Looking back

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Yesterday we held our third annual be brave against bullying golf tournament.
A little back story on why and where it all started.
Dude has never really had it “easy”.  His first four years of school were hell.  And at the age of 9, it came full circle with my 9 year old attempting suicide.
Now I am aware the nay sayers will say what they will,  I am sure some will say his illness was the problem not bullying.
They’d be wrong. Yes his illness (not bipolar at the time, but anxiety) didn’t help in how he dealt with it, it didn’t help in the sense that he couldn’t let it go.  But they were at the time two very separate things.
You see entering kindergarten I had a fairly typical little boy,  but as his sensory and anxiety increased so did the torture he was dealt.  And not just by children. By June of grade 4, he was done, could see no way out.
He was admitted to hospital with ptsd (yes separate from all that ailed him).  For four weeks (his longest stay if you’re wondering because this was not related to meds or his diagnosis)  my little boy was alone being treated for something no little boy should have to be treated for.  It was hell! Anyone who has ever had their child hospitalized knows the pain and fear.  Imagine not being able to stay with them though.
It sucked!
But our little boy needed help our love couldn’t give him.
After going through this, I realized just how much bullying was swept under the rug,  just how isolating it was as a victims parent.
And I decided to do what I could. So no other parent felt so alone, so no other child felt they couldn’t get out.
Now fast forward 3 years. 
Albeit his very scary bipolar,  I can’t help but every year at this time see how far he’s come.
Many of our golfers enter each year.  Many only see dude this one time a year.
The first year his head hung low.  The second a bit higher, and this year he stood proud, allowing his humour and kindness to show.
So many comments were made on how good he was doing,  on how far he’s come.
It’s something as parents you don’t think about much because you’re in the daily grind.  But as he chatted and joked with fellow golfers it was obvious even to me,  that the timid, beat down boy who first played, is now a stronger, bit more confident young man.
There’s days the past creeps in and roars in his mind,  and only then when he feels threatened. The difference now is that he raises his own voice, adult or child, he will finally stand up!
He’s no longer a scared little boy,  he’s now a well rounded, caring, compassionate, empathetic teenager.
Looking back every year at this time, does in fact show me how far we’ve come.

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