Life Lately

Hi friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that your year is off to a beautiful start.

Usually when I’m away on break I am flooded with ideas to share upon my return, but for the first time ever, that isn’t the case. To be honest I am having a bout of bloggers block, and the more I’ve tried just get over it the more it persists. I’m hoping that just the acknowledgment of it and what life has been like for me over the past few weeks will clear things up, and I’ll be back on track again soon. But until that happens, I apologize if posts here are a little sparse or a bit more on the nitty-gritty and not the pretty-pretty side that I’m sure most of us would prefer. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

So I left you back in December with a hasty mention of a “family crisis,” and while I won’t go into every detail for the sake of privacy, I do want to share a little bit with you about what has been going on.

To keep it brief…my daughter was once again the target of bullying. Unfortunately this time it was far more serious and came very close to having deadly repercussions. This time around social media was used to spread the pain far more quickly and involve many more people than “traditional” bullying that she’s dealt with in the past. Being a teenager is difficult enough, and my daughter and I were already working on building up her self-esteem and facing her struggles with depression when this whole thing exploded. It seemed like things went from day to night in a split second. A former trusted friend of my daughter’s created rumors to infest the internet with, they caught like wildfire, and my daughter’s mental health plummeted. 

The details of what happened are all very personal and painful, so I won’t elaborate on the specifics more right now other than to say that I have never been more terrified in my entire life. I thought that dealing with my own past depression would be the worst thing I would ever have to deal with, but I was so horribly wrong. Facing and trying to figure out how to help a loved one survive it is so much worse.

I’ve been too busy worrying about my daughter (and not sleeping much either) to think of much else (hense the lack of cheery blog posts). The initial crisis has thankfully subsided (we’ve been doing a lot of things to distract away from the situation – see photo above), but the effects of what happened won’t be so easily erased. Since the main perpetrators involved were the only friends my daughter felt safe with at her school (and I’ve since learned even more (sadistic) traits about one of those students that leaves me feeling that my daughter would not ever be safe around them), I have made the difficult decision (and she has begged me) to not send her back to her school. My daughter’s mental health and safety needs will always trump any scholastic ones.

Now that the immediate crisis has been contained to a manageable level we have begun making plans for what the future will look like. A lot of it is unknown. For the time being my daughter will be schooling at home with me. I was home schooled quite a bit during my formative years, and while it wasn’t always the best solution for me, and may not be for my daughter (that is yet to be determined)…at least I know that she will be safe. To fill the remainder of the year, I’ve started looking into online programs and in-person tutoring options as well, so if any of you have recommendations (or places I should steer clear of) I would greatly appreciate anything you have to share.

A few weeks out of this crisis I am feeling anxious but tentatively hopeful. I am trying not blame myself…it’s always so easy to find blame in oneself if you start to look for it. I keep asking myself, why my kid? Why is she so often the victim of bullying? Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? The questions keep coming with few answers…so I am trying not to ask them. I am instead trying to focus on the positive and keep moving forward in a direction that is healthy for both my daughter and myself. It won’t be simple or easy, but I know it’s the right thing.

If you made it to the bottom of this post, thank you for reading. I promise to be back to sharing more traditional Creature Comforts content soon. Until then…xox Ez

P.S. The photo above was taken by my daughter during the distractionary (that’s a word, right) road trip we took to Dallas, TX a little over a week ago. It captures us at our goofy best, makes me feel hopeful, and might be my favorite photo of all time (regardless of how dorky I look).

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239 Comments

  1. Brandy / / Reply

    Oh man – that totally stinks. I hope your daughter the best, I think we've all gone through some bullying, but it hurts worst when it's someone you trust. Just know there are good people out there. Good luck making it through and thanks for sharing – people need to be aware of this (in addition to all the fun stuff you normally post).

  2. Kristin Heal / / Reply

    You are such a wonderful mother. I would take my daughter out of school as well if I was you. That would be too painful have to see the people you thought you could trust. You will get through it! You are such a wonderful mother!

  3. Abby / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through but so thankful that you continue to share! My little sister does online schooling through http://www.k12.com/ and is really enjoying herself. Best of luck to you & your family!

  4. lauren / / Reply

    Depression sucks, I've dealt with it and have had numerous family and friends struggle with it as well, best wishes for the two of you. Also, I think penelope trunk's blog: http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/ contains a lot of helpful information about homeschooling. When done right, your daughter will not only be safe from bullies, but can also thrive intellectually. Good luck.

  5. eliza / / Reply

    yikes. i'm sorry you guys are going through that. i went through a few very tough years in high school and all i know for sure is that it gets better. college saved my life. good luck. i'm sending happy thoughts from hollywood.

  6. Angie / / Reply

    Parenting is just plain ole hard. We are all doing the best we can possibly do. I think being there for your daughter and showing her that you are listening to her (as you obviously are doing) is the best thing at all times. You both are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Erica / / Reply

    Of course I made it to the bottom of this post. It really pulled at my heart strings. I'm so sorry to hear about this situation. It saddens me so much that people can be so cruel. And for what reason??!!

    Here's to homeschooling in a more positive enviroment and moving past the negative and into a better place. Thinking of you guys.

  8. Ez / / Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind and supportive comments Brandy, Kristin and Abby! I will definitely be taking at look at the k-12 program. Thank you for your positive recommendation Abby! xo Ez

  9. angelique / / Reply

    Gorgeous pic of you two. things will get better & when they do, we will all still be here following you because we cant imagine life without your inspiration xox

  10. Catharina / / Reply

    I am a lurker who enjoys your blog (and instagram photos) so much. But I decided I needed to come out of hiding just to let you know that I am rooting for your daughter. Know that there is a complete stranger on the other side of the ocean sending you positive thoughts and crossing their fingers that everything will just keep on getting better from here on out. All the best to both of you.

  11. toytulip / / Reply

    I wish all the best to you and your beautiful daughter! Thank you for sharing this with all of us! I think it's important that bullying does no longer remain on the tabu side and that people speak openly when it occurs! Have a wonderful New Year! :)

  12. Jenny / / Reply

    Oh my gosh Ez, this post made my blood run cold. What an upsetting situation, I think taking her out of school was the best thing. The social media/internet aspect of bullying is terrifying. What is wrong with people? Look my girl is just 4 and in preschool and I already see the "mean girl" thing and it's horrifying. Here's to better days and positivity. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. Thessaly / / Reply

    Ugh, I don't understand why kids have to be so terrible to each other. I don't know if you listen to Amanda Palmer at all but she recently had a great post on cyber bullying and the comments section is just an amazing outpouring of stories and support. http://www.amandapalmer.net/blog/2013010/

    I honestly think that bullies pick up on kindness, intellect, and anything at all that makes you look weak or different. You haven't done anything wrong, and neither has your daughter!

  14. ann / / Reply

    I almost never comment on blogs, but I wanted to leave you my hope and wish for a wonderful new year for you and your daughter. Thank you for your honesty.

  15. Marina / / Reply

    I remember seeing this picture of you on Instagram and thinking, they are having so much fun! You and your daughter deserve to be happy and I hope you soon find your balance again soon,
    All the best in this new year,

  16. dervla @ The Curator / / Reply

    Hi EZ, i'm so sorry to hear of these issues. I never understand why/how children can be so cruel. What does it gain for them? So upsetting. Anyway, don't worry about us, we'll be here waiting for you. Take your time, take care of yourself and your daughter. I'm thinking about you guys. Trust your instincts. you're a wonderful mother.

  17. Whitney / / Reply

    Hey, I'm so sorry to read a bit of what you are going through. Just a few years ago, I graduated high school from UNL Independent High School. My parents were at first hesitant, but after seeing me cry day after day headed to public high school, they made the decision that it would be best for me to study from home. UNL is all online. Since then, I graduated a year early from high school and a year early from college. I have been lucky enough to work with girls struggling with similar things that I did in high school and a few of them have joined UNL and love it! I would recommend it!

  18. Kate / / Reply

    I'm SO SO sad to hear about your daughter Ez and want you to know that this is certainly not your fault. I was tormented by my "friends" in middle school as well… bullied, kicked out of my group, vicious rumors spread about me… the works. Multiple days I'd come home from school and cry that I'd never have any friends. 15 years later I have a core group of friends I consider part of my family. Growing up is tough enough without the added stress of bullies and the bullshit of their insecurities. I wish the very best to you and your daughter that things get better very soon. Things DO get better and they will. All my love to you both.

  19. L / / Reply

    That is so hard, I'm sorry to hear it. I went through a similar hell (depression AND bullying) so I really am sorry. For what it's worth, even though you're worrying about doing the right thing, the fact that you're in tune enough to know and have your priorities ordered in such a way that you really care are two HUGE things you're doing right already. My parents didn't notice/didn't care and it would've made a world of difference I think. So know that. Good luck, I wish you both the best.

  20. sam b. / / Reply

    I'm a teacher, and have been for eleven years, and I can tell you that bullying has gotten so much worse even during just my short time as an educator. Smart phones and Facebook have made dealing with it an absolute nightmare, and the kids are always reeling from the attacks. I'm just sick for your daughter, and so grateful you found out and are doing what you know is best for her right now. I hope things get better soon!

  21. Moorea Seal / / Reply

    I SO understand this. My youngest sister is 17 and has had to switch schools every year of high school because of bullying both at school and through facebook. People can be vicious, teens can be vicious. And teens hearts are just so raw in high school, it can hit so hard. Honestly, the bullying has not just hit my sister so hard that she has attempted suicide a few times but it has crushed my dad. For a long period of time, my sister just became enveloped by all of the horrible things haunting her and that hit my family so hard in such a sad and negative way. She always hit her lowest points and was tormented the deepest when each of us in our family just really needed a moment to have our own separate lives. We needed to breathe. But we couldn't because we knew we needed to keep her going. It is so hard giving up so much of yourself to take care of and save another, but ultimately it is worth the sacrifice. My sister is finally, after 4 tormented years, at a place where she seems pretty stable. But her grades are so low we don't know if she will graduated high school. She is incredibly intelligent but there is something inside of her that has given up on school.

    I hope with all my heart that home schooling not only brings peace and comfort for your daughter but reminds her that she is in control of her own life, she is the one who holds the greatest power in her life, she HAS the will and the strength to power on, to take control of her emotions, her life, her mind, to push to whatever goals and dreams she may have. I hope that she is constantly reminded that she has a safe space, and safe home, respect, trust and love with you, her mama. Bullying to me is just pure torture. And I hope and pray your daughter is freed from that with home schooling. It was hard to get my sister to get off facebook, the place that ended up being the biggest center of bullying for her. But I hope that your daughter can take her own actions to get away from the centers of hate and hurt that are haunting her. She deserves the best, the greatest lightness, release, freedom, happiness, joy, love and peace. And I believe it will come. From a daughter who has seen her father's heart completely broken and beaten down because of the bullying his daughter experienced, you are NOT ALONE. You are a source of power and love and you are making all the right choices that you can at this moment in time. I believe in you and support you and you will both make it through. <3
    SO much love from a sister who has been there, from a sister who has talked her baby sister down from committing suicide multiple times, this too shall pass. You are a rock and your daughter will see that and be thankful for that for the rest of her life.
    xo Moorea

  22. Karen / / Reply

    My heart cries for both of you. My daughter was bullied extensively through high school. It was the hardest time of my life and hers. We made it through and she did finally find a group of kids who accepted her for who she is. She has mild autism, but there is nothing mild about this disorder. While she functions in daily life she has social issues that became the brunt of the bullying.

    Pulling her from her school is a good idea, also think about closing down facebook/social media at least in her real name and starting up fresh once she has made new friends. Keep you chins up, this to shall pass and as long as she knows she is loved she will make it through.

  23. beth / / Reply

    thank you so so much for sharing. i cannot begin to imagine how difficult it must be for you as a mother to witness your daughter suffering from demons that you have been so familiar with yourself. This photo you posted is stunning and captures you and your daughter in such a raw and beautiful moment. I believe that your daughter will grow up to be a confident, creative and strong woman. Good luck on your journey of unschooling/homeschooling moving foward. Brilliance will come out of this darkness.

    b.

  24. CitricSugar / / Reply

    Thank you for your honesty. I was bullied as a kid, I have dealt with depression most of my life, and now I'm a high school teacher so I identify with this post on sadly on too many levels. While we do our best to keep them safe and secure in the class, we can't seem to do enough. Above all, I try to teach my students empathy and how to a human being, and most of the time, they are, but it's still too frequently that they turn to cruelty to deal with their own pain or selfishness. I worry about the kinds of adults they'll be…

    I wish you and your daughter all the strength I can send you. We try to teach kids resiliency but it's difficult to teach them to bounce back when they are constantly being kicked. I'm also wishing you peace, which is a tough commodity to find these days. I hope you both remember that love is louder than hatefulness and cruelty. My love to you both!

  25. heather / / Reply

    my heart truly goes out to you! i have a 16 year old daughter(as well as a younger one)and while we too have dealt with bullying, it has not been to the level i imagine you've dealt with. our situation also lead to homeschooling(though we'd previously used this option, so it wasn't such a leap). i believe that homeschooling has been the best thing i've done for her- with almost :) total certainty…maybe along with a mutual decision to forgo facebook. we've used susan wise bauer's well trained mind as a guide for years now and i love it. it gives lots of options- but not too many- and why they feel they are the best options out there. there is a lot a independent direction and choice and allowing for tailoring to the student. best wishes to you both. this photo drew me in, bc i know how important a moment like that is for mother and daughter! you were made for each other and she needs you more than any other social situation! love to you!

  26. season / / Reply

    how completely terrible for you and your daughter… there was a vicious circle of girls i grew up with which made it their business to constantly cycle through which of the girls was the castout for a week or whatever, for the stupidest and most petty of reasons — having a scapegoat for the majority's nastiness seemed to make the majority feel better about themselves, feel included, powerful, and important. when, after having endured all the rudeness, teasing, rumor-spreading, ignoring, etc., the rejected girl was re-included as another girl was cast out, she was so grateful to be back "in" that it only perpetuated the cycle. i survived it, somehow (they were the only girls my age in my neighborhood, so it was either join them or go it alone, which i was too weak to do at the time), and i completely empathize with the pain you and your daughter are wading through. take heart, though: there is an end to the dark dark tunnel, and with you and your daughter working together and supporting and loving each other, you'll both emerge and know better what your best selves are and how to live your best lives (read: by recognizing and shedding associations with such negative people). my own mom helped me through those difficult years (even when i resisted and fought and lashed out), and now we've the best mother-daughter relationship of anyone i can think of. :)

    sending you ever so much light and love…
    season

  27. Lindsay / / Reply

    thank you for sharing your guts.
    your girl is lucky to have you.
    hopefully sunny skies are straight ahead – for the both of you.
    love, lindsay

  28. Kelli Murray / / Reply

    Oh it pains me to read this. I'm so sorry you and your daughter have had to go through so much. Prayers for you and your family!
    Stay strong, Kelli

  29. janet / / Reply

    Just wanted to post and say I am thinking about you. And hope both you and your daughter find some peace and some movement forward amidst the crap. xo

  30. Mariah / / Reply

    Wow, I am so sorry to read this.. Like someone above said, this really pulled at my heart strings too. I love reading your blog every morning, and I follow you on Instagram too. Although I do not know you Ez, I strongly, strongly admire that honesty. It is so brave to put such a personal thing out for the world to see. Bullying to the extent you are speaking of is out of control. I truly feel for your daughter. She is so lucky to have a mother that is really listening to her. She will know some day, that it is about those other girls, that they have issues and that they are the ones suffering, not her. It is a hard lesson that I have had to learn at 24. I wish you both the best in the new year.

  31. Erika / / Reply

    You are a great mother!!! Stop looking for someone or something to blame, let alone yourself! Just accept that it happened and leave it behind. Sometimes (most of the time) we don't need to understand the reason why, right then and there, when negative things happen. Let it go, and move on! I am absolutely sure you are a wonderful mom and your daughter needs you to be there for her, which you are one hundred percent! And the fact that you two have each other in this situation is everything you really need! To be there for one another! So look ahead, don't look back! The solution is in the present moment!
    I am sending smiles and hugs your way! Keep you head up, and despite not being able to see the end of the tunnel, you will get out of it! I absolutely know you will, just believe it wholeheartedly! :)
    xx,
    Erika

  32. amber / / Reply

    I have been wondering about how things were going with you and your family. So sorry to hear about this situation with your daughter! I am originally from Oklahoma, and a trip to Dallas always sounded exciting. :) And now I live there (in the suburbs). I hope your time away was a good time for you both and that this is just the beginning of bright hope and new possibilities. Homeschooling and working from home together sounds like really good mother-daughter time! And good healing time. Even good educational time–she can study what she needs to study but also do more of what she is interested in. Wishing you the best and praying for healing. xo

  33. Heather O. / / Reply

    Hugs and good vibes to you, your daughter, and the rest of your family. Your daughter is so lucky to have a mom that supports her very best interests. Wishing you all the best as this new chapter for you both begins. xoxo

  34. Cyd / / Reply

    Sending huge hugs to you both! I have nieces who around your daughter's age (12 and 15) and it really amazes me the things they face these days that I feel we never did as kids. Bullying, peer pressure, very adult temptations that I don't remember in my days of watching chick flicks and tying complicated braids at sleepovers with my girlfriends. And the sad truth is, the influx of social media and technology really hasn't helped the situation, even though it's the very advent of these things that has allowed so many of us to chase our dreams. The irony isn't lost on me as I'm sure it's not for you either. At any rate, I'm sure my rambling doesn't serve much of a purpose, but I hope you know that we're all pulling for you and your family. Your daughter certainly deserves all the happiness in the world and she's lucky to have you help her find it!

  35. Dana / / Reply

    This saddens me so much! Since becoming a teen librarian I see the effects of bullying every day. We've had to deal with the Facebook death threats and group bulling within the library. While I do everything I can to create a safe environment for all teens in my library, I know that it still happens at school, on the bus, on the streets. Teens are vicious. Do what you have to do to get your precious girl through this hard time.

  36. the rebel / / Reply

    My heart just ached when I read this. I'm emailing some love your way. You ladies are just too beautiful for words. This picture needs to go great big canvas. Perfect

    xo-the Rebel

  37. Cindy / / Reply

    this is just the worst. being a teenager is so tough and I hate that your daughter is suffering, Ez. wishing you both the best!!

  38. Khali / / Reply

    Ez, I am so sorry to hear what you and your daughter have both been through. Although it may not seem like it now, I'm sure your daughter will come out the other side of these experiences a much stronger and compassionate person; two traits that are invaluable for a fulfilling adult life.
    Don't worry about the blog or your readers at this time, we'll all be here when you have the time to focus on work. Right now there's nothing more important than you and your daughter.

  39. Laura / / Reply

    Wow, I too very rarely comment on blogs, but have to applaud you for your honesty, strength and courage in how you're dealing with this with your daughter and through your blog. May it be truly onwards and upwards for you and your daughter in 2013…

  40. Kate Murray / / Reply

    Hi Ez,
    I've been eagerly awaiting the return of your blog posts, and was excited when I woke up to a new post this morning!
    I'm so sorry to hear you are having a difficult time, I hope that the new year brings a fresh start and happier times.
    Take care, Kate (Brisbane, Australia)

  41. erinkathleen / / Reply

    So many of us stop in here for the daily infusion of beauty, but this post reminds me that I stop here for honesty as well. Thank you for sharing with us. Best wishes for your daughter, and for you. She has a wonderful, caring mother and a good role model. Don't underestimate that power.

  42. Emily K / / Reply

    I have been thinking of you and your daughter, and I sincerely hope that you both are able to find a solution that makes you both feel comfortable and confident. I was picked on in gradeschool, but thankfully it never escalated to such serious levels. And social media didn't exist. I don't know of any organizations or websites to suggest, but I think your positive parenting, compassion and concern makes such a difference!
    I will send you both some optimistic vibes :)

  43. Audrey / / Reply

    Hello,
    I'm an avid reader of your blog and this post really touched me. Please tell your daughter that she is in my thoughts, as I was bullied when I was young and I know the feeling of cruel loneliness. I don't have kids yet, and this is one thing that I fear about having kids: if they ever get bullied, seeing all those parents struggling to find help for their kids. I just don't understand how schools are not more helpful with those cases. Why dont they meet with the bully, why doesn't the bully get counselling? He\she needs it as much as their victims! They have to realise how hurtful they are being. It pains me to see that it always seems to be the victim of bulliyng that needs to move away, because nothing is done to punish and educate the bullies. I wish you and your daughter a lot of hapiness and joy!

  44. CostumeDiva / / Reply

    I am so sorry you and your daughter are having to deal with these troubles. Your love for her is evident to all your readers and it will keep her safe. Happy thoughts for you both moving forward.

  45. Erika / / Reply

    Thanks for sharing with us in hopes of helping someone else in even the smallest way. A reminder to us mommies of little ones that the battles are everyday and always, but love never hurts at any age. Thinking of you both and praying that the best path for education and happiness will emerge.

  46. Jacilyn / / Reply

    EZ, I'm so sorry to hear this about your daughter. It brings tears to my eyes as I was bullied in school too and nothing like what your daughter has gone through but even what I went through was very very hard. We didn't have the option of homeschooling then and my parents felt I needed to confront it but I have to say as wonderful as my parents are I think homeschooling would have done wonders for me. I think you made the right choice. I also know how difficult going through these types of situations as a single mother are too. So hang in there. I'm sending you and your daughter positive thoughts. Have faith that there is more good in the world than bad and what goes around comes around. Stay strong.

  47. picaropicara / / Reply

    There was a comment above about closing down her social media accounts, at least for a little while, and I really think that's the best idea. I have had to do the same after backlash over a relationship ending, and realising that allowing myself to have that instant access to reply to what goaded me made me realise that connectivity is not always a good thing. A complete break might give her some time to get her head clear. I really hope she comes through this quickly and doesn't let it break her down. Things do get better. Good luck and best wishes to the both of you.

  48. Cori Magee / / Reply

    I am not a parent yet, but I think what you are doing is amazing. My theory on parenting is that the MOST important thing is listening and raising kids to know you are there for them. Your daughter obviously trusts you and you have a wonderful relationship.
    I have had a hard time blogging lately too… I think we all just need to go easy on ourselves.
    I wish the best for you both!

  49. Trude / / Reply

    I can imagine having to deal with something like this distracts from everything else!! Sending big hugs and hope that you're both doing better this side of what happened.

  50. Gosia / / Reply

    do what you've got to do, don't hesitate to take your time to help your lovely girl, we'll be here when you come back. and remember that life is like photography: you use negative to develop. sending love to you both. take care guys and don't let a stupid, insensitive person to ruin your life.

  51. tara / / Reply

    That totally sucks. My husband and I talk about how lucky we were to graduate high school without social media. It makes bullying so much easier and it is really sad how some people don't seem to think about the fact that one day they will (hopefully) be an adult and regret the things they said that are now public.

    That picture of you two is so awesome! I'm glad that you have her at home with you. Bullying is awful.

  52. Kate / / Reply

    How awful, Ez, for you and your lovely daughter. I really admire the way you're handling, though, and wish you and her much strength at this time. As for the blog – as I reader I'm very respectful of what's going on in the lives of bloggers. Take the time you need – post what you like in the meantime. We'll all be around and (speaking for your whole audience!) are all egging you on to a happier place. :)

  53. Shu / / Reply

    That's an awesome-fun picture of you and your daughter, Ez! :)
    "Winter always turn to spring." – hang in there, both of you – and you've the support of all of us here!
    xx.

  54. Ez / / Reply

    Lovely friends, words cannot thank you enough for your kindness and support! From your notes of encouragement to your insight and advice…every comment is so meaningful to me. Thank you all for helping to make this dark time brighter. I love you all so very much! Big hugs and an endless amount of gratitude. xox Ez

  55. s t e f a n i a / / Reply

    I feel for you and wish you both peace, strenght and loving caring people in the future of your doughter, so that she can forget and recover from this terrible experience. xx

  56. monica lee / / Reply

    Oh my heart breaks for you and is heartened that you have taken action to do what you think is best for your child. I am going to keep you both in my prayers. Parenting is so tricky I agree with other comments that encourage you to know you are a good mother. I also wanted to encourage you not to worrying about bringing pretty things to us during a hard time. Do what you think and feel is best, even if you only feel like posting about your morning coffee for an entire week! We are for you both and we understand.

  57. Kathryn / / Reply

    It's a gift to all of your readers that you're willing to share this part of your life – thinking of you and your daughter, Ez.

  58. Briel K. / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is going through such a tough time right now. It's sickening how people treat each other sometimes. I don't have kids but I do have a niece and hearing things like this makes me scared for the days when she will enter school. I hope that homeschooling will work out well for you and your daughter and she will find some peace from the bullying.

  59. Rachel / / Reply

    My heart goes out to you both. You are beautiful people, good things will come your way.

  60. Shelly Kerry / / Reply

    I just want to send you hugs across the internet. What a horrible thing to have to experience but your daughter is so blessed to have such a supportive mother. It saddens me that this happens. Big love and thanks for creating such a beautiful site that always inspires me.

  61. Vicki / / Reply

    Oh Ez, I'm just stunned and feel a little speechless. It makes me furious to know how kids get bullied, and because I've come to think so highly of you, it angers and saddens me all the more knowing that your precious daughter was the victim of it.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's almost impossible to focus on blogging when there's an immediate crisis in our lives that need our attention …. I've definitely been there. You are obviously an amazing Mom and doing a great job with your daughter. She looks just like you, too, by the way. :)

    Thanks all the more for taking the time to encourage me over the weekend when you needed encouragement yourself, Ez. Big hugs to you and your daughter!! xoxo

  62. irisanne / / Reply

    I taught school for 25 years and owned a private reading clinic for 15 years. Believe me, there is nothing magic about school! My children were nearly finished with elementary and secondary school when I started teaching. Within the first week of teaching, I was absolutely appalled! I deeply regretted that I had not home schooled my children!! Teachers could do so much to prevent the bullying and unkindness in our schools. I always taught my students that we were a family in our classroom and bullying and unkindness were not tolerated. My daughter is now a teacher and establishes the same atmosphere in her classrooms. When my 12 year old grandson was being bullied, his father (who teaches middle school math and science) went straight to the father of the boy who was doing bullying. He let him know that he would be back if that behavior didn't stop. Children need us to get involved. Your daught knows you are there for her when you remove her from such a hostile environment.

  63. mosey / / Reply

    I too, was bullied in High School, as was one of my sisters, to an alarming degree. It really is the most horrible thing about growing up. I think it's great that you took your daughter out of school. Hopefully she can relax, be herself, and learn to feel good again. And I agree with the commenter who said 'college saved my life' – I feel exactly the same way, college turned out to be an entirely new and wonderful life experience that nothing will ever compare to.

  64. Sara / / Reply

    I am a long time reader, and I just could not sit back without commenting after this post.

    I am 23 years old. I have a dog, a fantastic boyfriend, so many good friends and a fruitful career as a graphic designer. I look in the mirror every day and tell myself how beautiful I am, how strong I am and how lucky I am to have made it out alive.

    I too was the victim of bullying in high school. It was my sophomore year. I was dating a guy who a lot of girls seemed to like, and because of that a lot of girls seemed to dislike me. One in particular (an exceptionally unsavory character, the kind who dealt cocaine out of the girls bathroom and was known for literally beating the shit out of people for fun) found me in her crosshairs. And it was bad. Really bad. Constant harassment by her and her cronies walking to and from classes, constant threats. My best friend would drive me home from school, and she followed us one day. We had to drive to my friends house to get her older brother as this girl had previously threatened to kill my mom and my dogs. Stuff that you don't mess around with. It had gotten to a point where I didn't know what to do- any intervention taken would have only made it worse for myself. She was the kind of person punishment did not phase.

    That year, I met a group of older girls in my art class. They saved me. They were the embodiment of confidence, two girls who knew themselves, knew what bullshit high school was. They took me under their wing and when they heard what I had been going through would escort me to and from my classes. The bullying started to subside. The next year, I opted to go to the vocational school a county over. Set up more like a college campus, I was a part of their graphic art program. It was hands down, the BEST decision I have ever made. Not only did I get out of the toxic vortex high school itself can be, but I was finding an outlet for my talents, and in that started to gain momentum with my self esteem. (In fact, a few months after I started at the new school, I had to stop at my old high school to pick something. Sure enough, my bully comes walking by, this time with a black eye.* So taken with my new self confidence, as she walked by saying something nasty about me, I stood up, told her to come back and say it to my face. I threatened to give her another black eye (something I still laugh about to this day) and of COURSE she just walked away. I never had another problem with her after that. Sometimes it just takes a surge of self confidence and fighting back.)

    This time in my life was also made exponentially more difficult in that my parents were divorcing. In the midst of the madness, my mom found the best psychologist in the world as far as I'm concerned, who used her tough love to kick any doubt in myself right out. She trained me to love myself, to revere myself as the incredible woman I would someday become. If you can, ask around and find a great therapist. There is seldom more you can do to make yourself whole again after taking such a hit.

    When I open up to people about what I went through, it's met with disbelief. I'm a loud mouthed, self confident ass kicker now! (not literally, but hey, I'm successful and awesome and I believe in myself, so other people do as well. It's weird how that works!) I hope your daughter knows that she's not the only awesome wonderful amazing talented and beautiful person who has gone through a storm of nasty bullshit. And I'm confident she can come out of it on top. I sure did.

    Chin up, sweet thing. Don't let the bitches get you down!

    *The black eye came from some other (teensy tiny) girl who she bullied… who I guess finally hit her limit and totally destroyed her. What goes around!

    **These girls are still, to this day, my very best friends. No amount of time, distance, or anything really can come between the bond of truly great, good friends

    Take care darlings. And remember, no one can make you a victim if you don't let them <3

    Sending you my love and confidence,

    Sara

  65. Kerri K. / / Reply

    I am so sorry that you've had to deal with something like this. I read this with my own four-month-old daughter snuggled up to me, and my heart breaks to think of people deliberately causing her pain. I am so glad that your daughter has someone like you in her corner.

  66. Kristin / / Reply

    I feel for you. I went through this my daughter last Spring, it is unimaginably painful. My daughter was turned on when she stood up for a younger friend of hers. The school administration handled it poorly. I just had to keep reminding her that she did that right thing, its always a worthy cause to stand up with those who can't stand alone. My thoughts are with you. Help her through and she will come out stronger.

  67. Shopping's My Cardio / / Reply

    What an amazing mom you are. Talk about having your daughter's back!

    I am so, so sorry to hear that this bullying ugliness shows no signs of abating. I remember it being awful in my high school days, but the internet…oh my, the weapons are getting stronger.

    You and your family will find your way through, I know it. It's uncharted water, so be patient with yourself as you navigate. I just wanted to add one more voice of support. xox

  68. Jayme / / Reply

    Oh Ez, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I have tween/teen nieces and they are my ulitmate loves. My heart aches thinking of these painful issues. You're strong! And creative! This too shall pass.

  69. amy / / Reply

    oh wow ez i am so sorry you and your daughter are going through this. i've been through a lot i'll just say that.

    and on the bright side of things it has made me a much more compassionate (and artistic) person as i am sure you are and your daughter is too. that is the beautiful, priceless flip side to everything she is going through.

    children and teens can be so mean and it is certainly not your fault. i love reading momastery and i agree with her that one of the most important things we can teach children is kindness.

    i will be thinking about you guys and praying for you too. and i hope that the healing for you both will be swift.

    hugs!

  70. Anna @ IHOD / / Reply

    Ez,
    This whole thing makes me so sad, and sick to my stomach for your daughter. No one should have to experience betrayal and fear on that level so young. Its so hard to see the reality of the world we live in sometimes. And I know not being able to take away your child's pain is worse than any pain we ourselves suffer. I just want you to know I am sending lots of love your way, and remind you that you are a wonderful mother.

    Also, I was tutored through highschool. I just never quite felt comfortable at our local school, and when I had the chance to be myself and stretch my wings, I started to flourish. Having the flexibility of schedule actually was a huge contributor to my love for the creative world. I had the chance to try all kinds of things I wouldn't have tried in a high school setting. I hope it proves to be something positive for your daughter as well.

    Hugs,
    Anna

  71. Acacia / / Reply

    You guys look amazing in the picture! This is such an awful situation and I applaud you for pulling your daughter out of that situation. I was bullied at home and school throughout my childhood, and labored under clinical depression all my life. I hope you will also consider finding your lovely girl psychological or even psychiatric support. I'm not really talking about meds, but more in the way of counseling to help her cope with the depression and self-esteem issues. It really helped me.

  72. amylouise / / Reply

    We just gave our cybersafety course at our school today. Hopefully, education about the topic will stomp out ignorance. You are such an admirable mom to be so involved with your daughter. Both of you are in our prayers!

  73. look see. / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's struggle with depression and bullies. I'm a high school teacher, so I see it all too often :(

    As far as I can tell, bullies specifically choose to target people who they think are stronger than them. Honest truth. Take it from an expert!

    Hoping that things start to improve for you both! Take heart, you both have the strength to get through this, I'm sure.

  74. Erin Q. / / Reply

    Hi Ez,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. That is totally awful.

    Forgive me if I'm overstepping here, but is your daughter in therapy? I wonder if talking to someone objective to her situation might be good for her, particularly, since you say, this is something that seems to keep happening to her.

    As for school: are there any other schools in town she could go to? Though her immediate happiness is obviously super important, in the long run, I hope she can learn some strategies that will help her socially and she will be able to be a part of a school community she feels safe and happy in. Taking her out of school for good probably wouldn't help her learn this.

  75. Gretchen / / Reply

    Praying praying praying for your daughter and your entire family. Depression is so heartwrenchingly hard to deal with yourself and then to see a loved one deal with it ends up being tat much worse.

  76. Rachel A / / Reply

    "It captures us at our goofy best, makes me feel hopeful, and might be my favorite photo of all time (regardless of how dorky I look)."

    I think you look like a rockstar in that photo.

    I am very sorry things have gone sideways again. I don't know why it keeps happening to you, but I have a small theory. If your daughter is as genuine and sensitive as you are, it would definitely make her a target to sarcastic, bitchy teenagers. The thing is, when she's an adult, she will hopefully be recognized as wonderful for having these traits.

    Love to you both.

  77. alisha / / Reply

    oh honey, i'm so sorry for all you and your precious daughter have been facing…i'm so thankful she has you for a mom…i'm praying for you both and i know that you guys will make it through…i don't understand why and how people can be so cruel, but they are the true losers in life…hugs to you both!

  78. Jan / / Reply

    Thinking of you, Ez. May you continue to find the emotional fortitude you need to help your daughter and help yourself.

  79. Amber / / Reply

    Ez,

    Just wanted to say that my thoughts go out to you and your daughter! You both are so lovely and it made me so sad to hear this series of events. I think you did the right thing and hope that this time will give your daughter the opportunity to possibly uncover some new things to get excited about it when it comes to learning! :) Lots of hugs to you both!

    xoxo,
    Amber

  80. Mckenna Nicole / / Reply

    I've been getting bad bloggers block too lately! I think it's that transition period after the holidays .. it's never easy! This photo is adorable, it reminds me of me and my younger sister!
    I love your blog!
    xoxo

  81. Rmm / / Reply

    Ez Thanks for posting this. I know it's extremely private and painful. But I have to admit I'm going through some crazy stuff with my 12 year daughter also. I remember being picked on and absolutely couldn't wait to get through junior high. Now I can't wait for my daughter to be through with it. Its gotten so much worse!! The depression thes kids can go through is horrible. Unfortunately for me my daughter started cutting. So everytime we look at her arms we are reminded of how bad she felt. It's the WORST thing in the world when your only job is to protect your child and you think you're doing the best you can, but you're not. I feel like I've failed her terribly. I understand the hurt you and your daughter are going through. My best wishes to you and you're child. Home schooling or not, you do whats right for the both of you. I support you completely!!!!

  82. Krissy / / Reply

    Ez-thinking of you and your daughter. I love the photo! You both look awesome.

  83. aimee / / Reply

    Big hugs to you both. Nowadays I don't deal with too many bullies but when life is difficult I remind myself that I am more than the things that happen to me or have happened to me and not to let bad situations consume me. Of course, some days are better than others.

  84. Emily / / Reply

    Hello there,
    First, I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulties that you and your sweet daughter have been facing recently. You two are such lovely people and it breaks my heart to think of you having to face such a scary and cruel situation. I have struggled with depression and anxiety on and off, so my heart goes out to your daughter. It's so hard to be under that cloud. I'm a praying person, as well as a gal who was home schooled back in the day, so I will be praying for this next semester for you and your daughter.

    Additionally, I just rediscovered your blog before Christmas. I would visit from time to time a couple of years ago but got out of the habit. Let me tell ya – it's good to be back! Your site is so refreshing and inspirational. Few bloggers come across like you do – real, kind, creative, genuine and not self obsessed. You're not posting 37 pictures of yourself wearing a new shade of lip stick, but you do share candidly about your life and the things you love and I appreciate that.

    So thank you for your happy blog and sharing your talents with us. I'm truly sorry that nasty, ignorant people have made things hard for your sweet little family. Praying for a comfy, cozy, safe and peaceful new year for you and yours.

    Cheers,
    Emily

  85. karin / / Reply

    that super sucks that people are bullying her. i wish there was an easy fix but as you are all too aware it is an insidious and pervasive action that is all but impossible to curtail.
    please tell her often and always that it gets better, middle and high school were not my best years, but i always knew that i wasn't meant to peak, or even shine, during those years. i didn't.
    but now, as an adult, i have formed amazing relationships that stand the crucibles of years, distance, time and disagreements, and am better for the shite years of my youth.

  86. A / / Reply

    Dear Ez,

    I check your blog regularly, and your posts always brighten my day. I hope that this comments section can do the same for you and your daughter, if only for a bit. You both deserve to be happy after the difficult time you described in your most recent post. If it helps at all, know that there are many people wishing you well.

  87. Karina Beck / / Reply

    I have been thinking of you! I began to get concerned when I did not see a new post for a few days. I hate to hear the news. One of the young girls I work with has been the subject of bullying and I just hate it. I will be be keeping you in my prayers!

  88. Dorothy / / Reply

    So sorry to hear about the difficulties you & your daughter have been through. From a totally different perspective and experiences, I empathize.

  89. Anna T / / Reply

    My heart is over flowing with emotions for you and your daughter. Mainly heart ache. You are obviously a wonderful mother! It's very clear in this post and pasts that you encourage your daughter to be herself and to be creative. Both of those things make you different as a teenager. You will do whats right for your daughter, and I will definitely be praying for you both. Watching your child struggle is so much harder than struggling yourself.

  90. Amy L. / / Reply

    So, so sorry that you and your daughter are going through this. You are in my prayers. Hope things look up soon.

  91. Katie / / Reply

    Oh Ez. I am not much of a hugger, but I wish I could embrace you and your wonderful daughter right now and take away the hurt.

    A dear, dear friend of mine (and her sister) both switched to homeschooling because of bullying and learning differences, and they've both done incredibly well. My friend is about to graduate from college and her sister is about to finish high school, and though they're both energetic social girls, homeschool has been wonderful for them. I also teach writing for a few homeschooling families, and love seeing the way that they get to do so much self-directed learning, and the way that they bond with their parents. So I've seen a lot of good–even if it isn't always easy! You may want to see if there are any homeschool consortiums or part-time schools in your area. Sometimes they're pricey, but other times you can find parents who will share resources and advice. I know that homeschool groups and consortiums have been really helpful for the families I know.

    And your daughter is beautiful and wonderful–I can tell just from the way you write about her. I hope she knows that all these people are cheering for her–and, most importantly, she has you cheering for her.

    My prayers are with you both!

  92. Angela H / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear what your daughter is going through, bullies these days are so much more cruel using social media. It's obvious you love your daughter very much, with your support she will be ok though I'm sure it will take time for her to heal.

  93. kait / / Reply

    Awww man. That sucks. =/

    I hope your daughter will enjoy the homeschooling. I had pretty bad clinical depression when I was a teen (which was later re-diagnosed as bipolar), but I never had to deal with stuff like that. Was a bit lonely though. I was home schooled and unschooled (thanks in part to John Taylor Gatto) all through my growing up years, which I'm thankful for, but wish I could've made more friends as a teenager. =P Helps so much if you have even one friend or two whom you can trust, and supportive parents you can talk with. Before my depression began, I was dumped by a couple friends I really cared about. So yeah… Loneliness just adds to the stress and sadness.

    Hmm, my mom used various home school programs from different publishers for each subject (Math-U-See for math, etc), because that way she could tailor to our unique learning styles. But that can be a lot of hassle.

    As far as the whole bullying issue, I think Hold On to Your Kids by Gordan Neufeild might be helpful in working through it all. He presents a pretty interesting explanation for this kind of behavior, and how to give your kids the support they need to feel secure. I've a feeling your already pretty good at that part, though. =)

  94. Jen / / Reply

    My heart is breaking for your daughter… No one should endure what she has, let alone multiple times. Sending strength and love for both of you.

  95. Elizabeth / / Reply

    I come from a family with a lot of homeschooling (not only were my 5 siblings and I homeschooled on and off over the years, but so were my aunt's 7 kids and my uncle's 4) and have seen how well it can work for a kid that just needs some space to be themselves without the pressure of the school social system. I think it is fair to say that we have all grown into adults that are more comfortable with being who we are, liking what we like and doing what we love to do. It is not perfect and I wouldn't say that we are all free of insecurities or that we never question our choices, but I do know that we were all able to learn in an environment where we felt safe and loved. So I have nothing but good thoughts for the two of you as you face this educational adventure together!

    On a practical matter, my younger sister is the only one of us kids still doing school at home and my mom knew that the two of them needed some help this year so she was signed up for an online/work from home charter school program that they both love. Just something you might want to look into.

  96. Michelle / / Reply

    Ez, I remember when you first broke the news about your daughter's bullying back in NJ. I'm so sorry to hear that this has happened again. I too was a victim of bullying in middle school and it really warped my trust in people as well as my sense of self. It took me until my mid to late 20s to figure out how to be friends with people. I think I would have been better off if I'd been homeschooled – which is why I applaud your decision. Who knows why certain kids are bullied over others? That's not the right question to ask in any case, because frequently there's nothing wrong with the kids who are bullied. The question to ask is why certain kids bully others in the first place.

  97. Kryn / / Reply

    I have found the Virtual homeschool group to be very helpful, and it's FREE!! I would also check for local homeschool classes, there are lots now! And I don't think you'll lack finding a great writing curriculum….;)

  98. kristin / / Reply

    i look back on my middle school/early high school years and still shudder. i was bullied in middle school, and though my high school was really good, i still felt so awkward for the first couple years there. it's a time you just need to GET THROUGH, and good things will then come. she'll find her group, her talents, she'll succeed, she'll be happy. but i'm so sorry you're in the thick of it now. it's so temporary but SO friggin hard. even harder as a mama, i'll bet. ((hugs)) to you both.

  99. Ez / / Reply

    I am just so humbled by your kindness and support friends. Thank you for what you've given to me today. I will carry it with me always. xox Ez

  100. Honey We're Home / / Reply

    I am so very sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for your daughter. I hate that kids can be so cruel. I will lift you and your daughter up in prayer. No wonder you have blogger's block- you have so much going on. I wish you both well.

  101. Yelena / / Reply

    Hi Ez!

    Like many before me, I am so sorry to hear about what your daughter and you are going through. I wish you both best in this uphill battle with bullying and I hope you'll be victorious in the end. I think, Ez, you are doing everything you could possibly do in this situation and at this point homeschooling seems like a good decision. I am not a parent, but I read a lot of stories about successful homeschooling. My thoughts are with you and your daughter.

  102. Ashley / / Reply

    Thank you for being so honest with us, your readers. I don't know that I would ever be this brave to just let everyone know what you're going through. I hope you will be able to find a great alternative schooling for your daughter that would benefit her academic and also for her as individual to continue to grow in to a wonderful woman. Bullying is more awful than words can describe and even worse when it's done by "friends."

    Thank you for sharing your story and your life.

  103. Stacy / / Reply

    Wishing you and your daughter all the best. You are an amazing Mom, hold your chin up high!

  104. susanc / / Reply

    I am so sorry your beautiful daughter and you are having to go through this. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Very cute photo! xxx

  105. indreams / / Reply

    wow, i think we're all having the same reaction…bullying is terrible!! you + your daughter are so brave to get through it together, and she is so lucky to have such a caring mother who listens to + supports her when she needs it most. it boggles the mind that people can be so cruel to each other, and i really hope she knows that she is so much better than those who try to drag her down.

    is there anything i can do to help? it seems that there are so many of us who are willing to "fight" the bullies (for lack of a better term!), but not many ways to do so…so please let me know if/how i can help!

    in the meantime, i send so much love, to both you + your daughter. you can do it!!! <333

  106. Novella / / Reply

    So sorry you and your daughter are in such a painful place. Wishing you both well and cheering you on to better days ahead!! Hugs!!

  107. Melissa / / Reply

    I'm so sorry your daughter is going through such a hard time and how hard it must be for you as well. Please know that I am praying for you both.

  108. Sharyn / / Reply

    Dear Ez, your post really touched me and I am so sorry your daughter is going through this. I can understand as a mother, what a tough and emotional time it must be for you to see this happening to your girl and to make difficult decisions and changes to your lives. Being bullied is absolutely horrible, it is horrible being a kid and being made to feel awful, to feel powerless. I hope you and your daughter take the time to read my post and letter on this very subject and find strength and empowerment to get through a very difficult time. I want your daughter to know that she is not alone, that others before her have had similar experiences and not to lose sight of what an amazing individual she is. http://www.gutsygirl.com.au/1/post/2012/10/dear-bullies.html
    much love, Sharyn

  109. Katie / / Reply

    I`m really sorry to hear about you and your daughters struggles. I used to teach high school in the States, so I definitely can understand how difficult this situation is. Anyway, I am unsure how old your daughter is but if she is in high school, once she feels better, a foreign exchange program might be great. I know quite a few students that did it and it worked out really well. As well, I know Rotary sponsor scholarships for such exchanges. I currently study and teach in Japan and highly recommend it. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me.

  110. Kimf / / Reply

    That photos is AMAZING! You both look carefree and fabulous! I applaud the strength you obviously have to write such a tender and exposing letter about your life. I'm sending you many many good wishes for a fabulous outcome. Stay strong. x

  111. Steph Bond-Hutkin / / Reply

    Ez, I love this pic of the 2 of you as well and it's a testament to your efforts and hard work that you've managed to capture some joy in a very tough time. Sending you both much love and best wishes for a brighter 2013. You're making some tough, wise decisions. Good on you. Steph x

  112. Steph / / Reply

    Thank you for sharing what you and your daughter have been going through. I was home schooled through middle school and high school for a lot of the same reasons. I still deal with depression but knowing I have the best support group in my mom and dad, and now my husband, has helped me through so many rough patches. You're doing the right thing by following your motherly instincts and your heart. I agree that your daughter will be thankful for that. With home school curriculum we did a lot of random things and somehow it all came together. I know Charlotte Mason was a big inspiration for my mum. Also know that because you have such an online presence you also have a large extended family that supports you… All of your readers! Sending you warmth and love!

  113. Elisheva / / Reply

    My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I think taking her out of school really shows her you know it's not her fault and that she has no control over the situation, which I think is so important as a message to her and for her self esteem.
    Making a drastic change often brings something better along – and I'm sure the future holds truly wonderful things for you both.

  114. sungting / / Reply

    Hang in there, both of you <3 I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Life isn't always cheery and I thank you for writing honestly about how things have been. I too suffer from depression since childhood. For all it's worth, here's a virtual hug to both of you.

  115. Melissa@Julia's Bookbag / / Reply

    BEST PICTURE EVER. and you are clearly the best mom ever. It has always shone through how much you adore your daughter and how you would do anything for her. I am so sorry she had to go through this, and you as well. Be well, and know that many many positive thoughts are coming your way for you both. Take care, sweet girl (that's for your kiddo!) and be strong, mama (that's for you!) xoxoxoxo

  116. Kaja / / Reply

    Thank you for sharing such a difficult experience. I hope that your daugter will recover swiftly and without lasting trauma. Stay strong! It's good to read about your actual experience – it's more honest and real this way, but I hope life will give you reason to write cheery posts very soon.
    All the best in 2013!

  117. Lori / / Reply

    So sorry to hear you and your daughter are having to go through something like this. People can be so cruel to each other, and when we are younger it can be especially hard to deal with. Kudos to you for standing up for your daughter's welfare and doing what you need to to get her away from those kids. Personally, I love the photo of the two of you- it looks like you are both having a blast. Best of luck to both of you!
    ~Lori

  118. Janice / / Reply

    The question to ask is: what the heck is wrong with people (meaning those bullies)? Reading things like this makes me so upset at mankind in general. There are so many good, wonderful things to be discovered in each of our fellow human beings, so why do people not strive to bring out the best in others at all times? I can only shake my head… and reach out a hand to help in whatever way I can.

    Homeschooling is a lovely alternative and if you want a nice book about how it can really give your daughter wings to fly then try reading the book 'And the Skylark Sings With Me' by David H. Albert. The beauty of homeschooling is that your daughter can make it whatever she wants and needs. She can focus on who she really is and more directly work on what she wants to do and where she wants to go in life. Don't think it's just sitting at home doing learning from books, or even the online courses. Depending on your state there are lots of options and at 16 years of age, she could possibly qualify for some community college courses which then get her credits in both high school and college. (Foreign languages are good choices for college courses.) Working in a nature center can be considered biology and science; visiting local landmarks is history; online are literally zillions of cool options, SUPER cool options.

    This was a good move. Look at this at the start of taking control!

    Hugs!

  119. Helen / / Reply

    Thinking sunny, sunny thoughts for the both of you. Wishing you a shiny 2013! H xx

  120. Leslie / / Reply

    Oh my…I am reading this with tears welling up in my eyes. I myself had a hard time early in high school and it was too one of my so called 'Best Friends'. I was essentially alone for a whole year of school as she managed to influence my whole year level to follow her evil lead and ignore me. I sometimes wonder how I got through that time. I really do feel for you and her as it is the hardest thing to deal with and now thinsg are so much harder with facebook and texting etc. I am not sure if I could have been so strong had that been on the go during my issues.
    It sounds like you are doing the right thing and most importantly are there for your daughter and she has your support. All the best going forward and I am sure those lovely happy times become more and more frequent now that she is free from these terrible so called friends.

  121. Sarah Stäbler / / Reply

    Oh, how that pains me to hear that. Nobody should have to go through bullying like that – it's just so cruel and this is obviously having such strong repercussions in your daughter's life (and your whole family's!). I hope and pray that together you will find the solution to this, a way to find a better environment for her and that she will stay strong through all this. She is so lucky to have you there for support and comfort. Hugs to you both!

  122. Evanthia / / Reply

    I can't believe how some people can make other people's life so difficult! I just want to wish you and your daughter all the best and I truelly believe that with your love and some professional help things can work out. I'm hopeful for the future! Greetings from Greece and bih fan of your blog

  123. Lily / / Reply

    What an awful thing for both of you to have to go through. I just hope that the school is going to come down hard on those responsible for the bullying – there needs to be a clear message that such vile behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
    Sending so much love to you both and good luck for the next steps. I have no doubt that you will both triumph. xx

  124. Liisi / / Reply

    A classmate hit me once at school. She broke her arm falling off a horse the next day.

  125. Leanda / / Reply

    Oh that's terrible and I'm so sorry to hear you and your daughter have been put through such a traumatic experience. I really hope you find a great new school for her soon and that life can get back to normal. Family and loved ones come first so we will wait patiently for the pretty stuff. Take good care!

  126. Claire Jackman / / Reply

    DOnt need to apologize for the posts sweetie!
    Life is first and your daughter needs you right now! : )
    I have also dealed with depression problems for ten years and so I can relate with you and your daughter. I have tried in the past many things that didn´t work, I was to focused on what was going inside me and that only made me sunk deeper. It endend up making the depression bigger.
    I have solved the depression now and although I cant give you one solution , I can share with you all the things that did help me:

    Travel to another country. Gave me a broader view of life and not be so self-focused

    have a discipline- some sort of sport or martial arts have an amazing effect on the mind and body. Helping us segregate dopamine and giving us more confidence

    There are many books out there wich helped me understand and change my patterns of thinking. From Caroline myss to candace pert….These would be for you to read, in case you havent done so, of course : )

    Art helped me express without words what I had inside and if made me feel so relieved.
    Any kind of creative expression really works wonders!

    Help others in some way: a charity ..meeting up with people who do things for nature or for others. Again, it helped me to get out of my self and the feeling of love ,compassion and givingness was so healing.

    I think these is the best advice I can give you from my own experience. There are many tools out there. Trust life and feel supported. You are not alone. You can reach out for help whenever you need it and it can come from anywhere..you know that, Im sure ; )
    Bless you and your daugther! I trully wish you much healing and love.

  127. Steffi / / Reply

    I love your blog, and as a mom of two daughters (8 and 10) literally on the cusp of adolence, I'm extremely empathetic. And shocked. But mostly, I want to say HOW TOTALLY AWESOME THAT PICTURE IS! I would get it tattooed on my back if that was my child. And, um, me, of course. LOVE IT!!!

  128. Lauren / / Reply

    I think you are absolutely right to take your daughter out of school. Teenage girls are absolutely at the greatest risk in terms of mental health through bullying. My lovely 15 year old niece had the same experience, but we were too late, she was too much affected and we lost her. I would do anything to go back and take serious action like you have done to save her precious life. Sadly, we were waiting for doctors and were too late. Good on you for taking positive action and I'm sure she will benefit heaps from it. Please know that we are all very supportive and are thinking of you. Wish we could do more to help.

    Lauren

  129. Sandra / / Reply

    Sending you both hugs and love. You are a great Mom and please don't ever doubt that.

  130. Ashley / / Reply

    Ez, I was right in your daughter's shoes in high school. My experience lead me to drop out and finish my last year at home. The rumors people spread got so damning I cut myself off from school completely. Depression became a daily struggle. Now, almost ten years later, I am in a great place. Your daughter is fortunate you are there for her. Keep these distractions coming. Reminder her of her greatness. You will persevere. Both of you. And she will be stronger for the love and care you are giving to her health.

  131. barbara / / Reply

    I, too, am a mother of a bullying situation but it didn't stop with classmates but extended to the parents. I didn't understand it then and I don't understand it today. For us, it centered around town politics and the parents created the situation and took it out on our son. It was horrible and so many times I just didn't know how to make it through the day. It got so bad I had to call one who verbally assaulted by 11 year old (11 years old!!!!) that I had contacted my lawyer and would proceed if the situation ever occurred again including talking to him. Oh, I could tell you horrible stories but the most important thing to remember is you have a beautiful daughter and no matter what she has a caring mother who trusts her, believes in her and is there for her to help. Important! Because that is what my son told me that is what saw him through his days. Unfortunately for him, everything came back to him while in college with a break-down. After 10 years, counselng, some drug therapy, he is now a funcitioning adult with the job of his life, engaged to a wonderful woman (who is a social worker) and a bright prospect. Each day is a challenge for him. I will never understand bullying in any form – innocent to abuse. But then it is not my problem nor for me to ask why him? Why me? Why us? I only know – now and for then – I was blessed with the mechanism to know how to help my son and myself and together we accomplished a lot. We had fun, we discovered how to live, and we knew we were okay. Unfortunately, I didn't have friends to talk all this over because it was a such a negative situation that neighbors to friends (who I thought were close friends) didn't want to take sides. WHAT? There weren't sides to take but to be respectful. All over 20 years ago but the effect will never go away. I have forgiven them, and I moved on and I prayed for them but as I wrote the effect will never go away. We all still live in the community but fortunately, we don't see one another so that helps. I pray for you and your daughter as well as those who caused such harm. Oh, and one other tidbit that really helped me through it all: GOOD ALWAYS OVERCOMES EVIL. :) Find reasons to smile and never question your blessings. You both will be fine. Much love!

  132. Jutta / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. It sucks how always the one being bullied has to leave school and not the bully! It happens also here in Finland. It would send a much stronger message to the bully if they were one kicked out of school.

    Big hugs to both mommy and daughter!

  133. Naomi / / Reply

    These news are heartbreaking! I went through bullying all through my 12 years of elementary and high-school, and I feel the effects to this day. The oppression and fear shaped my personality, it was crippling. I don't think – I know you're doing the right thing for your daughter to pull her out of that toxic environment! She'll find her place elsewhere, whether it's at home or at a new school, after you rebuild her confidence and deal with the trauma and betrayal. I wish her a shorter road to healing and a better life than mine, and with a mother like you I know she'll have it.

  134. lmc / / Reply

    My family suffered from a teen with a mental illness and it was exacerbated by teen bullying and general unfriendliness. My "child" is now 30 and has a college degree, great job and just purchased his own home. It can get better (I won't say will – well, because sometimes it doesn't) through lots of love and hard work. Even if your child doesn't do well in high school (maybe doesn't graduate), there are still so many ways to move on from there. My child attended community college for a number of years and then moved on the a four-year university. He has friends now that seem to care for him a lot. If you can just make it through the teens and high school, things will get better. Hugs…

  135. Jackie Rice / / Reply

    Putting your family first is always the way to go. Totally respect your honesty and appreciate that you keep it real. Will be praying that you and your daughter are able to find peace and a good education solution.

  136. Heather / / Reply

    Your pain and raw emotion for your daughter is palpable. I hope you find a peaceful solution for both of you…

  137. Angi Mullis / / Reply

    My heart goes out to your family. I struggled with depression throughout my highschool years. I am so sorry that your beautiful daughter has had to go through this. You are such an amazing mom to not only recognize the problem, but to take action to keep her safe. Your family is in our prayers.

  138. Susan / / Reply

    I am so very sorry this has happened to your daughter and to you! You are entirely right to take her out of school. Nobody should have to go into an environment where she will be tormented and made fearful! I firmly believe legal action should be taken against teenagers who inflict bullying on others. In the "real" adult/working world, intimidation and defamation of character is taken seriously, and can result in loss of employment, punitive rulings from civil lawsuits, or even criminal charges and punishments. It really should not be tolerated among adolescent populations, either! There just must be some way for victims and their families to fight back from such persecution. My heart goes out to you and your daughter and I agree with other posters that she is very lucky to have you as a mother, Ez!

  139. Julie Bucior / / Reply

    It is heartbreaking to read this post, children (teens especially) can be unbearably cruel. I dealt with bulling quite a bit growing up, everything from to tall, to smart, to weird, to guys daring each other to ask me out as a joke and girls pretending to be my friends just so they could tell my secrets and make fun of me behind my back. I'm not going to say that it stops hurting, because at the age of 26 it still makes me blush with embarrassment just thinking about it, but it does get easier.

    The world is full of good people and high school is such a small part of life, for me I just put my head down, worked hard and got through it as best I could. Then came college and I concentrated on surrounding myself with positive people who were really my friends, and figuring out and embracing who I was and what I wanted to be. If your daughter reads this I just want to tell her that she is amazing and unique and that she will meet people who understand that. From one "outcast" to another, be strong, it truly won't be like this forever.

  140. m / / Reply

    hang in there hang in there! we are all cheering for you. one tool i continue to rely on daily: yoga. there are poses designed to empower, to strengthen, to fight depression and anxiety. the breathe work can become a major tool for grounding and being okay during those really hard days.

  141. Ana / / Reply

    So sorry to hear that your daughter was bullied, wishing you guys the best. Xo

  142. Megan / / Reply

    Ez,

    I'm so sorry you're going through all of this. As a former bullied teen, I can tell you it's extremely painful but like your daughter, I had a loving mother who helped me through just with hugs and listening (and taking me to therapy). That road trip and singing in the car probably helped your girl more than you will ever know.

  143. Donna / / Reply

    My heart goes out to both of you and I'm sending the biggest virtual hug because I can't send a real one. I would love to add more but I have WAY to much to add for a blog post. If you'd like to really chat about it, please send me an email so we can exchange phone numbers. My son was bullied too and while I never learned how to stop the bullies, I did learn a lot about parenting a bullied child.

  144. Joy / / Reply

    I wish there were something more to do than leave a comment here on your post – it doesn't seem like enough. Kids have become so vicious and school has become such a scary place that it feels like everyone going through it must wear a suit of armor, or lose themselves, to survive. Being special, creative, bright, or different in any way — all those things that make you shine as an adult — seem to make you a target as a teenager. I have such respect for you for taking the steps you have to get your daughter out of this dire situation.

    Sending wishes of healing, love, and warmth.

  145. Julia @ Calm Cradle / / Reply

    What a terrifying situation. Thank you for writing so candidly about this experience and how you are trying to move forward. I'm thinking of you and your daughter.

  146. Kendra A. / / Reply

    Ez, this is so sad to hear. Looking at the number of comments already, I hope you and your daughter are both momentarily encouraged by the people you have in your corner, even those you've never met. Thank you for being honest about what's going, and I hope it empowers other moms and daughters to speak truth into dark places. We are all worthwhile, your daughter is beautiful, and you are certainly not to blame.

  147. RebekkaF / / Reply

    Ez, I look forward to your blog posts every day – and I love the pretty right along with the brutally real. My heart goes out to you and your daughter. Please know that you've built a whole community here that is ready and willing to support you! Stay strong! <3

  148. Rachel Oo / / Reply

    oh my this story is terrible…
    I follow your blog/pinterest/instagram for ages now and I just wanted to send you some love and kisses from Paris, with macaron flavor, hoping it'll cheer you up a little.

  149. Johanna / / Reply

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I have seen some of the bullying that goes on via Facebook, etc. Our school district has implemented the Olwaeus program from Norway. It is quite successful. That doesn't mean bullying doesn't occur, but that there is a system for dealing with it. When students bully others through social media, the school steps in. There have been students who have been suspended and ordered to attend counseling sessions before being allowed back to school. It seems as though you and your daughter do not have this luxury. I wish every school would take this issue seriously. Please let her know that things will get better and college will be great.

  150. Alison G. - Grace Accessories / / Reply

    I'm sorry to hear that :( It made me remember some bullying I went through in high school and I know how devastating and scary it is. I hope you and your daughter have some good quality and healing time together. Awesome photo by the way!!

  151. Vanessa / / Reply

    Thank you for sharing, it is incredibly brave of you to do so. I'm in your same situation with my daughter and currently she is being home schooled. While this is a temporary solution, it is definitely helping her rebuild her self esteem. She is so much better now and starting to focus more on the things she loves to do and who she wants to be… Congratulations on being a strong and brave parent, and for taking action when it is needed. She is lucky to have you!

  152. Megan / / Reply

    Thank you for sharing – I'm sending positive thoughts your way!

    When I was a teenager, I was home schooled for a few years (full time in grade 8 and 9 and then 1/2 time the remainder of high school). Full time was difficult – I didn't have many social interactions with people other than my family since we lived in the country and all of my work was self directed online (online home schooling was brand new when I started). Going back to public school part time for high school was good because I had an opportunity to socialize but still the time to do work on my own at home or in the library on the easier courses. I was able to get the help I needed in difficult courses when I was actually in school (specifically math and science, which I probably would have failed if left to do it on my own). I think that the break will be good for her and getting her out of the toxic environment was the right decision. Good luck!

  153. Lauren Ashley / / Reply

    so sorry you both are going through this – it sounds like you are making the best choice for your daughter in this moment. best wishes to you both – xo!

  154. ruth / / Reply

    ugh that's awful. i am so sorry. there isn't really anything to say that would make it all better but know that you have lots of sympathy from me (and clearly other readers) and optimism that your daughter (and you!) will find a positive outcome. stay strong, stay awesome. ::hugs::

  155. cheryl / / Reply

    How awful for you and your daughter! I have a 17 year old who went through horrible school anxiety last year (throwing up EVERY morning before school) and I really wrestled with whether it would be best to pull her out or not. Their mental state and needs come before educational needs! I think you totally did the right thing. It is so horrible to watch them go through the horrors of the teenage years. Just know that (as my wise father always said) "This too shall pass."

  156. Yvette / / Reply

    My heart bleeds for you…my youngest changed schools today because of emotional bullying!
    Keep the faith!

  157. ab / / Reply

    So sorry for the pain your poor daughter has experienced. As far as online programs for high school, I can recommend k12 programs (k12.com); I used them just two years ago and found they were fairly good. FLVS.net is another one to check out, depending on what you're looking for. I ended up creating my own AP high school courses at home by using the college board's (collegeboard.org they run the AP and SAT programs) teacher resources for designing AP courses. Textbooks have great accompanying websites now, so the trick is just picking one. For example, last year for AP European History, I used A History of Western Society, 7th Edition by McKay, Hill and Butler and their accompanying website -http://college.cengage.com/history/west/mckay/western_society/7e/students/index.html – which contains quizzes and many great study tools. A good option for science is Hippocampus; I used them last year for AP Physics: http://www.hippocampus.org/Physics.

  158. Lori C. / / Reply

    I understand exactly what you are going through! I sent my daughter off to college this fall, after a very rocky month of her losing most of her old friends and finding new ones that weren't so great. I was hoping that a fresh start and new people would help. Instead, she plummeted into a deep, dark place and was threatening suicide. We managed to get her back home immediately, but had a terrible scene of forcing her into the car and to the hospital. Luckily she admitted herself and was transferred to a behavioral hospital for about a week where they started her on medication, therapy, and basic things like sleeping well, eating regularly, and exercise that will help her cope with her anxiety and depression. She is at home now, working, and learning to love herself and who she is.

    High school can be so hard on girls! My daughter was a cheerleader, very "popular," large group of friends, but very concerned with appearances and stuff. Once high school was over, she had no idea where she belonged anymore and realized that many of her friends were not really friends. I think your decision to pull your daughter out of school was very courageous and definitely the best things for now…maybe for always.

    A few things I've learned along the way: help her find things she enjoys and is good at, have fun together (looks like you've got that one down), stay on top of her medication (we've recently made a switch that has made such a difference), make sure that you are taking care of yourself (when my daughter quit going to her therapy appointments, I started going instead), encourage her to make lifestyle changes that will help.

    And some encouragement: you will both get past this and be stronger in the end. I've lived it myself and I'm living it again through my daughter…I'm right there with you sister. Things will change and life will feel right again.

    Sending love and hope your way.

  159. Annie / / Reply

    Hi Ez – I was very sorry to hear about your troubles, and am wishing both you and your daughter all the very best – I don't know if you follow the Pionner Woman blog, but in case not she has a really interesting section on homeschooling with lots of tips, advice and links, and a good support system of homeschoolers. Hoping this helps, x

  160. {plum} / / Reply

    before even reading this post, a smile formed on my face. It was the photo. it could only be a mother daughter moment for the ages. may you cherish the memory and the moment.

    may the days ahead bring lightness to your hearts, a spring to your steps and a clarity of mind in knowing that you are doing everything exactly as you should.

    time is always the answer.

    best,
    d.

  161. Mollie / / Reply

    I hate to read this but it seems like you are doing everything you possibly can to support your daughter. I'm a teacher and I see what a difference it makes between supportive and non-supportive parents. Keep on keeping on and I hope things truly get better.

  162. Mary Jane / / Reply

    As a teacher and Mom I've seen how hurt kids can get from bullies. It happens to so many. I think taking her out of school or changing her school is a great option. There are just some things in our lives that we don't have to tough it through and this is one example where adults need to step in and support, just like you are doing. What a great Mom you are!!!!!!!! I am feeling a lot of empathy for my kiddos today and I hope that they feel they can come to me if they ever feel bullied. That's a really hard thing for kids to do. I'm thankful for your honest sharing. I have your calendar print that says, "Chin Up Buttercup" on my classroom door. It's really for me as much as anyone. Best wishes and hugs!

  163. Summer / / Reply

    I am so so sorry to hear that about you and your daughter faced (and are facing). It hurts my heart to know that people can be so cruel for no reason at all. I pray that your daughter can accept herself as she is and know that she's perfectly perfect regardless of what anyone else says. You're a fantastic mother. Love and prayers for a beautiful 2013.

  164. Nicole / / Reply

    I'm so very sorry to hear this. You are obviously such a good Mom and I wish you and your daughter the very best. Wonderful pic :)

  165. sarah / / Reply

    I too was bullied. Junior high was pretty rough, but eventually I switched to a small all girls school where I finally felt a fit. It was as if something shifted in the world and I slid right into place. I hope your daughter finds her place too! Tell her to keep her chin up. It will come, eventually :)

  166. melinda k / / Reply

    What a terrible situation, I really wish you and your daughter the best. I dealt with my share of bullying throughout school and I was so happy when I finally graduated so I wouldn't have to deal with those jerks anymore…I can only imagine how much worse it is now that cell phones and social media are so heavily used with young people! I had to threaten my mom that I would drop out of school if I couldn't be transferred to an alternative school (school-to-work) for my senior year because I just couldn't take it at my other high school anymore. Spending my senior year at that school was such a blessing, I wish that I could have gone there sooner. I truly feel like part of the reason we have kids shooting up schools is because they probably went through years of being bullied and schools and teachers should be doing more to prevent bullying in the classroom. I'm so glad that you are listening to your daughter and that you care enough to get her away from that situation. It's a new year, a fresh start, and I hope positive changes are coming your way!

  167. Amy Nalette / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear this. Your daughter seems so beautiful and creative like you – I can't imagine why anyone would want to hurt her. I suffer from depression as well and know how horrible it can be when you are in such a dark hole. Wishing you and your daughter happy thoughts and a hopeful tomorrow!!!

    -Amy

  168. Jennifer / / Reply

    I have read your blog for quite some time but have never left a comment. Until today. The photo of you and your daughter is priceless. A moment to be treasured forever. As a mother myself, it breaks my heart to hear of such horrible things happening to you and your daughter. I applaud you for your decision to keep her out of school and for the strength and determination to be her biggest advocate. Thank you for sharing something so personal…and know you are not alone.

  169. Charmaine / / Reply

    Thank you for sharing this, Ez. You are not alone. I have also experience bullying (and these are from grown women!). It's very sad that some of these girls never grow out of that 'mean girl' mentality. I think that you did the right thing with moving your daughter out of that toxic situation. Praying for peace and hope for you and your daughter, Ez.

  170. B / / Reply

    I am so, so, sorry your beautiful daughter is going through this. Please get in touch with Elissa at the Farley Project as soon as you can. You won't regret it as both you AND your daughter will find friends and support. (Just google "Farley Project"). <3

  171. janis / / Reply

    I have been both victim and perpetrator of bullying during my childhood and both sides suck. Being a mom myself I cannot imagine someone doing anything to hurt my daughter. I think that what you are doing is best though…distraction & removal. Although I do not experience depression myself on a regular basis..I did have a strong bout with postpartum depression and the feeling of isolation and confusion that came along with it was one of the hardest struggles I've dealt with to date. You are a wonderful mom…you can see it in your photos & in your writing. By you simply wanting to protect your daughter and struggling over whats best for her always….it makes you fabulous & I'm sure she feels it whether she tells you or not. She definitely knows she is loved:) Your life seems filled with inspiration which is an amazing thing for your daughter to be exposed to daily. As long as you both continue to inspire one another to be kind, compassionate, loving and creative…you'll both get through this:)

  172. Acanthus Nichole / / Reply

    I'm so shocked and saddened to hear that this is happening to you and your lovely daughter again. Things are sure different from when I was in high school, and it disgusts me to hear that kids go to such extremes to hurt one another. It makes me nervous for when my son gets older, and he's only 2 1/2 years old.

    I thought your first move was a bold and admirable choice, and I have nothing but support and praise for your choices for your family again. You should be proud that you are such an understanding and involved parent.

    I can't believe I've been so selfish lately as to be wondering when I can follow your posts again! Geez! I'm so sorry, but you have definitely been missed while you deal with much more important matters.
    Take care!

  173. lisa :: the red thread / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter Ez. Know that you're doing all you can her help her and that makes you an awesome mum! You have worked hard to make Creature Comforts the wonderful space that it is, so you should also know that your readers will be here when you're ready to return… even if it's weeks, or months away! Thinking of you and your girl. Things will get better.

  174. Gillian / / Reply

    Some groups develop a toxic culture. Unless someone with authority stomps on it (and helps them I guess become better and more enlightened people) it goes on.

    I don't think it's her at all… it just happens sometimes. Sticking it out no matter what is not always the best way. You have done a good thing making a change for the better. Your love and support can't be bad thing. Not ever.

    She looks like great kid. I wish her every happiness. : )

  175. Tami / / Reply

    When I first saw this photo- I honestly thought it was a vintage picture of two cool rocker chicks! I love that it's you and your daughter. Thank you for your honesty- I can't imagine the difficulty of this. I have a 16 year old son and couldn't even begin to think of what I would do if this was happening to my family. I do know this- mean girls/ people turn into meaningless adults who still search for ways to tear down others. Believe in Karma and know that you will be free of them and all of this one day soon. I tell my son when things are tough- it's just a blip in the screen. You will move on and most importantly forward, where they will always stay stuck and stagnant. It's actually quite pathetic for them. You are beautiful!

  176. addie / / Reply

    Oh I'm so, so sorry to hear this. That is just unimaginable. Sounds like you're doing the right thing. Sending warm thoughts and light…

  177. fenny setiawan / / Reply

    I hope by now the situation is getting much better. Bullying is not cool. Dislike those incident. I will keep you and your daughter in my prayer. Hug…

  178. Lily / / Reply

    You're doing the right thing by putting your focus on your daughter and you are an amazing mom for taking such a stand for her. She'll always remember the safety net that you provided during such a hard time. I can't imagine how painful it must be to watch your child be hurt like this but sending you only good thoughts and prayers for clarity through the time to come. All the best Ez :)

  179. SuzySomething / / Reply

    Ez, I'm so sorry that you and your daughter are going through such a difficult experience. Bullying has been taken to a new level with the advent of social media like Twitter and Facebook. You are a wonderful mother! Your understanding and support are so important to help her cope with the cruelty and disregard of those who chose to pick on her. I hope that knowing that your followers understand and offer support to you will help you. As a parent, I can't think of anything worse than knowing my child was miserable and feeling helpless. You have made a sound decision to take her out of school. Homeschooling has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years. I think in part it's because we no longer trust that public schools are safe for our children. Bullying occurs in private schools, too–though there is more latitude there in treating both the victim and the bully. As so many others have already written, I am sending lots of positive thoughts in your direction—and keeping you both in my heart and in my prayers. You have shown so much courage in sharing your pain with your followers. Your daughter is fortunate to have such a wonderful role model. You are indeed fortunate to have each other. Suzy xoxo

  180. karen / / Reply

    Sad to think this is happening to your family, but I am also glad that you shared it honestly. Bullying is a real and terrible issue, and I hope your honesty sparks other parents to think about addressing it to their kids too.
    But cheer up, sunshine! You're a strong mom- just by loving her to the best of your heart's capacity! I pray for your daughter's and for your sake that you find a good and peaceful routine to settle into. Sending so much love to you both.

  181. Angeles / / Reply

    Look for Brief Strategic Therapy in USA, in your state. I only know about them in Spain and in Italy where one of his founders (Giorgio Nardone) have his clinical consultation.
    Ask for advice in:
    http://www.bsft.org/
    Do not give up!
    Angeles

  182. pilgrim / / Reply

    oh i'm so sorry.. life is hard growing up, and its hard watching your kid grow up. this year was our first brush with bullying (from students AND a teacher!) and its absolutely horrifying how people can behave. i hope the rocky start to the year is not indicative of how the next 12 months will go for you both xo

  183. Kathy / / Reply

    Having been through similar situations my heart breaks for your family. I will pray for light and success for your daughter and relief and peace for you . With the cooperation of your daughters doctor and the school there should be many resources provided to help get her through this year. Our district provided at home schooling once per week which kept her current with the school's requirements and gave baseline guidance to work that we provided at home. Five years past our darkest moments my daughter has completed college and is being considered for her dream job. Hang in there.

  184. Jackie Sorich / / Reply

    I am so sorry this has happened to your daughter and your family. I hope all the support and resources you need are at hand quickly and clearly. These days the meanness is more terrible due to social media and the ease of spreading nasty stuff, and things in print have an impact on us all.
    Betrayal is awful, and finding out someone is not to be trusted hurts so much. Sending heartfelt support and love your way. JS

  185. colleen attara / / Reply

    It is so very hard to love someone so much and see them hurt. As a mom of two teens, a girl and a boy, I really focus on managing my own anxiety. I find that I relive all of my own teenage angst, especially with my daughter. It sounds as if your situation was very serious and that you reacted quickly and instinctively. How lucky your daughter is. When you feel as if you are back on level ground, look at the "parent assist" page on FB. This is a parent coach in my area who I go too. I find it very helpful. Look through some older posts of hers and I think you will find something to hold onto. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  186. Jenn / / Reply

    How horrible! I wish I could think of something more original and helpful to say than 'Hang in there.' Darkness does pass, eventually. I hope it moves quickly for you.

  187. Sara / / Reply

    Sending supportive thoughts to both you and your daughter. Terrible situation. I hope things start getting easier and that joy begins to fill both your lives again. Thanks for sharing what's going on.

  188. Julia / / Reply

    Dear Ez, I hope your daughter and your family find strengh in such a difficult time. Sometimes there isn´t a explanation why bad things happen to good people. I hope you find a way out of this and an alternative way of studying might do the trick. Also, professional help is highly recommended, both for her and the parents.
    Wish you all the best!

  189. Erin / / Reply

    I am so sorry for your daughter, why are kids so cruel.
    I have freinds who work for Oak Meadow. I seem some of the curricula for the younger children and it is great. The people following this curriculum RAVE about it. Check out Oak Meadow located in Brattlebor, VT.

  190. Lili / / Reply

    Ez, I'm praying for you and your daughter. I think God is always the best answer to the sad things in our lives. He's pure love and is always carrying us in His arms. Hold on and trust in the good things in life. Things will change to better.

  191. Megan / / Reply

    this news was heartbreaking. I don't know you Ez, but I have 2 children and I can't possibly imagine how difficult this must be for you and your daughter. They are so precious and as a parent, we feel 100% responsible for their well being…call it maternal instinct, I guess! Your daughter is fortunate to have you to support her through all this and I hope that you're both able to overcome it and continue in a positive direction. much love, Megan

  192. natalie / / Reply

    Thats an awful thing for a girl to go through I went through a similar experiacne a few years ago in high school. all and all life is hard but when that is in the past she will have learned more about herself in the process and she is luckyto have a mother guide her thought the process. I do I can to help other students now when I see someone struggling.

  193. Alice / / Reply

    Oh, I'm so sorry this happened to your daughter and you. Sometimes (too often I think!) bad things happen to good people. It's good that you don't blame yourself, because you shouldn't. You can do everything right, and your daughter too, and sometimes bad people still target you. I'm glad you're trying to be positive and I think it's good that you took your girl out of the school. I'm sure she'll catch up on her studying, what's more important is that she feels safe and loved. I think everything else falls into place and you figure it out, as long as you feel safe.

    Hope you're both having a nice day.
    xo

  194. Mary / / Reply

    I was in your daughter's shoes 20 years ago, at the brunt of horrendous bullying and the emotional pain that comes with it. Fast forward: I made amazing friends later in high school and especially at University, I married a wonderful guy, got to travel a bit, now I live in London with my two little girls. I'm so glad I didn't give up- and that I had loving people who helped me. Tell her IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER.

  195. Lizzie / / Reply

    I hope your daughter knows how hard this community rooting for her. I think you're a great mother and daughter team (photo is great proof!!!) and you both can handle this together. All the best to you

  196. Theresa / / Reply

    You are an amazing mother. Thank you for having the courage to share this painful experience. Sending lots of positive energy and peace to you both.

  197. Lori / / Reply

    Hi Ez,
    Just had to comment and before I did, read some of the other comments. What is happening in our world that so many of our children are affected by this?!! You'd think with all the bullying programs and awareness that we would have made some progress. We've been in the same boat since March of last year. My 12 year old's best friend just simply turned on her one day and life has been hell ever since. Verbal, physical, emotional trauma, you name it, she's done it. We've even found her phone number posted on city buses with the message "call for sex". My daughter has learned alot, been unbelievably resilient (I would have crumbled under the same pressure), but hasn't had a moment's peace since this started. The school is involved but useless as it appears that bullies have more power than victims in my neighborhood.

    Just wanted to thank you for your post and your honesty and let you know that others understand the sheer heartbreak of it. I've had many sleepless nights, many tearful conversations, and asked myself all the questions you are asking. And while I know it sounds trite, I truly believe that life gives us what we need to become who we are meant to be. There has to be some bigger picture. I trust that your daughter will be an incredible gift to the world and will make a difference in many lives having lived through such challenges. Blessings to you and her.

  198. Shawn / / Reply

    I'm sorry to hear about what has happened to your daughter. Several years ago, my daughter went through something very similar. I was worried sick about her. I felt so helpless. As a parent, I don't believe there is anything harder than to see your child in pain. We eventually transferred her to another school and life for her improved. I highly recommend the book, "Odd Girl Out"…it is very insightful. Gives one a better understanding about bullying, especially when done by girls and the effects it has.

  199. victoria | vmac+cheese / / Reply

    I think the fact that you are willing to be your daughter's protector and remove her from the situation shows how much you love her and that you ARE a good mother. I'm so sorry that both of you are having to go through this. Thinking of you guys and sending you lots of virtual hugs!

  200. Tanya / / Reply

    Oh Ez I am so sorry. Bullying is such a pervasive and infectious disease that I just can't bare to see. Being a teacher I see it daily at least in a mild form. I've had so many countless discussions with my students about what bullying is, what it's about and why it happens, even going into my history of being bullied and in turn being a bully. It made me reduce to tears once to be honest and while at first I was a little horrified (a teacher should never cry in front of her students!) I later realized kids need to see the effects bullying has, even decades down the road.
    Isn't it amazing and a horrible testament to human nature that of all the pedagogical and behavioural changes in school over the decades, bullying still remains an issue?
    I fully support your decision to remove your daughter. She needs to feel secure and home will do that. My husband was home schooled at a time that he couldn't handle public school anymore. He eventually went back, but he said being home schooled was the best thing ever and strongly wants that for our children.
    Take this time to be with your daughter and help her in her education and self esteem just like you've always done. I'm no expert but based on the above picture, these could be some of the best months or years of her teenage life. And in the end, whether she goes back to school or not, she will be just fine with you there to support her.
    xo

  201. Amanda Huddleston / / Reply

    Wow. That is a very difficult thing to deal with. I chose to take my daughter out of high school in 9th grade for similar reasons. I think the problem is that the world has moved into a very ugly place and parents aren't parenting anymore. It is more important to teens to be cruel than to realize that one day they will grow up and have to face the consequences. Paying attention to your daughter's needs is the right thing to do. Pushing against the current is always harder than going with the flow. Sending good thoughts your way!

  202. Carolina Almeida / / Reply

    You are a great mother and your daughter is incredibly lucky to have you. :) Soon the sun will shine again!

  203. Summer Allen / / Reply

    Ez, so sorry to hear this :( I was bullied so badly through school- I finally was able to skip 2 grades of high school by taking the CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam) and go onto college at 16. But even now at 30, my self esteem is so shot- that stuff can stick, and I've always dealt with pretty awful depression. I just started home schooling both of my kids due to my fears of safety and how badly school can beat one down.

    I send you and your daughter a ton of love. You're a great mother, don't forget that.

    xo, Summer

  204. Abigail / / Reply

    I am so, so sorry that your daughter is having to go through this. I was teased mercilessly throughout junior high, so my heart just broke reading this. I ended up being homeschooled for my high school years and it really turned my life around. Having a parent who's got your back makes all the difference in the world dealing with bullying, and it sounds like your daughter has that support in you. :-) Best of luck with everything and sending lots of good thoughts out there for you guys!

  205. Christina Main / / Reply

    Gosh darnit! I just HATE bullying. HATE. I'm so sorry your daughter had to experience this AT ALL. Kids and THEIR PARENTS need to really step up and GROW UP. Parents need to realize that even if their kids are teens they still need to be parented. They are indeed not adults yet.

    I'm so so so SO sorry. I hope your daughter is doing well.

  206. gaia / / Reply

    Dear,
    I'm an italian girl and blogger and I follow you since…I don't even remember but you are my daily reading. I think I've never left a comment to any of your post that I really love but this time I've decided to thank you for sharing with us such difficult period and problem. I hope you'll daughter will be better soon and I really appreciate your honesty.
    Thank you for everything!

  207. Audrey / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear about that, but it seems to me that you and your daughter are very brave persons. I think usually the clever and sensitive people are the ones who get both bullied and depressed. I hope all the best to you both and warm hugs from here cold Scandinavia. <3

    P.S. I really love your blog, you give so much inspiration, thank you for it!

  208. Neen / / Reply

    So sorry to hear that you and your daughter have been having such a rough time. I hope that as this new year progresses, her self esteem grows and your worry, in turn, can subside.

    Bullying is awful, just awful and I feel for anyone having to endure it.

    Take care.
    xx

  209. JENNY / / Reply

    Hi,
    I am randomly checking in on your blog every once in a while to look at all the pretty pictures.
    Now I read through this because I really loved the photo on top and wanted to know what it's about.

    I am so utterly sorry to read your daughter is being bullied. I was bullied in school so much, had no friends until 16 years old (which I do consider very late).
    I wish I could give any advice.
    Anyway, I know I never had close contact to my mum when it came down to this issue. I believe until this day she might not even know how hard it's been for me in school. It's weird when being a teenager, you just wanna be different than your parents, sometimes not seeing that they unconditionally love and support you whatsoever.
    I was just thinking of how I still made it through. I am pretty young still, there was also social media rumours and alike in my story and it's painful because it reaches so far out you can't throttle it anymore. Not even with help from friends.
    So all I wanna share with your daughter is that school days pass, stick in there, try to be strong, find a goal outside of school and a hobby that keeps you going. Ignore the bullies and tell yourself it's just all an illusion. I know this totally leads to daydreaming, but how else to escape it? Time passes automatically.
    For me it did the trick. I now have no idea of where these people ended up at or what they are doing because I am done with school. It's not that these kind of people disappeared, she will always have encounters that may be alike and remind her painfully of the past. But your daughter will hopefully become as strong as me. Always face it. It's mostly just jealousy and greed. Bullies envy happiness and self-esteem. Don't let them bring your daughter down. In the end, your daughter will hopefully get to the point where it's just repeated patterns of bullying that will soon bore her. Just because she's been there. In brief, the worst she could do is leave this place. Bullied kids gotta stay and stick together. Otherwise there won't ever be an end to it if we just give in.

    Lots of strength. Tell your daughter: school's important but not everything to the world, time will pass, be strong and most of all – you never walk alone!
    JENNY

  210. Melanie Burk / / Reply

    Oh Ez. So horrible to hear. I am so so sorry. I am glad that you are such a supportive and loving mom, and that you have such a close relationship to your daughter so that she can turn to you for help. I will pray for strength for both of you. xo

  211. Katy Leng / / Reply

    Hi Ez,

    I have been following your pinterest blog for some time, and I noticed your absence since yours is my favorite pinterest…I absolutely love the way you view the world and I always adore everything you post (even before I see your name). I just discovered you have this amazing blog this morning and when I read this blog, I wanted to send you some encouragement. I am 23 years old and my mom homeschooled me from 2nd grade through my senior year in high school, and I thank her every day for that decision because after giving me life, it has been the best gift she has ever given me. I loved being homeschooled, and if I have the chance, I will definitely do the same for my kids. If you have any questions, feel free to email me although I am sure you've gotten some awesome advice from all your devoted readers. But, I will say, check out your area for cooperative programs where other homeschoolers and their parents will gather once or several times a week for classes. I was apart of a co-op for all of highschool and it helped my parents out because I was able to take classes from other parents who might have more knowledge in one area. Also check into homeschool specific sports or other programs. I did synchronized swimming with a homeschooled club and had a lot of close friends there. There are so many options and opportunities. Also, take a look at http://www.hslda.org. It's the homeschool legal defense agency and it's worth every penny to become a member especially if your state is less friendly towards homeschooling. Best of luck to you!

  212. Michele / / Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter but am happy to hear things seem to be doing better. The teenage years can be so miserable even when you're not being bullied. I hope 2013 is wonderful for her and you. :)

  213. Michelle / / Reply

    I was catching up on blogs and just saw this. I am so sorry. Bless you, bless you for taking your daughter out of that place. It's so frustrating to see children destroyed emotionally or physically (whether by suicide or their "peers") and then see the parents talk about how they'e struggled with a school for YEARS. It's just school. There are so many options for education today.Our kids are worth every bit of effort. School is NOT an accurate representation of life. It's so good of you to teach your daughter now that sometimes you have to remove yourself from toxic situations and to surround herself with people who love her. Even that sometimes who those people are may change, but keep loving, keep moving forward. I wish you and your daughter the absolute best!

  214. Audrey - This Little Street / / Reply

    Ez – just catching up on your blog after a few weeks away, and so sorry to hear about everything that both you and your daughter have been going through. Bullying is such an awful, nasty thing – I just can't understand so much cruelty. In any case, thanks so much for sharing with us, for your honesty, as always. Just trusts your guts, do what you have to do to keep her safe and happy, and don't worry about us. We'll be here whenever you can come back to the blog. Many hugs.

  215. j / / Reply

    bullies are not good people – if they pick on you then take it as a compliment that they do not identify with you

  216. Elizabeth @ HobbyLobbyist / / Reply

    I'm so sorry that you've been dealing with these tough situations. Sadly, young bullies are often trying to deal with their own feelings of insecurity by hurting others. I personally feel that home schooling is one option, but not the only option. Are there alternative schools in your area? Perhaps one with a focus on arts or another area that your daughter enjoys?

    Thank you for sharing your family challenges. As I'm sure you can see, she is not alone and neither are you.

  217. Janelle / / Reply

    I'm so, so sorry that you and your daughter are going through this. On the positive note, she is lucky to have a mom like you to support her. Wishing you peace!

  218. kathleenmcs / / Reply

    Our daughters and sons depend on us to protect them. I can hardly imagine how grateful your daughter must be to have you as her mother. As a single mother of an adult daughter and son, from my perspective, every sacrifice, every bit of energy and thought, has been worth it. Sending love and strength to you and your daughter.
    And also sending gratitude for your wonderful blog, which I always look forward to!

    xo,
    Kathleen

  219. Erin @ The Great Indoors / / Reply

    Bless you, Ez. I frequently read your blog but don't often have the chance to comment. For this post, though, I have to — I can't imagine what you and your daughter have been through the last weeks and months. My heart hurts for you both, and I hope healing has started. May your daughter be able to find and trust uplifting, true friends again soon. In the meantime, though, it sounds like she has one great mom to help her through it.

    Erin

  220. Mary Ryan / / Reply

    You are an awesome Mom! I am new to following your blog so was not up to date. I read your blog post about your daugter today and as a parent I can only imagine your pain. I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts!

  221. Kristen / / Reply

    Ez, I follow your blog, and your collages and pictures (especially the one in this post!) always cheer me up. I know you're not out here in California anymore, but I work at Bridges Academy, which is a private school in Studio City for gifted kids who were often bullied at other schools just for being themselves. The admissions director is a great guy and always willing to talk to parents about different schooling options that fit their kids (not just at Bridges, but a variety of schools and home-school resources). Please feel free to email me for more info.

  222. Jess Williams / / Reply

    Please don't apologize for a personal post. It makes us feel more connected to you. Plus we're able to pray for you guys :) I pray for peace for yourself and your daughter and guidance for you to know what to do. Also for those bullies to change their ways and not hurt people the way they've hurt your daughter. I'm sorry you guys have to go through any of this and I pray in the end your stronger because of it.

  223. Paula / / Reply

    I'll be thinking of you and your daughter a this difficult time (even though this is a bit late!). Teenage girls can be more vicious than even the worst movie villains. I just wanted to commend you for making the difficult decision to pull your daughter out of school and focus on her mental and physical well-being. I also wanted to encourage you to look into post-secondary programs in your state. I'm not sure what it's like where you're from, but in Minnesota at least, high schoolers can complete their high school education at community colleges (bonus – the class credits also often can be applied toward a four-year degree at other schools). Your daughter sounds like an amazing girl – and you're a wonderful mother – and maybe being around a more diverse and mature class like those at a community college would be good at this time. Just a thought! Sending lots of love and happy thoughts both of your guys' way.

  224. Jen / / Reply

    Hi there – just wanted to add to everyone else's comments … you both look like rockstars! What a fantastic moment to capture on film – I can see this will definitely be a fave.
    I do hope the year improves for both of you strong ladies. x

  225. Andrew O'Brien / / Reply

    Goodness me, even your daughter’s off-the -cuff phone snapshots are awesome! Late to this post, I hope things are settling down for you both!

  226. Darcey / / Reply

    This post is for your lovely daughter!

    Hi! I’m Darcey and I’m 18. I went through the same awful torment through 3 years of high school. It caused me to have panic attacks and depression. I’m so sorry that had to happen to you! People are cruel :(
    Everything’s going to be okay! You’re going to find the option that works best for you. I took the GED and earned a scholarship for college, and i’m working towards becoming a lawyer! College is so much better than high school; focus on creating goals for yourself instead on dwelling on the negatives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been so hard to get out of that negative head space, but once you do, know you can do anything!
    Hope this helped! Please stay positive and don’t give up! <3

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