monday nights we have share a meal and bible study at our house. i find it not at all surprising that this night, or because of events that take place on this night are a constant source of madness from The Neighbors From Hell™. last night olive and another girl wanted to go outside to ride skateboards/scooters and the older girl pulled me aside and whispered, "he's not going to yell at me and make me go inside is he?" i said NO WAY as long as they stay off the driveway and were only on the sidewalk. within minutes the guy put up his garage door and stood there, arms crossed, watching the kids scoot around. half way through our discussion augustine comes busting in saying that olive was outside crying. according to three of the children, olive was WALKING HER SCOOTER ACROSS "THEIR" SIDEWALK and the wife barked at olive to leave. by the time i got out there olive was hiding in our garage in a puddle of tears and the mom was pacing around spitting mad. i thought that olive had been on their driveway so i apologized to her and said that i had told them not to go on their property. she blew me off and rolled her eyes.
olive practically collapsed on me in tears and said she didn't want to tell me what had happened. which meant it was really sad/bad. this is when the three kids outside told me in no uncertain terms that the woman had been bullying olive. it wasn't what she said it was HOW she said it.
so yeah, we are going to GO THERE now. i talked with a lawyer today and have a tentative meeting with another if i need him. i also spoke with the city right of way manager and got straight answers from him about how it is illegal to prevent anyone from accessing public sidewalks. he said to give them his name and number if they needed clarification on the rights involved here.
i seriously want to cuss.
but as much as i want to cuss i also want to cry. cry for my child being humiliated by some jerk abusing their authority and role as an adult. cry because i have an extremely painful memory of an adult treating me much the same way. i felt deeply unprotected and bullied. in fact that is really the only memory i have in my whole life where i felt bullied but even as i write this i am having an emotional response to the memory. i did what i wanted to be done for me in that moment, to be scooped up, reassured of her safety and deep affection within this family, and threw any blame she felt off of her little shoulders.
and as i can articulate that safety, affection, protection, acceptance, and freedom to my daughter i still can't detach myself from the opposite of that when i recall the drunken slurs barked in my face when i was a kid. i woke up in a panic today, atrophied in my bed feeling violent waves of terror settling into my bones. so much of my triggers involve abuse of power. it is not only morally repugnant to abuse the powerless but so deeply damaging. come hell or high water i will protect my child from that kind of bull. but in bed when it was just me i shrank back into my little child mind and it overcame me. this is a reminder of my struggle with post traumatic stress. it doesn't always rear it's head but when it does it is paralyzing. i prayed, took an ativan, cried, and reached for the computer to send an email to my intimate friends about how i was feeling in that moment. somehow my feet hit the floor and augustine's lunch got made and i found myself standing at the bus stop. TNFH scuttled away as soon as i got there. around the corner swung one of my best friends, rachel come to stand beside me and hold my hand through the hard time. i cried and threw my arms around her neck more than once. the way to get through this is together. isolation and paralysis are the lies we believe! i got multiple loving texts and an invitation to two friends homes to be together.
this wall isn't so tall when you're standing on your friend's shoulders. such holy friendships i possess!