Safe space blogging: Trying to fit in

I’m pleased to be able to offer my blog to parents of older children as a safe space to blog anonymously. It will both help them to offload and help other parents who may be going through the same situations in silence. Today I welcome a fourth anonymous blogger to the blog, whose daughter just wanted to fit in.

My daughter who is in year 11 at school fell out with her group of friends, who she’d hung around with since year 7, over some boy. It was a big falling out and there was no going back, so she ended up moving to another friendship group. This group was full of the “cool girls”. I described them as wearing the fake tan, too much make up, out drinking on a weekend and getting into situations they shouldn’t be in. She thought she was the bee’s knees. If you classed high school in three groups – the cool kids, average and geeks she was always in the average/ geek group. She went up in the rankings and this caused a whole heap of trouble.
The first thing I heard about this trouble was when Mrs N rang. She is a fantastic teacher and is there to support troubled students, those who need help and have trouble at home. She said that someone had reported that my daughter had been self-harming and had been cutting her arms. She asked my permission to ask my daughter about this. I was shocked.
There was no way she had. I had seen her in a T-shirt the night before. Apart from a small burn she had on her arm, which she got from baking cupcakes, her arms were fine. Mrs N spoke to my daughter and saw that her arms were free of marks and had no worries. I did though.
This concern was added via an app that the school have. On the app, students can leave messages anonymously about other students for the teachers to see. Mrs N and I decided that it must have been someone that my daughter had a falling out with being malicious.
A week or so passed and there was more and more reports coming in about my daughter. Some of it was on the online app and some straight from other students. My daughter had apparently told her new group of friends various things like she goes out drinking every weekend, takes drugs, was raped by her biological father when she was four years old, has loads of boyfriends, has sex lots and the last time she was off school for a couple of days was because she was having an abortion.
I felt sick to my stomach! There was no way these were malicious reports, because some of the people who reported it actually went to the teacher because they were really concerned about my daughter.
I was horrified when Mrs N told me these things over the phone. I couldn’t get my head around it. These things weren’t true! They couldn’t be. She does not ever go out at night. Her biological father was an idiot, but he did not rape her, no way! The only time she has been off school is because of a bad cold or really bad period pains. I told the teacher this and she said she couldn’t get her head around it either, but that she had to report it to Children’s Services, as rape and abuse was involved. I could totally understand that, but I really didn’t want to deal with them after all the horror stories you hear.
About 10 minutes after being on the phone to Mrs N, Children’s Services rang. Mrs N must have said it was so out of character for my daughter for any of it to be true. I said the same. I was more in shock than anything. I just said I didn’t believe she had said any of the horrid things. They said they’d ring back later, after I’d spoken to my daughter.
My daughter was on her way home from school when these calls happened. When she got home, she said that she didn’t know why the girls where saying these things, as she hadn’t said anything like that. So I got back on the phone to Mrs N. It takes a good three minutes to get through the switchboard to who you need to speak to, and in those three minutes, my daughter told me she had made everything up! I hung up on the teacher!
Why?!
To fit in!
All the cool girls were bragging about drinking, having sex, taking drugs, getting into tricky situations with men, trying not to get pregnant and partying all night long.
I was fuming, but at the same time I felt so sorry for her that she felt she had to make these things up. These things are nothing to be proud of! I gave her such a telling off. Even a few months later, she still says it’s the worst telling off she’s ever had. She was sent to her room for the evening. She only came downstairs to eat and explain to her step-father what had been going on. I couldn’t stand to look at her.
Children’s Services rang back that evening and I told them what my daughter had told me, that she made everything up. To be honest, they didn’t seem shocked, and said it’s a shame that teens do things like this to fit in. They said they would pass it on to a manager and asked if they could access my daughter’s medical records. I guess so they could see that if the abortion didn’t happen, the rest would likely be a lie too.
This all happened on a Friday and we had the weekend to process what had happened and how to go forward. I took my daughter into school on the Monday and saw Mrs N. We all decided that my daughter needed to speak to the girls she had lied to and admit what she did was wrong.
I’ll give her, her dues, she stood up and owned her mistake. She lost quite a few friends over it and from now on will be known as “that girl who lies”.  A week later, I got a call saying the case was closed with Children’s Services, and if we needed any help there was a number to ring. I spoke at length to my daughter about why she said what she did and what could have happened if adults believed her. I am not a fan of her biological father, but he could have been arrested because of what she said. I think it sunk in.
This all happened a months ago and I do doubt what my daughter tells me now. There is always the “what if she’s lying?” there. I suppose the silver lining to it all is that she was just making things up and not actually doing them. She is left with a handful of friends at school, none of them real friends, just people she speaks to in passing. I don’t want to say she’s brought it all on herself but she has.
I feel so sorry for her, but at the same time I feel bad for saying you reap what you sow.
Teenage girls, Friends, Anonymous blogging, Safe space blogging trying to fit in
If you are a parent of a 10 to 25 year old who feels unable to speak openly and honestly about something that is affecting your family on your own blog, please get in touch at mumofthreeworld@gmail.com 
Main image credit Adam McCoid on Unsplash
Safe space blogging, Anonymous blogging, Blogging for parents of teenagers

Author: Sarah Mummy

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7 Comments

  1. Oh gosh, what a heartbreaking situation for everyone involved. It must have been horrible for the mum to see her trying so hard to fit in, and awful for the girl to end up with hardly any friends at school. Such a harsh life lesson.
    Nat.x

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    • Really harsh! I felt so sad for them all when I first read this. I hope that she can go to college, move on from it and make some new friends who she can just be herself with. x

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  2. What a story – but it so easily happens. This whole need to ‘fit in’ kids of that age don’t realise people who like them for ‘just’ who they are. I hope the girl has moved onto good, firm friends. Feel for the mum, especially as a mum to a daughter myself. Hopefully everyone has been able to move on from this! Sim x

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    • What a story indeed! But you can definitely see how it would happen. I really felt for both the mum and the daughter.

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  3. This teenage phase is very difficult where teenagers are discovering who they are and they have to decide to be who they are or what others want them to be, and which of them is right. Depending on what they choose, their personality forms accordingly and sadly many of them make wrong decisions. And mainly i think its because they don’t have proper guidance and if they do, they’re ashamed to talk about whats going on in their minds to their parents or they think their parents won’t understand it. Alot is going on in their minds

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    • Thanks very much, it definitely is a difficult time. I’m sure this girl has good guidance, but the need to fit in was too much for her. I really felt for both the mum and the daughter in this situation.

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