I haven’t posted anything in a while. Things have been very smooth, with school in full swing and volleyball going on again. RS is all about her routine! With a schedule and a routine in place -life was good in our house! Of course, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hate that I can’t just appreciate the moment and live in that moment, but I think when you are dealing with Aspergers you are always waiting for the next hurdle.
I feel like the incident this week has been building for awhile. There is a group of girls at school that are just trouble. Dress inappropriately, always in trouble, try to act older than than should. This behavior drives my rule follower insane. I feel like I have mentioned this before, but the kids who get dress coded, she just can’t comprehend this. The rules are the rules and they are meant to be followed. I am sure she makes her position on this matter clear to anyone who will listen. Anyway, RS and these girls just always seem to have issues. One week they are friends, the next they are not. 2 of these “friends” are on her volleyball team. I use the tern friends loosely because these are the 2 girls who kept telling people how bad she is at volleyball the week of tryouts. One of them rides the bus with her and RS overheard her telling kids on the bus how annoying she is. She was pretty upset but once they all made the team things seemed to die down and they were getting along.
Last week, things started to go south again. This week it has come to a head with me having to contact some parents. One parent, very apologetic and very much wanting to work things out and get the girls back on track. One parents, denying her perfect princess would ever do anything wrong. So somehow a small nothing situation escalates out of control!
I found this article helpful and have tried going through the things they suggest with RS as often as I can.
I try preparing RS for as many scenarios as I possibly can but its so hard we cannot prepare them for other peoples parenting choices. I am just tired of other parents making excuses for their kids to harassing my kid, calling her names and constantly telling her she is annoying. I am just over it! Today I drove home from my office and just cried the whole way home. I am so sad for RS. A week from now this will blow over and she will again believe that these girls are her friends and then 2 weeks after that I will be having to try to explain to her how this is not what friendship is about. These girls should not treat her this way and she should not be okay with it. I know that she craves friendships so much that she will put up with this. It’s like living that movie, Groundhog Day, the same scenario over and over again.
Some days I really think I have this whole thing under control and then there are days like these last 2 that show me who’s boss. Its going to get better, right? Or will my skin just get thicker?
I can only speak from personal experience, but your daughter will probably end up shaking off those so called ‘friends’, esp since thankfully shes able to talk about it with you so freely and have you tell her the truth, thats really good 🙂
When I was in middle school, I got bullied, or more so then that I’d say ‘isolated’ or ‘left out’ quite alot. But tbh it wasnt a super bad experience. It wasnt perfect, but I learned very quickly to shrug it off, and compared to alot of NT girls I know, I ended up having very string friendships with just a few people, instead of damaging ‘mean girl’ relationships with many girls.
When I first started middle school, I was anxious about meeting people and was quick to cling on to anyone who would talk to me. But within just a few months I had shook off people who werent good for me and became very good friends with people more similar to me, and we’re still fairly good friends now.
In hindsight of my experience, the thing that really helped me through bullying/isolation was my special interests (which were, and still are, comics, japanese animation and video games). I found friends who had similar interests, or who were curious about the things I was interested in. In fact me and my sister converted a handful of kids to anime and manga and got a little group of kids all drawing comics in 8th grade, which was kinda cool! It was the only year I had been ‘popular’ lol
Special interests also helped me feel more relaxed during the many classes where I couldnt hang out with my friends (because most of the friends i had were in a different class). I covered my school books in anime cut outs, kept magazines and anime toys with me, had many anime themed pencil cases. I dunno, having all that stuff around meant I could create my own space on my desk that was my own, and I used it to escape from anxiety.
Outside of school I think was a biiig factor in keeping up my self confidence. From a very early age my Mum took me to conventions, where everyone is into the same thing as you, and tbh 70% of people are just as geeky and awkward as I am! But at cons, everyones so out in the open and proud of who they are, and there are many adults who have already learned to be themselves and be confident. The pride that these adults had ended up being my role model, and after a weekend at a convention I always ended up feeling super happy and confident when I returned to school.
Online communities helped with this too, I ended up going on (back then) forums from age 12 onwards, dedicated to my special interest. I made alot of online friends, and generally went to my online friends for problems or emotional support. This helped my confidence alot too. Outside of school, I had a whole social life and met people just like me, so school ended up not stressing me out so much.
I’m not sure what your daughter’s special interest is of course (if she has one, which she might not?), but maybe like myself, she will find other people in school who have similar interests to her. Or you could find events outside of school related to her interests, or find her safe communities online to take part in that might boost her confidence 🙂