Saturday, 8 November 2014

MARNIE: THE HARDEST CHOICE...

Reader Marnie thought she'd made friendships that would last forever - find out why SHE was the one to break away.


Marnie says:
I was quite anxious starting secondary school because not very many people from my school were going to the same school I was. I was determined to be friendly and make new mates, and amazingly, I did. On the very first day I met Lucy, Aimee and Rowanne, who were all in my new form. Lucy and Aimee were best friends already and Rowanne was new to the area so, like me, she was looking for friends. We got on really well. One thing was certain, life was a LOT of fun with them. We laughed all the time; nothing ever seemed too serious. My parents were really glad I had settled in so quickly and those first few months, I honestly thought I had never been happier.

The first flickers of doubt came towards the end of Year Seven. I noticed Lucy and Aimee could be quite mean about some of the other kids in our year, but I let the nastiness go because it was always wrapped up in jokes and laughter. Year Eight was harder. I was struggling with my work by then because my friends always had things to do and places to go after school - I wanted to go with them, so homework began to slide. Aimee had a bad attitude with some of the teachers, but again, it just seemed like a bit of fun, nothing serious. My school reports were getting worse, though, and my parents weren't pleased.

In the Easter holidays of Year Eight, we started hanging out at one of the parks in town. That was when I realised my friends had started smoking. They wanted me to try too, but I have really strong feelings about smoking because my uncle died of lung cancer. I tried to explain, but the others called me a baby and got quite spiteful about it all. I started to wish I had never got involved with them. Before we met, I'd worked hard at school and had time for all kinds of hobbies, from gymnastics to piano. I'd given all of those things up, because my friends didn't approve. And I started to wonder if they were really friends at all.

They were rude to teachers and pupils alike and picked on younger kids, making cruel jokes. They'd started smoking and Aimee had a boyfriend, a Year Ten boy who said he could set the rest of us up with his friends. I was starting to feel out of my depth. The last straw came when I found a Year Seven girl crying in the loos one break time after the others had been teasing her - I tried to comfort her and she pulled away from me, terrified. She thought I was a bully, just like the others. I knew things had to change, but I had no idea if I could walk away from my friends.

I told my mum everything. She called the school and I was put into a different form group. I ended up sitting with some of the quiet girls my friends had always made fun of, and slowly I stepped back from my old friendship. I think by then they were getting fed up of me anyway, and these days if we meet I'm the one on the receiving end of the nasty comments. I don't mind, though. I made a mistake and fell in with the wrong group, but it could have been worse; I didn't start smoking and I never bullied anyone, and I am working hard now to catch up on the work I missed. I am making new friends, slowly. We're in Year Nine now, and Aimee was excluded last week for swearing at a teacher. I miss my friends sometimes, the way we used to be at the beginning, but although leaving them was the hardest choice I have ever made, I know it was the right one.

All names have been changed to protect identities.
Pictures posed by model Melissa.

Cathy says:
Should friends stick together through thick and thin… or did Marnie make the right choice? COMMENT BELOW to have your say on this friendship dilemma.

8 comments:

  1. Marnie completely made the right choice. Friends should never get in the way of your studies or hobbies and should never force you to do something you are strongly against. My old best friend encouraged me to not do my homework so I could go out at the weekends, she told me I was awful at piano, songwriting and everything else I loved about music and she made horrible homophobic comments sometimes just because I didn't want a boyfriend. But the last straw for me, like with Marnie, was when she started making horrible comments about my best friend Sophie behind her back. I preferred Sophie to her anyway because Sophie was never mean to me in the way she was, and evntually I stopped being friends with the girl completely. It is tricky to leave a friend when you feel like they've taken you in and made you feel welcome, but if their true colours are very different you have made the right choice in leaving them behind. Good luck, Marnie, I wish you the best.

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  2. Certainly the right choice! I cut the ties with my best friend not too long ago, her negativity was becoming toxic :/ - Lauren

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    1. I broke up with a 'best' friend a few years ago too, tbh r friendship was wrapped around lies made by her:(.

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    2. I hate making hard choice's like that but I think you did the right thing.��

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    1. So sad �� but u did the right thing

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  4. posting an edited version of an anonymous reader comment:

    i went thru the exact same thing but i still need help to sort it out. in year 7 i became friends with a girl. she was fine until she came to my house. we went to the shops to buy some sweets. she stole a packet extra and tried to give it to me. i refused so she tried to put it in the bin. i stopped her and she then pushed me and made me take them back to the shop. i did. she made me swear not to tell. but a week later i had a breakdown and started crying and my mum ended up phoning her mum, who luckily took it okay and said she would try to find proof. sure enough her mum found over 40 bags of sweets under her bed! in school the day after i told she came up to me and pushed me again. now, in year 8 she is still trouble and is going out with a year 11(age 15). we are both 12. whenever i try to speak to her to explain why i told she shouts at me and tells her boyfriend who threatens to beat me up. she has also stolen money,my friends phone , called us names etc. help?


    Anon, this is a kind of bullying… you can try one of two things. One, ignore her totally - no comments, no chat, no explanations or judgements on her behaviour. She may leave you alone if you leave her alone. Or, two… tell a teacher and get some support to sort it out. Good luck. xxx

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  5. I always like to check fully before I comit to a friendship. It's always hard ending one, though. Marnie totally made the right choice.

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