A month ago today, Pol, 15 years old and who suffers from autism, tried to commit suicide in La Rápita (Tarragona) after suffering the ridicule of his high school classmates. "In his farewell letter, among other things, he said that he does not want to live in a world where bad people are applauded and sensitive, noble and good-hearted people always have to lose," his father wrote in the text with the who made public what happened. Since then, his mother, Julia Herrera, has been writing an emotional diary where she narrates the evolution of Pol, who suffered fractures in her arms, legs, ribs and vertebrae. These are some passages.
Pol has asked me to publish. Abuse has consequences. The lack of empathy, prejudices, have these consequences. He, who is supposed to have no empathy, who teaches mathematics to his classmates, has asked me to post the photo [in the image published by the mother, he is seen with his limbs bandaged in the hospital bed]. Parents, it is you who have to educate. They operate on his spine on Friday morning. Knowing that he will walk again helps him. Yesterday we spoke with the Mossos, the Catalan police. They have a protocol for schools and institutes. And they will give a talk in their class.
It's raining. I love the rain. Clean, nourish. Sometimes destroy. Regenerates. They operate on Pol today or tomorrow, I don't know. First thing on Friday. It is a major operation. Yesterday Pol had a regular day. He does not tolerate food. He wants to have surgery. A new life is here. I will do my best to give a voice to the rare, the excluded, those marginalized by society. I just realized that I want to fight because those who do bullying are also victims of a rotten society. Pol wants to convey that mistreating has consequences. He doesn't want to hurt anyone, but he wants to serve so that this doesn't happen again..
(8.35 hours). She is already in the operating room. To keep praying. When I told her "to the operating room" she answered me: "Great." That's the attitude.
(16.14 hours). She's still in surgery but they're finishing up. Everything has gone very well. Yes very good. And now they are with the heel, so you won't need any more operations. The dolls were fine. Now wait to see. They don't know the scope but it looks good.
(2.49 hours) We have received tons of love and that is priceless. And they have also left us a flat 10 minutes from the hospital. They asked me for my home address to send gifts, cards and support for Pol. He loves Pokémon. My friends have made me bizum. Incredible. We have some savings. But really, they are welcome. We have hospital for months. The expenses these days are brutal but money is only money, just as it goes out, it comes in. I have experienced those miracles, of money appearing out of nowhere. Like now. I have freaked out with the bizum. The amount doesn't matter. It all adds up.
(8.17 hours). The regular night. Well, normal after such an operation. So that you can see my dark side, I have been about to record audios and have them heard by the mothers of the bullies. "It hurts, it hurts a lot, I can't, how did I get here" and several screams. The voice of my son desperate for pain. That destroys me, more than the hours on duty. But it is a learning. I tell him: «Pol, don't shut up. Complain, get it all out. You don't have to put up with pain." And we have achieved it.
(3.47 hours). It's been a hard day. Has a lot of pain. If they put him more calming (he even goes with morphine) he vomits and is very dizzy. If they lower you, it hurts. They are juggling various types of painkillers, but he screams that breaks my heart. "Hand, mom, give me your hand." In Pol's institute there is movement. They are moving. They have called me from TV. «Pol, do you see yourself strong enough to go on TV?». "Yes, but later". So let's take it to the end.
(1.26 hours). This afternoon I fell apart. Pol had a crisis. From pain, from cold, from hallucinations... It hurts so much. I have seen the wounds on the legs. Who did this to you? And yes, you feel guilty: if something else could have been done, if it could have been avoided. I don't know. But there you are, all holding on. I feel the light and the energy. Thank you. At the hospital the attention is extraordinary.
(3:30 p.m.). This morning all the doctors came by. Pol is progressing. They have lifted it for just 10 minutes and that has been a very big advance. He has gotten very tired. And he hurts a lot. Later we have left him resting, we have made a purchase and to the new house, the one that they leave us in Reus. A marvel surrounded by olive trees. A super nice older couple gave me lentils for dinner tonight. And then the media. La Ser, La Vanguardia... Pending interview with TV3, and La 1. Let your voice be heard Pol!
How hard is this going to be? Pol wants to walk and is trapped in a bed. The cries were heard throughout the plant. They had to sedate him.
(9.03 hours). Pol has slept soundly tonight. Even snores. How life changes when you have an experience like this, everything becomes so relative. He is alive and he is eager. And the displays of affection and support a lot. Infinite thanks.
(23.43 hours). Very good news. Pol is more awake and lively. Now you eat. He has started rehabilitation. We will do the whole process here, in Tarragona, because the spinal cord is affected and the specialists are here.
(00.45 hours). They have uploaded it to the plant. Calmer. This afternoon a girl from another class, from the institute, came to see him. They didn't know each other at all. She has brought balloons and sweets. Tomorrow we will decorate her room. Pol is aware and he is savoring his new life. He eats slowly, and he told me: «What I would give to be able to scratch myself». He cannot use his hands with the mobile, he has operated on both wrists and has them in casts. A total abuse. But that's what there is.
(16.28 hours). Pol has already left the U.C.I. En is on the floor, he has a room to himself and he already wants to start working with the physios. Now he only has one goal: to walk again as soon as possible. We have plenty of time to talk. Today I asked him a question: "Pol, were the boys who made fun of you good or bad students?" «The boys who say inappropriate things to me, most of the time are the same ones who go through everything in class».
I come to the reflection that these guys with few moral values and who seldom make the most of their intellect, to stand out in the group, have to resort to playing macho. And I speak in masculine because those who have disrespected Pol have always been boys. Where the real problem begins is when their colleagues laugh at them, this is where we are beginning to plant the seed of a future abuser, this is where Pol's phrase comes from: "The bad guys are applauded."
(23.17 hours). This morning a woman came. "You don't know me, I am the mother of a TEA child and two years ago I went through the same thing." What a hug we have given each other. “I congratulate you on the visibility you have given it. I didn't dare." It will still do some good.
Yesterday afternoon they did many X-rays again. You have visitors today. How glad I am. She makes a face, a mini smile, whenever she gets a video, a text, or a visitor. Life has given us all another chance. Schools move. Talks are offered. Yesterday a friend told me: "I told a 'strange' co-worker to go for a coffee." My fight is that, within my means, there is no other Pol, there is no person who suffers so much from the lack of empathy from the people around him. And yes, the teenagers who made fun of him are victims. Without emotional education, with that vision of life. The first candidates for failure and suicide are them too. You have to go to the source. This has to be stopped.
Good and bad news. They are actually good. Today they did the dressings and they removed the cast from his right leg. He has had a couple of visits and has had a lively day. But... he has had a crisis again. Of the phantom leg. It was the leg they feared the most had no feeling. He has started to hurt, and he wanted to move her and couldn't. That pain is a good sign, because his leg has woken up. She had me hugged while she cried uncontrollably. He just fell asleep. And here I am, with a pain in my chest that I'm dying of. I write and that comforts me a little. Really, one day I will see the meaning of this. My child.
The night will be long. When I arrived Pol was in a crisis. That we have abandoned him, that he feels so alone... he was hugging the pillow: «This is my friend, my only friend...». He was crying desperately. He hugs me. He begins to rave that there are people who want to hurt him. The legs. He doesn't feel his legs. He is in a panic. It has taken him over an hour and three pills to calm down. I have put some soft music on it. He remains restless, but sleeps. I am grateful for the money that you are bringing in, it gives us a lot of peace of mind but what I want is to work. I'm not for that. I'm so afraid that something will happen to him, that I'll be wrong again... My place now is here, holding his hand, telling him that he's safe and that he's doing great.
PS: I feel impotent when the director of the institute denies everything, he has painted the entire façade and there is no more graffiti, in the newspapers they say that we are not going to denounce it, because I think so. There can be no other Pol.
This progresses. Today Pol got up in the morning and again in the afternoon. He does the leg exercises. Now he is motivated to stay up and be able to move in a wheelchair to sunbathe.
Fever. Today the fever has come to visit him, high fever. Analytics and crops to see where it comes from. He has barely eaten. But he is calm. These days are a bit like when he had a baby. I lived in a world apart, in fusion with him. Taking care of him was my main purpose. Breastfeed him, make him clean and comfortable. I would stare at him for hours with those long, bushy eyelashes. The heart-to-heart connection was fluid, I was afraid of not knowing how to care for such a small creature, and here it is. It is the closest thing to unconditional love. [...] Even when he is sleeping soundly I go over to see if he is breathing. What nonsense, right?
Today I felt sad and very tired. I see photos of Pol walking, bathing on the beach. I don't know. I don't know if we'll do it again. That I don't know pushes me to trust life. The mind imagines various scenarios and what I want is to return home and continue with the life I had. But that is not possible. 20 days without leaving the hospital or a room, almost without seeing the sun and the air touching me.
Yesterday Pol gave me, again, a lesson. We were talking about the next step, the talk he wants to give at the institute. To take legal action.
-Mom, I had a depression. There are no culprits.
-But Pol, what about them, the boys?
They don't know, mom. And besides, this will be remembered for a long time. Things just happen.
-Okay Pol, but I want to take the opportunity to do something. Something has gone wrong for this to happen.
-That each one assumes his responsibility. I fully accept mine.
-Well that, Pol, let's go for that.
I'm speechless. There are no culprits. Years of inner work, meditation and such, and a 15-year-old teenager has the answer.
The night has been moved. I'm so glad to be by her side. It is as if she were accompanying him in her birth, in his own rebirth. We have, yes, we have, been through a lot of pain. They had to put a line back in, the pee tube was clogged. In the end they have put another. She had a clot. He hurts a lot. I have rarely heard him cry like this. The nurses have believed me when I told them that he is hypotonic to pain, that is, when Pol says "oh" it already hurts a lot. They gave him a painkiller immediately before changing the probe. He has fallen asleep hugging me. I have not been able to rest and I have been in the chair. Waiting for peace and silence. One more night over.
The rehabilitation team came today. Super nice. They will review the amount of food, taking into account your age (read eats like a lime). They will review its evolution in detail. On the 20th they will do X-rays of everything. When they said the 20th my heart skipped a beat: the 20th will be a month away. A month into this new I-have-no-idea-what-to-call-it movie. If all is well, the casts will be removed from your wrists. Look what a beautiful circle of prayer for Pol.
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