Bullying is such a heartbreaking problem. And when your child is bullied, whether because he or she is gay, overweight, disabled, or just "different," the pain you experience as a parent is unbearable. Benjy has endured mild bullying but mostly being treated as though he's invisible. He was deeply lonely for all of his years in public school. Always the one without a partner, without a friend to eat lunch with.
This is not happening now, at the Joy School, but it sure has happened in the past. So when I saw this video I wept:
This boy Jonah, who started cutting in second grade, could be Benjy. Ben fantasizes about cutting. I've caught him with a pair of pointed scissors, trying to work up the nerve to do it. He has told me he will. Well, maybe all that's changed, now that he's found his place at the Joy School. But ours is a boy who engages in acts of self harm. Whose first suicidal ideation appeared at age four. Ben has a lot in common with Jonah. I hope Jonah's trajectory is like Ben's, a path, however circuitous, to happiness and peace. And I hope with all my heart that Benjy's path remains sheltered and sunny.
Here's to all the Jonahs and Bens -- the world would be a lot poorer without them.