So. There’s this story making the rounds about a girl who got asked out by her childhood bully and she “GOT HIM GOOD”. Here is where I read about it. But here’s the thing…while the middle school girl who was called “pizza face” nonstop at summer day care and who was made fun of for not having enough clothes not to duplicate an outfit in a week, and who was mocked for reading Babysitter’s Club books all the time? That tiny part of me smiled at that story.
BUT ONLY FOR A SECOND.
I was a shitty kid too
Just because I got bullied in certain parts of my life by certain people didn’t mean I was perfect. My actual school was small and I had been there since First Grade so we had a tight-knit group that always supported me. HOWEVER, I was a bitch to new people that joined our class. We had a pretty girl join us in Third Grade and I was SO MEAN to her. She was pretty and she was new and I hated her. There was this nice boy in 8th grade who joined us and I was mean to him too. Then, in high school I had a guy make a list and put me in the top two spot with the name “Kim ‘the Whore’ Moore” but you know what? I was a bitch to him at other times.
I may have not been the prettiest or the most popular but I was still NOT the bottom of the tier of popularity and so – I was mean to people below me.
I contemplated suicide at certain points in my life because I was so miserable at being mistreated. But did that stop me from mistreated others if I had the chance? Nope.
So – can I get behind some sort of embarrassing “Calling Out” of a bully? No. Because I had my moments where I was mean too. It wasn’t often because I was not often in a position to be a bully, it’s hard to bully from the bottom, but if I had the chance…I sure as hell took it.
I don’t carry grudges
I don’t know why…but I don’t carry grudges. I often remember a feeling I had towards someone in my past, but I usually have a hard time remembering exactly why I felt that way. And I rarely feel it strongly once the incident faded. I know people who can tell you exactly the name of the person who hurt them 30 years ago and every detail of the incident. I only remember my daycare tormentor’s first name. Jason. I contemplated suicide because of that guy and I don’t even remember his last name. And beyond that, I really only remember the basics and the feeling of hating him. But – I also remember running into him years later and really not giving 2 shits he had bullied me, I was just excited to see someone I knew even if it had been my tormenter.
Maybe it’s because I know I’ve done shitty things in my life (I was not good in relationships before I met Donnie – I was often the shittiest person in almost every relationship) so I don’t want to harbor grudges for fear of them being harbored against me. Maybe I just don’t have the attention span. It takes a lot of energy to remember how someone wronged you…and I don’t have a lot of energy for the stuff I like, must less for the stuff I hate. Hell – when my ex-husband and I split I distinctly remember walking up to a group of friends on campus and they were badmouthing me and I had just been hanging out with them a few nights before and I totally thought they were still my friends. I remember they were talking bad about me as a Mother and that hurt TERRIBLY. I remember that feeling of my heart sinking when I heard the word. I remember making eye contact with someone in the group who panicked when they realized I was right there and listening. I remember finding somewhere to smoke and cry and swearing I would get the HELL OUT OF THAT SMALL TOWN where everyone knew my business.
But I can not remember the names or even really the faces of anyone there. And that was, like 1999. That was probably my most recent moment of REALLY being upset with someone and I can’t even remember who it was. For all I know they’re in my running group now.
I firmly believe people change
Maybe it’s naive of me, but it has been my experience that everyone is a completely different person at heart when they become an adult than they were as a teenager. Maybe it’s just because I feel so different. Maybe it’s because I have friends who claim they’re so different. Maybe it’s because I’ve had reunions with classmates and while yes – there are definite similarities still there of course – we’re all very different as adults. I don’t know. But I just can’t get behind the assumption that just because someone was shitty as a teenager means they’re still a shitty adult. Like I said – this could be REALLY naive of me. But I’ve worked with teenagers enough and I’ve had one of my own and I’ve seen bullying and I’ve seen shitty behavior but I’ve also seen the same kids be hurt and vulnerable and there are just so many sides to a teenager because they have so much going on in their lives at any given moment. And I believe that as they mature, the shitty side that wants to bully those below them on the totem pole, falls back to the more human side as they get older and see the world is much bigger than that one totem pole.
I don’t know. Like I said, part of me was like, “DAMN. BULLIED KID DREAM COME TRUE.” But 95% of me just felt bad for everyone involved. And I felt REALLY good for myself that
A) I was a shitty kid so I (maybe naively) have faith that people can become good adults even as shitty kids
B) I don’t hold onto the memories of the people who were shitty to me.
What about you? Am I the minority? Does almost everyone thing, “GOOD FOR HER! WOOT!” and nothing else?