But today it was quiet and I was focused on something else and I really HEARD the lyrics. It hurt me even more.
The song talks about a little girl hiding her bruises when she goes to school. Being quiet and pulling away but despite questioning the situation...no one says anything. It talks about a child crying in the middle of the night...but the neighbors ignoring the noise and going to bed.
I want to say this once. Very clearly and loudly.
Don't be that person.
A lot of you are reading that and going "oh of course I would say something," "no one would ignore that," "that's what teachers/doctors/etc are for."
You are the problem.
If you see something, hear something, realize something is off...it is YOUR JOB to do something.
I was that child. I went to school praying to God someone would notice that things weren't quite right. Every time my father screamed at me in front of my friends' parents, or his friends...I would PRAY that one of them would do something. Silently I would beg them to call the police, step in...do SOMETHING.
My mother fought for me for years. Countless custody battles, lawyers, court dates. But it was her word against his. The court doesn't listen to children...and I sure as hell wasn't going to keep fighting a losing battle. It would have made life so much more dangerous behind closed doors.
I wasn't stupid...and I was terrified.
I was in survival mode.
So let me say this again...
Fucking say something. If you're offended by that language please know I don't give a damn.
I am SO sick of people leaving these kids to fend for themselves. I glared at a man and made a small scene in Walmart just two weeks ago because I watched him smack his small child in the back of the head. Earlier this week we were at the fair, and watched parents pull their little girl out of the car as pot smoke billowed out of the doors. I took their license plate number and reported them to that county's CPS.
Teachers- if a kid pulls away, seems scared, gets into trouble for strange reasons, seems overly attached to you, etc...PAY ATTENTION. The child might not have marks...doesn't mean they aren't living in hell at home.
Parents- watch your children's friends. Watch their interactions with their parents. Look for strange fears, or children that have strange reactions.
And if you see something...DO something.
There is no excuse.
You are an adult. You are capable of helping that child.
And no excuse that you make up in your own mind makes you any less responsible. It won't make you feel any better when something bad happens to that child.
I still remember days in school that I wish someone had questioned me.
I wanted to tell.
I wanted someone to trust.
But I was too afraid to do it myself.
I remember specific incidents...looking at adults with wide eyes while my father stood there...PRAYING that one of them would see the terror in my eyes and would pull me aside.
They never did. But you can be damn sure I remember every moment.
I also remember the one teacher that did ask questions. She was willing to report what she saw...and she was willing to put her own comfort on the line for my safety.
Be that teacher.
Be that parent.
Be that PERSON.
You have choices. That sweet child doesn't.