Memories are funny. The smallest things can trigger them. Sometimes the memory is still so fresh that it seems like yesterday....
This morning in the hustle and bustle of getting out the door, something triggered a memory for my son. We had just turned down the school road. It was a beautiful morning. My son's voice rang out clearly from the back seat. He slowly and carefully enunciated each syllable. My stomach suddenly in knots, my head hurt. My heart hurt.
Last fall, August of 2014, there was a new student in my son's special day class. He seemed nice but there was something. I couldn't put my finger on it. You know that mama gut feeling?
It was about a month or so in to the semester. My son became agitated. He would come home from school scripting words that he had never used. They were mean, aggressive words. I tried to get out of him where he heard them. I told his teacher and she was on the alert too. He started running again. His progress stopped. He went backwards. I was worried. No, I was terrified.
As I worked on getting the information from him at home, his teacher was working on him at school too. Finally we were able to get that the new student was whispering horrible things to my son as he walked by. The other boy was doing it to everyone. My son was the only one who stood up to him. Slowly the bully became focused on my son. The more that the school tried to protect and correct the worse it got.
School, a place that should be safe, had been turned into a war zone. Every day I could feel the tension build. I felt like I had stepped out of my body. I was watching someone else's life. I've heard it talked about on the news. I have read about other's experiences.This wasn't cut and dry like I imagined it would be. A little boy who has a disability, he had to have been treated like this by someone else? That boy was hurting. He was passing on the pain to someone else. I found myself both heartbroken for the bully and protective of my son. If his abuse came from his home who would protect him?
As much as I cried and prayed it got worse. Then one day it happens, the final straw. This other boy threatened to kill my son, in front of several aids and a teacher. The other boy was suspended and his parents pulled him out of my son's school. He never came back. I'm not sure what has happened to him. I pray that he is safe and gets help.
The last day that the other boy was sent home early my son's mood had done a complete turn around. My son began to return to his normal happy self. Every day I could see him grow and heal.
What happened this morning is why I am writing this. As we turned into the school road from the backseat came the name of that other boy. My son was talking about him being a mean boy. And that he didn't play with him. When the mean boy talked to him he would tell a teacher. He said yesterday... my heart sank even deeper. Something that happened months ago felt like yesterday to him. His memory so fresh still. When we got to school I reminded him that the boy isn't there anymore. That he didn't have to worry, he is safe now.
As I gave my son's teacher a good morning hug I whispered into her ear what he had been talking about. So, that she was forewarned. I wasn't sure if he was going to bring it up to her.
When I drove away from school I realized that it was time to write about it. I couldn't at first. In fact many of my close friends and family never knew. I want to share it now in hopes that if you ever find your child, even non verbally seems out of sorts, please find out why. My son lived a nightmare for about a month before we put all of the pieces together. They say that time heals all wounds. I hope that they are right. For our family it has only just begun.