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Tough Times

Dear Grandma,

I am afraid I have passed on one of my worst personality traits to Aiden - my fear of not fitting in.  2 times in the last week Aiden has said he was worried his classmates would laugh at him for something he was wearing or doing.  First it was about his jacket.  It is a khaki color and has a small, orange dinosaur silhouette on one of the sleeves.  It's very inconspicuous and I doubt most kids would even notice it.  But poor Aiden didn't want to wear it because he was worried his friends would laugh at him because of the dinosaur.  Where did that come from?  Why would he be worried about being laughed at?  He's never told me he was laughed at before.  Being a victim of bullying I know all too well the bad feelings they can impress upon you.  It is the last thing I want for my children and I try to do superficial things to prevent any reason for them to be picked on.  Example:  I buy them Sketcher shoes because they are the 'in' shoe to wear.  It's so sad that I feel the need to worry about it, but because of my traumatic experience with mean girls I want to do any and all things to keep them from that pain.

People think that once you grow up and get away from those bullies you magically get over those bad feelings of being rejected, but you don't.  I have constant anxiety when I leave the house, and it used to be so bad that I'd make myself feel sick whenever we were going to be around a big group of people or go do something new.  That anxiety has kept me from doing so many things, which in turn has kept my husband from doing those things as well.  I have a fear of being rejected by everyone around me.  Those bullies took more than just my fun in grade school, they have taken many, many years of emotional freedom from me as well. 

I pray that poor Aiden never has to go through these feelings and hope that his being worried about being laughed at is just a phase.  He's a fun, bright boy and I can't imagine why anyone would want to be mean to him.  Then again, I can't understand why anyone would want to be mean to any other human being.  Why can't we all just get along?


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