Sunday, January 2, 2011

Confrontation Faced

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.


  1. I got a knot in my stomach knowing exactly how you felt, I also hate confrontation and have tried my hardest to avoid it all my life....and then just when you think you are doing the best for your child it sometimes backfires in your face...DAMN!

    The holidays always bring sadness for me and I have to say January 2 is my favorite day because I can put it behind me for another year.

  2. You are awesome. It's not easy standing up for oneself and taking the necessary actions.

    I'm not good at confrontation either and I usually avoid it at all cost but it is part of life and I am learning to deal with it.

    You keep on inspiring me!

  3. WOW...this topic could be addressed everyday. I so hate to blow something out of proportion but I also hate to sit back and let something go on, especially with my son. We just had a similar situation that Slater handled better than any adult and it was on the bus. He put the "older bully" in a head lock. (something I had no idea my son knew how to do) The child has never bothered my son again. But my son was suspended from the bus for one day. The bus driver thought my son was older than he was and let something go on that should have been handled immediately when she found out he was in kindergarten. I was so worked up about it at the time. I did send the driver a nice note and gift card for Christmas, something that I was very torn about doing. I just want the best for Slater and I will play the game to help him. I got on to him about fighting, etc but I also felt proud that Slater defended himself and his other little buddies who were being picked on. I just hope that I will not have to do this again soon.
    Jamie, I know how emotional and draining this can be. You did good, girl. And someday she will remember her Mom standing up for her. Not, her life is ruined.

  4. Thanks everyone for the comments. It is so hard to stand up for ourselves sometimes, however, when it comes to our children we have to face that fear and protect them. I'm not sure that I have always been so good at that, but I am committed to getting better. May hope for all of us is that these situations do not arise for ourselves and our children, although I know it is part of the process of this life.
    Kelly, I think Slater already has tremendous strength of character to be able to take a stand for himself as a kindergartner. I am impressed and proud of me. He has a good mother as a role model.

  5. Thanks so much. I really consider being a Mom the greatest thing ever and it is not textbook. Everyday is a new challenge.