Friday, May 23, 2008

What Happens When Your Guard Is Down

I have a lot to do today so I'm going to make this short. I have been trying to shake off this feeling of yuck and haven't been successful yet. I think it's a combination of things, most people would call it LIFE. It started last week at Katie's court of awards for Daisy Scouts. Ted's classmates were laughing at Helen who was noisy when using the bathroom. I saw it for myself, there they were outside the bathroom laughing and telling Ted, "It stinks in the bathroom, your sister is in there...", my heart dropped. I have been fortunate until now, we have only had stares, no comments. I checked on Helen, she was fine, so I went out into the hallway. Ted was standing there trying to make sense of why they were laughing, and he started to say in a very uncomfortable voice, "Well, my sister..." I interrupted by saying to the girls, "Your not laughing at her, are you?" Silence. Looking at me, they nodded their heads, one of the girls said, "No." They were looking at me like I had three heads, I said, "Because, that's not nice!" I wish I had said something mind blowing, something that would have stuck with them for the rest of their lives. I was so shaken by what I was witnessing, I really couldn't think. I went back into the bathroom to see how Helen was doing, and waited for her to finish. When we were done in the bathroom, I tracked down their leader and shared what had happened. She gathered the girls and then introduced them to Helen, and told them, "Now you have met her, the next time you see her you can tell her hello." The other day Ted got in the car and told me, "The girls said they were sorry about what happened...and then they said they didn't do anything wrong." I told him you can't apologize and in the same sentence say you did nothing wrong. I spoke with the assistant group leader who also happens to be Helen's OT at her school. She couldn't believe what had happened, she hadn't even heard about it(she was not at the meeting). They were having a meeting on Wednesday and she was going to address the issue then. She suggested that Helen join them next year for a meeting so the girls can spend time with her and see for themselves that she is just like them. I told her I would do whatever it takes to educate others on Helen's disability. This incident has opened my eyes, I let my guard down because we were at the school where I felt safe. I now know, the only safe place is at home, my guard will be up everywhere else.

Isn't that sad?

Until next time-
Take Care,


Jane said...

I just read this and am so sorry. My Anna is still little but I worry all the time about when IT will start. I want to shield and protect her from everything but I know I can't.


Sue said...


Thank you for your comment, I just now saw it, I apologize for not responding sooner. I usually receive an email informing me of comments, but never received one this time. When the girls were approached by their teacher and also Helen's OT, they denied any wrong doing, but still apologized. I told them both the denial cancelled out the apology, in my eyes. Hopefully they learned something from this experience. Thanks again.