Wednesday, May 10, 2017

To My Daughter's "Friends": You Suck!

To My Daughter's "Friends": You Suck!

There you have it. It's out there. I am tired of my heart aching because of you. Yes, YOU! Do you not notice the effect your choices have on my daughter? Or do you see it but you just don't care? I would like to think that your exclusion and abandonment is only a small oversight, a one-time mistake you clearly did not intend to make. But as you know, this isn't the first or the second, or even the third time this has happened. So why don't you just admit it, you suck as a friend.

Growing up is tough, I get it--we all get it because we have all been through it. Friends play an integral role in our lives as we forge through the muck of adolescence and beyond. Without friends, we would sink. But when you're that friend, the one my daughter chose to keep her from sinking into the muck, the one who she shared her secrets, fears, and dreams with, there is responsibility. She's counting on you to be there through the good and the bad, the laughter and the tears, the victories and the epic fails, and everything in between. But when you're not there, when you find others to replace her, when you decide that your world and all that revolves around it can no longer accommodate her, she feels it more than you could ever imagine. You might think she doesn't care, that her silence is her acceptance, but it's not. Her silence is pain, sadness, loss and abandonment. All the times you pushed her away and she came back, never giving up on what she thought was solid and secure; the times she was there for you when no one else was, dropping everything to be at your side because you were--YES--that important, seems so easy for you to ignore.

Whatever your reason for not giving a damn, for not noticing when you leave her to eat lunch alone, for excluding her from plans that appear to include everyone else, for carrying on conversations with others as though she's not right next to you, you need to know, it doesn't go unnoticed. As a matter of fact, it stands out loud and clear as though you had written, "you don't matter to me anymore" on her hand in permanent marker.

Life's short, and you will find that true friends, the ones who you never need to pretend you are anyone other than you, are rare gems hidden among the treacherous rocks you will climb throughout your life. I would like to think my daughter was one of those rare gems in your life like you were in hers. Someday, I hope you are able to see what you willingly threw away as irreplaceable. And someday, I hope you are able to hold on to those gems, (if you're lucky to find them) and realize they are priceless and special, and although made of solid material, they dull when not polished and shatter under enough pressure.


The Gem Protector

Disclaimer: I have two daughters, and although this is certainly geared toward certain individuals, it will remain a mystery as to who I am directing this to. That being said, it's no secret that no matter what the age, friends can suck. Friends, more than family, can make you feel incredibly isolated and alone and can leave long-term scars. The lucky ones who find the strength and help to move on, carry the scar, the others never carry on.

Know the signs that come when someone is suffering. Teach yourself and your child what to look for and let your child know that reporting their concern is not "tattling" but an act of compassion and concern. But also teach your child that inviting the kid who sits alone at the lunch table, or anywhere else, into his/her group, could be the lifeline that kid was so desperately looking for. One small, kind act can save someone from thinking they are nothing. Besides food and water, what we, as humans crave the most, is being something to someone. Be that someone. And don't suck!

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