In my last post I mentioned a situation that happened with my daughter being bullied online, and yes the more I think about it the more I think that it was bullying. I handled the situation the way my mother would have, which is to say that I called the girl's father and told him about what his daughter had done to my daughter. It was a scary moment for me to confront another human being, not to mention a man, but I did it. So many times I think of everything that I want to say to a person and the exact tone of voice that I want to say it in, but what ends up coming out is something entirely different than what I had intended. However, I was able to say everything that I wanted to say and in the exact tone of voice that I wanted to say it, without apologizing or thanking him for listening to me. I was shaking afterward, and I was a mess for most of the afternoon, but I feel good that I took a stand for my child.
Now my daughter is scared that I have ruined her chances for friendships at school; that was not my intention. My intention was to instill in her a sense of self-respect, and a feeling of knowing that she has someone out there that will defend and protect her. I knew that my actions might bring unsought consequences, but I did what had to be done.
For forty-one years I have kept my mouth shut and not asserted myself. For me one of the consequences of asserting myself on Friday was that my heart was flung open. Friday evening I cried for my mother for the first time since her death almost seven years ago. I cried for all of the relatives that I have lost, and the friendships that ended. I wasn't depressed, but sad. I think that there is an absence of real feeling with depression. However, I was feeling everything with great intensity, and as painful as it was I knew that I mustn't try to stop it with happy thoughts. I was crying tears of hurt, pain, and loss, but also tears of gratitude for the life that I have been given, the life that often times I have been regretful about. I no longer wished that I had grown up celebrating Chanukah instead of Christmas, or that I had lived in New York instead of Arkansas. I was grateful for the people and situations that I had been given and didn't wish to change the past. Right now I am not experiencing that same sense of openness and resolve. I feel guarded and a bit like I have been beaten up. But I have set a precedent for the New Year. May it be easier from here on.