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AIBU?

DD catfished

92 replies

NameChange3045 · 09/06/2017 23:29

Name changed for the safety of my DD. Sorry if it gets long but this isn't a troll, I promise

DD is 17 and a wheelchair user (This will come in later). Her 'best friend' of 5 years has been catfishing DD as a guy for the past two years! DD just came to me about it in tears as she recently clicked. She saw the girl midway through texting as she was coming.

The 'guy' isn't really nice. He acts as if he's a saint if he doesn't get angry for a bit if she has to get away from her phone..really he has a massive go at her for not messaging fast enough if leaving didn't suit him. Then the best friend has a go at her for 'upsetting her brother' and my DD would snap at her and the girls argue only for support staff having to stop them and get them 'back as BFFs'.

It's been daily for 2 months. DD went through and faked it with the friendship anddd also had to spend the time she would usually have alone as a study period with the bff because she decided to bunk lessons because of 'anxiety'.

She thought it was over and done on the last day of school BUT she has to go back in on Monday to edit her BTECs work since her teachers made a mistake with one mandatory unit. After this, she's done for the year. Next is uni and a different one.

She doesn't want to bump into the 'best friend'. Hard not to notice her wheels. They don't share lessons but generally the study spaces or if a friend speaks of her attendance the bff.

DD is naive but a bit vulnerable too and thinks the best of everyone! Bless. Well not now but she's heartbroken, scared and wants no confrontation.. It's heartbreaking... What should she do?

OP posts:
dontpokethebear · 09/06/2017 23:34

What?!

rolopolovolo · 09/06/2017 23:40

So her BFF has been pretending to be her BFF's brother in order to pose as a romantic interest to your DD? Okay.

Sounds trite but the best thing to do is sit down with her and watch Catfish. Find a similar episode and let her watch it. It's a really good examination of why people do it. Neve and Max are super sweet and non judgmental. It really explores why people lie like this.

Your DD needs to understand that it happens to many people. Catfish the tv show is a great way to show this.

DJBaggySmalls · 09/06/2017 23:44

Hugs to your DD. Flowers
She could try using pre-prepared strategies for the day she has to go in. She doesn't have to confront anyone, she can be evasive and non committal. Make up some lines for her to use and practice them at home until she can just say them without feeling anything.

NameChange3045 · 10/06/2017 00:14

Thank you for your messages.

It's really messed up but I've calmed her foen and told her to say that her phone has been broken and that she's not been able to get to a PC because she's been in hospital. That is believable since DD goes to the hospital regulstly and the guy doesn't like that.. If it doesn't suit their timetable.

She really changed in those two years, she's very edgy and unhappy.. I think she's unsure of her feelings now due to this situation.

She's honestly scared because this girl can be very.. 'In your face' when with DD

OP posts:
ParisOnWheels · 10/06/2017 00:14

Is the friend also disabled and are the support workers pushing them together? - I ask because I use a chair and I was pushed into friendships with other disabled people at school because it made it easier for staff, they even went so far as to have an opinion on our teenage spats and as I'm reading your OP I think that's happening here.

If that is the case I think they need to be asked to let things be between the girls and give them space. It's much easier said than done though. And although I've never seen Catfished on TV that sounds like a good idea to watch it.

NameChange3045 · 10/06/2017 00:31

The friend doesn't, my DD is the only wheelchair user in the year but since the girls have been friends since secondary, they've seen them as the bestie couple, you see.

Though the friend does have an invisible disability and mh too so that's why she's in the support area.

The girl tells her to leave though when she gets annoyed that she didn't get DD replying to him even if they were together so she does happily... Only for the friend to return all emotional and blame it on the brother expecting DD to just be okay with it.

OP posts:
Beeziekn33ze · 10/06/2017 00:59

Good that DD will soon be out of this situation. Sure she'll be better able to make good friendships at uni. A nasty experience for her but she has you to support her and help her learn from it.

Italiangreyhound · 10/06/2017 01:02

NameChange3045 does the other girl know your dd has sussed out what is happening?

I wonder if you can get some anonymous advice for your dd from Childline or NSPCC?

I think the advice to watch this programme is good. It is very important your dd knows it is not her fault, she did not do anything wrong, she was not targeted for a reason necessarily but she was unfortunate because this other girl has been behaving in an appalling way.

Because the other girl can be in her face I think it is good advice not to escalate it. Try and encourage your dd to see it as a victory. She won't be talking to this non-friend girl, or her alter ego boy at all anymore. Even if the friend suspects she does have a phone or that she has access to a computer what can she do.

I think the idea of being able to have prepared lines is very important, she needs to have something to say that means she never has to spend any time in this girls presence at all.

If the girl gets in her face your dd could say she needs to go to the loo, and go to a single stall disability access toilet where the girl cannot reach her. Or say you are meeting her or whatever.

I'm so sorry, this girl sounds like a total bitch. I wish she could be punished but I think building up your dd is more important now.

Thanks

TheDevilMadeMeDoIt · 10/06/2017 01:13

If it's happening on school premises, can you bring in the safeguarding tutor? Surely catfishing is a form of bullying and harassment.

Italiangreyhound · 10/06/2017 01:24

OP can you get screen shots and things in case your dd does want to go to the police?

The situation could have been much worse, I am not suggesting you show this to your dd but this is quite a famous case that went very far in the deception.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9982142/Teenage-victim-of-woman-who-pretended-to-be-a-man-speaks-out.html

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-22078298

DirtyChaiLatte · 10/06/2017 01:35

It sounds like bullying behavior from this girl towards your daughter. She's clearly playing nasty mind games.

Maybe you could somehow excuse it if communicating with this 'boy' was making her happy, but it's clearly the opposite.

Your DD can't have much more time left at college, and if she's not keen on any kind of confrontation with this girl then can you have a word with college staff and tell them that your DD is being harassed and bullied by this girl and ask them to have a word with this girl to leave your daughter alone.

She shouldn't have to spend time with any one if she doesn't want to.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat · 10/06/2017 01:46

How long have you known that your daughter was in contact with this "man"? Because if she's been in an abusive online relationship for two years you have bigger problems than this girl. Have you let her be in contact with this awful persona? She sounds very vulnerable and you need to protect her. Explain to this girls mum what's happened, explain to her teachers what's happened and inform them you will be accompanying your daughter for the final piece of work. Sit down with her and watch Catfish as previously advised. Don't let your daughter near this girl again and stop making excuses as to why she hasn't replied to this "guy". Just stop all contact.

kali110 · 10/06/2017 02:19

I dont understand.
She's catfishes her for 2 tears or 2 months?
The guy was supposedly the brother of the best friend?

erinaceus · 10/06/2017 03:21

It's really messed up but I've calmed her foen and told her to say that her phone has been broken and that she's not been able to get to a PC because she's been in hospital. That is believable since DD goes to the hospital regulstly and the guy doesn't like that.. If it doesn't suit their timetable.

The guy is not real. There is no guy to like or not like what your DD does or does not say or do.

I consider it ill-advised to encourage your DD to lie in order to protect her from bullying. Instead, I consider it advisable to block the guy on FB - as pp have said, take screenshots first if you think it would be useful. If you feel minded to then yes, notify the school and/or the police.

Your poor DD Flowers I agree going with her into college could be advisable if your DD is okay with that.

Badweekjustgotworse · 10/06/2017 09:22

Your daughter sounds like vulnerable and her 'friend' sounds controlling and abusive. The advice to watch catfish is good, it'll let your daughter see the abuse for what it is ans help her cuts ties with her friend when she realises she's an abuser.

Is there any way you could get her into counselling for a short while before she goes to uni? If I were her parent I'd want to know that all the demons has been excorsized from this. See needs to understand healthy friendships so won't be basing new friendships she forms in uni on the warped expectations on boundaries and respect left by this experience.

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow · 10/06/2017 09:39

Did the school know about this? (I work in a school and am physically based in the support area, though it's not my role, but have been involved in some very toxic interchanges between students) I know they are leaving, but if they knew before, then it reflects very badly in them.
And do the girl's parents know? It sounds like she has some type of problem to be doing this which needs addressing before it gets more serious.
For your daughter, I'd contact the school, explain and say she doesn't want any drama, just come in, finish her work and leave without any contact. Could this happen in the middle of a lesson so no one is in the corridors?

MissionItsPossible · 10/06/2017 09:45

Hi, this isn't making any sense to me, I would offer you advice but I don't actually understand the story.

The 'guy' isn't really nice. He acts as if he's a saint if he doesn't get angry for a bit if she has to get away from her phone..really he has a massive go at her for not messaging fast enough if leaving didn't suit him. Then the best friend has a go at her for 'upsetting her brother' and my DD would snap at her and the girls argue only for support staff having to stop them and get them 'back as BFFs'. It's been daily for 2 months. DD went through and faked it with the friendship anddd also had to spend the time she would usually have alone as a study period with the bff because she decided to bunk lessons because of 'anxiety'.

Did the best friend pretend that the 'guy' was her brother?

Your daughter faked it with the friendship?

She had to spend the time she would usually have alone with the best friend because the best friend was bunking off?

This isn't making sense to me!!

CaulkheadUpNorf · 10/06/2017 09:50

I was a childline counsellor and would speak to children who had been catfished.

Does you daughter acknowledge that that is what happened? Does the friend know that DD knows?
What does she need to do/know about online relationships before a similar thing playing out at university?
Has she watched catfish?
I would let school know, as they may be about to support both young people.

unfortunateevents · 10/06/2017 09:51

Is there actually a brother at all??!! Or has the "friend" made him up? How did your DD start messaging him in the first place? Sorry, I am finding it really difficult to understand what is going on here.

nostringstoholdmedown · 10/06/2017 09:53

I'm so confused Confused

Why are you telling your dd to lie to a man that doesn't exist? Aren't you worried there's a more sinister reason the friend is pretending to be her own brother?

Also how is she going to uni at 17?

unfortunateevents · 10/06/2017 09:54

Nostring the DD is 17 now, uni starts in September, plenty of time to turn 18 before then.

CaulkheadUpNorf · 10/06/2017 09:58

For those people saying they're confused, there is a documentary called Catfish on Netflix but lots of episodes on YouTube. It's an interesting watch and will help you understand it more.

Italiangreyhound · 10/06/2017 10:03

iwasjust and bad week, excellent advice. I think the dd doesn't want there to be any sort of confrontation, and my advice was based on that. but your advice is better. I think the other girl should be confronted.

Because they are both minors I am not sure what law , if sny, was broken but the school could be informed.

Siwdmae · 10/06/2017 10:03

Surely your dd could get a teacher to confront the girl if she feels unable to? She can't carry on pretending that the boy exists.

dementedpixie · 10/06/2017 10:10

I went to Uni at 16!

Is it 2 years or 2 months as you've mentioned both?

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