Wednesday 11 May 2016


It's problem page time on DREAMCATCHER today and reader Natalie asks HONEY TANBERRY for advice...

Natalie says:
I had a very bad time at primary school. I was bullied and I lashed out a few times (verbally) at the girls who were making my life a misery. With one girl, I told a secret she had once told me when we were younger, something I knew would embarrass her. It was about her family and instead of people turning against her, they turned against me and the bullies used it as evidence of how horrible I was. The whole class stopped speaking to me and even the teacher was frosty with me afterwards. Nobody seemed to see what the bullies were doing. I chose to go to a different secondary school to most of my primary, two bus rids away, but I got away from the bullies and life has been very different since then. Then in January a girl from my primary started there. She was on the edge of the bullies, so I thought she would be OK, but she has started telling people how bitchy I was in primary, how I tried to bully a girl by telling lies about her, and how everyone hated me. My life is falling apart again and I don't know what to do.

Honey says:
I guess my style would be to go up to this girl and tell her to shut up and stop spreading cruel rumours, but I don't think you will want to try that. Sometimes, getting help from teachers can be the best plan. Talk to your guidance teacher, form tutor or school counsellor and tell them the whole story. Explain that bullying has ruined your life once and that you need their help to make sure it doesn't happen again. OK, telling that secret in the first place was not a smart move, but you were pushed beyond endurance and you spoke in self-defence, not from malice. What needs to happen is for you and the new girl to sit down with a teacher and talk this through, and stop the rumour mill in its tracks before it goes any further. Speak out and get some adult help... and refuse to let this destroy your confidence and push you off track. Good luck.

Cathy says:
Great advice from Honey... I think expert support is needed to help sort this out. Good luck, Natalie. Have YOU ever had to handle rumours and lies? COMMENT BELOW to have your say...


  1. I was in year nine last year, an infamous time at my school - everyone knows that year nine is a cavalcade of friendship group destruction, gossip and bitchiness. Since almost all of my friends are in older years, last year I felt pretty lonely. I tried to befriend a few people who had been kicked out of their friendship groups to fix it. One girl wouldn't tell me why her group had ditched her, but I hung out with her anyway so she wouldn't be alone. Unfortunately, she thanked me by spreading rumours and lies about my sexuality around my class - my year are pretty homophobic, and I felt like this would be the end of my social life (I was unnecessarily dramatic, I know!) unless I got it sorted. So I demanded that the girl explain herself; she tried to pretend that she hadn't said anything, but her face and tone of voice made it clear that she had. Since she knew she was in trouble, and that I'm not the kind of person who won't ask adults for help, she made the rumours stop. I found out this year that she'd done the same thing to some girls in her old friendship group, spreading slut-shame aroundthe class that I'd been oblivious to. Since her friendship group were confident girls, they dropped her and blanked the rumours, which I really admire now. They kept their heads held high so that someone who's a little socially clueless like me didn't even know anything had happened - it must have worked!

  2. I have had to deal with some bullies and rumours and lies too at younger age of school and in the end a teacher and the school nurse helped me and it got sorted out so I think getting adult help is the best. We have all said things we regret later during those difficult times, I have but it doesn't mean we are bad people. i hope she gets it sorted out.



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