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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl's Old Friends Turn Away When She Returns to School

DEAR ABBY: My daughter has graduated from high school. She had been in a residential treatment program for depression the year and a half prior to returning to this school. Her old friends had promised to be there for her when she returned.

After she was back for three months, her friends stopped inviting her to things and even talked behind her back in a group chat that was started by a different group. The girls' moms knew some of this was going on and did nothing about it. It has been a difficult journey for my daughter as well as for me.

Now that the girls have all graduated, I'm wondering if I should contact any of them or their moms and ask what happened. It was painful for me to watch my daughter go through weekends when her "friends" were out at parties she wasn't invited to. It was heartbreaking when no one came to her holiday or birthday parties. I am wondering if asking the girls/moms for an explanation can help my daughter learn from it. Please let me know what you think. -- MAMA BEAR OUT WEST

DEAR MAMA BEAR: Your daughter has survived high school, and along with it the cruel treatment of the girls who promised to befriend her. For that, I congratulate her.

Teenagers can be so completely centered on themselves that the feelings of others do not exist for them. Also, girls in high school tend to form cliques. Add to that the fact that there is so much misunderstanding about mental illness -- not only among teens but also adults -- and I have a pretty good idea of what happened and so should you.

What life lesson do you think exploring this with the other parents will accomplish for your daughter? Your efforts would be better spent by continuing to emotionally support her and encouraging her to move forward with her life.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Mental Health | Teens | Work & School | Friends & Neighbors