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How do I help dd and her (?bisexual) friend?

(33 Posts)
FortyCoats Sat 22-Aug-15 22:57:31

Dd and her friend are both 15yo. They pal as part of a regular, larger group and they all take turns having sleepovers.

One friend in particular is always asking dd about her sexuality, her body etc. When she sleeps over, she's very touchy with dd and, though there's a spare bed in the room, she always wants to sleep with dd, asking to spoon.

I've chatted to dd before about it and explained some nice ways to let her friend know she just wants to be friends which she has done. That's why dd agreed to have her over again tonight, she thought she had got the message. Dd has just come downstairs and asked me what to do. She says her friend is doing the same thing again. Getting ready for bed, she dropped her towel and asked dd what did she think of her boobs.

I really don't want this other girl to be hurt but I also don't want dd feeling uncomfortable.

I need some 'jokey' but 'gets the point across' sentences that dd can use that won't hurt her friend.

She's already told her friend it's cool to be whoever she is and never be worried about what people think so her friend knows dd wouldn't care less if she's bisexual or lesbian.

The only problem is she seems to have a 'thing' for dd and she wants to let her down gently but once and for all.

Any advice much appreciated.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 22-Aug-15 23:01:14

I don't think your DD should have to treat this as a joke.

I'd day to her: "please stop that, you're making me feel uncomfortable" and then change the subject. If also suggest that DD cuts down the sleep-overs. However nice someone is, I'd rather not be harassed in my own home so I wouldn't be minded to invite her. Can't your DD just go out with the friend in a big group?

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Aug-15 23:02:11

I need some 'jokey' but 'gets the point across' sentences that dd can use that won't hurt her friend

No you don't.

You need to tell your DD to tell her friend in no uncertain terms, that they are friends only and that's all they'll ever be....albeit good friends who can rely on each other.

She needs to nip this in the bud now and make it clear that she doesn't fancy her. Just as she no doubt would if this friend was male.

Sansoora Sat 22-Aug-15 23:03:24

Surely thats sexual harassment?

NeedSpeed Sat 22-Aug-15 23:06:09

This is awful. Just imagine if the friend was a boy, would you react this way?

FortyCoats Sat 22-Aug-15 23:08:05

She could but because they all have so many sleepovers, it would be very obvious dd was leaving her out.

I've told her to be blunt but dd is adamant she won't say it straight to her so she needs to make it clear but in a not so blunt way.

She's quite good with boundaries and wouldn't let anyone touch her inappropriately, even this girl, but everything is so subtle.

I don't know what most teen girls are like. I've got dd but they all seem to do the cuddling thing during movies and stuff so dd wouldn't ordinarily mind the close contact if it weren't for the things this girl has said to her.

FortyCoats Sat 22-Aug-15 23:12:20

She'd have no problem telling a boy, even a boy in their group. I honestly don't know what to think or do but I can assure you all, dd is on the ball and tells me everything. I've just come to a point where I don't know the right answer when dd has refused to be blunt.

NomNomDePlum Sat 22-Aug-15 23:24:06

"i'm not into girls" is a perfectly okay statement. so is "i prefer to sleep on my own." it's not doing this kid any favours to let her keep crossing boundaries like this. she will feel like shit about herself later when it dawns on her how inappropriate this behaviour is.

FortyCoats Sat 22-Aug-15 23:33:03

I've read over my op and all your posts and I think I've not really put across what dd wants. I said jokey. Bad choice of word in my part.

I think she can say what you've suggested Nom in the way she wants. I don't want to drip feed. I just hope you can trust that I do know dd and I've done a fine job teaching her boundaries, what to say, etc.

Dd has had a terrible time with bullying which I don't want to talk about as I find it deeply upsetting to relive/recount but I can tell you between myself, DH, extended family and counselling, dd is more than capable of telling someone straight when they do something she's not comfortable with.

The problem is she won't do that with this girl. That's why I'm asking for non-confrontational, friendly ways to make a point without her hurting this girl.

Am I making any sense at all? I understand if I'm not and I'll answer questions if need be. I'm not great at articulating what I mean which is made worse by text rather than face to face.

FortyCoats Sat 22-Aug-15 23:34:45

God, that's sounds so ridiculous - I've done a fine job!

It was meant to read - I've done a good job blush

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Aug-15 23:47:54

You are making sense but...

The problem is she won't do that with this girl (telling someone straight when they do something she's not comfortable with)

Well I think she needs to.

If she can't or doesn't want to (not sure why though?) then she needs to cut out the sleepovers.

RachelZoe Sat 22-Aug-15 23:59:10

Getting ready for bed, she dropped her towel and asked dd what did she think of her boobs

Yuck.

You really shouldn't be having this girl to stay over anymore, she is being hugely inappropriate. If your DD has made it clear already that she is not interested, this girl is sexually harassing her. This situation does call for bluntness, not jokey "let her down gently" lines.

DS had similar with a boy at school, he was into DS, DS wasn't into it and said so, all ok and the world went on, they remained friends etc. That is a normal response. If he had continued to persist, and asked to be getting into bed with him, asking what he thinks of this or that, I, and DS, would have been quite concerned to say the least. Also if one of my DS's was doing what this girl is, I would hit the roof.

AyeAmarok Sun 23-Aug-15 00:18:10

OP it sounds like this friend is coming dangerously choose to bullying your DD too, just maybe not in a way you or your DD recognise.

FortyCoats Sun 23-Aug-15 00:30:31

Thanks for coming back Worra. I do understand, honestly, I'm just not sure I know how to explain why dd is the way she is. She's a gentle girl. Polite to a fault and we've worked hard, her too, to teach her assertiveness, self-governance and autonomy. She's found her voice finally but it takes something obvious, glaring for her to take a stand.

There was a time we were terrified she'd take her own life. As a young girl she has shown strength and determination beyond her years. A resilience I feared she didn't have, in the midst of everything that happened. I still panic when I hear a loud bang upstairs. Every day is a step forward but it's also a battle for her.

Because of everything that happened, I shielded her more. I fought her battles. I got the police. I threatened parents. I cried with her, utterly lost and hopeless. Only my own counselling pulled me back and made me see how I smothered her. Protection is not always the best strategy.

As advised by my key worker, I have to be careful and find a balance between guiding her and giving her freedom to handle uncomfortable situations. The problem I have tonight is that, I feel dd is not handling this well and all I want to do is make her decisions for her and say her words for her but I know where that'll lead us.

She'll pull back. Tell me I don't understand and stop talking to me for a while (her own key worker told her she could ask my advice but it was okay to do what she felt best hmm) I'm pretty sure that was the wrong thing to tell her because now dd will give me a list of reasons why she thinks her way is better but thanks for the advice. I'm not making this up.

I've probably made her (and me) sound very weak and I'll-informed but we're trying out best.

I think I'll tell her to say something like "hey, let's be serious for a minute. You're a great friend but you're being a bit full on and its beginning to get to me. Just some things you say or do make me feel like you think we might like eachother and that's not me - I like boys". Smiley face, it's no big deal, that's out of the way, let's make popcorn.

How's that?

FortyCoats Sun 23-Aug-15 00:37:29

Okay, I've just read the last two posts and now I'm really starting to wobble sad

I won't be able to get the counsellor on the phone until Monday.

I think I'll call dd down and just tell her to be blunt. They're laughing their heads off up there now. I doubt she'll want to bring it up again but maybe she could have something ready to say if anything else makes her feel uncomfortable? She's already made up the spare bed and told her pal she wants to sleep alone because she has her period so that's that part sorted.

BertieBotts Sun 23-Aug-15 00:41:48

Honestly she needs to be blunt. I was the teenager who had a crush on my best friend and in hindsight I was really clumsy and pushy about it because I just had no idea how to handle these feelings, which were really overwhelming, that nobody was talking about or explaining and there was that weird thing that girls tend to be cuddly and touchy with each other, so I just had NO idea where the boundaries should have been and became almost obsessed with the idea of being together with my friend. I ended up really alienating her and making her so uncomfortable that it completely destroyed the friendship, and we'd been best friends. I still miss her, we haven't spoken in ten years. But I know it was my fault (now).

I am really horrified now when I look back on my behaviour, and totally understand why my friend was uncomfortable and feel horrible about it, but at the time I honestly did not know that I was doing anything bad or wrong. And in part - not that it was my friend's fault because I was the one in the wrong - but in part because my friend was so lovely and did not want to hurt my feelings so she kept making jokey comments. In fact by the time it got to "Look, I'm not interested in ANY girls and will never be" even that wasn't really enough because I'd got into this mindset where she'd say she wasn't interested but then continue to be friendly and cuddly etc with me and I'd think there might be a chance she would change her mind. When we fell out and another friend said "Well yeah, you were really horrible to her" I was really confused because I didn't know what I had done.

If your DD can't speak to her, could you have a word with her mum maybe and get her to talk about boundaries and about hearing no and understanding it, about having feelings which aren't always reciprocated. Or even just take her to one side yourself and lay out clearly that your DD is not interested and (doing X, Y or Z) is not okay, that you think she's a lovely girl and you really value hers and DD's friendship but that there needs to be some rules. In hindsight perhaps it should have been obvious but it really wasn't. The rules were clearer with boys. (Though I still thought it normal for boys to press and press and press for a relationship if there was any doubt) There was no discussion of same sex relationships at all really apart from to say that it's fine if you are gay, and no discussion of consent apart from talking about being ready or not.

BertieBotts Sun 23-Aug-15 00:44:24

Xposted and your sample sentence is perfect.

I don't think that she has to say it right now. It can be whenever - just don't leave it years is all I meant.

Sorry if my post worried you also sad

BertieBotts Sun 23-Aug-15 00:47:45

I wouldn't call her down now - I think it will make her feel awkward.

cakedup Sun 23-Aug-15 00:54:53

Are you sure this girl has a thing for your DD?

One friend in particular is always asking dd about her sexuality, her body etc. When she sleeps over, she's very touchy with dd and, though there's a spare bed in the room, she always wants to sleep with dd, asking to spoon.

Getting ready for bed, she dropped her towel and asked dd what did she think of her boobs.

It sounds like normal 13 year old behaviour to me, or at most she sounds like a very open girl. Teens talk about their bodies, sexuality etc. Teen girls do tend to be very touchy feely. I remember sleeping in spoon position with my friends, my sister and my cousin too. Asking a friend what they thought of their boobs seems reasonable to me too! But I understand the point is your DD is uncomfortable with it. I'm just saying that unless you're 100% sure that this girl has a crush on your DD, it might not be best to accuse her of such.

FortyCoats Sun 23-Aug-15 01:15:22

Thank you so much Bertie for sharing your experience. I think you've hit the nail on the head actually. Dd doesn't know what it's like to question her sexuality, worry about it or be confused about it but she does know what it's like to hurt. To feel rejected in the most awful way. To wonder why she just couldn't be like everyone else or why more people couldn't be like her. I think she's so tuned into emotions as a hypersensitive soul, that the thought of making her friend upset is awful to her. She's trying to be nice but, like you and pps have said, it's not doing her pal any good. That's something else I'm going to explain to dd.

Whilst they are no blurred lines with boys, I think she's been thrown by it being a girl and also her friend. The whole touchy/feely thing is something they all seem to do, like you said, so she doesn't want to isolate her friend. its trying to get her to see that unwanted sexual behaviour is not okay, boy or girl.

I needed to hear someone say, the line I proposed was okay because I think she'll say it if she can say it in a "look, this is the story..." and be to the point but friendly about it.

They're still giggling upstairs so I'm going to leave them to it and have a chat with dd tomorrow when her pal goes home.

I hope I don't make a balls of it sad

I realise this post is all over the place. A true reflection of my thoughts!

Thank you all for your advice smile

Bertie, I think you're being a little hard on yourself. I understand that you understand what happened and how it went wrong with your friend but you were just a kid. I hope, despite your lost friendship, you're happy in yourself and loving life x

BertieBotts Sun 23-Aug-15 01:26:38

Yes I am smile Thanks for thinking of me. I regret what I did but I was young and I hope that such things can be moved on from. I have not and am now unlikely to ever have a relationship with a woman as it happens because I never met anybody else that I had that same connection with, and I am now married to a man. FWIW I still get really intense crushes but I now understand how to handle them. That took me until..... oh.... 24?? A long time when you are trying to figure it out on your own.

I think that your sentence you've prepared for DD to explain things is perfect. Even if the girl doesn't have a crush then it puts the point across that some things are making your DD uncomfortable, and if she does then it makes it clear. It's not accusatory, it's not even confrontational, but it puts a clear message across.

FortyCoats Sun 23-Aug-15 01:33:56

Hi Caked

I did consider it when dd mentioned it first. She had no friends for a very long time and missed out on the schoolyard education girls give eachother. I wondered if dd, being an only child and with her particular circumstances, she was 'reading' the situation wrong but ultimately, she felt uncomfortable so I advised, subtle ways (regretting that now!) to deflect the attention/behaviour.

More recently however, the questions asked are explicit (I'm not going to go into detail) and dd feels they're very intrusive questions with a slightly flirty tone.

I'm positive she's not 'getting the wrong end of the stick'.

Hopefully, after I read over the replies here again tomorrow, I'll have a good chat with dd and she'll feel more empowered to say what she needs to.

Just want to say also, in case anyone is worried about dd. There's nothing to worry about tonight. Dd would be into me in a shot if anything untoward happened and whilst I know her pals actions/words haven't always been appropriate, she's a good kid just trying to find her identity and her way in a crazy, not-so-liberal world.

I want the best for both girls. That might sound like I'm not putting dd first. I can only hope I've said enough, made sense somehow, that I love dd with every inch of my being but I'm conscious both these girls have to grow to adulthood, happy in their own skin and minds. Like dd, I don't want to embarrass or shame a young girl any more than I want to let my dd down.

Goodnight all and thanks again.

RachelZoe Sun 23-Aug-15 01:54:46

she's a good kid just trying to find her identity and her way in a crazy, not-so-liberal world.

No she isn't, she is being borderline predatory, don't excuse her. Like I said in my pp, my DS's gay friend cracked on to him, tried to kiss him at a party, DS said no gently and friend backed down. This girl has persistently done this.So far from normal. I know other LGBT kids who would also not behave like this, her sexuality is not a free pass.

I want the best for both girls. That might sound like I'm not putting dd first. I can only hope I've said enough, made sense somehow, that I love dd with every inch of my being but I'm conscious both these girls have to grow to adulthood, happy in their own skin and minds. Like dd, I don't want to embarrass or shame a young girl any more than I want to let my dd down.

You really do sound so lovely, both you and your daughter are clearly very kind and sensitive people and that is wonderful (to an extent), but this girl is not your problem. I find that very sensitive people often end up "setting themselves on fire to keep others warm". Put yourselves first. Your DD is not the sounding board for this girl sorting out her issues.

Whatever happens, I hope it's all ok, you really do sound very kind and thoughtful smile flowers, I hope your DD also continues to recovery from her bullying, we are coming out the other side of one of my boys bullying, it's so hard to watch. Hugs.

scatterthenuns Sun 23-Aug-15 19:57:30

You wouldn't need jokey retorts if this was a teenage boy flashing his penis. The girl should be treated exactly the same.

She's being sexually predatory.

FortyCoats Mon 24-Aug-15 00:11:47

Dd had her say before I even got a chance to talk to her today. Apparently, they were awake until all hours and dd just came out with it in the middle of a random conversation.

Her pal said she didn't realise she was being inappropriate or making dd feel uncomfortable (dd said weirded out). She's had similar conversations with her other friends and nobody had felt the way dd has. She said everybody talks about all the stuff she's talked to dd about. She said showing her boobs was because she thinks one is bigger than the other and she didn't think dd would see anything weird in it because they're both girl and people see eachother naked in the swimming club changing rooms all the time and nobody is bothered.

Dd asked her was she bisexual because she seemed flirty with her (dd used different words but I can't remember exactly how she said it). Her pal said she didn't know but she'd never want to be with dd. She said that would be weird because they're friends.

I asked about the general mood during the conversation and she said they were laughing and there was a lot of "OMG, I can't believe you thought..." and "OMG, I couldn't believe you showed me your (insert teenage word for breasts)..."

Dd seems fine. They both seemed in good form today and acting as normal so I'm happy enough BUT I'd like to know if any of you think there's anything else to worry about?

I wasn't overly concerned last night until I read some of your replies so I'm kind of doubting myself. My thinking is, it was crossed lines all over the place but even if it wasn't and the pal realised dd wasn't happy, it's definitely solved now.

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