too close to the tree

I don’t know what you were expecting but this isn’t my A to Z recap post. Or my afterthoughts or whatever. I’ll write that later. Or I won’t. 

Please note: This is a long post. I always feel like I have to post a warning when that happens. So grab your coffee and sit back. I promise it will eventually be over.

I was super down on myself when I was younger. And when I was older. And still today.

I have tried to recall when it began, but I cannot. I have only a few specific memories of other people putting me down, but I remember it happening. What I remember clearly, though, was believing those put-downs. And I remember the fear—the constant fear—that someone would see something ‘bad‘ about me and say it out loud for everyone to hear.

I had to stop them. I could only think of one way, so I did that.

I became my own bully.

I thought if I beat everyone to the put-down—if I did it myself—I wouldn’t hear it from anyone else. Or at least it wouldn’t hurt as much because it was already out there. Better from myself than from anyone else, right? Wrong. As was inevitable, I began to assume pretty much everything about me was worthy of a put-down. And I assumed literally everyone thought these negative things about me. I was so sure. It became second nature for me to put myself down. And I still do it.

My self-confidence and my self-esteem suffered. I tore them down. And they never recovered. They are, in fact, still being torn down.

Now I fear this is happening to my daughter.

Actually, I know that at least some of it is happening to her.

Aside: The rest of this reads like a soap opera. I am aware of this, but I feel that the full story is helpful. Plus, if I’m able to write anything at all, I figured I might as well do it. 

My once confident girl (11 years old) has taken a hit. I recently wrote about her during the A to Z challenge. Confident, stands up for herself…

It started with a mean girl. Shocker.

They have attended the same school for six years (k – 5). In the beginning, they weren’t friends. Neutral. About a year ago, they suddenly became best friends. One day, boom… always together. During spring break last year, my daughter spent more time with this girl than she did with me.

Fast forward about six weeks. This girl ‘dumped‘ my kid. No warning, no reason, nothing. She latched on to another girl to replace my daughter. What kills me is that the mean girl and her replacement have stayed best pals ever since… so, like, a year. But the mean one ditched my daughter after six weeks for no apparent reason. [Granted, the mean girl and the replacement have had some fights but they always end up together again.]

During the past year, the mean one started talking shit about my kid to other girls. She wants to turn everyone against her. Everything always gets back to my daughter. She has friends who tell her things. Or she sees things on social media (the ruin of childhood). The truly fucked up thing is that after the mean stuff, this little shit apologizes to my daughter and wants to be friends again. Until the next time she goes off. Then another apology… then more mean shit… apology… mean shit. You get the idea.

Other kids… my daughter’s friends… know about all of this. They have been victims of it, too. All of them, I think. But not as bad as my daughter. It pains me, though, that they always go back to being friends with the bitch. Why the fuck don’t they care that it hurts my daughter? They know it does. Why don’t they stick up for her? If they bother giving any explanation at all, it’s that the bitch has a trampoline, she invites people over, her mom takes them to do fun stuff. So basically, they are using her.

I’m not sure how many of these girls genuinely like this bitch. Yet no matter what she does to my kid, the other girls still hang out with her. They sometimes try to hide it [so I think they do care that it hurts my kid… just not enough to stop], but my daughter always knows because the bitch is constantly posting pictures on social media of every damn thing she does and who’s with her.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. Mean girl had been being nice to my daughter. So much so that she invited her for a sleepover! My daughter went. [I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I have a problem saying no to my kids.] Everything was fine. But… a few days later, my girl admitted to me that while she was there, the little bitch said mean things to her face. Who the fuck invites someone over and then does that?? I told my daughter she should have told the kid’s mother then called me immediately to pick her up. But she was afraid that would make the whole situation worse.

Fast forward to now. The little bitch still makes fun of my daughter, calls her names, and just generally torments her. Behind her back and to her face. My daughter knows to act like it doesn’t bother her and to walk away, but that doesn’t work because bitchface follows her around.

It has gotten worse over the past week or two. My daughter comes home from school unusually sad. Sad enough that it worries me. In the morning, she tells me she doesn’t want to go to school. Sometimes, she says things like ‘I’m ugly‘ or ‘I’m fat‘ or ‘I have no friends‘ or ‘I hate my life‘. This morning, she said, ‘From now on, I’m only going to eat salad.‘ [She is not stick-thin but she is not all that big either. And none of that should matter anyway, for fuck’s sake.]

My mind immediately goes to every news story I’ve ever heard about a kid who has been bullied so much and is so desperately sad that they take their own life. I’m scared as hell.

I contacted the school last week. I did so to help my daughter, not necessarily to punish the bitch because, let’s face it, that little shit won’t change even if she’s disciplined. I called the school nurse. [With my son’s and my daughter’s years at this school, I’ve known her for nine years.] The nurse felt terrible for my daughter and connected me to the school’s counselor.

My daughter is now seeing the school counselor because of that little bitch. Don’t get me wrong—I think seeing the counselor is a great thing. It should be required for all kids! But it pisses me the fuck off that my kid was driven to it by that little bitch.

She’s not shy, my kid. Her friends know she’s seeing the counselor and they know why. Yet no one ditches the bitch. See above.

I hope the counselor can help my daughter learn how to deal with this in a way that preserves (or redevelops) her self-esteem. I’m scared as hell, though, that it’s already too late. My daughter has already slipped into the same trap I’m in… she’s down on herself.


p.s.— My girl’s best friend is having a birthday party in a few weeks at an indoor water park. She wants to go but she is worried about how she looks in a swimsuit. Fuck, she is only 11. And she’s also afraid to go. Guess why? Yeah. The bitch will be there. Again, why the fuck can’t my daughter’s friends stick up for her and stop including this bitch? My girl may not even end up going. That pisses me off. 

p.s. 2—Next year my daughter starts middle school. This is both good and bad. I know middle school is said to be the worst, but, more kids means more chances to make new friends who aren’t bitches. Her small elementary school (less than 40 kids per grade) makes it hard to separate from anyone. Oh, and more kids also means more chances that kids will not put up with that little bitch and she’ll finally get hers. I can dream, right?


©2019 what sandra thinks

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, sometimes blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
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52 Responses to too close to the tree

  1. Oh, she’ll get hers, alright. It would suck to peak in elementary school. I wish your daughter would realize that this little world she’s living in right now is nothing more than a blip, and that the bitch will not even be a memory 5, 10 years from now.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Lee Dunn says:

    Posts are not too long if they hold the reader. Yours certainly did, because it brought me back to the days when my own daughter came home crying from school it would not tell us what was wrong for the longest time. It might sound sexist, But in groups of adolescent girls get together and ostracize others, it is very emotionally affecting on the victim. These feelings can carry-on until later life. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think it sounds sexist. I think there is a special (not special in a good way) kind of drama between girls this age. Everything seemed to be fine about a year ago… but since then, it’s been non-stop. I really hope my daughter is better at letting these things go than I am.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh god! When I was young, I went through the exact same thing! I still dread the fact that I had to go through all of that. Although, I have been able to pull myself up, but then again, I have bouts of self esteem issues every now and then! Honestly, I couldn’t ever figure out the exact things which helped me recover, so I can’t comment on that! But, I wish your little girl and you all the power and strength and hope that you come out victorious! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meg says:

    It sounds like this girl is a big fish in a little pond. Which means she might not be such a big fish when she gets to the lake. Like Beach said, if your daughter could just realize that these school years are temporary and she never has to see any of these people again if she chooses not to. Here’s hoping the rest of the school year goes quickly and without incident. ❤️❤️ I get this completely. My school life was awful, too. And I went to a small school so there was no hiding.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Girls such as “the bitch” thrive on any reaction, whether it is good or bad. What they cannot tolerate is being ignored, by anyone. Happens with boys too. They are bullies. They need to be ignored. Easy to say, I know. Not so easy to do, but, as the comments by Beach and Meg say, it is a temporary episode that will change dramatically once she gets to middle school. Hugs to you both, and you, Sandra, have to be strong for the two of you, and don’t you dare say you can’t! You can.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Monique28 says:

    This scares me my son it big boy I know day in age things change but billy stays the same. Next year he’s going to middle school and i’m afraid of what might happen . He got tease some what growing up but nothing minor cause he did have kids(friends who had his back) because he has. a good heart and they see that. but middle school with pear pressure and trying to fit in i’m not so sure i teach confidence and how to protect his self when things come up because sadly Mommy nor a teacher or a “grown up” will always be there. Biggest then is so no fear of that doesn’t stop them I say fight fight till you have nothing left them when you think you have no more dig deep inside find some more in fight . use all you have to show them you are not the one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I find it so hard to teach confidence to my kids when I have almost none myself. I want them to turn into better people than me!


      • Monique28 says:

        yes, I struggle with my weight my son does to i go back and forth at times i’m happy then next i’m out buy some type of diet products. He doesn’t know i suffer from depression and anxiety so it hard when we go out we’re mostly homebody’s. and it makes me sad when i see other mothers and son out doing fun things and i cant

        Liked by 1 person

        • I understand. I feel sad when I see how outgoing and involved some parents are because that’s just not me and I can’t make myself be like that.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Monique28 says:

            at all i try just do my son don’t think mama don’t do anything with me. we go to the movies or out to eat or i’ll make him go to the store with me. but other then that we sit in the house him on his game me in bed under the covers


  7. theacquiescentsoul says:

    Let your daughter know there is so much time available to her, that it is guaranteed to see “the bitch” in a much different situation – one where she gets the “joy” of experiencing what your daughter experiences.
    Also, this is temporary…very temporary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was saying this to my daughter the other day. I am sure that this little bitch is going to meet kids who aren’t afraid to be as nasty to her as she is to my kid. Although I do fear that once this girl isn’t tormenting my daughter, someone else will take her place.

      And I don’t want my daughter to continue to feel terrible about herself because of any of this. I don’t want her to feel terrible about herself at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Kids can be so mean to each other! I’m sure my school years weren’t perfect, but I don’t remember everyone being so awful to each other. Either it was simpler times or my memory is not as good as it used to be! Hope the counselor is able to help.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marquessa says:

    That bully with eat dirt one day soon. And it sounds like maybe the other girls are scared to let go of the bully. I hope that your daughter’s needs are met with the counselor. It was a great move.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hate how everyone always ‘forgives’ whatever this bitch does. My daughter told me she was nasty today to some other girl and that girl walked right over to the principal and got the bitch in trouble. A ton of kids were there to witness her nastiness. I wish they’d ALL turn against her.

      I wish school wasn’t ending in 6 weeks for the summer because my daughter won’t get to meet with the counselor very often. I am so worried about the way she feels about herself. I don’t know how to help her with that since my self-esteem is crap.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. jrvincente says:

    Ugh that’s awful! I hope the school can be helpful. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jrvincente says:

    We always want better for our kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hunida says:

    I remember having this exact kind of drama at her age. Poor baby. I hope she makes a whole new group of friends in Middle School & the little bitch loses all of hers– that usually does happen.

    Have you ever spoken to her parents?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that girl’s mother a little. I have never spoken to her about these issues, though. I’ve thought about it, but my daughter doesn’t want me to do that. She’s afraid of what will happen as a result. Plus, honestly, I bet she will think what her kid says and does is just harmless girl drama… normal for their age. She won’t think her kid did anything wrong. She’s an only child and spoiled as hell…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. mydangblog says:

    I had a “friend” like that in Grade 9–she was horrible, and eventually everyone knew it. Once, we were at a school movie night/dance–partway through the movie, she said, “I’ll be right back” and she never returned. I found out later that she had made arrangements to meet an older boy from another school and didn’t tell me. She took off with him and left me there at the dance by myself (I was really shy and I had no way to get home). That’s when I met the girl who became my true friend throughout high school–she saw me standing there looking scared and she took me under her wing. I rarely think about the first girl, but I always remember the second one with love.

    Liked by 1 person

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