Anger, rage, heartbreak are all of the feelings that I am experiencing right now as I read the comments regarding the young teen girl who was recently thrown like a rag doll across a classroom floor for “not complying.” Since they have not released her name, let’s just call her “Alice.”As I read the countless posts that blame the victim, I realized that I am grappling with my own feelings that are resurfacing.

You see, Alice recently lost her mother. As a woman, your mother is your foundation. She is your soul. She is the source of compassion in your life that is unconditional and never wavers. Mothers teach daughters strength in the midst of tears. Mothers teach daughters endurance. Mothers teach daughters that failure is not an option. Mothers are love.

In addition to losing her mother, Alice also lost her grandmother. Grandmothers are the next best thing to mothers. They provide that backup love and when things aren’t going well, they give you cookies.

I understand the grief and despair that Alice is going through because at 19, I lost my mother. I was a bit older than this girl – but not by much. I too was a teenager. While I was considered an “adult” my life experiences were still very shallow in the deep pool of my life. There were things that I still had not learned from my mother and her loss for me was devastating.

I can only imagine the dense fog that surrounds Alice’s mind. She is in Wonderland. Like Alice, I could not focus or concentrate. My escape was sleep because sleeping allows your mind not to think. Sleeping also allows you to dream. I often dreamed of moments of clarity where I could hear and feel the presence of my mother so clearly and deeply.

When your suffer a loss this great, you cease to be. Things happen around you and you can be unaware. To this day, I cannot tell you what transpired in my life from the Spring of 1982 through the following Spring of 1983. It is a total blank in my memory.

So when I read the accounts of what transpired to Alice on that tragic day last week, I am not surprised about her actions. Her “non-compliance” was not her acting out. Alice was disengaged. Alice had checked out. Alice was in crisis and no one noticed. No one cared.

I have been Alice. I pray that Alice’s story can be shared so that Alice can find peace.

I wish you all peace.

Sonya

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