Woman Wants to Kick a Friend Out of Her Life: “Didn’t Tell Me About the Boys Who Bully My Son”

“Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words, or more subtle actions. The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to ’cause’ the bullying,” according to the American Psychological Association.

APA further shared the following information regarding students who are targets of bullying:

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  • Victims are often “members of historically marginalized groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community, and children with different abilities.”
  • Victims can become less involved in school, which may impact their academic performance and relationship with other people. They may even inflict harm on themselves.
  • Victims may adopt self-protection behaviors, like defending themselves against the bully and avoiding normal activities during break time. In the case of cyberbullying, they may take revenge by resorting to the same means.
  • Cyberbullying issues threats with notifications, making the victims feel that they are close by.
  • Teachers and professionals in the school must support victims of bullying.
  • Victims must be motivated to report bullying to people they trust.
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You can empathize with this mother and her pain after discovering that her young child was being bullied at school. And yet, something else happened that made her heartache more excruciating.

This is this mom’s story, as told on Mumsnet under the username MrTiddlesTheCat: “My DS is 6 and has autism. He can talk but mostly doesn’t. He goes to mainstream school. A few weeks ago, another parent approached me in the carpark and told me that she had had to intervene when passing through the playground earlier, as a group of much older boys were intimidating my DS. She said he looked absolutely terrified, and she thought I should know.”

OP talked with her son and learned the truth after a lot of coaxing. For months, a group of big boys have been bullying him by name-calling, pushing, and kicking. OP felt so furious at the kids who were maltreating and abusing her son. She was also angry with the school for missing it all. And she did feel angry with herself for not noticing what was happening earlier.

Photo: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov

But things felt even worse as OP wrote, “I met up with a friend yesterday who I haven’t seen for a while, and I told her about DS and how awful it had all been. And she bloody well already knew. I was so stunned that it didn’t really register what she was saying until I got home. Her DS is in the same class as these big boys and had been telling her all along what was happening to my little boy. But she never said anything.”

OP didn’t know if it was misplaced anger, but she felt betrayed by her long-time friend. She has known all along about her DS getting bullied, but she never said a word or did anything about it.

Now, OP wants to know if she is being unreasonable for thinking that this woman is not a real friend?

Here are comments that are worth pondering about after quite a number of people wrote that her long-time friend may have presumed that she already knew about the situation prior to their conversation:

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From turnthetoiletpaperroundproperly, “I would feel so let down by your friend. Even if she thought you knew, she has offered you no support. I understand you must feel very upset and hurt; it would take me some considerable time to get over this. The only mitigating thing I could see if I looked hard enough is that this isn’t your friends fault; the initial problem is from the bullying. However, I would take it badly, with her lack of support, I wouldn’t be able to feel anything but let down. I hope you get your son sorted out soon and he can be happy and content at school. I would take a breather from friend and just focus on your son, the rest will either sort itself out with friend or not. Awful situation for you and your family to deal with.”

From Roussette: “She’s no friend. The first thing I would do if my son told me about ones in his class doing this to your son… would be to ring you up and say… is XXXX ok? I’ve heard that he is being picked on. Is there anything I can do, how can I help you or him?”

From BellePeppa: “I don’t agree with posters on here giving your friend a pass by assuming she thought you knew! I’d be telling my friend immediately when I found out, and I’d be furious and upset for my friend’s child. She’s let you down big time in my opinion.”

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