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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband's Nightmare Attack Leaves Wife Trapped in Fear

DEAR ABBY: A few days ago, my 8-year-old daughter, "Mira," told me that one of her best friends, a girl named "Brittany," was handing out envelopes in class. When Mira asked what Brittany was doing, Brittany told her she was passing out invitations to her birthday party and that my daughter wasn't invited.

I understand that the birthday girl can invite anyone she wants to her party, but this was one of Mira's closest friends. I am also friendly with Brittany's mother. The girl did tell Mira that she is on the "cancellation list" -- and if someone cancels, then she can attend.

My daughter is hurt and confused, and frankly, so am I. This was a huge blow to Mira's self-esteem. I can't understand how Brittany's mother could allow her daughter to do this, knowing full well that the girls are close friends. Mira is the only one in the group who was excluded.

I need your help, Abby. How should I handle this without blowing things out of the water? -- FEELING HER PAIN

DEAR FEELING HER PAIN: It appears that Brittany's mother isn't as much of a friend as you thought she was, or she would not have allowed her daughter to snub your daughter the way she did.

Being put on a cancellation list (a "B" list) is no compliment, and your daughter should not attend that party even if there is a cancellation. My advice is to make a point of doing something special with your daughter on that day so she won't feel so left out. She should also become involved in extracurricular activities where she can meet other children, so she won't be so dependent upon the clique that cliqued her out.