I have decided to indulge in a challenge, this challenge is set by Meghan AKA Firebonnet’s and is called “Random Moments of Delight”.
The idea being about sharing a moment of delight in whatever form that comes to mind.
You can see Meghan’s latest post & other peoples entries here
The bright bit comes at the end of this story, this story being about my eldest son and I have been bursting at the seams to share this.
We start with my son
My son has suffered from tics for some years now, if you aren’t sure what tics are click here.
They tend to come and go in severity, however at Primary School they only really occurred when he was being bullied. Apart from the bully just being the way he was inclined, I sense he was drawn to my son because he wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve, he is an easy target to get a reaction from. What with that and his tics it obviously just became too tempting for the class bully not to indulge himself in tormenting my son.
The thing is though, this particular Primary School was small and things like this nipped in the bud even if they didn’t necessarily stop it occurring it did however give my son the feeling that there was an easy to tap in to support system. He also had his class friends, so there was this friendship backbone.
We move on
He has now started secondary school. The tics started to get worse and worse to the point it was becoming impossible to hide them anymore. Sometimes he could make a sound disappear in to something that would appear ‘normal’, or if it was something physical he could try to make sure no one saw.
Not now, as he is shouting. At first he could bundle it up in the day and then let most of it out at home.
As a parent it is very distressing to see your child like this. Imagine your child comes home and suddenly starts shouting a sound, you can see him struggling to stifle the noise, to the point sometimes he pushes his mouth on to a pillow. He cries because he knows that he can’t hide it. Now he is getting picked on at school because of it. He told me he used to go to the farthest part of the playground to tic before coming back to join other children, but now it is happening in class.
Sometimes he seems to manage to keep it at bay at home, mainly because he doesn’t want to tell me what a bad day he has had, then when he goes to bed I can hear him ticking. His brother sleeps next door, it keeps him awake. It is loud and has given us headaches and it is a natural reaction to jump when you hear a loud sound. But there is no way so far found to stop it, it is only to manage it, and we as a family are trying to work on that. Things are a working progress.
I can’t imagine what is going on his head, but I have had brief glimpses, his sense of feeling isolated. He has asked me if he is ‘cursed’ once because of the tics, he’s also asked me if he has severe mental problems. I re-assure him but I guess as a child these worries and not fully understanding such complexities come back to haunt him. He hasn’t really gelled with many in his class group so he doesn’t have that backbone behind him.
Things look up a bit?
So he has sought friends outside of his class. He tells me stories of how one hacks in to computers and shuts down the school system. He is 11 too! I try to keep my comments to myself, though I think it quite an achievement to do these things at such a tender age. I know during playtime he spends time with this small group of friends and it has given me a little comfort, though I have never met them nor know who they are.
Or did it?
So, we had a terrible week. His ticking got worse. A boy had hit him over the head 3 times with a book in class. This same boy systematically teases him and seems to find it a daily challenge to rile him in some way. During this week, we had lots of tears and we both had lots of sleepless nights.
As a parent I felt helpless. Its heart wrenching to watch your son in such distress and every single thing you try to do makes no difference and there seems no possible way to ease your child’s pain. I spent many nights tossing and turning, many tears shed, you feel guilty, useless amongst many other emotions.
Then a joyful light of happiness came our way!
My son came home one day in the midst of this terrible week.
He said to me “mummy I found out some things about my friends today”
I said “oh yes what was that?”
He said “one of my friends has autism, the one who hacks the computers, that is why he is so brilliant on computers. Some of my other friends have dyslexia and they have talked about what is it like to have this.”
My heart lifted at this point with some hope.
I said “did you talk to them about your tics?”
He said “yes mummy, now they understand”
I smiled and inside happiness spread throughout.
He then said “mummy, we did something today, me and my friends”
I said “what was that”
He said “we all put our hands together and we all said “we promise we won’t change, we like who we are, we are who we are”.
I had to stop myself crying for inside there was a sense of relief, that he had such wonderful friends, pride in children so young that can be so amazingly mature and happiness that there was at last some kind of support network for him.
I said “my son, make sure you look after your friends, for they are special as are you, you are all lucky to have found each other”.
I know our daily challenges and struggles aren’t over, but at least there are some rays of sunshine in such incredible children having such maturity and empathy for each other and positive self worth!
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