Best friend turned bully


Best friend turned bully


your avatar   Shelby, 13 years old


I just moved back to the small town I was raised in. When I moved here I was very excited to see my best friend that lived here. I started going to school, and she and I hung out just like old times, but 2 months after I had lived here, she stopped talking to me. She started bullying me, and turned most of my school against me. Whenever I would walk down the halls at school, I would get cold glances from anyone she convinced to hate me. I did volleyball at school and no one wanted to be my partner for practice, so I ended up having the coach be my partner every single day, for the whole season. Every girl would ignore me the entire practice. My old friend and her new best friend would spike balls at me the entire time.

I have no idea why she is doing this, I didn't do anything to her, I never have. As I said, she was my best friend. I started getting really depressed. I told my parents and they talked to hers, and they said to *bleep* off and that their daughter didn't have to be friends with anyone she didn't want to.

After the school year ended, my parents decided to pull me out of school. Now I'm home schooled, and I am unsocial. I don't talk to anyone other than my grandparents and my mom and dad. I got so depressed that I tried committing suicide. Please help me, I just don't see a reason to live anymore.


    Lena Washburn, Marriage and Family Therapist

Dear Shelby,

Unfortunately, your options right now are limited since you are underage - but this is no reason to end your life and all future opportunities that may come to you once the situation gets better. You obviously have access to the Internet, and there is plenty of opportunity to connect with peers and not feel completely isolated. It may not be as stimulating as real life contact with friends, but it might help until better solutions present themselves. In the meantime, start a dialogue with your parents, let them know that you feel too lonely and need some peer interaction, listen to their concerns, and calmly try to negotiate possible solutions. Maybe they can find a tutor of similar age to you? Perhaps they will consider having you return to a regular school next year?

Regardless of what happens now, remember that in a few years you will have plenty of chances to make your own decisions, to develop new social skills, and to feel more confident about making your way in the world, no matter what others think of you. Plan ahead! I have a feeling you will not be in the same town forever - and you will need a solid plan for when that time comes.

Best wishes,


Lena Washburn is a licensed marriage and family therapist from San Diego. In her private practice, she works with individuals and couples to create a more joyful and meaningful life; at home, she parents her rambunctious 4-year-old boy and writes her blog. She particularly enjoys advising about relationships, parenting, anxiety, self-esteem, career, and how to deal with difficult people. For more information visit:


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