OneBoyz Mom
Someone Being Bullied
Female | Phoenix, AZ   United States
Shaming His Name
Bullying Type: Physical / Emotional
Posted By: 1BoyzMomUser Verified
6/03/13 7:34 PM
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So many stories to tell, too much resonating sadness... My son's name is Ray, he is 16 years old and is my very Special (needs) son. All of his life Ray has been different. Although my pregnancy was perfect and easy (compared to my daughter), his life has been anything but either. My second born, at 3 years, was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, OCD, and a compulsion towards rage. From there things got worse. Suffice to say that now, at 16 1/2 years of age, my son is medicated three times each day, with seven different medications, in order to manage his Bi-Polar disorder. He is high-functioning, with a soft heart, and a 'thing' for math. I am told that Bi-Polar disorder is genetically passed, although its origin remains a mystery. Anyway...

Ray was always small for his age, and his soft heart made him an easy target for peers who thought it funny to shout epithets, encourage 'trash-canning', or finding an injured creature to hurt further. My boy was small in stature but was big enough to stand for, or stand-up for, anything even smaller than he; and for that he took a beating more than once. Even if he were an 'ordinary' child these events would be heart breaking, but for a BP child his spirit was crushed. Unbelievably, the neighborhood kids who attended school with Ray shunned him as well. He was masterful in building relationships with those who were younger and older than he - yet peers - he did not have a single friend.

A few years ago Ray was given a new medication, a monthly injection to induce puberty, ( he was physically far behind the growth curve). The idea of course, was to encourage his body to catch-up to his age and bring him to bear on the doctor's growth charts. Although painfully slow, (12 months), my son's body appropriately responded and Ray became of average height for his age. I thought this process would help him with the bullies, keep them at bay, or simply let him go. How so very wrong I was. His voice changed, it cracked and it squeaked. He put on weight faster than he grew tall. Almost overnight he developed acne - full blown, needing medication to control, just like when he had chicken pox, acne. But worst of all, my son avers, were the days when gym class required side-by-side showering after each Phys-Ed class. Those were the days he feared worst of all. Those were the days he was emasculated entirely as his intimate body part betrayed him. He was laughed at, pointed to, and scorned. He was humiliated in the boys shower weekly, and reminded of it daily. Young teen girls would mock him to his face, his beautiful, crimson, acne-prone face. He was verbally molested daily, tormented and pulverized by acidic words and withering stares; emotionally distraught, he became a walking flat affect ~ no emotion, no communication, no inflection ~ he simply no longer cared. His only safe haven became his bedroom; late at night, door locked, face jammed into pillow, he sobbed. My son, my second born, my Special gift, he sobbed, and he sobbed, and he sobbed...until the next day when he would let me know [that] he wanted to live with God...

And now, and now what? And now what more could they do to him, could they take from him, could they cause him to bear? Horribly - his name; they could shame his name. At 14 years old a child's name is integral to his or her identity; it is as material and as fundamental as his or her face. When a person's name is heard, instantly a picture is formed, historical information and empirical data is loaded, and a point of reference, (or opinion), obtained. At 14 years old my son's name was shamed (to a bigoted, adolescent populous), and he became 'Gay Ray' or 'Ray Gay', an innocuous, ugly rhyme, which begat a chant, and then became the moniker used to identify my child ~ my beautiful, soft-hearted boy; my Special son who, again, wanted to "go live with God'. He begged me to change his name, let him use his middle name, "Because nothing awful rhymes with Dylan". What about the school you ask ~ what about the administration, their Zero Tolerance Policy? My son was beaten on school grounds twice, yet their 'policy', (akin to a doctor-patient relationship), forbade them from releasing any information whatsoever, about the decision and outcome. To this day I have no idea if parents were notified.

Today my son attends an online high school. He goes to a physical campus and sits at a computer for 5 hours each day. Most of the other kids who attend this school do so because they couldn't make it in a contemporary high school, they were behavior problems, bad eggs, and worse; kids I otherwise wouldn't let my son associate with. Yet here we are, relegated to the third-string team, hoping that Ray can get his education and, (needed), extra attention from teachers who understand this Special child. Those who will treat him with the kindness, and care, and simple respect that every human being deserves; protect him from the bullies who, even in this venue, prowl for weakness. My son will not attend a prom, nor participate in any high school sport, nor will he play in the band, nor perform in the school play, nor compete for a spot in HS government. He won't be on the yearbook committee, become a teacher's aide, drop a beaker in Chemistry, or spike the punch of a HS dance. He will do none of these things, and in 10 years, or 20 years, or even 30 years he will not attend his High School reunions. Ray's childhood memories, as seen through the eyes of a, (then), grown man, will not be surrounded by childish pranks, or big games, or mad crushes, or first kisses, or favorite teachers, or senior ditch day. Ray will never have the chance to reclaim the most important, formative years of his life. Instead he will remember his school years as the darkest and bleakest of days, the days he had to suffer, NOT because his needs were Special, but because the Bullies always thought they were.

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Posted By: Stork | 6/06/13 2:28 PM
One thing I know he is greatful for is having such a loving mother who wants to be a part of his life.
Story Details

Name: OneBoyz Mom
Age: N/A
Country: United States
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Gender: Female
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