Our story “Ty the Bull” is personal to me for many reasons. Most of all because I see a child living a life of disappointment. I can relate on many levels except I had a pretty descent upbringing. I had two parents that worked together to give me a good well-rounded life. In some ways I was more blessed than most. There was never an ounce of doubt that my parents cared for me and never did I worry if either one was going to stick around. My childhood was a secure one.
For young Ty, that is not the case. Kids in school seem to fight him for no reason, cutting him down every chance they get. He feels bullied, alone, and misunderstood. His parents divorce only made things worse. His safe childhood was lost into the abyss. His parent’s marriage couldn’t survive their hurdles. Instead when they went their separate ways, Ty’s life changed dramatically. Suddenly he was being raised by a single parent. His dad practically disappeared and it was then that the insecurities and self-doubt multiplied.
I believe my ex-husband became the angry guy that he is because of his parents divorce when he was just eight years-old. His father wasn’t available. He often described waiting by the living room window watching for his dad to come pick him up for a planned outing. Over and over he didn’t show. Rage kept building up like an avalanche. Eventually his faith tumbled down in a barrage. His mother re-married and he was pushed into a family that did not feel like his own. He wanted to run but there was nowhere to go. He was stuck and that was when those walls started cementing in place. His disillusionment became a brick building. Solid and unmovable. This divorce changed him forever.
Unfortunately, for Ty, his story has become a common one. Times have changed. Most marriages don’t last and the bullies of the world continue their torture on innocent victims.
On a good note, this boy is resilient and looks for the good in things. I believe this is the time that matters. Not later when he gets in trouble with the law or becomes involved with drugs. The time is NOW. Carrying around this kind of anger and isolation becomes a ticking time bomb. It’s not healthy for anyone. I believe children need to learn early on that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. They should be assured that they are NOT alone.
It’s during this time that the conversation should get started. Stuffing in all these negative feelings is worse than a cancer.
Children can feel empowered sharing their stories and learning to help others. There is nothing better than the feeling of giving back. That is a lesson that can last a lifetime. We all need to feel important and worthy. This is a start to building a better self-esteem and in result, a better life.