Sophie on my bed
(disclaimer: today’s photo has nothing to do with today’s post)
When I got home from work today, I noticed that J. was sad. One of her friends (I’ll call her friend A) is not happy with another of their friends (friend B) and is saying mean things about friend B. J. stood up for friend B, who was being talked about and lied about. Now friend A is being mean to J., too. Friend A seems to be one of those girls who wants to turn everyone against her “enemies” in an attempt to isolate them, cause them to feel like outsiders and to make herself feel better. Sounds a bit controlling and lacking in the good old self-esteem department, no? (Reminds me of someone… ex-husband) These girls are in 7th grade, so I know they’re not going to be mature, but still… this sort of behavior is so manipulative and cruel.
J. had tears rolling down her face when she told me how hard today was with friend A being mean, telling friend B’s secrets, spreading around things that should be kept between friends. J. is upset and sad for friend B, that friend B is being picked on/bullied – and also hurt that she’s seeing this ugly side of friend A. Friend A has been sending mean text messages to friend B, as well – but not harassing on myspace or via email, that I know of.
My first reaction was to ask J. if we need to go talk to friend A’s parents. Well, she lives with her grandparents, so that’s who we were going to go talk to, if J. had thought that was a good idea. But she didn’t and I didn’t want to make things worse for her – so we didn’t go. Which is probably the best thing to have happened. I have thought about it all evening, wishing I could make it better for her, wishing that girls were not so vicious and quick to turn on their friends. But they can be and are. And I’m glad J. is strong and self-confident enough to stand up for what she thinks is right and not back down when pressured to turn against what she believes in.
We’ve both learned some things today.
J. has learned that friend A is not the type of friend she wants to have and that some people are manipulative and not trustworthy, which are valuable but hard lessons to learn. I’ve learned that I cannot fix everything (I know.. when am I going to just learn this one already and not keep having to be reminded?) and that I have to let J. work it out for herself. I’m so thankful that my kids share their lives/problems with me, even when it’s hard to just sit, listen and support.