10-29-2017 05:18 AM - last edited on 11-12-2019 03:13 PM by Bre-RO
Hi there everyone. I am really struggling with a type of bullying that my daughter is experiencing. She has been part of a group since the beginning of high school - with one girl having been her best friend since primary school. Last year everything changed. My daughter became a prefect, was the head of the matric dance committee and met her boyfriend who she is still with. Slowly but surely these girls started alienating her. Didn't ask her to go out with them anymore, going to sit in different places at break time where she couldn't find them etc etc. She had a complete breakdown at the beginning of this year when I realised the extent of what they were doing. She lost 10kg and spent 6 weeks at home - missing lots of school work and barely getting out of bed. During the 6 weeks none of her friends came to visit her for the first 2 weeks and then when I had a moan - they all appeared with apologies etc. She has gone back to school but their behaviour has continued in a very passive aggressive sort of way. When she raises it with them - they say she is being too sensitive and excludes herself for attention. The final straw for her was when they left her out of their final matric day (the last day of high school before exams where everyone dresses up, throws water balloons at the teacher etc). She didn't even go which upset me incredibly as she has been at that school for the last 13 years. I know school is over - but all the matrics go on something called "rage" which is a weeks holiday at the coast and she is sharing a room with them. They are posting all sorts of things online about the "rage trio" which really hurts her. The room is booked in my name and my husband is keen to cancel the room and refund all of them........I'm tempted. I am so angry I do not know what to do....
10-29-2017 02:41 PM
Hi @sandrae that's a very tough thing for your daughter to be going through. It sounds like your daughter and her friends have grown apart. Sometimes when one person in a group starts to grow in their own way (like your daughter has by taking on additional responsibility as a prefect and head of dance committee and emotionally by being in a steady relationship), the dynamics change and things are not the same as before. Of course it's easier to intellectualise this. The actual experience of breaking down of long-term friendships is very painful, especially when done in an unkind way.
It's important for your daughter to know this isn't her fault and that she is supported by her parents. If she's upset about what's happening at school, sometimes it's good to just listen without trying to find a solution right then. These situations are really hard to fix. Maybe your daughter can gradually find new friendships through other hobbies and activities. She may even find that she has more in common with these new friends. This takes time though. Are you open to her talking to a counselor to help her transition to a new chapter in her life? It might be helpful for her to get extra support that will equip her with coping skills and strategies when she goes for further studies in a new environment (if that's the plan for her).
Are there other people she can hang out with while she's away at the rage? Is she friendly with other kids who may not be very close to her but ones she can get along with, at least for the week while she's away?
10-29-2017 05:07 PM
Thanks for your response. I agree that i think that they have just grown apart, but what really bothers me is how mean they have become. They post all sorts of things online which really hurt her.
On a positive note she has made some really lovely friends from another school who although have their own groups, always include her and invite her out. Whilst writing this - I'm thinking thats probably another reason for the backlash from her original friends.
She goes to therapy with a psychologist every week and is under the care of a psychiatrist. She is on anti depressants and anti anxiety medication and is much better - however every time she sees a post online - she definitely takes a few steps back.
Although she has to share a room with these former friends, she has quite a few other friends going and her boyfriend will be going too. I'm almost thinking I should just book another room for her but feel by doing this - they are winning.
Thanks again for your response.
10-29-2017 05:40 PM
Hi @sandrae I really feel for you, but also am touched as to how protective you are over your daughter. A beautiful quality. A lot of young people are living out there without such caring parents as yourself, kudos to you.
The behaviour of these other girls is very manipulative and frustrating. It's so good your daughter's bf is going, and I am super happy to hear about her new friends. Have you spoken to your daughter about what she would be more comfortable with? A new room etc or staying put?
We have a really good service that could help yourself in regards to your daughter's anxiety, as well as receiving support for yourself whilst you move through your relationship with her - ReachOut parents coaching. You can even develop an action plan to help you through issues like bullying, anxiety etc
Hope to speak to you soon!
10-30-2017 09:55 AM
Mine was similar to what you are experiencing with your girl although she was 10 SN and had a best friend for 5 yrs. Her friend's brother was also SN so she was able to support my girl and they had pretty much everything in common. At that point we were going through DV but somewhere along the line it became to stressful esp at that age. My girl would come home crying or refuse to go to that classroom. Fortunately we had to move but my girl rang and emailed her friend a couple of times a day. Her birthday was coming up and my girl was very excited as they'd planned it all together. Her friend didn't invite her, she was devastated. This emailing, texting went on for a yr - all one sided. I finally got a phone call from the mother who said they'd grown apart and had new friends it was all due to them not wanting to be involved in court processes. I was very gracious and said yes I completely understand the reasons getting extremely angry (read distressed, hurt, etc) and finished the call. It took me 2 wks to get myself together to be able to support my girl - SN kids do not have the emotional control its black and white. It was hell she cried she hid she ran away and blamed herself. Today she is 14 she still misses her friend still wants to wish her a happy birthday -it has gotten easier but the pain and unhappiness of not being wanted still lingers. I listen, sometimes she blames me but it's all experience. I would ask your girl what she wants and give her the control and let her feel it's her choice. Some of us don't and I believe that is half the reason our teen kids are unhappy.
10-30-2017 08:15 PM
Hey @sandrae, girls around this age can be so nasty to each other. I'm so sorry for your daughter that she has had to go through this. And I feel for you too because it's understandably been very difficult to see her go through this. I'm like you, I get very angry and upset seeing my daughter hurt by friends. I think it takes longer for me to get over than it does my daughter! My first thought was 'hell yeah, cancel that room!!'. But that's highly protective me not wanting my daughter to have to be in the same room as these girls.
I agree with @Lily17, to leave the decision up to your daughter. My daughter went through a not nice situation with her supposed best friend a month or so ago. I got involved, spoke to this girl without getting my daughter's okay, the girl came back at my daughter, I got yelled at for making things worse, they make up and get over it and I'm left steaming from the ears. If your daughter wants you to cancel the room, awesome, if not, trust that she's got this, and just needs you to listen.
My daughter has mental health issues and it comes back to her as well that she's just being over sensitive and irrational - which isn't the case. She had to leave the Year 10 formal early because she wasn't coping with the noise or the crowd. She didn't create a fuss, just sat down waiting for me, but for some reason apologised to the friend who invited her, who thanked her for apologising. I think she was hoping for reassurance, but it was not to be. She was really upset, I was fuming, still am for various reasons, but couldn't intervene, only support my girl.
Your daughter sounds amazing, and as hard as it is, there are some things we have to let our kids navigate on their own. You sound amazing for having been able to support her so well and have her back.
What do you think about leaving the decision about the room up to your daughter?
10-31-2017 04:48 PM
Thanks for your response. Its comforting to know I am not alone in this. Please excuse my ignorance but what is SN and DV. I imagine I won't understand quite a few terms on this forum in the beginning but will get there.
10-31-2017 04:54 PM - edited 10-31-2017 04:57 PM
10-31-2017 04:58 PM
Hi @taokat, I had a bit of a giggle when i read your response as we sound very alike. I had a go at the mom of one of the girls who is always going on about how kindness is so important. It got me nowhere with the mom (other than she is no longer a friend) but my daughter was very pleased that I had her back and spoke out. I am so sorry about your daughter. She sounds very like mine and I really hope she is doing better. The funny thing is, is that they are just more sensitive than most others. I have spoken to my daughter about the room and she said she'd far rather be in another room than share with them. She was just concerned about the cost to us. We have now booked another room. Now of course I'm worried she'll be lonely by herself but she keeps reassuring me that her other friends will stay with her on different nights. I think I just worry too much.....
Anyway lets see how it goes. I really appreciate your reply.