Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Vulnerable Heart . . .

By Kirsten Nour Namskau

What is mobbing and when do we feel mobbed ?
A person once told me: “It is so funny, so long as it doesn’t happen to you or one in your family.”

As a teacher, I often observed the children in the playground at the brakes.
Once I overheard some children acted and spoke as children with “Cerebral Palsy” do. Everybody in the group laughed and the one after the other made an “act”.
As I was watching them, I saw one of the boys (Niclas) slowly withdraw and left the group. He went to a corner of the yard and hid behind a tree.

It took me little by surprise, because he was usually the one mocking the others.
He was the one that often made fun of those who had taken a lower mark on a test. He was the one that often told spicy stories, easily gave an impolite answer and when one of the girls had broken her leg, he was the one jumping after her until she started to cry.
He was the one who used to play “Blind” and rave around in the class-room and “accidentally” touched the girls.
Now . . . He was the one who went away with pain-struck face.
When the bell rung, he looked released and the arrogant looking he usually had started to reappear.
When class started, I picked up the action that had taken place in the playground and asked the children, what made them to play that they had “Cerebral Palsy”.

They started to laugh and joke about it and again started to talk with strange voice.
Again , the boy started to withdraw.
I had a feeling of what was about to be revealed, when I asked him of his opinion about making fun of others this way.
I continued: “And by the way . . . No one at this school has Cerebral Palsy, so no one was literally hurt.”

Now, the whole class had turned to look at Niclas and silence was eminent as they saw that his face had turned red and he was stuttering, as if he didn’t know how to start.
He flung his hand over his forehead to wipe away drops of sweat that started to trickle.
Suddenly, he hid his face in his hands and started to cry.
I let him use his time to cry out.
I understood in this moment, that this lesson was the biggest lesson in his life.
The whole class sat as if needled to their chair with a question-mark in their face and looked from me to the boy.

When the cry started to take off and he dried his eyes with the cuff of his school-uniform shirt, he only looked at me with red eyes.

Another boy (Franse) asked silent: “Why do you cry? You don’t have Cerebral Palsy. It’s not you they made fun of.”
Niclas almost started to cry again but tried to withheld it as he said: “ You don’t know how it feels. It feels as if you make fun of me.”
He gave a deep sob as he frantically tried to control himself when he continued: “I have a brother that have Cerebral Palsy. He is older than me, but is almost like a baby. One month ago, we had to admit him into a home because it became too much for my mom. When you make joke of him, it feels as if you make joke of me.”

Franse looked at him for a long time with an intense glance before he said: “I know exactly how you feel Niclas. Look at me . . .” He ordered Niclas with soft voice.
When Niclas didn’t react, he repeated with stronger voice: “Niclas, look at me!”

Niclas peeped towards Franse as he continued: “Niclas . . . I am Franse, the one you use to call fatsy. Because I have a hormonal disorder that makes me fatter than you. What you feel now, is what I feel every day when someone calls me fatsy. The tears you have cried now, is like the tears I cry myself to sleep with every night.
Now . . . You know how it feels.”

Niclas looked down in his desk and said: “Sorry fatsy . . . I mean . . . Franse . . .” (he gave a sob, coming from deep in his throat) . . .” Sorry Franse, I shall never do it again.”


Anonymous said...

cooking salt?

You know a lot of people have told me CRAZY ideas. But my problem is HORMONAL, NOT hygiene.

Thanks for trying to help though


Hammer said...

All bullies need to be taught this lesson.

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

Vin: Acne is an inflammation in the hair-sack. Either it caused of hormonal problems or other...The salt dries out the inflamed fluid as it at the same time desify the wound.
(The simpler the help is, the less do people want to try, is my experience.)

Lexcen said...

Children being cruel in the playground. Reminds of of a typical nature documentary where any individual that is weak or different is harassed or even killed. Humans are animals after all.

Freddie said...

This does seem to be a sad part of human nature but as you've shown here, it can be overcome.

KB said...

There is always someone getting picked on at school - this is a lovely story really - and a lesson to all of us. We never really know how someone feels until we experience it ourselves (and even then, we have our OWN experience of it)

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