He’s the kid who came to class with swastikas drawn all over his arms when we studied the Holocaust; the one who said he wanted to blow up the school on Hitler’s birthday; the one who crossed out the faces in the yearbook of the people he wanted to kill.
And he’s the one that I didn’t give up on.
And here’s the payoff; this is it:
I have experienced many dark times through which I could never tell anyone. I always thought keeping everything in and pushing everyone out is the best way to live. I would have gone on that same road for ever if I had to. But along the way I met a teacher who let everything out. She never once took crap from anyone, and always listened to what they said. Through the time age 11-15 I knew the world was twisted and I could trust no one. But at 16 I let my darkest days out to you. Honestly I didn’t intend for it to happen, and when I did I thought you would respond like everyone else I talked to and toss me out. But you stayed and tried to help me with it all. For the first time I finally found someone I can trust. I guess in the end I just want to thank you for being there for me.”
And here’s a little update for anyone who may be interested. He’s a husband and a father—and he’s doing mighty fine.
So when you meet that kid who pushes all your buttons, don’t give up. DON’T TAKE HIS CRAP, but don’t give up because he just might make it through.