Originally Published: January 1, 2017 5:55 a.m.
Editor’s note: Letters to Rhonda and Dr. Cheri come from around the U.S. via our website and are not necessarily from Prescott.
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
Last year, in middle school, I had three best friends and we did everything together. Except two of my friends started messing around with drugs and my best friend and I didn’t want to.
My best friend must have told her parents because we are back in school now and the other two girls got in trouble over it.
Now they blame me and they are bullying me and getting other girls to be mean to me too. I just want us all to be friends again like we used to be. It’s not that I didn’t like the other girls; I just didn’t want to do drugs.
I’m mad at my best friend for telling on them.
My best friend’s mom decided to home-school her because the other girls said they were going to jump us and beat us up. Plus, her mom reported the threats to the police and told my mom all about it.
My mom got mad at me for not telling her what was going on. She wants to home-school me now, too, because she said I am being bullied and she is tired of seeing me get hurt and crying after school.
I don’t want to be home-schooled. What should I do?
No Home Schooling Please
Dear No Home Schooling Please,
The great news is that you recognize that things changed and you are writing to express your feelings about those changes. Change is hard because it can cause fear. However, change may also cause you to grow into the wonderful woman you CHOOSE to be in your future.
It’s good that you decided to move away from the dangers that two of your former friends started to engage in. The girls who used to be your friends are making different choices than you want to make.
Congratulations for not putting yourself in the harmful way of drugs.
You cannot make them into the “friends” they used to be because they are now bullying you.
Your best friend also made better choices than they did. She may have been trying to help them, and we imagine she could use your friendship now and you may need her kindness also.
Please recognize your best friend has the courage to stand up against drugs and bullying. Ultimately, what she did, will help you, too, if you allow it.
The type of emotional and physical bullying the other girls have thrown at you is harmful and may have life-long effects.
Your mom sees the need to remove you from school in order to protect you and allow you to stop being a victim. Being a victim was not your choice. However, staying a victim is your choice.
Learn to: Define Yourself Before Others Do™ so you may become a strong leader.
You are embarking on what we call the Triangle of Triumph™. It will allow you to move past the victim stage and become a survivor by defining yourself with our five C’s: Civility, Confidence, Courage, Creativity, and strong Carriage. The final stage is to become the good leader you were meant to be.
Turn your fears into excitement by looking at change as a positive thing. You have the power to become whoever you choose to be.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org. Find out more about Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation at www. rhondastopbullying.org.