Monday, July 9, 2012

My Scarlett Letter Part IV

Two hours have passed since my last update, and here's the big news.

E's mother called me, in response to both the private email I sent of apology and the public group email that I sent.  She spent approximately ten minutes telling me that I am the violent one, that I am a danger to my own child and others, and that she essentially does not accept my apology as being genuine.

She continued and said that because I "assaulted her child psychologically and physically," I am not to "even make eye contact with her or her husband," and if she sees me within ten feet of her child she is going to have me arrested by the Israeli police, with whom she intends on filing a report.

Two of my closer friends, Israeli parents of other children (and other victims from the Gan), have basically made it clear that I should try to ignore the situation as best as possible, and make it through the next month. They have made it clear as well that they will not necessarily back me up should E's mother or the Head Nursery Teacher take my persecution further.

An American friend of mine suggested that E's mother would not have dared to bully me the way she did, as well as take no responsibility for her son's part in this story, had I been a fellow sister of Israel.  Because I am American, E's mother thinks she can yell and scream and intimidate because I don't have the metaphorical balls to stand up to her.  (Apparently, E does get his impulses from somewhere.)

Maybe E's mother is right:  I am sitting at home with no appetite, unable to sleep and crying without end.
I cannot even conceive of taking Raphaela to Gan tomorrow and being able to look anyone in the eye, because I am in this parallel universe where I have become the wrong doer.   The bully has won this round.

I am even thinking about pulling Raphaela out of this Gan for the last month, and starting her in the place where I intend to send her next year, so both she and I can be free of this situation.

I am feeling vulnerable and assaulted, with absolutely no support system.


Philo said...

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with this, when you were merely trying to defend Raphaela from a bully. As a result, Raphaela's mother has become the one being bullied by E's mother.

Did you try yelling back at either S or E's mother? If you just allow them to yell at you passively, they're going to just get more aggressive with you. Another parallel to E & your daughter. You were trying to teach her to stand up to E, and you should do the same with E's mother.

Is this really all because you calmly disciplined E and picked him up and moved him?

elizabeth said...

i dont think i have ever commented before, so take with big grainof salt, but, even if what you did was wrong, this place sounds not good( for you and your daughter, and many other living creatures).
you mention transferring - is it really possible?
if so, i , who you do not knw, would jump at leaving sooner.
why torture yourself, and your daughter??
if you cant leave, that is a different discussion!

Midlife Singlemum said...

If you can find another Kaytana for R do so and don't forget to cancel your payments for August (or even July and August and send then 1/3 of July tha she has already had).

Sarah said...

Wow. Clearly E gets his bullying from somewhere. Shame on the ganenet for ignoring a problem all year and then over-reacting when you make a small mistake. Shame on her.

Doc said...

No one is blameless here, but the responsibility ultimately falls on the administration of the Gan, specifically S who has mishandled badly the growing problem.

Marni said...


Ok I rarely, if ever post, but have been a long-time reader. I have noticed a pattern with you regarding your response to people who offend you or pull some obnoxious act in Israel. I have visited Israel numerous times, know a lot of Israelis, etc. The thing is - is you still live and act like an American in Israel. And you have been living there way too long to behave like that. You might speak fluent Hebrew, but for Israelis - you are an American who speaks Hebrew. Israelis don't take sh*t. I am not saying become obnoxious and rude, but I am saying don't take their crap. I think the way you responded to that demon-child was fine. The fact that you admittedly left numerous messages and sent emails and made a big deal about it is why the gan and the parents are responding that way. Rather than grovel and offer apologies to everyone and anyone for actually disciplining the kid (when nobody else would), you made yourself into the "bad guy" all on your own, by essentially admitting you were wrong. Had you gone up to the teacher and firmly said if she doesn't control that boy you are pulling Rafaela from the school, or gone to the mother and threatened to have her son expelled because you had witnesses that he physically assaulted nuumerous of the children in gan, none of this would have happened. You need to learn to stand your ground and be assertive rather than apologizing profusely to everyone all the time. It makes you look weak and an easy target to take advantage of. Just let the whole thing go and stop taking it so personally. An Israeli mother would have done what I just said and wouldn't have thought twice about it ever again.

Doc said...

Marni You are mostly correct in your assesment that I need to be more "Israeli" if I am going to survive this country. Add to that - and I am making myself VERY vulnerable right now, so please be slightly kind - I need to get over the "abused mentality.". The person I was in high school is not the person I am now, Thank G-d! But when I get attacked, it tests everything I have done, all the work I have put into myself to make me a stronger person.
I guess this time I failed at least part of that test.

Marni said...


I didn't mean to offend - I think I just have a particular aversion to situations where I feel like Americans are taken advantage of, especially when it comes to Israel. I have considered making aliyah off and on for the past 10 years, and part of what stops me, is situations like what you endure, where strong, independent American women are treated like second class citizens, because they are strong, independent and American (which comes with its own set of falsehoods and stereotypes, as you probably are well aware). Anyways, try to view this all as a learning process - whether it means dealing with future teachers, landlords, mailmen, etc. Being in Israel always has the ability to make me feel weak and vulnerable - partially due to my lack of Hebrew - which is my own fault. It is hard to be a full functioning lawyer in the U.S., where my words are my life, and then visit Israel, where I have the fluency of a 3-year old. Remember you are a lionness and you do what you have to do to protect Rafaela. You are her mother, don't cater to Israelis...they just want to push you around because they can...

Ariela said...

my rule for myself is to avoid situations and people who make me feel bad. This gan seems to be doing that to you. I say take RR out now if you can. Not for her sake, but for your well being. She will be fine whatever you do, but you need a gan and a ganenet that will not torture you. WOW, I thought I had heard everything, but this takes the cake.
A big hug to you.

Commenter Abbi said...

I agree. Take today off (do NOT go back to that place), speak to the new gan and try to bring her there tomorrow if possible, or next week. Whatever you do, don't go back to that place.

I kind of agree with Mami. I think this blowup was unfortunately a long time coming do the complete mishandling of the gan. It's really a shame. But I agree, you assertiveness is the key here. In hindsight, you should have made it clear to the gannenet a long time ago that you will not stand for bullying of your child. If she continued to throw up her hands, you should have just pulled her then, in the middle of the year (and roundly ignored the teacher's blatant emotional manipulation of you "ripping her away from her family".)

What's done is done. Move on, literally. Don't cancel August. That could just get you embroiled in lawsuits, etc. Leave and ignore. :( Good luck.

koshergourmetmart said...

sorry to hear about this whole incident that has stressed you out. You need to stop playing the "victim" and saying applying your own past has someone who was abused when confronted by "bullies" e.g. landlord, teachers. You ARE a strong woman who became a single mother in Israel and is raising RR alone. You may be seen by these people as vulnerable because you are alone, but remember you ARE not alone.