As a mom, it’s hard to deal with your child being bullied. Constant contact with school officials, too many scares to be counted, crying (both of you) more than you should, but what do you do when your child becomes an unlikely casualty of bullying?
An Unlikely Casualty of Bullying
Our experience with bullies in today’s middle school has been life altering. Literally. There’s been an unlikely casualty here, and although I’m fortunate it’s not a tangible human casualty, my daughter is forever changed, I fear. Before you go thinking I’m being a little overly dramatic again, let’s define casualty.
- a person killed or injured in a war or accident.
- a person or thing badly affected by an event or situation.
My Bug falls heavily under that second definition. She’s different. Everything about her has changed. She’s no longer just a bad ass, she’s borderline bad, and she’s completely shut down.
From Cheers to Tears!
Although Kylee has always had an “attitude” issue, she was a very cheerful kid who sang, danced, and took over every situation whenever she could just to be the star of the show. The start of middle school was a huge win for our Bug. She was on the cheer squad, in band, getting fantastic grades, and all of the teachers just thought she was a doll. She was the quintessential student and she had a huge group of “friends”.
Then the bullying started. One incident after another. Some mild mannered that we worked through, some absolutely blood curdling. But with each instance, I watched my daughter change. With each mean word, slap, threat, lack of action (and actual bullying) by some administrators…she just kept changing. She was shutting down.
My daughter was shutting down.
The Day My Daughter Changed
I can’t say I recall the exact day, the exact moment, that Kylee became a different person, but I can say that her entire personality is an unlikely casualty of bullying. I’ve been supportive, I’ve been at the school, I’ve documented everything, I’ve encouraged my daughter regularly, but she’s different.
Whatever day it was, or series of days, I’ve watched my daughter slowly die inside and a new person has emerged. This person is not as kind or loving as the last one was; not even close. She’s no longer very talkative, she fights with everyone at home, she rolls her eyes at her teachers, she complains about changing for cheer (if she goes to practice at all), she stopped bringing her bassoon home to practice. She doesn’t sing like she used to, she doesn’t dance a whole lot.
Her new “friend” group is actually the last round of bullies. Yes, she’s with them now since she couldn’t stand strongly against them, since the administrators labeled her “one of them”. I mean, if she has to go to ISS every time she speaks up against one of them, she might as well be friends with them. Of course I understand, but I don’t condone it. She hasn’t (and will NOT) hurt anyone, but she’ll slowly roll with this group of girls until she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’s afraid to find a new friend group since they all “turn on her anyway” so she’s settled here rather than being alone.
What would you do?
I, personally, would rather be alone and I’ve told her that repeatedly, but I can’t be there every minute of every day. I can only be there to pick her up every time she falls. And I will.
In the meantime, I’m here watching over her as best I can, protecting her every step of the way, and watching her slowly die inside while I stand helplessly by. No words I can say, no hug, no anything will erase what she’s gone through. I just hope one day in the near future she realizes that her whole life doesn’t have to change, she doesn’t have to change, and she’s back to the feisty little bad ass that I love so much!
Right now, unfortunately, her psyche is an unlikely casualty of bullying and I miss her.