The Lex Saga Continues

In July 2010 we got some news that shook our world. For the first six months of that year, Lex was being physically and verbally abused by his teacher at his pre-school in Australia. As far as we know, the abuse included hitting, kicking, throwing shoes at him, putting tape over his mouth, making him sleep outside in the sun, kicking sand at him, and more. We’ve never gotten to the bottom of what actually happened, because everyone zipped up in an effort to protect themselves – the school was in the process of being sold, so everyone was “gagged” and threatened with losing their jobs if the sale got screwed up. There was one exception, Amanda, the lady who was brave enough to report it and went through a lot of shit because she stood up. As far as we know, the government department responsible has done nothing, the police thought it was no big deal and the teacher is still teaching. It was one of the main reasons we left Australia.

Two cheeky boys
We obviously went through a shocking time coming to terms with it. As I was the primary school ‘dropper-off-er-er,’ I beat myself up because I didn’t see any resistance from Lex going into school. Did I miss something? Then I wondered is it because he thinks that’s how things are? That’s how you get treated in the world? It was a confusing, heart-breaking, and very tough time for all of us to get through. Coming back to Singapore really gave us a chance to move on from that time.

I know people deal with a lot worse, but that was pretty rock bottom for us. Our beautiful little lad had been hurt by someone and we couldn’t do anything about it. Sure we could’ve gone legal, but I drew the line at that – mainly because I really do believe it is a process that screws you up more than anything else – it’s ugly and no one wins in the end. I also couldn’t rely on witnesses, because many of them had witnessed this abuse towards other children for the past seven years without saying anything, so why would they stand up and speak now? My trust was long gone.

So we decided it was better to move on and focus on giving Lex the best life we could. We wanted to show him that the world is a gentle place and that he is loved beyond measure. We work hard to reassure him every day, but are we doing enough?

Yesterday we got called into the school. For the past couple of weeks, Lex has been very physical with the teachers and they’ve had enough. One of the reasons right now is that his efforts to speak are creating frustration, but also embarrassment. However, we know that the deep reason is linked back to the abuse. A child psychiatrist said we can expect recurrence of bad behaviour until he is about six or seven years old, and the main challenge will be an inability to trust outside the home.

We know he hasn’t recovered from it, but in many ways, we don’t know what to do about it, other than what we are already doing. Hey we’re just parents trying to do the best for our lads, but we’re not kid experts. Yesterday his gorgeous teacher said “it’s like he’s constantly pushing us, testing us, asking us to prove to him that we do love and care about him.” Then she said something that really shook me – “it’s like he hasn’t got any self worth.”

You know our biggest priority in raising our kids is to help them be confident. We think this is the most important asset a human being can have. And here we are with a little lad struggling with his own self worth. That perspective really made so much sense to me. Of course it’s about self worth. Why wouldn’t it be? During a pivotal time in his life, when he couldn’t hear properly or speak, he felt unsafe outside his family unit...

I try not to get angry about what happened – I think it is pointless – but man oh man, sometimes I wish I could smash all of their faces in! But none of it matters now, all that matters is I/we do all we can to help Lex fully love and value himself, and so the next round of finding the right specialists begins.... It's certainly stirred up a lot of emotions this week though.

Bloody kids I tell ya!!

Yours, without the bollocks


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