A high school bully apologized to me today
20 years later. They tracked me down through Facebook and sent me a note. I just wanted to share, because it's rare that something like this happens, and it gives me hope that some of the people who treated us like crap have actually grown up and and feel like shit about it:
I believe I was mean to you in high school. I want to say that I am deeply sorry about that. I hope that my nastiness toward you either went unnoticed or did very little harm to you. I know that when the subject of mean girls/guys come up, I feel physically ill about the way I treated you. I had no reason to act that way. It was foolish and selfish and a result of my own issues, and by no means should you have been the target of any of my thoughts and or my actions. Even if you don't remember me or my bad behavior, I do, and after all this while I just want to say that I am truly sorry. I don't look for a response or forgiveness because I will remember for the rest of my life how I was towards a couple of people in my life who just didn't deserve it, and again am sorry one of those people turned out to be you.
Your profile picture is great by the way. The years have been good to you. I hope that you have a wonderful happy life, and are blessed with all that you desire.
Thanks for reading this.
- - - -
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 146||05/13/2015|
Check his facebook page to see if the apology shows up on his recent activity and your recent activity screen.%0D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 2||12/12/2010|
R1, does that make it any less meaningful?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 6||12/12/2010|
[quote]I ran into a girl I used to torment when I was 8 or 9. [bold]I could tell she is STILL hurt by it.[/bold] Was I supposed to apologize for something I did at 8 or 9? C'mon? Get over it.
Jesus Christ R4, if you can tell she's still hurt then fucking apologize.
You're a douche.
Gee. I hope my words didn't hurt you.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 7||12/12/2010|
The only reason I signed up for Facebook was the vain hope that one of my bullies would apologize to me. Hasn't happened yet; they appear to have nothing but "fun!" memories of our school days, if they acknowledge remembering me at all.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 8||12/12/2010|
r6, depends on the person. Being motivated by thinking this is one of the rules you have to follow to get off booze/drugs is different from being motivated by wanting to genuinely apologize.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 9||12/12/2010|
R4, too bad that girl never got ahold of daddy's gun and blew you away. People like you are just taking up space and air.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 10||12/12/2010|
I was fucking eight! C'mon, you sensitive idiots. Since when is an eight year old responsible?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 11||12/12/2010|
Eight-year olds can be very mean.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 12||12/12/2010|
You're definitely acting like an eight year old.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 14||12/12/2010|
No doubt. I remember, I was a total BITCH. My sister had died, my parents were divorcing. I wasn't pleasant, but get over it. What does an 8yr old know? How are you going to be offended by an eight year old your whole life?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 16||12/12/2010|
It's not about blaming an 8 year old. It's about being a responsible adult NOW. Do you regret that your actions as an 8 year old caused her to suffer? If so then apologize.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 17||12/12/2010|
What is exceedingly sad, is the fact that R4 continues to post and defend himself. Even worse, the smug (almost bragging) attitude. I'm sure he's still that same little prick he was at 8 years old.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 18||12/12/2010|
Forgive and forget, OP. But to me it sounds like he is someone who absorbed the advantages of being one of the privileged while young by pecking and abusing the disfavored of the tribe, and now wants to be liked and forgiven for it by the one he bullied (yet it's doubtful he would ever risk or renounce or even consider the CURRENT privileges he gets for being one of the favored).
If I got a note like that, I would say: it was a long time ago, you were very young so it's understandable. I'm glad you've reached a more mature perspective. It's good of you to reach out.
And then basically I'd cut off contact. Someone like that is forgivable but has lost the chance to have you in their life, as a friend, as even a presence or facebook acquaintance imho.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 19||12/12/2010|
"I believe I was mean to you"? I wonder how many dozens of people that message went out to. This person doesn't even remember what specifically he did to OP.%0D %0D My brother ran into someone who bullied me and others in grade school. I hadn't seen or thought about this person in about 25 years. She wanted him to pass on a message that she was sorry for being a bully back then. Yes, of course she was a 12 stepper. It actually pissed me off because I realised this apology was to make her feel better, not me.%0D %0D That's what these "apologies" are really about. Self importance in thinking that what you did 25 years ago to someone is still memorable to them. Or that you have the power to change what you did then by your words now.%0D %0D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 20||12/12/2010|
How did he bully you? Was he closeted and striking out at that he saw in himself?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 21||12/12/2010|
This is why Facebook sucks and I refuse to set up a profile. Just a bunch people reliving the past and trying to recreate something that never existed in the first place.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 22||12/12/2010|
[quote]It actually pissed me off because I realised this apology was to make her feel better, not me.%0D %0D That's exactly what I was thinking as I read the letter posted by the OP. Regardless of whether or not it was a part of a 42-step program (I mean there would have to be that many to go back 20 years ago and apologize to high school acquaintances), the letter had the tone of someone who likes to hear himself talk a lot and is now grandstanding. I hope I'm wrong.%0D %0D But there was an episode of Old Christine that dealt with this same scenario, practically blow by blow. The victim of Christine's bullying had been none other than the very deliciously funny Amy Sedaris.%0D %0D Oh, and whadda ya know, I happen to have a clip in my purse right here
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 23||12/12/2010|
I apologized to someone I bullied and she appreciated it. It wasn't major league bullying, but it was enough that I felt awkward reigniting contact without addressing the issue.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 24||12/12/2010|
I totally get what R4 is saying. I had a bully apologize to me after we were adults, but I stopped him before he had finished and told him that he didn't need to. He was apologizing for something when we were kids - you can't be held to adult standards for what you did as a kid. And as an adult, I found it kind of weakening and insulting in a way - I was no longer his victim and he no longer possessed that kind of power over me. I prefer to be who I am today.%0D %0D It's not healthy to carry around something that happened in childhood, and it's not healthy to go around feeling guilty for something you did as a kid. %0D %0D People who hang onto that stuff well into their adult years are seriously damaged, and obviously heavily invested in being so, given their refusal to address who they are today.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 25||12/12/2010|
R20, I hear you, and there's a part of me that agrees. But the larger part of me asks the following questions: If apologies are always self-interested, then should they never be offered? I think we'd both agree that you can't turn back the clock, so what's the right thing to do? My questions are sincere, i.e., not some disguised attack. I think there's a quandary here. The letter received by the OP sounded like it was sincere, but I can definitely see why it might be poorly received. Maybe there really is no good answer?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 26||12/12/2010|
My god, some of you need to get on with your lives.%0D %0D I was bullied in school, but I graduated 20 years ago. I've moved on.%0D %0D Plus, thanks to Facebook, I know that pretty much all the bullies never left my small hometown and are now ugly losers.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 27||12/12/2010|
This happens more often on Facebook than you think, OP.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 28||12/12/2010|
[quote]I know that pretty much all the bullies never left my small hometown and are now [bold]ugly losers[/bold]. Yeah you've really moved on.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 29||12/12/2010|
As for R4, two comments. First, it seems that whatever went down matters quite a bit to R4, who has reacted with defensiveness and denial. Second, it's impossible to say anything more about how to treat it without knowing the details.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 30||12/12/2010|
R20 you make a good point. 12-steppers usually make amends for themselves not others. But, at least their conscience plagued them enough to feel bad at all.
OTH - maybe because there has recently been so much media attention on bullying, some people might be moved to try to make amends because they truly didn't realize until then that their hatefulness could still hurt all this time later.
Those who have been bullied could have told them that, but until recently, bully-ees have been expected to just "get over it." It doesn't work that way.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 31||12/12/2010|
R20 is exactly right. "I believe I was mean to you" is typical of the shitty way almost everyone apologizes. A real apology is one where the person knows what he did. These days, you get apologies like %0D %0D "I'm sorry if I offended you" (what, you don't even know whether you need to apologize?)%0D %0D "I'm sorry if you took offense" (apologize because of the other person taking offense, not for the act)%0D %0D Few people know what an apology is, and sadly, an equally small number of people who accept apologies seem to know either. They'll take any old shit as long as it includes "I'm sorry" or "I apologize," even if it's: "I believe I was mean to you."%0D %0D In the US, apologies are mostly self serving to clear the offender's conscience and are not done for the purpose of making amends of any kind.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 32||12/12/2010|
He clearly wants to fuck, OP.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 33||12/12/2010|
what's sad r4, is you making judgments about someone you don't know from four paragraphs they wrote.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 34||12/12/2010|
look, an apology can be motivated by many things, just like the bullying could have been motivated by many things.
You took the bullying at face value, regardless of the motive, you could accept the apology in the same way.
Either way, it is a chance to see if you still view yourself as a victim and a chance to get out if it if you do.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 35||12/12/2010|
Thank you r25, you said what I was trying to get across. R30, show me where I am in denial?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 36||12/12/2010|
Ignore these harpies, R4. They're from the arrested development culture where everything they think and do begins with "When I was a kid..." You'll never find anyone of note among these types, they want to revert to the past instead of living in the now or moving ahead.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 37||12/12/2010|
Admit it, OP - you added the last part.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 39||12/12/2010|
Thank you r37. All I really meant to say is I was surprised she was still upset or appeared to be. She has to be close to 40 now and she can't comfort herself by realizing I was eight? After all these years? I think that's sad.
Regarding these 12 step programs, I thought it was to apologize and make amends? How is he going to make amends OP?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 40||12/12/2010|
Notice how R4 has made this thread all about him.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 41||12/12/2010|
If it wasn't with a blow job, I don't care.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 42||12/12/2010|
[quote]My brother ran into someone who bullied me and others in grade school. I hadn't seen or thought about this person in about 25 years. She wanted him to pass on a message that she was sorry for being a bully back then. Yes, of course she was a 12 stepper. It actually pissed me off because I realised this apology was to make her feel better, not me.
Sweetie, the fact your tormentor remembered YOU and what she did should make YOU feel better about the apology. The person obviously felt bad enough to carry it with her all those years.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 43||12/12/2010|
R43 - That's bullshit. She was not tormented by it - she was the tormentor. Bullying changes people and their spirit - usually not for the better.
She wants to whitewash her past so she can be a good Christian or whatever.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 44||12/12/2010|
I really wish someone would give a thoughtful answer to my questions posed earlier at R25
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 45||12/12/2010|
You didn't pose any questions at r25.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 46||12/12/2010|
Why are we ripping apart something that was nice for the OP? Oh wait this is DL that's why. %0D %0D Not sure what r25 is actually getting at or wants as a response but people do hold onto this stuff whether we should or not, or if it's not healthy doesn't matter because we do and when someone acknowledges it and has remorse it should make us feel better. %0D %0D As a 12 stepper, I'll tell you no one wants to make amends. It's the dreaded step. And if it will hurt someone you're not supposed to do it directly to them. You can write a letter and not mail it.%0D %0D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 47||12/12/2010|
LOL R1! Way to undercut the moment.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 48||12/12/2010|
R45 is not R25. He is actually R26.%0D %0D R26 did ask some questions, but whether answers would be of any use to someone incapable of navigating a simple numbered list is dubious.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 49||12/12/2010|
Apologies should be offered. My sister once apologized to me for something that I never thought she would have. I didn't expect one. Didn't base my life around getting one. Had moved on, etc. Yet she had an experience that caused her to grow and become a different person. And that new person wanted me to know that she understood what I went through and apologized for not being supportive. I appreciated it and it brought us closer. Long story short - offer the apology. It could mean something to someone. And if it doesn't, no biggie. You did your best. Maybe people who are apologizing are just doing their best and offering you their best. You don't have to accept it.
People with such strong feelings about being apologized to may have moved on, but not fully, because there is so much emotion they have around this.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 50||12/12/2010|
I joined FB a few months ago and am puzzled as to why there is nobody from my high school who shows up on a search. Not just my year, but every year. There are four to five hundred graduates a year but FB search for graduates of my school gets zilch.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 51||12/12/2010|
I used to think the simple answer would be that it can't hurt to apologize. But, I have seen people who were hurt more by the apology and/or appalled by it. It depends on what transpired or what the person is apologizing for.
I had a person apologize to me about an incident and it totally validated me. I thought I was at fault or that I was making up some of the incidents and it made me feel like I wasn't crazy, like my mind wasn't playing tricks on me. I was very young when it occurred. So I felt similar to r50, appreciative.
The thing is, some may not be in a place where they are ready to accept the apology and the person who hurt them risks causing more harm.
Imagine in ten years one of murderers who killed Dr. Petits family feels incredible remorse, is it ok for that person to write Dr. Petit out of the blue, because he has matured and grown as a person and is ready to apologize? What about Dr. Petit's feelings?
I had a friend whose ex-husband called her to go to lunch to tell her all the foul shit he had done during their marriage, yes he was in a 12 step program. We all went through hell helping her through that divorce and then just so he could clear his conscience he has to meet and tell her shit she didn't even know. Sometimes it's not best to apologize. She was messed up.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 52||12/12/2010|
Lots of guilt-ridden bullies on this thread. Of course it is nice OP. Those who say it isn't....are obviously bullies who would never think of doing such a thing.%0D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 53||12/13/2010|
There's a difference between easing one's conscience and expressing sincere remorse for one's actions. The former is about making oneself feel better; the latter is about addressing one's offending behavior and the ability to experience empathy with the victims of that behavior.%0D %0D I can't help but think of that scene towards the end of [italic]Gone with the Wind[/italic] in which Dr. Meade warns Scarlett not to trouble the dying Melanie with confessing her feelings for Ashley in order to ease Scarlett's conscience (not that Scarlett has much of a conscience anyway, but at least she does seem to have some vestigial sense of right and wrong). Getting something off your chest just because it makes you feel better about yourself and your shitty behavior is not an apology.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 55||12/13/2010|
I'm with R1 on this--it sounds like a 12 Step amends to me. I hope you can forgive him, OP, it sounds like he honestly means it.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 56||12/13/2010|
Ask him or her to put his or her money where his or her mouth is, OP, and donate to the Trevor Project.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 57||12/13/2010|
Any more communication with the bully?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 58||12/22/2010|
"The only reason I signed up for Facebook was the vain hope that one of my bullies would apologize to me." You really need to move on.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 59||12/22/2010|
I know r41.
Being 8 doesn't excuse nasty behavior towards someone else. At 8 years old you are aware of right and wrong. Your defense doesn't hold water when you consider there are many 8 year olds that don't bully or torment others. Asshole children generally turn into asshole adults.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 60||12/22/2010|
Ten years ago I went to my 20th high school reunion and happened upon a guy who punched me in the stomach during football in the 7th grade. I told him about it and he was initially horrified that I was going to seek revenge after telling him that I'd been stalking him for decades (I had fun with this). I got free drinks and a hug out of it. Unfortunately, dude is bald and dumb as a rock.
I skipped my 30th since they're all mormons and/or republicans and on Facebook, anyway.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 61||12/22/2010|
If I got a written apology like the OP did, I'd open up a dialog with the apologizer and ask what prompted them to reach out after all these years.%0D %0D My guess would be either a 12 step program or they have a kid who is being bullied and now see how much it sucks.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 62||12/22/2010|
I say take what's good.. you see a former bully taking a position of humility and repentance, and wishing you well: that's good.
Is the apology personal enough? Maybe not; the content almost sounds boilerplate, like he scooped an "apologize for bullying" letter template off a 12-step forum. But he had to think of you and press "send". That had to have felt humble to him, in that moment. So take it as a good thing. My 2 cents.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 63||12/22/2010|
I can't forgive deliberate cruelty, but I don't obsess about it. They were thinking human beings who made a decision to hurt someone.%0D %0D The memories make me a little sad when I think about them- like when a bully/suicide thing happens on the news. I look back and see my defenseless self and wish I could back and rescue him. %0D %0D But I'm proud of myself for being a survivor, for never lying about my sexuality despite all the abuse it brought me. The recent strides gay people have made only make me feel stronger. Living well IS the best revenge.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 64||12/22/2010|
It sounds like a form letter.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 66||12/22/2010|
"Living well IS the best revenge."
Agreed... sometimes the cliche is the absolute truth.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 67||12/22/2010|
R6 yes, because it's not sincere.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 68||12/22/2010|
[quote]R45 is not R25. He is actually R26. R26 did ask some questions, but whether answers would be of any use to someone incapable of navigating a simple numbered list is dubious.
Speaking of bullying ...
Yeah, I got the number wrong, so sue me. I would be interested in answers to my questions. I know, I know. This is the DL, and we can never expect anything. But I'd be interested anyway.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 69||12/22/2010|
[quote]It sounds like a form letter.
It didn't seem that way to me.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 70||12/22/2010|
The same thing happened to me. This bully was a next door neighbor and he and his brother spent a few years of my childhood harassing me. Now, thirty years later, I got an email apology on Facebook.
I assume this is part of a 12 step program of making amends. I admire that he is attempting to make things right. However I didn't respond to the email -- I just deleted it. Just because HE wants to soothe his guilty conscience doesn't mean I have to let him off the hook. If all he needed to do was apologize, good, he's done it. He doesn't need me to absolve him. I'm not the Ultimate Judge, just a long-ago victim who has long since stopped thinking about his atrocious behavior. For his apology to be meaningful to me, it would have come thirty years earlier when the abuse was done.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 71||12/22/2010|
Two of my high school bullies added me on FB, but with no apology. It totally puzzles me. We don't have a friendship or even acquaintance to fall back on; why would they want the association? One even wrote me a long chirpy coffee klatch kind of message, as if we were reunited friends. I'm starting to think I remembered high school much differently than they did.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 72||12/23/2010|
I ran into my old bully when I was visiting my hometown a few years ago. When I first saw him again, I froze. He was holding his little daughter and said to her "This was my friend." I was flabbergasted, since he was almost singlehandedly responsible for making three years of my life an absolute, utter living hell. It surprised me that seeing him again had such an effect on me, but it did.
To my delight, however, he is bald.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 73||12/23/2010|
I agree with R66. He sent that out to a lot of people for some 12-Step related reason... but it's something, OP.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 74||12/23/2010|
If it makes anyone feel better, most childhood bullies were absolutely terrorized by their parents at home. So of course they don't realize that they were singling you out for terror. It was just how all of life seemed to them. Bullying and being bullied. Children model behavior. They very well may genuinely remember you as a friend. Just as they remember their own parents as loving figures. Even though those loving figures beat the crap out of them nightly. To be in denial about what they did to you is just part of a much larger denial about all the abuse they suffered.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 75||12/23/2010|
[quote]There's a difference between easing one's conscience and expressing sincere remorse for one's actions.
Actually, there isn't.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 76||12/23/2010|
R4, I'm surprised that you were the bully.
When we have bullying-memory threads, we were almost all the bullied (for being gay, being perceived as gay, or just for being "different" in an inexplicable way). There have been very few bullies in our threads, as far as I remember.
So... you're gay and you were a bully (very defensive about it, too). Tell us about it, since you clearly want to make this about you.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 77||12/23/2010|
I'm saddened that people always think they do it for themselves. They are trying to say sorry because they do think about the guilt they inflicted on others. Stop thinking so hard. The fact they are saying sorry to you is already a good thing. Most people don't even offer an apology these days. By the look of things, many of you don't forgive. Now that is sad. I got stepped on my whole life and never got apologies but forgave people regardless. I apologized for mistakes people made and in return they turned it all around making it look like my fault. Of course at this point, you should be careful not to let this slide into a habit otherwise people do take advantage of you. Its hard I know, but as long as you know you did the right thing, that is all that matters. If they can't say sorry, I see them as cowards, which most of them are. Remember that apologizing is part of being a grown-up and taking responsibility. If that person apologizes, guess what? The burden is now on you. And if you choose not to accept, then you are the one who is not letting go and has the problem and it shows. Most of you are making excuses saying that person is doing it for themselves but you don't want to face reality that people can change. Stop living the a hateful past and accept the fact that people do grow up. Be a real adult and face your adversary! Remember an apology is sometimes needed to make things go forward.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 78||09/06/2011|
I am owed a letter like that from everyone I knew - male, female, young, old, teachers, classmates, and including my parents and all their friends - from the time I was 8 until I was 18.
Why do gay men get so dismissive and defensive when some of us admit to the unbearable pain that was inflicted on us when we were kids? I can assure you that the young people who abused me knew exactly what they were doing, and they were encouraged by their parents and teachers.
Just because homo marriage is now legal in 6 states and Ellen is out does not mean that the deliberate, pre-meditated, and culturally mandated abuse of queer teens never happened. Until very recently, ALL American children were taught that it was the better part of patriotism to fuck up dykes and faggots.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 79||09/06/2011|
[quote]I ran into a girl I used to torment when I was 8 or 9. I could tell she is STILL hurt by it. Was I supposed to apologize for something I did at 8 or 9? C'mon? Get over it.
Right, because childhood torment never results in it affecting someone as an adult.
*She* was also a child. You don't think our experiences as a child affect who we become as adults? The fact that you -as an adult- knew it still hurts her and didn't think to apologize (if only to make her feel better) shows that you probably haven't changed very much.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 81||09/06/2011|
I got one of these once -- it's really all about the bully/letter writer. It always was and always will be. No, thanks. Don't even respond.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 82||09/06/2011|
R4, you hurt someone. Doesn't matter if you were a kid, doesn't matter if you think this lady should move on, you hurt someone. Just say you are sorry. Look at all the gay men on this board who say they were damaged as young people. Is it because the child in question is a girl that it doesn't matter and you shrug it off?
I think there IS a difference between salving one's conscience/making self-centered apologies and expressing sincere remorse.
I hurt my sister growing up and I have told her I am truly sorry. She has accepted. Good for her, good for me. Our relationship has improved. I know it is only my case, but it did a lot of good. Try it.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 83||09/06/2011|
R1 nailed it--it's an AA (or some other spiritual disease program) amends. Completely insincere.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 84||09/06/2011|
Alcoholics Anonymous. You have to make amends. It'sone ofthe 12 steps.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 85||09/06/2011|
I know bullying goes on, and I feel so thankful that I missed it. Although I was never athletic and ultra masculine, nor was I ever effeminate, and I was never bullied. I went to smaller private school in Boston, so maybe that had something to do with it? But I always think it's odd that I never got bullied.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 86||09/06/2011|
My War with Brian
Graphic Novel, 1998
NBM Paperback, 6%E2%80%B3x9%E2%80%B3, 64 pp., $8.95
Ted%E2%80%99s second graphic novel, the semiautobiographical MY WAR WITH BRIAN, was nominated for an Eisner Award for its staggeringly honest portrait of junior-high school brutality. Set in suburban Ohio during the 1970s, MY WAR WITH BRIAN exposes the experience of being bullied %E2%80%93 and what happens when you fight back.
Booklist says: %E2%80%9CKnown for his acerbic political cartoons, Rall turns his caustic gaze inward in an autobiographical graphic novel about his misery in junior high in suburban Ohio. He was an alienated nerd, tormented by a loutish, psychotic bully who, for no apparent reason, chose Rall as his personalvictim. Teachers and other adults refused to help Rall, leaving him to deal with Brian through violence that started out defensive but gradually turned sadistically vengeful. The escalating battle forced Rall into an ultimate assault that he then saw as the only way to prevent being marked as a victim for the rest of his life. Two decades later, a more introspective Rall ponders the lasting effect of Brian%E2%80%99s harassment on his personality. To this day, Rall%E2%80%99s behavior remains confrontational and defensive; he wonders whether his superior attitude prompted the bully%E2%80%99s abuse. Rall%E2%80%99s memoir is fueled by the bitterness and anger that inform his editorial cartoons and sports their vaguely cubist figures and distinctive scratchboard technique that makes them look like punk woodcuts.%E2%80%9D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 88||09/07/2011|
They will never admit it in my life. Kids who were teenagers in the seventies felt entitled to be bullies due to the culture.%0D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 90||09/12/2011|
At my 5 year reunion in 1988, one of my cheif tormenters apologized to me. He said he knew he made my life a living hell, and he was really really sorry.%0D %0D I wasn't expecting it at all, but it was amazing how it felt like a huge weight lifted off when he did that.%0D %0D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 91||09/12/2011|
I used to have a tormentor that was a short fat Portuguese guy that would always wrestle me to the ground in front of people, sit on my head etc.... I was a a short skinny guy with a lisp. I could had any of my four jock brothers to kick the shit of him when they would ask how I got a scrape or black eye, but I would say it was from baseball or something. I seriously could have been one of those kids that brings a gun to school and shoots another student, it was that bad. I would have nightmares and dreaded going to school. And my dad was a a cop, so I had access. But, one summer I grew 6 inches and he tried it again and I beat the shit out of him saying over and over again as I ground his face into the grass in front of a schoolyard full of kids, "How do you like it? How do you like it?" Crying a I did it. He never bullied me again, and I ended up being in his wedding party.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 92||09/12/2011|
I had one bully fuck with me for 5 years and he also encouraged his friends to fuck with me. I transferred schools because of those kids. Some of it was violent with gay bashing elements. I don't really think I want to hear from these fucks on Facebook. Probably part of the reason I never joined Facebook.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 93||09/12/2011|
I used to be a real asshole and said some not very nice things over the years.
I did the same thing and used Facebook to track down and apologize to 3 people for things I'd said or done years earlier.
No, I wasn't on any 12 step or recovery program, I'm just a different person now to who I used to be. For my own piece of mind I reached out to say sorry. Thankfully, In all cases the apology was accepted and we've gone on to have good relationships ever since.
Maybe my outreach might've been close to groveling like the letter OP received, but I genuinely felt bad about my actions and it did provide closure.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 94||09/12/2011|
OP tell him to FUCK OFF!%0D %0D And in 20 years shoot him FB message -- or a hologram or whatever we'll be using then -- and say you didn't mean to overreact and you hope he can accept your apology now.%0D %0D
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 95||09/12/2011|
[quote]Being incapable of forgiveness just creates a bitter cycle.
r96 bullies the victim to forgive
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 97||09/02/2012|
Victims don't need to forgive, but they should at least be aware of how much actively nursing a grudge negatively affects their own life too.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 98||09/03/2012|
R98 - another bully forgives himself.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 99||09/03/2012|
I think people forget that there is a huge variety to the seriousness of bullying people experience.
For some, they think of bullying as a one-time event. For others it is something that lasted a few weeks. For some it lasted a year. For some it lasted many years. And the intensity of the bullying can vary greatly, too.
So when judging the severity and impact of the bullying, we must consider how long the byllying went on and how intense the bullying was.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 100||09/03/2012|
Forgiving a bully that you still live in the same town as is different from forgiving a bully who now lives in a far away place.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 101||09/03/2012|
R84 knows nothing about AA. Who the hell are you to judge if someone is sincere or not about an amends?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 102||09/03/2012|
I would also like to apologize to the little people I crushed along the way. Poor things.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 103||09/03/2012|
I'd be tempted to reply:
"No worries. I got my revenge a few years ago, and it was indeed sweet. Think back to that inexplicable moment. Yeah, I did it, and you're probably still trying to figure out what happened. Anyway, we're even now. No need for further contact."
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 104||09/03/2012|
I'm 58 and although I experienced bullying in high school and sometimes in grade school mostly based around "being a fag" and not giving a shit about PE class or sports, I was good academically though and the time came when I was asked to join a team for a game on local tv that was similar to Jeopardy; I forget what the prize was for the winning school. To make a long story short, I refused to join the team which puzzled alot of people but I think some began to understand my refusal--sort of like Mohammed Ali resisting the draft in the 1960s by saying that he had no quarrel with the Viet Cong as they never had called him a nigger--same deal with me in high school. Well, I too sort of wait, not expecting anything of course, for the "apologies" to come pouring in--if they did it would be rather amusing. Since most were guys doing the bullying, I wonder if any who might still have a nice ass and might be residually cute in their 50s would be willing to take a good spanking or paddling for having bullied me--that would be my price for accepting their "apology". Which reminds me, some of the AA members here might be able to clarify this; what if the person to whom you are making amends says, "OK, I'll accept your apology if you'll go to bed with me or let me spank you" or some such thing. I understand that the amends shouldn't "hurt" the "amendor" or "amendee" but would this be hurtful? I asked one guy at work in AA about this and his reply was that the apology and amends are one thing but if you want to have sex that is up to the two consenting adults and is separate from the amends or should be. But tell me AA people, what are "amends" supposed to be?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 105||09/03/2012|
A bully who sexually abused me in high school used facebook to send an apology to my twin. He thought he had abused my twin instead of me.
I wouldn't have known how to respond to it anyways.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 106||09/03/2012|
R105 = Tiresome run-on queen.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 107||09/03/2012|
Remember childhood lasts until age 40
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 108||09/03/2012|
R102, you may be sober, but you seem to have anger issues. Apologize to r84.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 109||09/03/2012|
That's great r104. It could really haunt some bully.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 110||09/03/2012|
an inspiring story bout standing up to your bully:
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 111||09/03/2012|
What makes OP or anyone think that OP's bully wouldn't behave the same way today?
The only thing they understand is retribution.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 112||09/03/2012|
r107=Equally tiresome, judgemental, self-righteous, bitchy Queen, or is that Ka-ween in your case Miss Precious?!
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 113||09/03/2012|
It just dawned on me r107, you must be the bully OP was talking about.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 114||09/03/2012|
r107, if you want to bitch about run-on queens, check out the latest posters on the "football vs baseball" thread, you'll cream your panties.......
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 115||09/03/2012|
I honestly don't need an apology from anyone who tormented me in high school. I've moved on. An apology would really be empty at this point, meant to make them feel better about themselves. Why would I want them to have that? Fuck 'em.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 116||09/03/2012|
R116, the apology is not for YOU. It's for the person who is offering it. The apology allows them to feel better about themselves. It's not being made to change you.
Whether you accept the apology or not is up to you.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 117||09/03/2012|
Thanks for repeating what I just said, R117. I realize the apology is for the one making the apology. That's supposed to make me want to accept it? Fuck that.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 118||09/03/2012|
Same thing happened to me, OP. Got an apology on Facebook a few years ago from a guy who threw rocks at me while we were running in Track&Field practice in middle school. I'm famous now and assumed that is why he thought to apologize.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 119||09/04/2012|
The bullies who made my high school years miserable were the reason I moved away from that shitburg as soon as i was able to, and left that life behind. I should almost be grateful because if I hadn't hated them and the school so much, I may never have left to see more of life and the world than they ever did. A couple of them tried to friend me on FB as if nothing happened. Decline.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 120||09/04/2012|
r120 Did they ever message you about the decline or tried to re-friend you?
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 121||09/05/2012|
No, I never heard from them again.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 122||09/05/2012|
R102 here. I'll admit my response to R84 was off the cuff and in anger, which was wrong of me. But from what I can tell the OP's bully was trying to make an honest and sincere amends--otherwise, there's no reason for them to go to the effort to track down the OP to apologize.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 124||09/05/2012|
People like r116 puzzle me. They say things like: I've moved on! and a sentence or two later, they say: Fuck em!
Maybe we'd take you more seriously if you were honest from the get go. Don't tell us you've moved on when you obviously still carry anger with you.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 125||09/05/2012|
When I started on Facebook, a guy from High School wrote me an apology for what he did to me in school. I told him I honestly don't remember anything (which I didn't) and that it was so long ago...and thanks. It was a little odd. But back then, I was a little wierd too, and maybe because I wasn't the same as everybody else I deserved it. But, I had my friends, and I had my tormentors. I hung out with my friends and ignored the tormentors. I was floored, when at one of my high school renunions I went up to one of the Mean girls to say how pretty she looked she replied " I was a bitch to you then, and well, I'm still a bitch!" I said "Get over yourself- it's been a long time."
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 126||09/05/2012|
R125, he doesn't mean "fuck 'em" in a hostile "let death rain down from the skies upon them" way. he means "fuck 'em" in the sense of "forget about them."
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 127||09/05/2012|
R4 has a Shitt Rmoney personality.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 128||09/05/2012|
a childhood bully of mine added me on facebook and changed my life on November 9,2012 with her apologetic words. I could feel her sincerity and her words lifted a black spot off my heart.
I accepted her heartfelt apology.
It helped me a lot to hear that she felt bad during the same years that I ached.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 130||11/23/2012|
Well guess who is in a 12 step program now and will have to make the amends. Me!
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 132||11/25/2012|
A highschool bully of mine apologized to me too, like 3 days ago. He chatted with my in FB and said he remembered me having a slim waist and a nice bum but he tormented me all the time and he was sorry for that. That made me think, so he was he attracted to me after all? I remember trying to be nice to him so he would treat me better because he just teases me to death all the time, but he seemed to run away.
Now, we seem to enjoy to chat with each other. It's too late though. That was over 20 years ago. Haha
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 133||03/24/2013|
I know this is an old thread, but I would like to respond to the following questions asked by R4 and R11, whom I assume to be the same person:
R4: I ran into a girl I used to torment when I was 8 or 9. I could tell she is STILL hurt by it. Was I supposed to apologize for something I did at 8 or 9? C'mon? Get over it.
R11: I was fucking eight! C'mon, you sensitive idiots. Since when is an eight year old responsible?
My response: no, you're not responsible for what you did when you were eight, but you are responsible today. If today you see a person in pain, and you have the capacity to alleviate that pain with just a simple act, then you are responsible to do so. The fact that you are unwilling to do so, and that you insult those who suggest that perhaps you ought, suggests to me that you are just as much a bully now as you were when you were eight.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 134||07/31/2013|
I just re-read the thread and am convinced he saw your pic and thought you were still hot enough to hit on.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 135||07/31/2013|
If you are a former bully then you are irredeemable scum, and nothing you do or say later in life will change that, you destroy lives, and you should fucking kill yourselves. It's too late to say your sorry, you should have thought about that when you were tearing peoples lives apart for your own amusement. The only right thing to do is to take your own life, because you are trash, you are the worst kind of scum, and NOTHING you do afterwards will change that!
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 136||06/03/2014|
That was very nice and considerate, OP.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 137||06/03/2014|
By all means, R137. Post it.
Too bad the OP of this 3.5-year thread died of old age two years ago.
At least the angels can hear how very nice and considerate you are. In four years I'll write a post here and tell you so!
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 138||06/03/2014|
Wow, didn't know how old this thread was.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 139||06/03/2014|
R136 is not the forgive and forget type.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 140||06/05/2014|
I had a backwards version of this op. I ran into my old tormentor's Facebook page, and it struck me like lightning. After a lot of introspection (and some Facebook stalking) I sent her a message, forgiving her and stating that it seems she grew into a beautiful person, and that I was sorry for the bad things in her life when,l she was young that made her treat me like she did, and that she shouldn't have had to go through those things at her age. It was almost painful to be so nice to someone that made me hate my life so much that my mother would have to pry my hands off the bedpost to get me to go to school. I came home crying every day. She was the ringleader in a group that made my every day hell for 4 years, until I switched schools (other bullies took over, but no one was ever as cruel as her). I started self-harming as a CHILD as a result of her bullying, and still struggle with depression, anxiety, and many other issues. I did genuinely feel sorry for her when I learned what she had been going through at the time, and was glad to see that she seems nice now. I would've been happy if she had replied, or even if she chose to ignore my message.
...she blocked me. It was one last slap to the face from her.
I hope that if she ever has a child, he or she is never subjected to anything like what she put me through.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 141||05/11/2015|
I know this is a really old thread, but wanted to reply to R141:
Good lord, no, never ever ever go back to your bully and subjugate yourself like that. Seek professional help, seriously. It's not normal to see someone who tormented you for years and immediately think, oh, hey, *I* should apologize to THEM.
And to do it in a way that almost guarantees they'll shit on you again? No. Ugh, god, no.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 142||05/11/2015|
r142 is right except for one thing. you could have jut said. No. Ugh, No and not use God without Cap letter and never use in derog manner. Glad I could help.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 143||05/12/2015|
Nevermind the church lady schoolmarm at r143. Go ahead and disrespect god all you want r142. god god god god god.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 144||05/12/2015|
trolldared you r144 you're showing what a loser bully.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 145||05/12/2015|
R143, you clearly found this site through google and 'bullying'.
It is a GAY site. We aren't mostly religious (in fact, most of our bullies ARE religious fanatics) and don't want to hear whether you think god should be capitalized.
You can't just go on a site and flag people because you think you are entitled to have people agree with you. You are obviously straight and female and very, very lost.
Go away or get thicker skin. I guarantee you, the straight entitled religious woman will NOT be the one who gets to stay on this site if it gets to that.
|by Miracles really DO happen||reply 146||05/13/2015|