I wish I could go into the details of just how absolutely overloaded I am right now or what I’m feeling. I’m trying to wind down but it’s not working very well. I’m trying hard to find a balance here that allows me to share what I think is important without crossing a line. The problem is that I can’t really see the line anymore and there a part of me that literally has zero shits left to give.
At the moment, I’m dealing with a child who’s being bullied and its escalated to social media. It’s reached a level where he’s fucking being told to kill himself. I’m so over kids being assholes and it’s taking everything thing I have not to make some very bad decisions right now. The last two days have been difficult. His mom and I have decided to pull him from the school. He will not be returning at this point. He’s setup on remote learning and we’re going to work with that for the time being. He’s safe and going to be okay but lines have been crossed. There aren’t words to express how I’m feeling as I’m writing this. I’m intentionally being vague, not to be frustrating, but rather because I’m trying to exercise discretion.
Tonight I also had to send one of the kids to spend the night at their moms unexpectedly because of an incident that took place. I needed to be deesculate things and this was the only way. I haven’t had to deal with anything like this in some time and it was emotionally draining.
I’m so tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed.
On the positive side, I did go work out and it was one of the best workouts I’ve had in a good while. I feel really good about that and plan on returning tomorrow if at all possible. I need to put myself first again and make sure I’m focused on self-care. I’ve made so progress and I don’t want to lose anymore of it. I’ve got some ground I need to make up but I can totally do this.
It’s fair to say that I’m struggling a little bit right now. Honestly, it’s more than a little bit. I don’t know why I downplay things like this.
As far as the kids go, I think that a large part of the problem has been some recent changes in our lives, as well as the house being torn apart while it’s being repainted. It’s taking a toll on everyone and that leads to frustration.
There are a few other things I’m stressed out over and a large part of it centers around work. I’ve got a ton of business coming in and that’s always a good thing. At the same time, I’m having some issues with billing and it’s incredibly frustrating. I’m too nice and I can’t be that way. I need to make some changes to how I bill out for work, as well as setting clear expectations for payment. This is entirely my fault and luckily, it’s easily fixed. It’s just one more thing I’m trying to juggle right now.
In all reality, life is good. Everyone is safe and healthy. Business is going really well and I’m making progress on the house. I was even asked to do something so amazing, I can’t wait to tell you about it. These are all good things and there’s no question about that. The truth is, however, I could be holding a winning powerball ticket in my hand right now and still feel this overwhelmed. As a parent, knowing that there are kids out there telling one of my kids to kill himself, is just too much, and nothing else fucking matters right now. Lizze is actively involved in navigating this from a distance and it’s a big help. At the same time, I’m going through this alone and it’s sucking the life out of me.
I’m tired, heartbroken, angry, and fighting to restrain the papa bear that’s constantly trying to get out. I have to go about dealing with this the right way, or risk making everything worse. I doubt any of these little assholes read this blog but I do know some of their parents do. If you’re reading this and wondering to yourself if your child is part of the problem, maybe have a conversation with them about bullying. Talk about how it’s not okay. For that matter, everyone reading this should be having this conversation with their kids. We can be proactive and teach our kids how to respond when they see someone being bullied or if they’re being bullied themselves. That simple conversation could lead to actions that change the course of someones life.
Before anyone comes back at me with the whole kids will be kids nonsense, there is something seriously wrong when children are encouraging other children to kill themselves. This is not okay and just because you can’t see your child ever doing something like this, doesn’t mean they aren’t. You may be surprised what you’d discover when you monitor their online activity.
I haven’t written this honestly or shared things that were so personal in long time. I’m trying to find a way to share something I think is very important, while not oversharing. We are not the only family dealing with this kind of thing and it needs to be called out when it happens. There are so many kids living through this type of cruelty and their parents may not even be aware. Please have a conversation with your kids. Make sure they’re okay. Ask direct questions and never be afraid to monitor their online activity. Kids are so cruel sometimes and the many on the receiving end of that cruelty will suffer in silence. Keep the lines of communication open with your kids and have this conversation today.
A 12 year old boy committed suicide this week because he was being bullied. It is not a “kids will be kids” situation. Itis dangerous and scary. I am sorry that the best solution means your son can’t be in school. But at least he knows he is loved and protected there. My heart hurts for you both.
Rob, my heart aches for you so much right now. I have been where you are. The bullying in school is absolutely un-effing-believable … and not sure what stance your son’s school takes on the matter – but ours had a zero-tolerance for it. The only problem is, the kids never reported it to the school admins because it would have just made it worse. So my sons, being the hotheads that they are, took the matter into their own hands and they were the ones who ended up with a juvenile record for initiating fights and throwing the first punch. Law enforcement didn’t care that the person they assaulted had pushed them to the point of no return – they only cared that my sons were the first to throw a punch. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. It’s heartbreaking, frustrating, maddening, makes you want to resort to violence yourself at times … but we need to be examples for our kids no matter how hard it is.
If you know who the individuals are who are telling your child to kill himself on social media – and even if you don’t – take screenshots and print them out and turn them over to the school. You would be surprised how much they actually know about the kids’ social media accounts and screen names. If you know the kids who are doing this and, in turn, also know their parents – bring it to their attention. As much as we like to think we know what our kids are doing online – we don’t. Cold hard truth. They may be completely unaware that their darling little Susie is a cold, hardhearted, mean girl on social media.
I would also then make a report to the local police department. Sending texts or voicemails of that nature can land you in seriously hot water and even jail time. Remember the Michelle Carter case? (https://www.stompoutbullying.org/blog/tell-someone-kill-themselves-and-you-could-end-jail)
Kids will be kids – back in the 80s. Nowadays disputes are handled with guns – I remember plenty of incidents where we handled things with a good old-fashioned fight after school. Once the fight was over, the matter was quashed, and that was that. Doesn’t work that way these days. I know 10-year-old kids who took their birthday and Christmas money and bought a semi-automatic weapon for less than $200 from a friend of a friend. Instead of fighting with fists, kids will pull a trigger and end your life these days. It’s not worth it.
As for the business aspect – I too suffered from being “too nice” with contributors and vendors that I worked with. I blog to make money to help my husband pay the bills. When my sons were younger, my blogging paid for their clothing, school activities, lunch money, vacations, etc. I got sick and tired of publishing work and then getting ghosted on payments. I demand payment in advance for ANYTHING and if they absolutely must have publication done before payment is sent, they have 24 hours to remit payment or pay a hefty late fee. It’s been working for me and I’d be happy to share my template with you if you’d like. Just shoot me an email.
I’ve been where you are. I’ve gotten my two sons to adulthood with a lot of sweat and tears and sleepless nights. Always here if you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend my friend. It takes a village … I can be a neighbor if you need one.