Ben is being bullied at school. I learned of this last night as he was under the influence of all his drugs from his day of 3F8 therapy. He was feeling a little weepy from the aftereffects of not only the 3F8, but the dilaudid (pain killer), the fentanyl patch (more pain killer), and respiridone (anti-anxiety), too. All of this medication acted as a truth serum of sorts and he laid out the facts of what was happening at school.
I had no clue.
I’d heard him talk about this kid before – we’ll call him “E” for our purposes here – but I thought “E” was just a minor hooligan instead of a full blown bully. He’s in Ben’s class and I guess he’s been saying hateful things to Ben since he started back to school.
I’ve seen this kid in action. He was terrorizing a kid while walking home from school last week. “E” threw a large chunk of grass at this boy’s head and hit him right in the face. There was dirt in his eye and a nice red mark right underneath. I happened to be the only adult around so I soothed the boy while “E” seemed to not care that he had hurt someone else. I told him that it was inappropriate to throw things at other people, especially at someone’s face. He said sorry but I could tell it wasn’t heartfelt. I didn’t really give this “E” a second thought because, well, boys will be boys. They play rough. I turned my attention to getting the dirt off of the boy and let “E” leave. Had I known that this kid was terrorizing my son, too, well, I might be in jail right now.
So here’s what’s been happening: “E” makes fun of Ben for being little. He said that only nerds have freckles and that Ben looks like a dork. He said that Ben will never get a girlfriend because girls don’t like “shorties”. He thinks it’s funny that Ben has had cancer. He told Ben that he looks like a little rat. He laughs at Ben daily and calls him names.
Ben just wants to be friends with people. He’s not interested in acting like this “E” character. Ben is good natured and has a very sensitive soul. This “E” is breaking his heart and Ben just doesn’t understand why.
Of course, while Ben is pouring out his heart to me, we’re both crying. Tears streaming down our faces as Ben recounted all the hurtful things that “E” has said. And while I reminded Ben that these were just “words” I couldn’t help but be hurt by what “E” has said, too. It makes me sad. Angry. Ready to call this boy’s parents and say “WTH?” But instead of going that route I suppose I’ll contact the school first. Ben told me that his teacher has already confronted this “E” on his bad behavior towards Ben. She made him apologize for calling Ben a rat.
I asked Ben if going to school was too much. He said he loved going to school but “E” took away from that. I want to wrap Ben up and protect him from the world but know that this is not reasonable. He needs to live. He needs to learn how to deal with bullies. He needs to have the freedom to be a normal boy.
But he’s not normal. He’s extraordinary. I think he should be exempt from all this tedious hooey.
So, I’ll help him with strategies on what to say to this “E” when he says hurtful things. And I’ll wipe his tears and offer my support whenever he’s hurting. And I’ll tell him that life isn’t fair.
But he already knows that.