Mum Liz and Sophie, aged 13 beat being bullied:
The change in Sophie was gradual and I feel really bad now that I didn’t spot what was going on much earlier.
When I look back the signs were definitely there. She changed so much. She became downright horrible to me and to her younger sister.
Now, I am not surprised that she took it out on us, but back then I was. She has always been a caring and kind child and her behaviour was so unlike her normal self.
But whenever I asked, she brushed me off and I thought it was just part of normal adolescence.
One day she came home sobbing and it all spilled out – the months of abuse she had endured. It was awful and I was devastated I had not been able to protect her.
She had been caught in some sort of power play amongst her friendship group led by a newcomer who was probably jostling for position.”
After my WayForward talk with Liz, I recommended that Sophie start at a level 1 as she had been a happy and content child prior to the bullying.
Sophie and I first worked on the shock she felt at being bullied. It had been so sudden and unexpected and part of the problem was that the shock had rendered her defenceless and speechless.
The next piece of work was for Sophie to love and accept herself again, even the part of her that the bullies picked on.
After that we needed to make sure that Sophie felt safe being herself in the world and we had to do some work on the betrayal she felt at the behaviours of some of her close friends.
Liz, 2 months after Sophie’s completion of the Pathway:
It is like being given the old Sophie back with bells on. She is her old loving and caring self but she is somehow wiser and kinder.
She is friends with all the girls again but I have also been surprised and delighted to notice that she has made new friends from her different activities.”