It’s the first week of school and Evelyn is already dreading another day of screaming off the top of her lungs, hurrying, and another day not getting to work on time. “This is becoming the norm in this house, and I don’t know if I can continue life this way.” Evelyn says to her husband Fred, while she kisses and sees him off to work. “Don’t worry, Lizzy will be fine.” He hollers as he hurry’s out the door, while checking his pocket for keys and wallet, and trying not to spill his coffee at the same time. “Sure, you don’t have to deal with this pre-teen.” She says as she shuts the door behind her.
“Lizzy, open the door!” shouts her younger brother while he pounds on the bathroom door. “Mom, Lizzy won’t hurry and I am going to be late for school again!”
“Lizzy, what is taking you so long, please for once let’s all be on time, honey.” Her mother pleads. She too is overwhelmed by now and too exhausted for another day of drama. “O Lord, what is happening to my little girl?” Evelyn prays silently, while she tries to pry the bathroom door open. “Honey, please open the door.” “I’m not going to school anymore!” Lizzy shouts, “I hate school!” she begins to cry. She unlocks the door so her mother can go in and comfort her.
“What is wrong, why are you crying?” Her mother ask as she wraps her arms around her daughter and suddenly feels her own frustration expel as she comforts Lizzy.
“I’m ugly.” Lizzy says, and she wipes her face on her mother’s bath robe. “I don’t want to go to school anymore.” She sniffles, and again, she reaches for her mother’s bath robe to wipe her nose.
“Honey, school is not an option, and I will not call out sick for you today. You need to tell me what is going on, so we can deal with it; but you are going to school.”
“Is someone bullying you?” Her mother asks.
“Yes”, Lizzy says and puts her head down while tears begin flowing down her cheeks. “I just want her to stop picking on me”! Evelyn reaches to wipe her tears, while she is feeling uneasy and angered that someone would dare pick on her daughter, hurt her baby girl. Again, she begins to pray the Lord will give her wisdom and the words to edify her daughter; it was obvious the pain her child felt was real and her intervention was imperative. Somehow, getting to work on time was not as important anymore. As she began combing Lizzy’s long black hair, she thought how to choose her words carefully, and proceeded, ‘Who is this person, and what is she/he doing to you?”
“She tells me I’m ugly every day and calls me names”, Lizzy says as she places a cool wash cloth on her puffy eyes. She calls me fat and says my clothes are too tight on my fat body’ she says I am dumb and I can’t do anything right”.
By hearing this Evelyn becomes angry and says,
“What is her name? I am going to talk to her parents now”!
“No mom, I will deal with it. It will go away”! Lizzy says as she becomes aggravated at her mother’s questions.
“This is not going to go away until we tell it to her parents. Maybe she is having problems at home and you happened to be her outlet”. Evelyn calmly says, as she remains calm, and tries to keep her temper in check. She realizes that her actions can slam this door shut; causing her daughter to lock that trust forever. “Times like these are so delicate”, she thinks to herself” She too had the same conversation with her own mother when she was a tween, but her mother did not handle it to well. Evelyn shut down, and avoided ever discussing personal things with her mother again. “Lord Jesus, Evelyn prays in her heart, please help me and give me wisdom. Help me to discern what is really going on in Lizzy’s heart. You love her and know her better than I. Please help me to keep the door of trust open with my daughter.
Evelyn begins to calm down and see past her own frustrations. Her anxiety losses power as she watches her daughter touching up her hair, and making herself ready for school. “Lizzy, her mother says, I love you, and you make you beautiful. You are beautiful in more ways than you can imagine. Your kindness, you are loving, and funny, you make people happy. I love your humor. God made you absolutely perfect. I want to help you, but I can’t if you don’t tell me the name of the person who is daunting you”.
“Lizzy looks at herself in mirror and says, “It is her”. “Who”? Her mother says, “Who are you talking about”? She looks around. “Her” Lizzy says again, “She is the one, the one I see every day in the mirror”.