Kayla’s Story

I had started a completely different post but it seemed too angry and bitter, which is not what I want to express so I am starting again. I want to tell you a story. A story about a young girl who has made such an impact on not only my life, but others as well. This is Kayla’s story.

Kayla was born on a surprisingly warm night in November of 1999. At almost 10 pounds at birth, she came out looking like a 3 month old. What surprised us was that she acted like one too. We discovered later that she would always act this way.

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Her brief time as an infant and toddler was normal with a few scares since she is a little accident prone with one exception……. At the ripe age of two, her dad was deployed. By the time she was three, she had survived a year without her father and losing her younger sister. It was a rough year for us all. Sad songs made her cry and she would refuse to tell anyone good-bye but she still held on to herself. Her own brand of Kayla-ness. Anyone who has ever met her, knows what I am talking about.

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A few days after she turned four, I gave birth to her brother and we were complete.

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The next seven years were a blur of babysitting, Girl Scouts, and school work. Then, another deployment came around, but this time was different. We were prepared……veterans in our own right. Besides, we had Adam. He was and still is our comforter.

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After his return from Iraq, my husband began working 7 days a week in the foundry of a local auto parts factory. He worked 7 days a week for the next two years until he was accepted into the AGR program with the Army. We happily packed our bags and started on our new adventure here in Pennsylvania. For the first few months, Kayla seemed to be the “new toy” at her school. Popular and loved by everyone, we had no idea what laid on the horizon.

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She began to date a local boy from her school. It was the first time she ever fell in love and the first time her heart was ever broken. The problems began shortly after that. At first it was only a few ugly things on the internet and on her phone, then came the threats. We began saving the things we could see so we could take it to her school when she begged us to let her handle it. After all, she has always been one tough cookie.

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The next day, she stood up to the group of girls and they left her alone. Her father and I breathed a sigh of relief.

We were wrong.

About a month later, Kayla was attacked by another girl after school. When I arrived to pick her and Adam up, I was shocked to discover Kayla and her “friends” talking to a police officer. When I approached the group and realized that she had been attacked. I was immediately told to take Kayla and sit in my vehicle. We were not given a chance to talk to the girl or her parents. The next three days were filled with meetings with the police and the principal of her school. Kayla began to get harassed on the internet. We informed the officer that we wanted to press charges against her attacker and was met with excuses. We started to press the officer for action and was told that he was going to press charges against both girls for disorderly conduct despite Kayla being the only one injured. We understood his implication and left the officer alone. The school refused to punish anyone because it happened after school hours. Two students and a parent (Yes, you heard right. A. Parent.) recorded the attack with their phones. The two students deleted the video after speaking to the officer but it was the parent who uploaded the video to YouTube for everyone’s enjoyment. We watched the video, which instantly became a hit at her school, with disgust and heartbreak. It shows her “friends” cheering, laughing, and urging the attack on including the ones we brought into our home and treated like family. No, I will not put a link to it. It is a disgusting and brutal video, uploaded by a pathetic person who enjoys harming children and I refuse to give her what she wants.

Want to know why all this happened? The boy who broke Kayla’s heart started spreading rumors about her. That’s it. Angry yet? We sure are.

Our child, whom we swore to protect, has been attacked, insulted, and violated and we can’t do a damn thing about it. How’s that for kicks? Expect your child to be exempt from bullying because he/she seems “normal”? Forget it. Hope you never see real fear in your child’s eyes? Forget it. Assume that your child will be protected by the anti-bullying laws? Forget it. Think those friends won’t turn on your child in a heartbeat? FORGET IT.  It has truly been a nightmare experience. I have mourned the loss of my daughter’s innocence. Mourned it like the loss of a family member. I have been humiliated at my lack of protection for my daughter and angered at the abuse of my hospitality. I CARED for those children. My emotions have hit rock bottom and the only way to go is up so here goes……

To the boy who not only broke her heart but started these vicious rumors about Kayla, I forgive you.

To the “friends” who cheered the attack on, I forgive you.

To the officer who refuses to take action, I forgive you.

To the mother who filmed the attack and uploaded it to YouTube, I forgive you.

To the school officials who didn’t punish the ones responsible, I forgive you.

And finally, to myself who failed to protect Kayla, I forgive ME.

Why forgive? Because we are who we are and hating someone won’t change them. Holding onto that anger isn’t going to help us heal our hearts. I can’t speak for my husband or for Kayla either but I can say this…….. Yes, you might have momentarily harmed us which in turn made you feel better for a brief moment in time but your actions won’t for one second, take away the first ounce of joy we have or will experience in life. I can’t hate you. I pity you and wish nothing but the best for you. How can I say that? Love. I have been blessed with an abundance of love in this old life of mine. Every joy and every heartache has brought me to this place. Here, where I can forgive, let go, and thrive once again.

This is all mine.

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Thank you for reading.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sue swanson
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 00:00:46

    Well sure hope Kayla is alright, we love her too, I will never forget her as a Baby, she is making a beautiful young woman. we love her.

    Reply

  2. Sheryl White
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 01:16:33

    Dear Alley…..this made me cry….I am typing through tears. As your mom and Kayla’s granny this breaks my heart. Kayla should not have had to go through this. But one thing I’m sure of….she is one lucky little girl to have the mom, dad and little brother she has! A family that wraps their arms around her in understanding, love and support! Although this has been hurtful for all of us who love this little girl so very much I know Kayla and all of you will come out on the other end stronger. I am so proud of all of you and I pray that God will cover you with His strength, protection and grace. I love you more than words can say….forever and ever.

    Reply

    • dakatw
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 01:23:54

      Amen Momma. Forever and ever amen!

      Reply

    • Shauna Gilland
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 15:50:17

      As a mother of a nine year old boy that just recently was being bullied at school to the point of him threatening to kill himself just a month and a half ago…. I envy your forgiveness as I have not come to that place yet. And yes the consular was informed in an hour and a half long phone conversation who at that time guaranteed me that the situation would be handled in a discrete manor and taken care of which mind you never was and after I promised my son I talked to her and she was going to handle it and never did. He decided why say anymore since nobody at school would take care of it so he held it all in to the point of breaking himself…. You try to protect your children only for the officials and school system to fail you and your child…. Needless to say they won we moved two weeks after his threat to harm himself became verbal to the point of making a midnight trip to UHB in Denton Texas to have a psych evaluation which traumatized him and his sibling even more when they decided they wanted to admit him to the psych ward for supervision. I am just now trying to deal with the fact that I couldn’t protect my son and it is killing me inside. Your daughter is such an inspiration to my son an myself and so is her brave mom and dad that had to deal with it all without having anybody besides family stand at there side and say how wrong the whole situation is/ was….. People need to realize that their actions reflect down onto their children and now they have turned there children into bullies also… I am sorry anyone has to deal with this and it needs to be a more informed and wide spread topic that our children are not being protected by police or the school were they school feel safe…Also to Kayla stay strong honey there are so many people that love you and your are an amazingly strong and beautiful young woman!!

      Reply

  3. Hollie
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 04:17:45

    Your story is an inspiration! I am disgusted for the lack of action that was taken to protect your daughter, it is an absolute disgrace! I have 2 children of my own and while reading this your anger, sadness, and feeling of helplessness became my own. I am sorry for what your beautiful daughter went through. She’s an amazing young lady. To Kayla: Keep your head up honey. You’re an inspiration to the children who face bullying everyday! You seem strong, loving, and kind. Don’t let them get you down and you keep doing what you know is right. My sympathy goes out to you for the horror that you had to endure!

    Reply

  4. Taunya
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 18:14:03

    Oh Alison I am so sorry to hear this u are amazing n have so much better restraint than me god bless you n ur family. Kayla I am truly sorry u have had to endure this even one second. School is horrible I remember most of mine was spent fighting bc we were always the “new” kids moving n I’ve gone to ten different schools I now know ppl bully bc of their own insecurities about themselves. Keep ur head up girl n god bless u I have ur family in my prayers. <3 this made me cry I hope u Pursue a lawsuit against the mother maybe some stronger laws will ensue. That said also that despicable mother who doesn't deserve to raise a child to show her own hatred towards I'm truly disgusted an adult will act that way…

    Reply

  5. Dilaila
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 10:12:55

    I’m so very sorry for being one of the friends …

    Reply

    • dakatw
      Sep 20, 2013 @ 13:58:29

      I have thought long and hard about what to say. I won’t lie. This whole thing has shaken me to the core. Kayla has handled it much better than I have. I don’t know if I will get the chance to talk to you so I want to give you some wisdom now, while I can. I accept your apology. It takes maturity to apologize and I recognize that. I pray that you find peace within yourself. I hope your life is full of light, love, and laughter. And for the times that aren’t, I pray you learn from them. Remember to love openly and whole-heartedly. Always be kind to others. Especially to the ones who aren’t kind to you, they need it the most. Learn to forgive. It is the key to happiness. Listen to your parents. They really have been there and done that and all they want is for you to grow up to be a good person. Take care Dilaila. Don’t let this tough old world harden your heart.

      Reply

  6. kimberlylaine
    Sep 19, 2013 @ 13:35:01

    How Blessed you all are. This still hurts ME to the core but I love you, your family and I strive every day to be more like you.

    Reply

    • dakatw
      Sep 20, 2013 @ 14:05:21

      My dear sweet Kimmie, do not strive to be like me because you are a pretty dang amazing Kimmie! You know I love you and will always hold you dear to me! Give everyone love for me!

      Reply

  7. Frugalistablog
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 15:03:06

    I don’t understand how things get so beyond the realm of humanity. How people can behave so cruel? But thank you for being peaceful, forgiving and merciful. We must create an environment of understanding and acceptance instead of hate and vengeance. My best wishes to you and Kayla.

    Reply

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