So, last night was rough. We had a – well, I guess it was a run-in, with an acquaintance. Although, it was she that began it. And she that ended it. See, her son had threatened my life a couple of years ago. He was only maybe 10 or 11, but he was a bully. A terrible bully to my sweet 2nd grade daughter. And his bullying culminated with the threat of killing me in my sleep. He told her he had a gun, knew where I lived and wasn’t afraid to sneak out and do it. I did what any rational mother would do. I called the cops. On a 10 year old. BUT, the cops called his parents and scared the living shit out of them. And they reacted.
Then, I put an ad out for somebody to drive my daughter home from school and she answered. Yep, same daughter. She realized who it was and she cried and apologized. This is a good family, I thought. That was a fluke. And the kids started playing together. It wasn’t all a bed of roses, but it was fine. Life happened. His mother had back surgery and we made her dinner. She picked my daughter up and I bought her gifts. The bully watched my puppy and I paid him for his services. All seemed great. Until last night. I got a call from her after my kids had gone to jump on her trampoline. She said that my kids had come over when nobody was allowed over. All were welcome she repeated conspicuously about 18 times. All are always welcome – they are so laid back and easygoing – but when my girls came over, they called her boys names. Assholes, to be specific. I was livid. I apologized to her and hung up the phone, ready to raise some hell with the girls.
But the girls had a different version of the story – a much more sinister version. They had gone down innocently enough to jump on the trampoline and the boys had said they weren’t welcome. Go home, they said – the others can stay, but not you. Why, they inquired? What do you mean? They were blindsided…..flabbergasted. They were told – my mom and dad said you’re not invited, that they hate you and that you are annoying. They were told that multiple, many times. Until it brought my youngest (the same one previously bullied by them) to tears. Her sister, God bless her sweet heart, stood up for her and called them assholes and walked away. That’s all I heard from this mom. That my girls called her boys assholes, and all they did was call Julia annoying once. Yeah. Ok.
So, I texted her to say that we needed to talk – that the actual story was very different and I summarized the differences for her, notably including that she and her husband had been calling my girls annoying and saying they hated them? Hmmmmm….what happened to “everybody’s welcome!”? Well, what came next was truly unbelievable. She lashed out ferociously. And I mean FEROCIOUSLY. Told me she would NOT talk to me. Told me to keep my girls away from her boys and vice versa. The insults were fast and furious and relentless. Had I discovered a vein of truth? A secret? She was relentless and unforgiving, even bringing into the texts something that I told her in strict confidence and vulnerability. Wow. Here it was – the turn. Once I hit that vein, she never turned back. She threw insults at me like dodgeballs during a particularly heated dodgeball match. Only I wasn’t throwing them back. I tactfully avoided the pitfalls of retaliation. While she threw and threw and threw. I dodged and dodged and dodged. And she threw some zingers. Said she understood why I had “so many” damaged relationships. Hmmmm…….this woman that knows absolutely nothing about me. What an interesting comment. What was she referring to? It wasn’t about me. It was about her.
She said that she was glad she finally saw my “true colors” – to which I replied that if my “true colors” were to stand up for my kids with abusive people – hell, yeah. She saw them. And I was PROUD of that. Super proud. I am not going to let these abusive people damage my kids. It’s sad enough that they’re damaging their own. AND I refrained from making that comment – what I wanted to say – the child in me wanted to say – was that this explained a lot about why her son had bullied my 2nd-grader so relentlessly a few years ago. This is a toxic, damaging home. And I’m privileged to realize that now. Before damage is done to my kids.
But then I began to wonder – how many of these people would I have to encounter in this world? In this lifetime? And why? I asked her to meet with us – she said no. She had been found out. Discovered. Busted. And she was running. She had been bad-mouthing children. She was ashamed, but unable to admit it. She was trashing around in defense. And so hurling daggers. Ouch. They hurt. They really hurt. i didn’t want them to. Where was my shield? Ouch.
So, what is this about? She refused to have a conversation – a dead giveaway to the immaturity level of her life and her surroundings, and therefore her children. She was busted. Amy had done the same thing. She was busted. And she ran away. I busted her on being just as negative as she was accusing me of being. Now that I see it more clearly, she was projecting. And I popped that bubble and she couldn’t face it, so she ran. Those people are not MORE than me, they are less than me. I want peace. Badly. But I don’t want peace at the expense of integrity.
Integrity is first. And I am doing my very best. Yes, failing, but still trying my heart out.