Reply To: Birthday party heartbreak

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#51233
Hannah3
Participant

Soooooo been there done that. Have seen it with kids who have similar but distinct problems too, like autism. What makes it worst is when there is no escape. Our son got bullied at school and in our neighborhood. It really took away the sense that home was a refuge. What I think he felt the most was how 2 or 3 boys who are our next door neighbors turned against him. They had known each other and played together since they were about three. All these kids were always welcome in our house. But our son, like a lot of ADHD kids, had trouble keeping up socially, and little by little it became J and W and E against him all the time. There was the time they all stood around him throwing soccer balls at his head. They used to play a game on our street where if a car was coming they would yell “car!” and would run touch a tree before the car went by. I used to see it developing: the glances at each other which our son didn’t see, the smiles, then they’d yell “car!” and only our son would run touch the tree, not realizing no car was coming, while they stood around and laughed. They used to play with these little gormiti toys. The other kids kept theirs, our son’s were thrown over the fence where he couldn’t get them. When they were in middle school, one kid had a birthday party with a jump house in the driveway, our son was the one who wasn’t invited. He didn’t realize he hadn’t been invited, ran across the street in excitement when he saw the jump house. We called him back, but the mom said oops, didn’t mean to exclude him, let him stay. About an hour later, we heard him come up our front steps. He walked very slowly. He went in the house. He went down to his room. He was very silent the whole time. I knew something was wrong. Gave him a little time, then went down to his room. He was lying face against the wall, his whole body shaking. Apparently they had all knocked him down – one boy, who still lives next door to us, was the leader – chanting “J’s a traitor! J’s a traitor!” and kicking him. He managed to get up and get away, kept it together until he was in his room. I will never forget how he sobbed, almost screaming. I will never forget that night. Nobody in our family will forget it.

That was bad, and I’m not gonna lie, it leaves scars. But I am going to end this on a more hopeful note. We took our kid out of the local school. We went to a small charter school instead. It has been much, much better. He has a small but good group of friends. He’s regained a lot of his self-confidence. Most of his social activities are so far outside of our local school district and neighborhood that it’s almost like those kids don’t exist any more. He’s also gotten into theater, done really well, and made a good group of friends there. My advice to people going thru this: don’t waste time with schools that don’t do much about bullying or friends that aren’t really friends. Do everything you can to find alternatives and then focus on those. ADHD may not ever go away, but with patient hunting and help, your kid can find the right niche and be much happier.