Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What does it mean?

What does it mean when a friend can make you cry? Every day? I think it means that this person isn't really a friend. Miss 9 wonders about my theory on it though, and keeps giving chance after chance to this person. I'm happy that Miss 9 has the ability to not hold a grudge, that she wants to see the best in people and that she can get past some of the hurts and try again. But, I am also sad that this person is still making her cry, that I can't fix the hurt she feels and that no matter what I do, it will still bother her.

I come from a different background on the subject than she does. I am always suspicious of people, and that's due to a high school friendship gone bad. My "friends" basically told me that I wasn't good enough, I wasn't popular enough and I was too shy. They actually gave me a list of nearly 50 things that I did wrong in being their friend. This was in senior high! At the time I was completely devastated. Even my mother couldn't help me, she tried, but I think she knew it just wasn't something she could fix. She basically handed me the phone and had me call another friend. He couldn't fix the heartbreak that I felt either, but he could help me realize that I wasn't worthless, that I had friends and that I was not alone. The hurt I felt then, still affects me now. It takes a lot for me to trust, I am not easily approachable, and I don't grow close to people very easily. Hubby will attest to that.

Miss 9 on the other hand opens up to friendship easily. I don't want in any way to discourage that part of her personality. The current situation she is in, however, needs to stop. This friend has issues that are beyond the help of just a friendship. I am not exaggerating when I say that this friend needs professional help. Her parents have been trying, she has seen many specialists, but frankly the mother is a big part of the problem. I have told Miss 9 what I can without compromising the friendship she shares with this friend. Miss 9 realizes there is more to it than simple mood swings and pleas for attention. What Miss 9 doesn't realize is that some of it is not simple. That this friend actually does some of her behaviors on purpose in order to get the attention that she is so desperate to have. Hurting herself and others is not beyond her repertoire.

Yesterday was proof of the lengths this friend will go to in order to further attentions on herself. This time she was able to drag Miss 9 into her shenanigans. As a result I received calls from the principal and Miss 9 had to go talk to the principal. I had to go talk to the principal as well. Fortunately the principal knows the whole story, how could he not after this year, and he knows Miss 9 is simply a bystander. (Notice I did not say innocent bystander, she does not fit that description!) We told Miss 9 last night that it is fine for her to say NO, I don't want to play with you. I even emailed the teacher and principal. Bullying isn't only physical and it doesn't always come from the big, scary guys with the shaved head, sometimes it is emotional bullying and it comes from the small redhead who knows how to take advantage of a soft heart.

Miss 9's year has been a mess of emotions. Between the hormones, the friends and all the other issues at school this year it has felt completely chaotic. Our one pacifying thought has been that next year will be so. much. better. Next year's teacher is a veteran, she's seen it all and been teaching at the school for more than 20 years. She is an angel. She was Miss 14's very favorite teacher of all time. We just got word that she may not come back next year. I just might scream. This is your warning, so plug your ears...


Allen Fieldhouse said...

uh, growing up is not always what it's cracked up to be. so sorry that miss 9 has to go through this. like you said, she has a soft heart & wants to give people the benefit of the doubt. but also, there comes a time when you have to become strong & stand up for yourself, even if it's not the most popular choice. hope this so-called "friend" gets the help she obviously needs.

Anonymous said...

L - I have admired you my entire life and this is no exception. I am proud of you for being so involved and proactive in all of your kids' lives. It may not be easy but Miss 9 - and her parents - will get through this (with or without the friendship intact).

And ... those high school "friends" of yours had no idea what they were missing. I could then, and still could now, make a list of things that make you an amazing person - and I wouldn't stop at 50.

love - j.

Mama Bear said...

J., You are too kind, I don't deserve your compliments, but I am so grateful for them. Thank you!

Allen Fieldhouse,
I agree, growing up and facing the realities of life isn't much fun sometimes. Thanks!

Lo said...

I agree with everything J said about you. It also shows your amazing character that you were later able to become friends with them once again. Not many people would be that forgiving. I just realized that you and I may never have become friends if that horrible note hadn't happened. That means I probably would never have been friends with your cousin J either. I hate that you went through that pain, but am eternally glad that some wonderful friendships emerged from it.

And as a former jr high school teacher, I can tell you that girls are much more viscious at bullying than boys. If the admin at your child's school isn't aware of that they are seriously out of touch. Despite being able to see first hand what happens, there have been books written about the subject and lots of stuff in the media in recent years.