Saturday, March 14, 2009

my ears are bleeding

today i left the house. like i HAD TO LEAVE or else more tears would be shed. the kids laid down for a nap at around noonish and i sat there reading a book and all was quiet. well it was until my neighbor started yelling the worst obscenities. there were at least 3 children in the apartment and honestly i burst into tears hearing him talking about "beating their a$$" and telling them "f#ck you". i lost it and fell onto the couch praying so hard for peace to come into that house. i had to leave, but not before the dad slammed the door and left.

if the price for peace the absence of a father, so be it. ive had fantastic parents. parents who supported me in my outspokenness and, at times outrageousness. they stood by with a smile as in high school i brandished neon wigs and pants so wide at the bottom three people could fit inside. (i've come a long way in my fashion choices i believe) even in my reckless days where i smoked and got into trouble with the law, still they tethered me with their love and prayers. i've never known anything but love and i think that is rather rare in our culture. it shouldn't be, but it seems like it is.

just last night i was recounting a story to my friend maggie over some delicious chinese food. the story goes that in high school, my english class once had a substitute teacher. the next day when the primary teacher returned and asked what we had gone over the previous day, we said "nothing. the sub couldnt find your lesson plan." apparently he had left a note that the plan was on the lectern and the sub did not know what that meant. his comment was that basically if the sub was too stupid as to not understand what a lectern was, maybe he shouldnt be a teacher. i remember raising my hand and saying that i thought he was being pretty harsh on the guy and that maybe, JUST MAYBE, he could have made it easier by simply leaving the notes on the desk where they could be found without incident. now, in hindsight i realize that the teacher was older, clearly burnt out in his profession, and was probably just limping through his career to get to retirement and he was genuinely embarrassed to be called out. but a teenager doesn't process that. his response to my chide was to humiliate me and treat me like a bratty teenager who didn't respect his authority. his exact words "you were raised wrong and you ask too many questions." now i will concede some points that i do ask a lot of questions, but ill never back down that this is my right. i believe i threw a chair at this point and walked out fuming with hot tears coming down my face. i went straight to the principal demanding his attention to this incident and that no one talks to me or any other student that way. oh i wish i could have been a fly on the wall during the parent-teacher meeting that followed!

that incident really impacted me. briefly in college i was an education major i think largely as a desire to be the good influence and instructor that i think kids deserve. i had 100 fine/excellent teachers but the one that sticks out the most to me was that english teacher with a chip on his shoulder. i will also add that this teacher later became a patient of my fathers and "had nothing but good things to say about me". ??

8 comments:

a.parker said...

In the seventh grade, my teacher pulled me out into the hallway and literally, word for word, told me that I was a bad person, that I was mean, and that he didn't appreciate it. I was laughing with my friend and he had thought that I was laughing at someone. He never let me explain my side, and I was devastated. Funny how those things stay with us.

Luckily, you are the neighbors that your neighbors got. You can't save them, perhaps, but you can pray for them and care for them when possible. We might remember the bad people, but we remember the good ones, too.

bd said...

Been there, done that with crap neighbors. Any loud whomps and call the fuzz.

jenny mae. said...

it's only been a week and im scared of what might lie ahead. *shudder*

this wanderer... said...

Have you met your neighbors yet? That's uncomfortable and maybe scary at this point, but good, I think... We live in an inner-city neighborhood with lots of single moms and houses full of 10 people with 2 bedrooms, yada, yada... two of the little girls I hang out with are constantly yelled at and told, "Little girl, didn't I tell you to shut up?" When I'm with them, I show them love as much as I can--hug them, encourage them, acknowledge their good choices. You're a mom-you know this! But I hope someone (maybe you!) can be that source of love...

Anonymous said...

you need to call the police.

Marie said...

I second the above. Please call the police/child protective services and keep calling them until this stops.

Kathleen said...

Jenny, I think that praying for peace was the right thing to do for that moment that you were observing... but I agree with some of your other commenters that if things continue to disturb you (and I would suppose your other neighbors as well!) to get the police involved too. I would hate to imagine what may or may not be happening to those children. Loving the rest of your blogs, by the way! See you Sunday!

jenny mae. said...

my fear is that the phone call will do nothing (i highly suspect it will be fruitless honestly) but inflame my neighbors against me, at which point i will have little shot at engaging them in the future. it is not illegal to be a jerk to a child and proof of abuse would be hard to come by. my other fear is that they will take their anger out on the children later, which i know is common in abusive relationships among adults.

im very concerned but also really lacking wisdom about how to proceed with all of this. beyond yelling i havn't heard anything that i feel would be legally punishable, does that make sense?

i am blessed to be sensitive to what breaks the heart of the Lord, but pray that i might receive some wisdom in all of this please