Social Question

jca's avatar

Were you ever the result of bullying as a child/teen, and if so, have you resolved it as an adult, either by speaking with those who harassed you or by some other way?

Asked by jca (35994points) August 24th, 2010

I was bullied in high school, by some boys that were mean to me because i was overweight, and had glasses and braces. The people that were cruel harassed me to the point that i changed schools and never saw them again. One of them recently popped up on my FB, in a message to another FB friend of mine. I was wondering if i should contact him and tell him about the hurt that he caused me.

However, this question is not meant to be specific to me. I am wondering if anybody else has ever communicated, as an adult, wtih someone who bullied them. Have you told them about the hurt that they caused you? Have you ever found closure with the issue of the bullying or did you just let it go?

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16 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I was bullied as an adolescent, because I’m gay. I moved as far away from my hometown as I could, and I don’t go back. Luckily, I haven’t run across any of the bullies in later life.

I’ve spent years in therapy getting over it. I don’t know really how successful I’ve been.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I went to a high school in a town that is predominantly made up of Jewish families. Someone started a rumor that I was a neo-nazi and I kept seeing my name written on desks and lockers with a swastika next to it. Which only fueled the fire, because I’m sure a lot of people believed that I was the one creating the graffiti. It was pretty brutal for a while there.
It was extremely hurtful that people believed I was so full of hate, when anyone that has ever known me, knows that couldn’t be further from the truth. Misunderstood, sure, hateful, never.

I never did confront any of them, and I’ve never wished to. That is in the past for me and I see no reason to stir it back up. But I think if you feel so compelled to confront the people that hurt you – maybe it would do you good. I recommend preparing yourself for a less than warm reply, though. The guy you are talking about may have matured to see the error of his ways.. he may be apologetic. There is always the chance that he won’t, so keep that in mind.

Cruiser's avatar

I let it go…life is too short to worry about mixed up points of views of ignorant nipple heads!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My older sister bullied me.
I beat the hell out of her XD

Seek's avatar

Sure, I was bullied. Short, flat-chested, late into puberty, weird, nerdy, teacher’s pet, parents that would make scenes at the school…

I ended up closing myself off to most social contact by about the middle of high school.

Since then, more than a few people from the dark ages have tried to “friend” me. I just hit “ignore” and move on.

They made my life miserable when I was at my most fragile. They aren’t my best buddies. Why rake up past hurts for no reason?

I did however, use Facebook to apologise to someone. I had a friend, a couple of years younger than me, who I rode the bus with. We’d chat on the long ride. I was feverishly Christian, and he was neopagan. We talked about a lot of uncomfortable things like it was nothing – and after I deconverted, I was tortured by memories I had of saying things like “I can never respect a gay person because God says they are abominations”. Never once did I realise my friend was gay.

So, I sent him a long, LONG message on Facebook profusely apologising for my ignorance, and lamenting the fact that my fundamentalism likely ruined what could have been an awesome friendship. He accepted my apology – even stated that it was unnecessary (I think he said that one of the reasons we go to high school is to get our stupid mistakes out of the way), but that friendship is forever lost. Alas.

muppetish's avatar

Students found all kinds off fucked up reasons to dislike me in primary school: I was short, smart, a “tattletale”, an atheist, didn’t speak Spanish, preferred to read books on the bench during recess instead of playing, associated with students who were labeled “different” (a girl with a serious skin condition, a lovely black boy who helped me to the office when I scraped my knee, a Vietnamese girl who spoke with a lisp, and the only student on campus who was picked on more than I was for being gay – he is one of my closest friends to this day), and to top it all off – I didn’t have very many friends. As a result, my memories from childhood are miserable. I have almost nothing kind to say about the primary school I attended and speak to very few people I knew growing up. I want nothing to do with the students who teased me.

I do think people can change. I have friends with better experiences confronting their past. I wish I had a more positive experience to share.

@hawaii_jake Everyone in my primary school said my friend gay. I just knew he liked Pokemon, had the coolest teddy bear backpack ever, and was the politest boy I had ever met. He became good friends with my mother when we were seven and that’s how I came to know him. I don’t know how he maintained a positive attitude his entire life (he is from a strict Catholic family and we live in a strict Catholic neighborhood.) He’s a stronger person than I’ll ever be. I wish your experience had been better. People can be so cruel.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yes, in grade school, high school, college and within a company a company I worked for for many years. There are just some people who, for whatever reason, have personal issues that they act upon in the wrong way. Only one of the high school situations can I blame myself for.

I’m with @Cruiser on this one in letting it go, if you can. I’ve got a few of the abusers as friends on FB because they sent the request. None have offered an apology for their past aggression, nor did I expect it. Maybe they don’t recall the situation; maybe it is their tacit way of offering the olive branch of peace.

downtide's avatar

I was bullied all through school for a lot of reasons – being noticeably disabled, being queer, being very skinny, being a geek, being from a poor family in a rich neighbourhood. I don’t think I ever really resolved any of it, except by leaving school and moving away. Thinking about my schooldays still upsets me.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I was picked on for being nerdy and flat-chested, but I never felt bullied by those things.

There was a girl in high school that tried to bully me out of my chair position in band though. We had been in band together for several years. Each year I was first chair and she hated it. In 7th and 8th grade she would always say nasty things and do things like moving my chair or bumping into me when I was playing. I ignored it. That continued in 9th grade as well, but I kept ignoring it. Then in 9th grade, she decided she would take her anger out on me in person instead of continuing with trying to challenge me in band for the chair (we could be challenged at any time and we would have a bit of a competition and the rest of the band would decide). At first she started making threats towards my friends. When that didn’t get her anywhere, she decided she was going to try to jump me. She had one person that was willing to help her out. She approached me at lunch time one day and we ended up getting in a fight (her friend never got involved). She was twice my size back then. What she didn’t know what that I had taken years of martial arts training. The fight ended when one teacher tackled her (just happened to be the way he grabbed her and the way she tried to move) and another teacher grabbed me and escorted me out of the cafeteria. She slapped me a few times in the face because I let her get the first hit in. I wanted it to be self-defense on my part. I broke her glasses, busted her nose, and cut the side of her eye. I got suspended for 3 days, then convinced my mom to let me stay home the next 3 days (which coincidentally were right before spring break). I went back to school after spring break and when I entered the band room entrance, they played the “Rocky” fight song for me (it happened to be our football teams theme song). She never bothered me again after that. We didn’t really talk much during high school unless we had to because of band. A few years after high school, we spoke briefly, neither of us mentioned the fight. I don’t have any problem with her now, but I don’t really know how she feels towards me. Oh, and she never did get to be ahead of me in band.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I was bullied by a popular group of girls in Secondary School for two years. I don’t know why they didn’t like me or what made them single me out in the first place but they seemed intent on making my life hell. My parents tried to get the school to help sort out the problem but the schools reaction to this was to split the group up. This would have been fine had they not have moved two of the girls INTO MY CLASS!

Eventually they became bored of physically and mentally tormenting me and moved onto someone else. A year or so later when we were all leaving school for good each of the girls wrote in my leavers book. They all half heartedly apologised but seemed to consider the whole thing as just one big joke. I’m still quite angry about that. They shouldn’t have bothered mentioning it at all.

HungryGuy's avatar

Oh yes. In school, I was a total klutz at sports, and therefore despised by bullies around the world. To this day, bullies make my blood boil!

cookieman's avatar

Sure. I was bullied mercilessly through grade school. I was skinny, meek and really smart

I skipped the bus in middle school to avoid the bullies, walking every day and speaking to no one for almost two years.

Then a few things happened between 8th & 9th grade.
• I met a new group of friends from an adjacent town who treated me well – helped my self esteem.
• Very first day of high school I witnessed a bully of mine getting beat up by older kids and thought, “Ahh, I see how this works.”
• The completion of puberty left me with a deep voice and the size of a football player.
• Heeding my new friends advice, I stood up for myself just once. This kid was taunting me in a stairwell trying to stab me with a pencil. I don’t know where it came from, but I snatched the pencil from his hand and tossed him down the stairs.

I felt terrible afterward, but no one ever bothered me again and I actually went on to enjoy high school.

cessy's avatar

I think everyone gets bullied at some time in your life, even as we get older by co workers who are jealous,or neighbors,etc.If they hurt you real badly like they did to me confront them and next time it happens for whatever reason you stare right in the eye and defend yourself.Thats what I wish I did, I took it to the the next level and kicked him in his middle part.I don’t recommend it.lol

Jeruba's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, there’s a memorable line:

one of the reasons we go to high school is to get our stupid mistakes out of the way

What a shame you never managed to build that contact into the friendship you might have had with someone who knows how to forgive—a rare quality—and has wisdom to spare. But at least you put things right and don’t have to regret that one forever.

Seek's avatar

@Jeruba

We stayed in contact over Facebook for a while, but in the years that passed we just grew apart. I still really regret choosing to follow that absurd religion to the extent that I did, and the pain it caused him, among other people. I am, however, more than relieved to have his forgiveness. He’s a wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful man (with a very, very cute partner). And I wish him the best.

Incinerator's avatar

Growing up I felt like I was surrounded by bullies. Kids who lived down the street, kids at school, but the worst part; my two older brothers. So much cruelty for so many years has left me jaded. I never can or will trust any of thoes bullies, probably as a self preservation mechanism. One of my brothers would apologized for his behavior and I would drop my defences (after all he’s my brother right?) but soon, when an opportunity presented itself, he would dump on me again. He knows I keep him at ‘arms length’ now dispite his pleads of forgiveness. I can forgive, but I’ll never forget.

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