I know you are all wondering why I started Bash Out Bullying and I am finally telling you one of the reasons why! Due to the story being so lengthy it will be shared in a few different parts so here we go!
Kindergarten through sixth grade I attended a small independent private school. There was only one class for each grade. Our class was the biggest class in school, we had 18 students, but we were all extremely close. I was friends with everyone in my class, the girls and boys. Of course in elementary school boys still have "cooties" so most of us girls hung out together. We would dress alike, eat lunch together, have sleepovers on the weekends, and even shed tears when it came to a close at the end of the school year, even though most of us would see each other at summer camp/school in a couple of weeks. My mother raised me and my brother to always include everyone, so I always invited the entire class, along with their siblings whenever I had a party, birthday, holiday, end of the year, etc. She instilled in us that you never want anyone to feel left out, now if a couple of the quiet kids chose not to come, that was their choice but they could never say they weren't invited. All of our parents were close as well and became friends too. We did a lot of things outside of school together as a class for example, my mom put together a class party at Incredible Pizza and again just about everyone from our class came and we had fun, a lot of us have been to Six Flags together, and music concerts too, that's just how close our class was. Once we graduated 6th grade we all went to different middle schools, but still remained good friends.
We had a trip during the sixth grade to Memphis where we stayed at another school overnight. During that trip, a lot of "girl drama" was said, by not only me but by others as well. Looking back heck just about everyone said something about someone. Because our moms were friends and they all knew us well, they quickly got to the bottom of things. All of our parents and us girls met at our school in a conference room and talked about the "girl drama". I said something really mean about a good friend, I am not in any way making excuses, but I wasn't the only person who said some things, practically everyone did. However, if you know or ever meet my mom, you will quickly learn she doesn't play games, so she immediately became furious with me in the meeting! She got on me tough and told me that wasn't nice, I apologized to my "friend" and her mom. This is when I learned the importance of "friendship". While I thought I was just having a conversation with another "friend", who I might add had a lot of not so nice things to say also about this same person, as well as others, it was never my intention to hurt our "friend's" feelings. I never thought about how I would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. Looking back, my mom took over the meeting from that point and no one else's issues were ever brought to light or addressed. I was too young to know then, but looking back, I was the scapegoat for the Memphis field trip "girl drama". Now funny thing is after the meeting all of my "friends" were now not talking to me, some who I hadn't said anything about at all and some who said a lot more things about others than me, but remember they didn't get put on the spot like me.
As time went on, things worked themselves out and we were all back "friends". We had our 6th grade graduation ceremony, which was nice and of course, more tears came because we were leaving each other. We had a 6th grade graduation party afterwards we ate, danced, and took lots of pictures and of course there were more tears! I had a pretty big 6th grade graduation party of my own and of course everyone was invited and came, we danced took lots of pictures and again we had a ball!!! We all kept in touch over the summer before 7th grade and while we went to separate schools we all remained "friends". We (girls and boys) met up at middle school mixers and our mom’s would take us to eat together at Steak n Shake afterwards, we were the City Academy crew! This is where things get foggy and fuzzy, I am not sure "what" happened but for some reason I was put out of our "friend" group. It took a while for me to even realize I was put out at first because some of us were still hanging out and spending the night with each other. Our small school has an annual alumni ice skating event every year during Christmas break so that's a time when we would all get together for old time sake and again have fun! Some of us would carpool together and even spend the night with each other. Well our 8th and 9th grade year some of us hung out before and afterwards and guess what?! Some not so nice things were said about some of the "friends"! Well I learned my lesson in 6th grade so I never joined in nor did I go back and repeat what was told me to anyone, but guess what, all of them are friends, but they aren't with me! Now I am sure if it ever came out what some people said it would be more "girl drama", but I will always keep it to myself because it's not worth starting trouble about, but I just can’t figure out for the life of me how in the world was I put out of the "friend" group. It's like they have all band together to go against me, but when I tell you I have NEVER had an argument or falling out with any of them, it's so puzzling to me. These are people I have been "friends" with a very long time, some before kindergarten and many since kindergarten. We are now entering our junior year of high school, that's a lot of history together.
Because I learned to deal with things directly and first hand I have reached out to 3 of my former friends via telephone (I called them) and asked "what's wrong, what happened to us/our friendship, what did I do to you?" These are the responses I got:
Friend #1. "I just don't like the way you're living your life..."
Now let's be clear, I was 15 years old when I asked her this, so I don't know how bad my life was and what I was doing that would make her want to pass judgment against me, but I am nice to everyone that I meet. So when I tried to probe and ask her what did she mean and to please be specific, well let's just say she could never give me a clear answer.
Friend # 2. "Someone told me you said something about me..." I told her “I didn't say anything about you. I like you and have never had a problem with you. I am sorry for whoever told you that." She didn't want to hear it and continued to tell me that I did say something. It wasn't worth arguing about so I said "okay".
Friend #3. "I thought you were talking about me and one of the other friends..." again more he said/she said girl stuff. I told her too that I didn't have a problem with them and I didn't say anything about them.
Now at this point I am just like "whatever" I felt fine in my heart because I know that I hadn't done anything to anyone. No one could tell me what I personally and directly did to them, at that point I was finally "okay" with my former "friend" group not liking me anymore or putting me out the group rather. I would be lying if I told you that it doesn't bother me from time to time because we all grew up so close, and I never had an argument with anyone and I don't quite understand the reason for them not being my "friend" anymore. I see a lot of them from time to time and they don't even say "hello". I guess we weren't true friends after all, but keep in mind I know personally and first hand lots of things they have all said about each other that wasn't so nice, that I will always keep to myself, but if they are still mad at me from something that happened in 6th grade I guess we didn't have a healthy fair "friendship" in the first place. This is social bullying at its best.
Social bulling=sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships.
-Leaving someone out on purpose
-Telling other children not to be friends with someone
-Spreading rumors about someone
-Embarrassing someone in public
This is just part one of my story. Did you know that boys get involved in "girl drama" too?!
Stay tuned for part two!
Stay strong and stay positive,
Courtney Jay 💜