Sunday, 2 November 2014

DARIA: WHEN FRIENDS AREN'T FOREVER...

We post a lot about friendship on DREAMCATCHER because friendship is awesome. But what happens when it really ISN'T? When a broken friendship turns to bullying and tears your life apart? Reader Daria tells us what happened to her…

Daria says:
I had known Jenna since playgroup and I thought we'd be friends forever. We knew everything about each other and we were so, so close… she even came on holiday with my family one year, and I thought of her as   a sister.
In the January of Year Six, things changed; a new girl, Carla, joined our class. We all made her welcome, but Jenna seemed especially keen on her. I didn't think too much of it… Jenna sometimes got friendly with other people, but nothing had ever threatened our friendship before. Suddenly, Carla was a part of everything we did… projects at school, playground chat, sleepovers. I began to feel awkward about it because although Carla seemed nice enough, she wasn't always very friendly to me. I had the feeling she wanted Jenna all to herself. I tried talking to Jenna but she said I was imagining it, and that I should try harder to get on with Carla.
Then one day, I went into class and Jenna had changed seats to sit by Carla. At break time when I went over, they asked me to stop clinging onto them all the time, to take the hint and back off. I was so shocked I started crying, and some of my other friends tried to help and went to talk to Jenna and Carla to see what was going on.
I sometimes wonder if that made things worse, because over the next few days Jenna and Carla seemed to turn the whole class against me. They told people I was two-faced and spiteful, that I'd said nasty things about everyone in our year group. This wasn't true - Jenna had taken tiny comments I'd made and blown them out of all proportion, or just invented total lies. She was spreading so many rumours I had no idea how to fight back, and after a few nightmarish days, I pretended to be sick and stayed off for a week.
I thought things might blow over, but when I went back to school it was clear they hadn't. Even people I had thought were my friends were against me; people didn't want to talk to me, look at me, include me in anything. I stayed behind one day and tried to tell my class teacher what was happening. It took a lot of courage to do that, but she wasn't sympathetic at all - Jenna and Carla had already been to talk to her about how I was supposed to be spreading lies about THEM. I felt sick.
I told my family I'd fallen out with Jenna and they must have known how unhappy I was because when it was time to apply to secondary schools, they suggested I try a place on the other side of town where hardly anyone from our school would be going. Those last months at primary were the loneliest days of my life. I felt like I didn't have a friend in the world. It was horrible, and I felt depressed a lot of the time and took a lot of time off school.
I'm in Year Seven at my new school now and I am making friends, slowly, but my confidence is in pieces and I find it very hard to trust people these days. I would love to know why Jenna and Carla turned on me like they did, but I don't think I will ever know.

Names have been changed to protect the writer.
Pictures posed by model Molly; photographer Emma Tunbridge

Cathy says:
Daria's experience is an extreme example of how a friendship can come undone, almost without warning. If any readers are going through something similar, please DO tell your parents and a teacher (most would be a LOT more sympathetic) and call ChildLine on 0800 1111 if you need to talk to someone in confidence. COMMENT BELOW if YOU have advice or support for Daria, or if you've had friendship problems too.

16 comments:

  1. I was bullied by a friend once but it wasn't on that scale, it was just within the group. She started hanging around with a mean girl in our class and something I said got twisted (I was talking to the girl and she replied to everything with "So's yer mum!" and I said "Please stop saying that, it makes it sound like you have nothing intelligent to say". Apparently, I'd called her stupid) so the whole group turned against me. They bullied me for weeks. They'd kick me under the table and whisper insults about me to each other about how ugly and useless I was to each other in Science. They'd kick the back of my chair in registration. They picked on me for my personal problems. The main girl even bent my finger back and slapped me in the face. After one particularly vicious verbal attack one lunchtime, I turned to walk away and they got some older boys to throw rocks at my head. Most missed but one hit me but I didn't cry until I'd turned the corner. We had Technical class together that afternoon and they whispered about me again. It was getting old. It ended after a girl in the year above me came and sat down next to me at lunchtime and told me she knew I was getting bullied and that she'd talk to them for me. She said she'd been bullied for having braces on her teeth so she knew what I was going through. Sure enough, a couple of days later, the group came up to me and apologised for everything. I grudgingly forgave them. I got my friend back although I didn't hang out with the group anymore. My friend still hung around with them and continued to be slightly obnoxious - every time we had Geography, she'd knock my books and notes onto the floor so everyone would look at me and I'd have to get up to pick my stuff up - but she fell out with them too after they started gossiping about her behind her back. We're still good friends and she apologises profusely about it even now. All is forgiven because she stuck by me through some tough times even if she did use those as ammo during the bullying. I know she's a good person, really. Anyway, if getting bullied by 4 people was that devastating, I can't imagine what it would be like to have a whole class turn against me. I was never particularly popular but I was generally ignored, not hated. The only time I've ever felt ganged up on by the whole class was in S2 when the art teacher made me take off my hoodie and arm warmers and I'd cut myself only a few hours beforehand so of course the class noticed and of course they found it hilarious. It was a horrible feeling. To go through that feeling every day must be awful. I'm glad Daria got a fresh start at her new school and, even though she's still wary of people, I know she'll find some brilliant friends. If anyone can be so mean as to turn the whole class against you in favour of the novelty new girl, they're not the sort of people you want to be stuck with. They're toxic and they'll drain you. Even though Daria had a terrible experience, there's a positive outcome: her "friend" revealed how poisonous and cruel she really was and Daria is now free from her and able to seek new friends who won't hold her back in life like Jenna ultimately would have. :-)

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    1. Well done for giving that friend another chance. And yes, some 'friends' are toxic, sadly. We are better off without them, but they still have the power to hurt us. :o( xxx

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    2. I once had a friend who, although she was nicer in some ways, was a lot worse in others. I can't say any more.

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  2. That sounds a bit like Gingersnaps!

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  3. I have a group of friends in the sixth form at my school and everyone in my year thinks it's weird. My best friend went off to another sixth form this year, and even though we talk a lot on Skype I still don't see her that much. I've been doing a little experiment in my class. There are four groups of girls in my class, see, and I've been hanging out with each of them. There's one group of girls who are led by my ex-best friend who has been horrible to me for the last two years. They're all scared of her and she's pressuring them into leaving me out of everything. I know it's not their fault but I still feel really alone. I thought they were my friends and they're leaving me out for this new girl they don't even know. They were planning for halloween with an out-of-school friend of ours a few weeks ago and they could invite 6 people and they were just like "oh, well that's easy, there are six of us!". They were all talking about their costumes and stuff really loudly and I just felt like saying "umm, you know I'm here too, right? If you're going to arrange fun stuff without me please don't talk about it right in front of me." I'm really getting sick of them. I feel so alone in my year.

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    1. This sounds very hard… hope things get better Caitlin xxx

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    2. Hi caitlin ,
      i have had trouble will situations like that
      aswell. in september i went into year nine my third year at my secondary school . It feels like everyone has changed apart from me you see i have been small since the beggining of year 7 but i seem to feel still a little icolated . i missed the first month of school in year seven and i didn't know anyone as it is. while i was ill soo many people formed groups so still now there is only me and this other boy in my tutor thats "on the out side" we have become really close friends over the 2 and a half years ive known him people have teased us for "having no friends" and have not stopped since the start of secondary school going on about how cute we are , in a way its a insult. because we are small me especially everyone seems to treat us like we are 5 and it hearts you but you have to act like you dont care even when you do.:( some times it works other times it doesn't.

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  4. I had a similar situation to Daria not as bad though. Me and my friend Hollie had been best friends since year 1 when she joined. but then in year 5 Flo came to our school all the way from Birmingham I go to school in Cardiff. and me and Hollie were told to look after her and we all became really friendly then one day we were out on the playground and I said ok so what are we going to do this break time and my 'best friend' Hollie says I was wondering weather you could let me and Flo have a break from you! and since then I've been angry at Hollie but we're still friendly because we're in the same form in year 7. So my advice is to try to be friendly but just get on with your life and make some good new friends.

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    1. Good advice… and good luck with your own situation Amy xxx

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  5. I hope Daria can get her confidence back up because she seems like such a lovely person. I don't know why people can change so quickly and turn against others for no reason in a spiteful way.But that just proves one thing bullies are the one with the problem and NOT the victim. Hopefully, people can become more aware of bullying like this and it can stop for good:). Hamdi:)xxx

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  6. I have a similar situation to Dacia, three girls who go to the same high school as me bullied me at Primary. When i went to Secondry icouldn't believe they had got a place, they didn't even want to go to our school. I thought it was going to stop but i was doing really well and making lots of new friends and then they made those friends be friends with them instead of me. I hardly talk to the people who i used to be friends with now. Blondie

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  7. Hope things get better for you Daria. What Genna did was horrible. But you should be strong Daria and make some new friends. You go to a high school where no one knows you so you should try to forget about the past and move on. It might be hard but you can do it. Its time to make a fresh start. It might be hard to make new friends but you can do it. Get your confidense back up. You cando it, girl.
    Fatimaxoxo

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  8. Daria, if you're reading this, do not worry. The same thing happened to me, I've been exceedingly shy ever since. But I know one day, i'll get a new BFF. You will too.

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  9. When I read this, I was a bit startled to read the names of Jenna and Carla, because I've met two girls of those names and wouldn't be surprised if they did what 'Jenna and Carla' did to you, Daria. But then I read that names had been changed and the two girls I knew are probably in Year 10 now, then I figured you were bullied by different people.
    I didn't know or do much with Carla, but my younger brother and I played with Jenna from when we were 5 and 6 until we were about 9 and 10, I think. The last time we ever played with Jenna was during the summer before she went into secondary school. She abruptly decided that she didn't want to play with 'little, immature kids' when she could be hanging out with her 'real' friends. (So why did she always hang out with us?!) My brother and I were distraught, but Jenna had never been the best friend. She would lie, and cheat in games, but she lived right next door, so we would normally always see her. Ever since that day, I've only ever seen her a couple times. She just ignores my brother and I. Which is fine. My brother and I have both moved on, and we both have good friends now. :D
    I hope you make lovely new friends, Daria, ones who you feel you can trust. Good luck!

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  10. Well... ***** alert! I mean seriously bullying? Geez, they are SAD. I've been bullyed to so I know what your going through. I lost all my friends and was really unhappy. But you just have to laugh, shake it off and put on a mask. If I met those two they would be running far far away after a second with me! Take no notice of those kind of people and stand up to bullys. They can't win! Good luck!

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