Her eyes have darkened and she stomps her feet a lot.
She dawdles, and she defies. She yells and she bosses and she hits.
She runs to my arms, and pushes me away.
The circles grow under her eyes, clouded over with the not telling of something that hurts.
This pain-this helpless, questioning wonder-this I wasn’t expecting for a few more years at the very least.
This week my daughter, my bubbly, vivacious happy go lucky girl seems to have been trapped in with a bully.
She’s friends with the little dude, or at least, we thought so. They’d run around the school yard together. Even the teacher thought it strange that something was up-they were inseparable.
But a cloud started to hover over her head this week, and only got worse. As I dragged her out of a store, something I have never had to do, I wondered what was going on. Growing up and attitude couldn’t be the whole problem, could it?
Last night she had a bad night, was left to cry herself to sleep. In the morning, the hateful sad look on her face told me it wasn’t normal. Something, something was wrong.
We talked, and she mentioned this boy was hitting, punching, pushing. When she told, he said it was someone else, and nothing was done.
She’s been carrying this all week.
She’s assertive, but she’s never encountered someone who is gleefully MEAN to her. She’s never had to deal with another child not wanting to hang out-at worst, she’s had someone not want to play with her. It’s like her control was suddenly thrown out the window.
The teacher had no idea, and reassured her that she was there, and listening. We have been reassuring her we’re here, and that a friend doesn’t hurt, doesn’t make you feel bad, and for good measure, if telling the teacher doesn’t work and it gets worse, aim for the jewels.
I will not let my daughter be a victim. I will not let her learn this role.
Learning to sit and take it in a way led to me not being able to tell anyone when I was being molested. I should be able to tell someone-that was the message ground into me. Not that it would be the other person who would be punished-I would need to find my solution. The teacher didn’t mention anything about talking to the other child-I’m sure she’ll keep an eye out, but my concerns are legion.
He started out as a nice friend, or so it seemed. They’d mess around, play fighting from what I understand. But now it’s escalated into her losing sleep and being upset. What’s going on with this kid, to make mine such a mess? Will someone keep an eye out, or will my daughter again have to be the one to say “Make him stop” instead of someone watching him and stopping him before it’s an issue.
I have seen that haunted look. I have had that haunted look, held in pictures, the shadows under my eyes, the secrets trapped. I never, ever want to see it on her face again.
It might be nothing. It might be resolved, h might have just become a little drunk on having a nice friend who didn’t always fight back.
But as someone else said to me, I might turn around and see that he’s taught her to throw rocks at cats.
We tell her it’s wrong. It’s not nice. It’s not a friend.
She is confused, I see it writ large on her face, the pain of having to give up a friend, the confusion, the knowing only good people who love you for 5 years and then suddenly duplicity and meanness out of spite she is surrounded by. I try to explain that she should take care of her, not care what others think, not truly.
She stares at me, and I wonder how much longer she’ll believe me.