When Friends Become Bullies

    I recently had to put my foot down and tell my 16 year old daughter, that one of her oldest and closest friends was no longer welcome in our home. Also that she was no longer allowed to see her. For the sake of confidentiality I will refer to her as Sarah and to my daughter as Lily. Let me explain;

    They met in high school and formed a bond quite quickly. Both girls have been through a lot, but Sarah has had an incredibly difficult life. Her father is in prison, her mother a hard drug user. She lives with her Grandparents in what I’m told is quite a filthy house and has to look after them to a degree.

    Due to this, Sarah has spent a fair bit of time with us including Christmases. She is a nice enough girl to get on with generally and she and Lily largely had a fun and supportive friendship.

    However, as they got older Sarah began to get jealous of Lily whenever she made new friends and throughout her relationships with two boyfriends. Each time this happened arguments would ensue and Sarah would become somewhat verbally abusive to Lily. But at first it was mild and arguments were over quickly.

    It always concerned me, but Lily has a big heart and defended Sarah each time persuading me to give her another chance. Recently though, Sarah has become more violent generally and began involving other girls who threatened Lily and on the most recent occasion called her the most horrendous name and told her she hopes she dies.

    Lily was heartbroken and understandably very upset by what was said. She is such a gentle and passive person and the idea of it becoming a fight scared her, but still, given Sarah’s past was considering ways to make amends and rebuild the friendship.

    It was at this point that I invoked parental power and told her no more.

    I have been in friendships such as this. I have forgiven time and time again for the same reasons Lily forgave Sarah. But I know where this goes.

    One example for me was a girl who had several very dark minded and violent friends, one of whom had stabbed her boyfriend over very little. After many many rows just like with Sarah and Lily, the abuse got much worse, she began involving her other friends one of whom came round to my house when Lily was little and screamed outside that she was going to get the rest of her friends to pin me down and slit my throat. I also have good reasons (which I wont delve in to now) to believe she broke in to my house twice and switched my gas on.

    I feel for Sarah and her circumstances, really I do. I can imagine and understand the pain and turmoil she is going through internally having been through a heck of a rough childhood myself. But Lily is not only my only daughter, she really is a bright light in a dark world and I will happily push Sarah out of her life to protect Lily. If it comes to it, I would do time to protect my baby.

    But I’m not and cant always be there and knowing the way girls like Sarah work, I am completely satisfied I made the right decision. It was hard for Lily at first but she now seems to understand that it was for the best.

    It is wonderful to be a forgiving and understanding person, to issue chances to people we care deeply for.

    But we always have to ask ourselves, when is enough enough?

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