DEAR KELLY: Recently at a party, one of my friends got mad at me for talking to her ex-boyfriend, who is my friend, and cussed me out in front of everyone. He stepped in and defended me, and they got in a big fight. He told her that I was nicer than her and that his friends couldn’t stand her. She ended up freaking out, screaming at both of us and threatening to commit suicide later that night because of all that he said to her and how embarrassed she was. People were tweeting about her being crazy and jealous, and I was the only person who subtweeted people and said to stop talking crap about her. I defended her and she knew it.
She now refuses to talk to me, even after she apologized to him and they have “made up” as friends. He still thinks she’s crazy but he accepted her apology. When I tried to text her, she blocked me and her mom called my mom and told her to never have me try and talk or text with her again because of “what I had done to her and humiliated she was because of me.” Her mom made it seem like it was all my fault and that I like bullied her that night, which is like the exact opposite of what really happened. My mom had no idea what to say because she didn’t even know what had happened when the other mom called her.
Everyone who was there knew what happened but now her mom is spreading rumors to other moms that I’m like a mean girl and I made all this drama for her and caused her to be so upset she almost killed herself. One of my good friend’s mom said she doesn’t want me hanging out with her because of what she heard from the other mom. Her mom put this whole thing on Facebook about how bullied her daughter was by “a friend from fifth grade.” Even though she didn’t say my name, I’m sure a lot of people knew it was me based on the things she said and how she described me. People wrote terrible comments about what an awful person I must be, how they would never let their kids have a friend like me and how terrible my parents were for letting me be a bully and not doing anything about it. I cried when I read all the things people said. I’ve honestly never had an issue with anyone and parents have always liked me before this.
Please help me. I didn’t do anything wrong besides talk to a boy, and suddenly I’m the worst person on the planet and I don’t know what to do.
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DEAR RANDY: Sometimes in certain situations you need to get adult help because while your teenage voice is important, it may not be heard as loud or clear as an adult’s voice. Talk with your parents and ask them for help. Together with them, or alone if they don’t want to be involved, you need to speak with someone in the administration at your school. Even though the event happened outside of school, the social media comments by her mom about you, a student, need to be addressed.
There are two sides to every story. We know this to be true. The other girl’s mom heard one side of a story and defended her daughter. While emotions make people react with passion, it can also make them react with less discernment and less discretion. Her mom thought she was speaking up when perhaps she was not being told the whole truth. This is where the school needs to step in.
A meeting needs to be scheduled between your family and the other girls. The ex-boyfriend needs to be called in and his account of the evening needs to be shared as a third-party witness to what happened. Hopefully by hearing your side of the story and his (or anyone else who was present), she will see that her daughter played a role in everything that happened and was not the innocent victim she has painted her to be.
Her mother needs to be aware that her Facebook post about you could be called cyber bullying and parental shaming, neither which is acceptable. She may stick to her guns and refuse to take it down but hopefully the school makes her aware of how inappropriate it was and she reconsiders having it on her page. She may refuse to back down because of all the support she feels she has gained because of this or because she is in denial of her daughter’s issues that played a part in all of this. Sometimes parents do not realize the harm they are causing for a variety of perceptual reasons and justifications. Give her a chance to acknowledge and change her behavior once she hears more about the story than just her daughter’s side.
Please do not try to tackle this by yourself. You need adult help. You need an adult lens and adult support. Start with your parents, and hopefully they help you talk with the school. Don’t let this situation (and any untruths being spoken) define you or affect your friendships with other people. You have a right to be heard and her mom needs to be made aware of how out of hand this situation has gotten. Let your school help with the process and hopefully work at finding a resolution so this ugly situation gets put to rest.