You don’t get to see the tears that stream down my daughter’s face when she tells me that she had a horrible day at school. Today you refused to work with her on a group project, saying: “Why do we have you? We don’t like you. Why can’t someone else be in our group?”
The tears when she is the last to be chosen for a team. The tears when she is the only one not invited to a birthday party. The questions she asks me – why isn’t she as good as everyone else in the class and why is she always left out? What is wrong with her, she wants to know, that makes everyone so mean?
Maybe you just want to be like the others in your class and not stand out by accepting the child who is different to you; the child who is a bit chubby, who speaks another language, who dresses differently. Maybe your parents say things about our family. Maybe others say things that are mean and you join in with them.
But can you imagine how this little girl is feeling? She feels all alone and isolated in this world. She just wants to be friends and have fun with everyone. She hasn’t done anything mean. But she can’t understand why everyone is mean to her. Why everyone stops talking when she comes near them. Why she is never allowed to put forward her own opinion. Why others play games such as being the first to push her off the trampoline, or trip her up so she can’t walk down the corridor.
While you may feel good about yourself by making fun of others, my daughter doesn’t laugh any more. She doesn’t joke or sing or be silly. Life for her is serious and cruel. She just wants to hide away from everything and everyone.
She went from being a good student to one whose head is so full of everything she has been through during the day that she can no longer focus on her schoolwork. She is the girl who wakes during the night with splitting headaches from thinking too much about what her life has become. She has black circles under her eyes as she can’t sleep properly. Her only comfort is eating, which makes her put on weight.
It doesn’t matter how much love and support we give her, every day she must return to the part of her life which makes her so desperately unhappy. You may think that you are just having fun, but this is destroying my daughter and her family. To watch her suffer every day is devastating. When the parents of the children and the teachers say that they cannot see a problem and “they are just being children”, all I can say is that you are allowing the problem to exist.
In any other situation this would be considered abuse. Yet my daughter continues to suffer. I continue to hold her every day when she cries – it hurts so much as she can’t understand what she has done to deserve such pain.
To the children who are bullying my child: is this what you planned to do? Or did you just not think about the person who is the target of the bullying – my daughter?