been experiencing name calling, pushing, shoving, kickingand teasing about his English accent and the way he spoke formonths on end. But the amazing thing about Tom was that heseemed to take it all on board as if it was his lot in life. He didn’tharbor any resentment towards these children and in factadmitted to me that he had actually thanked one of the kids whohad stopped teasing him recently.As I was driving back this morning, however, with tears runningdown my cheeks, all I could think about was how much I lovedhim and how much I wanted him to be safe and happy. I felt like Ihad failed as a mother. I knew I was trying my best but my bestdidn’t seem to be good enough. Why couldn’t I get someone topay attention, why weren’t the people who were being paid tolook after him keeping him safe? Why were they teasing him inthe first place?As I drove further I wondered to myself if I was over-reacting.Were my tears all about my son or was there something deepergoing on? When I had been about ten years old, I had been bulliedalmost constantly for about a year. I remember it as being one of the worst years of my life. But I didn’t tell anyone about it, forsome reason. Maybe I thought I deserved it, maybe I wasembarrassed to admit I wasn’t popular, maybe I was afraid of repercussions, I don’t know. I just know I felt powerless then and Ifelt powerless now.I don’t know how this situation with my son is going to turn out. Ihope I have the courage to protect him as I didn’t protect myself all those years ago. Maybe we can both heal by standing up for

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Naomi Dickinson-Lacey added this note
Well done for sharing this - a valuable message all of us parents in there.

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