Friday, February 18, 2011

She simply said no............the bully update.

Growing up is a process, isn’t it?


I’m still growing up every day and it sucks green donkey dicks most days – and other days it’s freaking exhilarating.

Yes, bully intervention was last night. I walked in there (covered in hives)(wanting to throw up)(needing to pee my pants)…but I walked in there and acted like I owned the place.

Me - nervous? Hell no. Whatever gave you that idea? Oh the shaking. That’s just my withdrawal coming through – it’s been 5 minutes since I had my last Xanax.

I’m kidding. I’ll have you know – I had no Xanax. None. Nada. Zilch.

Hives yes. Xanax no.

I didn’t walk in there alone. I’m not kidding. I felt like I had hundreds of bloggers prayers, spirit and advice right behind me…like a blog army of love. And it felt goooood.

I started the meeting by saying “Watermelon wants out of this school. We’ve tried everything on our own and now we’re coming to you for help. She’s becoming all-consumed by this, she can’t concentrate, she’s upset constantly. Will you help us?”

I went on to explain specific instances. I told them all the methods we’ve tried with other counselors, teachers, adults and on our own – to fix this. The Principal wasn’t aware of these things and said, “It’s my turn. Let me do what I can to fix this. It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Give me a chance.”

Hallelujah! Have at it Mr. Principal!! (and could you kick her bratty little ass while you’re at it)

I told him we have compassion for Rose’s situation. I know she’s alone a lot. I know when she’s alone she watches movies like Paranormal Activity. I know she has no role models.

They agreed – but said that’s not my Watermelon’s problem and it’s no excuse.

It was good. We felt heard.

I found out all day long Rose knew that Rambo and I were coming to school and she taunted Watermelon all day saying, “You’re the Queen aren’t you? The world revolves around you.” and on and on.

Good – Rose needs to know we are here. We won’t allow her to bully our daughter and we will be present.

The Principal said if there is backlash from Watermelon calling us in he’ll consider it harassment and take action.

I did not cry. I did not falter. I said everything I meant to say. I told them I refuse to under-react due to the changes in my daughter and the headlines we’ve seen lately.

They heard me.

Whew.

Now onto the hard part. I do believe that as a 10 year old, Watermelon honestly wanted for the simplest solution to come out of our meeting. Rose would be punished. Watermelon wouldn’t have to do anything. Life would be rainbows again. End of story.

But that ain’t real life folks. I told her that she needs to speak to the Principal. He can’t possibly fix things or ask Rose about things if Watermelon won’t give him specific instances to call Rose out on. I told her to get mad if she has to – instead of scared. I told her to take her power back. I told her she wasn’t in trouble. I told her even if she was – our love remains – but she is not in trouble.

She said she still felt like she was in trouble. The Principal is still a man, an authority figure and “the Principal”. She stormed out. Said she couldn’t talk about this anymore. Then she got physically and visibly sick. She almost threw up. She said she wasn’t going to school the next day.

I talked her through it. I said that was fine – but she’d have to talk to him the day she did go back – so it was inevitable. I told her she had to stand up for herself. I told her Rose was going to go in to talk to him – and I knew she was as strong or stronger than Rose. I told her she had to be the voice of all the others Rose bullies who don’t have the courage to tell the Principal.

When she said she was scared and it was hard I said hell yah it is. I said life is hard. I admitted that today “I” was nervous and scared but I did it. I went. I admitted that sometimes my work is hard but I go every day. We don’t back down – we face fears.

I wondered if I was talking to her….or to myself.

I told her those were the choices. Tell the Principal so he can confront Rose or let it continue. I told her to imagine this getting completely better and having good days. We told her if she couldn’t voice what had happened now or in the future – she can write what happened down and give it to her teacher or Principal but she must keep telling an adult….in some way. They can’t fix what they don’t know.

And then I left her alone. To think.

I heard tears. I heard her yell and say, “I’m so confused. I’m so frustrated.”

I forced myself to stay out of her room. I had to trust she’d figure this out herself. I gave her all the tools and all the words I had. I had hugged her and told her we loved her no matter what. I had nothing left to offer but my silent prayer that she’d do the right thing.

I know in my heart that at her age, in this situation – I could not have talked to the Principal. I simply would have sat and sobbed…out of fear and anxiety and nervousness. I cannot let that be something I pass on to her. I have to show her she’s stronger than me. I have to tell her I know she can do this…even if no one ever told me that.

We didn’t talk about it anymore that night. She stopped crying and stopped being “sick”. She watched TV with us. When I tucked her in – I said, “Remember, get mad instead of scared. She can’t do this to you.” And I threw in a GIRL POWER knuckle punch – and I walked out the door.

I knew I wouldn’t sleep. And I didn’t – but I’ll wear my exhaustion as a badge of honor today because it is what a good mother would do. And yesterday? I was a good mother.

By 4am I knew that if Watermelon was going to be able to get any words out in the meeting with the Principal, she’d need support. I had a plan to have my mother in the room…not as a contributor but as a support. She wouldn’t have to do it alone. When Rambo left for work at 4:30am I told him my plan and he said it was fine by him.

At 6am, I walked into Watermelon’s room to find her making a list. A list of specific instances in which Rose had made her felt bullied. The list numbered 14 so far. Inside I was doing cartwheels. On the outside I stayed calm and said, “Good job, this is your chance to get it all out. Tell him everything you can remember and tell him about others who she has bullied who don’t have the courage to tell him themselves.”

I went on to tell her that I could arrange for Grandma to be in the room when she spoke to the Principal. Not to add anything, but just to be there for her. I asked if that would help and if she wanted that.

I thought her eyes would light up and she’d show relief…but I was wrong.

She simply said, “No.”

I said, “Do you want her in the hallway in case you’re upset and need to talk when you are done?”

She simply said, “No.”

I said, “Do you want her phone number because she can be there in one minute if you need her today?”

She simply said, “No.”

I said, “Are you sure?” She said yes. I said okay and kept on with the morning getting ready tasks. I was shocked and even confused.

She came out later and said to me, “Mom, I don’t want Grandma there because I want to show the Principal that I’m strong enough to do this on my own.”

Sweet Jesus. My daughter has a backbone. Where the hell did she get that?

For a moment, I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say.

Then I said, “Good…because you ARE strong enough to do this on your own.”

She went with her list. I told her if anyone asks what she talked to the Principal about she was to tell them that’s private information. I told her Rose may lie or admit what she has done or say Watermelon is the bully. I told her to stick to the facts and know that her Dad and I are with her every moment.

And I told her no matter what – we are proud of her.

Every time I said something like that to her, for an instant, I would revert to being a little girl just like her…who desperately needed words like these – and never got them. They aren’t so hard to say. They change lives, actions, and emotions. They build backbones. They prevent my daughter from becoming someone like her mother – who gets hives and makes excuses not to go places and gets sick – and stuff like that.

Yah, I could have been so different. And dammit, I’m determined my child will be.

She will not live in fear, worry and anxiety. And every time I can free her a little bit more of those word prisons….I break out a little more myself. I start to believe and I start to trust…myself.

I am not a little girl anymore. I am a mother.

I am growing up.

I am exhilarated.

I am powerful.

And my daughter saw all of that today.

Thanks, in part….to each of you…..

33 comments:

tessierose said...

Wow! Powerful post! Good for you and good for Watermelon, girl power indeed!

Stephanie said...

I want you to pleasetell Watermelon that I am going to print out this blog and hold onto it so when Sarah is a bit older and dealing with the same things, I will show this to her and show her how Watermelon handled herself. your little girl can be an inspiration to mine. Ler your daughter know that by standing up for herself she will be helping another little girl she doesn't go to school with or has never met, but though her actions she is (will be) teaching a life lesson. it's different coming from me, but from another "older" girl, I know sarah would listen. Your're a great mom, Draz. Know that!!

Lisa said...

So awesome! Good for you BOTH! Sadly, even as adults we have to deal with bullies. I get bullied from a blogger named Allan. It hurts, it's sad, and sadly, the bullies of the world don't always stop once they grow up. What you have taught your daughter is a life long lesson and you deserve lots of Mommy points. :)

Karen Butler Ogle said...

I'm SO PROUD of you, Drazil. You get the point completely. We can often do things for our children that we can't do for ourselves. We can be strong for them when we can't for ourselves and see us be strong for them makes them stronger to. You have done a WONDERFUL thing for your daughter and for yourself. Please keep us posted on the meeting with the principal. I'm so glad the meeting you had with them went well and that they really HEARD you. I wish you the best in dealing with this situation. I hope the principal can take the wind out of Rose's bully sails. Good luck.:)

Justawallflower said...

Wow, that's all, just wow!

Ice Queen said...

You and Watermelon are breathtaking. Seriously. I was pumping my fist in the air as I read this. You marched in there and refused to allow anything to deter you. And Watermelon really grew overnight. And that is due to your example, your strength in action, your encouragement and support of her. That is rock solid mom action.

Now, the teachers, administrators need to step up and do their job. Rose needs intervention and her bullying needs to be shut down. Full stop. Children can't walk a rainbow path of perfection in life. It simply doesn't work that way. But, they shouldn't have to contend with horrific bullying as they take their bumps and rolls.

Amanda said...

Holy cow I am nearly crying with proud-ness. For both of you. You know Drazil...you gave her that confidence.

Sarah Williams said...

Girl you had me in tears with that post. Your an amazing mother!

Barbara said...

Yep.. you have nothing to fear but fear itself. You confronted the issue head on.. seems like a simple solution, but it takes alot of courage to do so.. you have showered your daughter with love by doing so... and so glad your school admin has common sense.. or worried about a law suit (you can never tell these days)..

Pam Griffis said...

What an amazing job! I am proud for you and her that she now feels empowered to talk (or even write) to the principal. Once the principal reads her examples, your little Watermelon will realize that the principal is an ally, not a mean person. Really. I think even us parents forget that because of the title they hold. I venture to guess that when you little lady walks out of the principal's office, she will feel completely different about the future days in school. (I just wish you could be a fly on the wall in the office to see her walk out with her head held high because she was scared and overcame her fear.)

Congratulations!

Dawnya said...

You totally ROCK being a mom!!! Your daughter is standing tall today because you believed in her. That is an awesome feeling. In the same instance you started to believe in yourself. By teaching her not to fear you are slowing letting some of your fears go. That is a major accomplishment Draz. You are awesome. Keep up the good work sweetie!

Dazee Dreamer said...

OMG. I'm in tears and the goosebumps. I am so proud of both of you. You for taking all of us to the meeting and her for being so brave to do it alone.

Dizzy Girl said...

I have goosebumps all over. I am so proud of you and of Watermelon. :) But especially of you- she has a backbone because you helped her grow one. YOU. :) You're awesome Draz!!!

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

You know when bullies are confronted, they normally weaken. As long as you give them the power, they will use it. Once you stand up for yourself, they will back down. Unfortunately, for Rose, this means that she is a very insecure little girl. That is very sad, but by no means an excuse to bully other kids. I am very proud of you and watermelon! Let us know how it goes.

LDswims said...

I don't care what you think, say, or feel - you so totally ARE mother of the year. Being a good mother isn't about how much you DO for your kids, it's about how much you TEACH your kids, the support you show them and the love you give. And you've taught your daughter a lifetime of lessons in how you've handled this - and how she has to handle it, too. You rock, Drazil!

I'm so proud of you and I'm so very proud of Watermelon! These meetings are just the starting point and there are probably harder things to come as a result of it - but with administrators and such on "your side", this is overcomeable. And not only are you making life better for your baby girl - you are helping Rose, too!

I'm just so very proud of you!!

I will always stand behind you!!!

Read said...

OH holy hell. I had to read this in little chunks because there was risk of actual sobbing. I am just so damn proud of you. And I am so damn proud and in complete awe of Watermelon. I've been to the bathroom here at work twice since starting to read this post and I swear to God I'm still leaking - good grief.

I have to make this totally normal work call that is freaking me out and I've been telling myself - hell if Draz can go do that, I sure as hell can do this - there no personal element at all for me.

But now, geesh... You go Watermelon!! She's my new hero!!!

~Sandi @ This one time at 'band' camp... said...

YOU are a mother and a very proud one! Rose needs a mother that is half as caring as you are!

~S

Lisa said...

Congratulations Draz, to you and Watermelon. No matter what else happens this is a win for both of you.

Ronnie said...

Go Watermelon! She's amazing - all thanks to you. <3

MandaPanda said...

Seriously...almost crying here at work. I'm so proud of you and I'm so proud of her! I know this isn't the end but it's such a HUGE step forward. I'm glad the principal was open to your feelings and opinions and it sounds like he really wants to help. Bravo!

Donut Butt said...

I don't know if you see this or not, but in reading your posts the past couple days the same thought keeps coming to me. REASON. You know how you (and I do the same thing) are always looking for a reason for why bad things happen, or why your childhood was the way it was. I see the reason here, for Watermelon. I see that because of what you went through you knew what to say to her, you knew how to empower her, you know what you needed to say to your daughter because you experienced what your mother didn't say to you. You are stopping the cycle, YOU Draz, YOU are making a better life for your daughter. And in doing that for her, you are doing it for yourself. Do you have any idea what an amazing, strong, loving woman you are? No, of course you don't, but today your daughter saw it, and you should too. Sometimes the most impossible things to do for ourselves aren't so impossible when we do them for our children. And doing those impossible things for our kids is the essence of being a good mom. Look in the mirror...YOU are AMAZING Draz!!

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

xoxo

seriously. proud of you.

*fist bump*

MOMMA POWA

Cat said...

You are awesome Mom! You did good.

Oh, and Watermelon, Awesome, TOO!

:)

Cat

Tina said...

one great big girl power fist bump from me...

xxxooo

amandakiska said...

Love it!

Sandy Lee said...

You go little momma grizzly bear. Protect those little cubs because they need you there. And pappa grizzly is just icing on the cake. Can't wait to hear how little bear did with the big ol' principal.

kagead said...

I've missed you terribly. Just remember that no matter what the outcome is regarding Rose, you and Watermelon have already WON. The victory lies within you and what you have accomplished to this point, not in what the school chooses as a course of action.

xoxoxox

Beth Ann said...

Beautful post. It truly almost brought me to tears. You are a wondeful mom!

Bonnie said...

Amazing. I am so happy for you and Watermelon. Being able to stand up for herself at this young age is going to have a long reaching positive impact on her life. You must be bursting with pride. She's not even my daughter, but I am so proud of her. and YOU!

DiZneDiVa said...

I think that Watermelon has a great role model of a strong woman.... in you. You've done amazing things this week, things that you always sell yourself short of doing... and they got done! You did them! and in the process, your daughter is going to be able to handle herself... next time. Congrats!

~Lisa~ said...

Awesome, simply awesome! Such a strong and terrific post - I am sending fist pumps to ALL of you!

Laurie said...

You ARE such a great mom. Isn't weird when you realize your the adult, man, I just freak when that happens.

Joia said...

Just...you GO girl. Too few parents are even AWARE of what goes on with their kids nowadays (as a teacher, I have firsthand experience), let alone have the intuition to actually HELP them learn how to deal with it. You freakin' rock my socks off.