Were you ever bullied in school? What would you do if your child came home and told you they were being bullied? A mother shared online the story of her son, Liam who was a victim of bullying.
His bullies changed his life forever and caused drastic changes in him.
But Liam is a strong kid and his mother’s attentiveness saved his life!
Liam was only in the seventh grade when the bullying finally took its toll on him.
“One chilly winter afternoon, Liam handed me his cell phone and told me he didn’t want it anymore. I asked why, but he brushed off my inquiry with a shrug and slunk back to his room, closing the door behind him. I didn’t understand why he was giving up his main mode of communication, but I chalked it up to emerging teen hormones and tossed the phone in a drawer.” -Deirdre Fell-O’Brien
This was only the first sign that something was terribly wrong, and it lead to Deirdre keeping a bit of a closer eye on her son. He loved soccer and
was known to carry his soccer ball everywhere he went,
especially after making the school soccer team in the fall.
“That one odd moment led to many others that left me scratching my head—his bike sat idly in the garage because he was not using it to meet up with his friends;
“he no longer carried his soccer ball around everywhere he went;
“and mealtimes were spent pushing food around his plate as the pounds melted off his already tiny frame.”
Eventually, it got so bad that Liam refused to go to school for the day.
His mum knew this was her chance to get to the bottom of what was happening to her once happy child.
“I sat him down at the kitchen table and pleaded with him to share what was going on. We both cried as he reluctantly told me he was being bullied and it had been going on for a year.”
“There were pushes and kicks. They used horrible language and called him nasty words. They told him he was nothing. That he should kill himself. They were merciless in their cruelty.
“I asked how often they did this to him.
“He looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Every day, Mom.'”
“My heart was in a million pieces; I was seething with rage at the bullies and full of sadness for Liam, but relieved my son had finally confided in me. Everything finally made sense.”
It cannot be easy to put into words the exact emotions a parent must feel when they’re confronted with such an ugly reality concerning their child. But Deirdre got it pretty much perfect, I think.
Liam was taken to the hospital where he was treated for depression and an eating disorder.
With the school and the bullies’ parents taking no action, Deirdre was at her wits’ end. She was still trying to take care of the rest of her life, including four kids, while trying to get some justice for what her son was going through!
That’s when she made this post on Facebook that changed everything.
“The words just fell out of me. It was cathartic. I read it over and over to myself and hit send.”
“To my utter amazement, my post went viral. So many people—too many people—understood our pain.”
Unfortunately, bullying is all too common a phenomenon.
And it’s one that is so frequently looked over as if it isn’t a big deal. Liam is proof that it’s really quite the opposite, and Deirdre admitted that it could have been so much worse. People shared their own stories of bullying with her, and some even told stories that ended in their kids doing the unthinkable and committing suicide.
“Before long, people from all over the world were rallying behind Liam in newspapers and on social media. Liam was able to see how many people cared about him and were rooting for him. It was uplifting to him and helped him so much in his recovery.”
After a difficult ten weeks of intensive care and recovery, Liam was ready to come home and go back to school.
“To everyone’s surprise, Liam decided he wanted to return to his old school. My husband and I were scared that returning to the place with the same people would set him back, but Liam was determined. When I dropped him off that first day, my jittery nerves turned to overwhelming pride as
“I watched my son confidently walk right through the front doors.
“He even finished out the soccer season.”
Liam’s story literally changed the discourse around bullying, he has made a massive impact on our society! It should never have taken this much for anything to change, but any progress is good progress.
He should stand proud that he survived such a terrible situation and even went back to face it head on!
He’s still recovering, growing and changing, and even though some of these emotional scars will never heal, Liam has the support to look at this stage of his life as something terrible that caused something good. His incredible mother very well saved his life and she is still ensuring that he gets every bit of help that he needs.
“I’ll stand with him every step of the way.”
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