I am my son’s most fierce advocate!
Fierce and furious because I was never protected by my own mother.
It’s so hard to admit even now…but she never protected me and is guilty of gross negligence towards me. It hurts so deeply to know that I wasn’t important enough to her to speak up on my behalf. It was her duty to give voice to my fears and reassure me that I was not bad. That it wasn’t my fault, that I wasn’t responsible. It was her responsibility to acknowledge that what was done to me was unacceptable; to shout loudly and boldly from the rooftops that my father, her husband sexually abused me. I was voiceless and helpless. She denies it ever happened and when I confronted her recently, she needed to check with my father that it happened and came back and said it didn’t. She has forgotten and it’s all so convenient for him and everyone else! So convenient that I am far away and they can continue to pretend. So convenient that I was so good at keeping secrets and holding everything in.
That is why when my son told me this week how he is being excluded from playground fun by a boy in his class who tells him to go away; I gave him a voice. I confronted his teacher with the name of the boy. I faced the ugliness that he was too intimidated to face. He told me he didn’t know how to tell his teacher; he said he was too scared that he wouldn’t explain it well enough. He didn’t know when would be a good time to tell her. So I did what a mother does, I used my adult voice to allow him to be heard and seen.
Now that his teacher knows, the boy in question was spoken to and it has been revealed that other boys in the class have been feeling intimidated by the same boy, that he has been too controlling. The teacher has introduced a new more inclusive playground game where each day a different child gets to choose the game they all play. My boy’s face shined with joy and delight when it was his day and he got to choose a Star -Wars -battle themed game! Maybe now all the boys have learnt that they can tell, that they should tell when they are being controlled and feel intimidated or excluded. Maybe the boy in question has also learnt that his behaviour is unacceptable and hurtful. I say maybe because I have no way of knowing but I hope so of course!
But my son has learnt.. yes he has learnt that he can tell me anything, that I will believe him, that he doesn’t have to suffer in silence, that he is important enough and that his feelings are valid and valuable.
I am his most fierce advocate and will continue be. I am his mother.