Lessons in the Shade

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pigless in VA, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I spend a lot of my time standing around in P.E. classes, distractedly observing the general education kids. There's a new girl that I've noticed, and I had deduced that she was a snotty little thing. She is always hanging on the other kids, the big group who is generally disrespectful of the P.E. teachers.

    Yesterday, I was standing in the shade of a small tree watching Jack chat with a group of boys. I did walk over to them when I saw Jack doing something peculiar. The boys told me he was showing them a dance move. It looked more like someone pooping to me, but whatever.

    When I returned to my tiny tree, this new girl walked over to me. At first she told me about having asthma. We had a short conversation about that. Ferb used to have asthma and outgrew it. Then she told me that sometimes the boys ask Jack inappropriate questions of a sexual nature. She said that generally they are not bullying Jack, but they sometimes laugh at the stuff he says. I told her that children with autism struggle with conversations, and that it was important for him to learn how to negotiate those on his own. She asked if he would ever be able to go through school without an aide. We talked some more about autism.

    Then she shared with me that she is living in a group home in Richmond and going home to Virginia Beach to stay with her mother on week-ends. She is on probation. She talked about how much her life has changed and how much she has changed. I told her about Ferb stealing money from me and how he has matured a lot in the past 9 months. I discovered that this girl had a lot of maturity about her. She admitted that she is mother's difficult child. She is not currently living with her mother but has learned from her mistakes. She told me that she is getting good grades and now has a much better relationship with her mother. We talked about how sometimes what you think is the worst thing to happen to you turns into a learning experience. And I learned from her not to judge a teenager's inner being based on her seemingly frivolous behavior in a P.E. class.

    I wish I could telephone her mother and tell her what an amazing daughter she has.
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  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh Pigless. I wish I had you in my life.

    I am thinking of starting a new thread. Let me run it by you first. Tuesday I begin work again after 3.5 years without working, the hardest years by far of my life. I was literally turned inside out as my mother died and as I grieved her loss, and it seems all of the losses of my whole life.

    For the longest time I felt so vulnerable I could not almost leave the house. I felt like everybody could see how broken and battered I felt.

    I will return to work in a place that is highly aggressive. A prison. Doing work where my colleagues can be cruel and judgmental.

    As a person I can appear to others to be fragile and vulnerable. M says I do specific things that invite attack by others, that I could stop. He cannot quite understand why I do these things--look beseechingly at others, stand too close, eyes locked on theirs, as if I need reassurance, an almost cringing demeanor. Thank you M for sharing. He says I look like I want people to hug me with reassurance. He cannot understand it.

    Because I am highly competent in my work, respected, in demand, and actually completely confident about my work. He thinks I am actually terrifying when I get angry.

    Which leads me to believe that I may try to conceal my own power.

    It seems like this prey-like demeanor may to some extent be subterfuge, something I learned when I was young, as a survival mechanism, which is now unconscious on my part. It seems as if I may act this way to look like I am a less-dominant person, in order to throw people off--i.e. not appear threatening to them. Like it is some kind of adaptation on my part, which makes sense because both my mother and sister tried to be very dominant and demanding of any resource or advantage there was to be had.

    It was like I achieved anything I ever got by being that insect or bird or small animal that developed spots to blend into the forest.

    The problem is I do not any longer want to be an animal whose only defense is subterfuge and camouflage. I want vivid colors and plumage. I want to crow and to fly.

    So, that is the problem. So, what would be the nature of the solution, that is what I need to know. I know a woman who said she was like me, and she changed. She demanded respect and she came to absolutely love confronting people who treated her badly. She had been an abused wife and she changed.

    I am no spring chicken, but I believe it is still possible for me to change.

    What I want is to feel I do not let people walk on me, deliberately insult or disrespect me to gain advantage, or believe that I will not fight back. I know I cannot change other people but I can remove the sign, open season, from my forehead and I can learn to take a swipe so that there is some deterrent to attack.

    So, if I did a thread, I would ask for support in the following:

    One, I am afraid.

    Two, I need to have some mantra on the ready so that I know I can defend myself and how.

    Some time ago on FOO, Cedar came up with a response that we could use, when people were verbally aggressive. "What do you mean?" So simple, and yet so perfect, to put the onus on the aggressor not on the victim.

    What are your thoughts, pigless, if you would be so kind?
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  3. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Miss Copa, I am already in your life. :ballerina:

    I think I understand what you are describing. I work with a women who has this quality and I worry about what she will do if one of the kids "loses it" in her class. She only does very short classes with them, so, so far so good.

    Let's discuss it in watercooler. I think I pretty much have the same issue you do. BUT, Jack is pushing me into growing a pair.

    Can you explain what type of work you will be doing? How did you function at it before your mother died?
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi pigless,

    I will go over to watercooler to respond to your questions. I think I will copy my original post. I did. I called the thread, I do not want to be so afraid anymore.

    Thank you, Pigless.
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am looking forward to your thread Copa, being that I have had similar experiences as yours. I am nice and some people take advantage.......
    Maybe instead of camouflage, we need brilliant hues that warn other "animals" that we are not so edible and are not to be messed with.........

    I am glad you were able to speak with this girl Pigless. I am sure you helped her very much. It may seem like a small moment, but those are the precious times that kindness is remembered forever and can be life changing.
  6. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    Every once and awhile I talk to a good kid or see a kid do something good. Very refreshing to occasionally see these things! Thank you for posting about the "PE Girl".