"I sometimes still felt alone, hopeless, worthless, disgusting and pathetic. It didn't go away all at once," she wrote in her iReport. "But slowly, it did go away.
"I made it to high school. I survived."
Understanding what makes some adolescents vulnerable
This kind of bullying -- between people who even recently appeared to be in a healthy, normal friendship -- isn't the most common. In a recent study, 30% of 18-year-olds said their friends had bullied them at least once, according to Elizabeth Englander, a psychology professor and founder and director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University.
But it's important because it reflects the extent to which children value peer relationships and understand what it means to be a friend.
"Social rules are the most powerful shaper of social behavior, and society cannot function without social norms. It's important to utilize them as best you can so that people are as good and kind and helpful to each other as possible," she said. "If we don't impress that friendship relationships carry obligations, we're giving up some of our leverage to get people to behave themselves."
Englander's study, which is still in progress, also looked at why some adolescents are more vulnerable than others to being bullied by friends. Common factors included difficulty being active in the school community, anxiety, depression and trouble maintaining friendships.
"By understanding what makes kids vulnerable, it gives you a map for how you can help these kids cope in a more resilient way," she said. "You can't affect if parents get divorced, but you can affect the support systems we provide to kids."
As with any form of bullying, prevention and intervention comes from fostering respect and empathy for others. (It's not just a problem for children. Adults also tend to define themselves by their differences, too, experts said.)
The challenge facing both groups is simple: Can we honor and respect our own values -- "without defining them by hating others"? Bravewomon asked. In other words, if owning expensive sneakers or being fourth-generation Americans is what binds a group of friends, can they learn to live with others unlike them?
"Schools need to wholeheartedly respect and value belief systems that all families teach," she said. "Where it runs amok at school is when students use hate-based behavior because of a personal belief system."
So what can educators and parents do if they can't necessarily even see bullying cloaked in the highs and lows of friendships?
The first step is modeling positive behavior to build a schoolwide expectation of kindness, respect and empathy and cultivate an environment where everyone feels connected, said Chen Kong-Wick, violence prevention program manager for the Oakland Unified School District in California.
"We spend a lot of time teaching students academic skill sets, but we don't teach expected positive behavior," she said. "It's harder to gossip, bully or name-call someone if you have a relationship with them."
New Milford Public Schools, where Ally goes to high school, tries to promote an environment of respect by focusing on a different "character attribute" each month, Superintendent JeanAnn C. Paddyfote said.
In October, when the focus is on responsibility, students have taken turns on the public announcement system sharing what the attribute means to them. It could be handing in homework on time or, in the context of bullying, telling a teacher when they see a someone being mistreated firsthand or on social media.
In the digital age, teachers and parents need help from students to spot cyberbullying, Paddyfote said.
"Anyone who wants to engage in bullying or mean-spirited behavior knows how to do it so no one catches them," said Paddyfote, who declined to comment specifically on Ally's case, citing district policy.
"A good friend -- or person -- will have the courage to go to a guidance counselor and let us know when something's happening before it's too late."
Creating a 'success story'
Families play a vital role, too, in modeling empathy, respect and kindness -- a lesson the Del Monte family has absorbed in a variety of ways.
These days, Wendy Del Monte monitors every aspect of her children's social media activity. She has all their passwords so she can check them when she wants. Her son and daughter can't bring their smartphones into their bedrooms at night; they charge in the family room.
She even helps Ally run her blog, Loser Gurl, which she launched in 2012 after she considered suicide. Del Monte tried to discourage her at first, fearing it would become yet another platform through which people would attack Ally. And, while her first post about struggling with her weight drew some negative comments, they were outnumbered by others thanking her for sharing.
Through her blog and social media, she estimates that she has connected directly with more than 60 victims of bullying to offer a sympathetic ear and encouraging words. She has friendships -- fewer, but healthier, many of them online.
Ally's goal is to become a motivational speaker so she can help others struggling with the effects of bullying. She wants them to know that their value resides well beyond the social boundaries of high school cliques.