Friday, February 03, 2006

Being Left Out (warning! It's a pity party...)

It happened again...at least again while I was there...

My sweet 4 year old was "left out" again.

The first time I saw it happen, I was behind the "mirror" at her pre-school, observing the class. She finished her snack, and was ready to race over with a couple of other girls to sit on the carpet for story-time. They both gave her the cold shoulder and when she sat down next to them anyway, they both moved over and gave her the royal snub. 4 year olds. Snubbing. 4 year olds snubbing!

I sat in that booth --and because I was alone --I bawled. Like a baby.

It happened again today with some friends. She was ignored. Not her fault, and not really her friends' fault either, but she was snubbed, and it broke her little heart. I didn't cry this time, though, because there wasn't time, but I sure felt like it...

I cried not just for her, but for me as well. I cried because I knew, to the core, what it felt like to be left out, ignored, snubbed, forgotten, and even teased. I know because I lived it. I looked through that one-way glass and I saw myself as a child again.

There is nothing wrong with my daughter (or me, for that matter). She is ahead of her class academically, but she is kind and always listening. She helps those who need help, and she's always interested in other people's ideas (well, as much as a 4 year old can be). She is not socially awkward, and she doesn't seem to have any kind of a disability. Not that any of that should be an excuse, but at least it would have been a reason. So far, I can't seem to find the reason...

I can't find the reason within myself as to why I was treated like that, either.

Being left out and snubbed, or ignored is almost the worst kind of hurt. It is silently done --so the pain is felt in silence. I have felt this silence all of my life and I still feel this silence. It's so silly, but for a mom of three, staying at home, I shouldn't have to feel like I'm ever being left out on purpose. I'm an adult. I have responsibilities, so why should I care that so-and-so down the street doesn't want to be my friend? Or that I was actually left out (on purpose) from girl's night out with the neighborhood women? But it does matter. Somehow it does. I have racked my brain to try and figure out what I did, just as I try to figure out what my sweet daughter did to deserve such treatment. Perhaps I offended someone. Perhaps they just don't like me. I don't like some people, and so perhaps I've become "some people". But I still can't figure it out.

I feel like my four year old. I just wish I could bounce back from it as easily as she does now...and then hope she doesn't have to endure it her enitre life like I've had to...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that you need to be in charge of your own happiness! Don't let others decide your fate in life! You have always been a strong individual who didn't need others approval to be happy, why do you need it now?

As for your daughter, there are always going to be mean people in the world who think they are better than others! Just keep re-assuring her that she is a special little girl who is loved dearly and she will be okay!!

hdc said...

I remember in detail the day my son was snubbed (and I watched). It was the first time he had been invited to a "big-boy" birthday party. He was so excited! He spent nearly a half-hour lovingly choosing the right present for his friend. We arrived at the party and the shock on the birthday boy's face said it all...but he vocalized it too: "Mom, I didn't say to invite him". Inocently unaware, my son went on to enjoy the party until presents were opened. "Mom, this is a stupid present. Only babys play with this!" It was all I could do to smile my way through to the exit. It wasn't until we got home that I broke down in the privacy of my bedroom. It was at that moment I realized how truly painful parenting could be. I don't know how to protect them from that...I'm hoping that is the price of greatness!

Cheryl said...

Oh, that is so sad! That birthday boy is lucky he wasn't my kid --I don't tolerate that kind of behavior with my kids and I try to teach them to include everyone...which goes right back to what I was talking about.

Maybe you're right --perhaps this is the price of greatness. Because of my childhood I tend to be very compassionate towards those who might feel left out...maybe our kids will do the same.

Rachel H said...

Your commments hit really close to home. I was a tender child who experienced a lot of teasing and feeling left out, for MANY years, and I know how horrible that feels. I don't blame my mother, but I will say that I think we can be taught what to think in these situations, and I was always taught to be soft, sensitive,tender, and I did not know how to deal with things of that nature. But then I married a guy who is the OPPOSITE. He never seemed to be left out, still doesn't. He was taught to be kind and good, but her never felt sorry for himeself or took things personally. He just shook everything off and went along his merry way. Now I believe my 4 yr old has that thicker skin that I WISH I had been taught. I have learned that it's all in how you look at it. Any pity partys are self-made, because we are the creators of our own lives, and if you want a fun group of friends, go searching for them actively, and don't worry about anything else.