I doubt you’ll know this is for you. Why would you? I never mattered to you. But we will get to that later. First, we have to start all the way at the beginning- when I first started to see a shift in our relationship.
For starters, we were never really “friends.” We were acquaintances that went to the same school. I was always nice to you and you were always nice to me.
Until you weren’t.
It started when people started to say awful things about me- that I was a liar, a drama queen, a slut, a bitch… the list goes on and on. How can a fourteen year old be all of those things? A shy, insecure, acne-ridden girl that was barely starting puberty… how could I be ANY of those things? Did you stop to ask yourself that before you began to tear my life apart? I bet not.
I remember being very hurt when you “stole” my boyfriend from me. The first time. Because we both know there were multiple times, don’t we? You always did do whatever you wanted to do. I used to admire that about you. I always thought you were so fearless and I was jealous I couldn’t be.
The second time you hurt me was when you took the next guy. I broke up with him and you scooped him up while simultaneously dumping my other ex (that made three of them total). He was crushed, I was crushed, and we were going to work on things… together. We were going to start over. When you found out, you swapped again, leaving me all alone. That’s when I figured out that you were the one starting the rumors about me. You know which rumors, right?
The third time was actually a few years later. I started to forget about it, about everything you had done to me. People finally (after over a year) stopped whispering and laughing about me and I was starting to make real friends. I was starting to feel better.
I think you saw that. Saw that I was doing better. And I don’t think you liked it very much. So you did it again. But this time it was much more than any of the other times. This time I almost didn’t make it.
All of the times after that blurred together because you started doing the same things in cycles: name calling, relationship wrecking, and just flat out making fun of me. I got the wrong answer in class- you were the first to shut me down. I was broken hearted over something- you were the first to laugh.
I don’t remember feeling anything other than sad for almost all of high school. The second you figured out you could easily crush me, my life was over. Just because you picked me, out of all of the faces in that awful school, you picked me to ruin.
And you did. You ruined me.
I remember sitting in a bathroom stall crying because some guy asked me if I’d want to “hook up” with him later. I had never done anything like that in my life, so why did he think he could ask me for it? Another time, I was in there because a few girls were whispering about me and started laughing when they saw that I noticed. I think I had said a total of three words to each of those girls. So why were they trying to hurt me? I can’t count how many times I was in that stupid bathroom because of you and something you decided to do to me or to say about me. I should be over it by now. Maybe I am.
But maybe… maybe I’m not.
High school is over now. I see things that happened in a different way and I feel lighter. Here’s the thing, though: I will never forgive you. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you right now. But it will. Someday, when you’re at the end of your life, you’re going to look back and think of all of your wonderful memories. Of all the good things you did.
You’re going to think about how amazing high school was for you. And that’s where you’ll feel it. The pang. The reminder that you, all by yourself, are responsible for someone else’s suffering. The reminder that maybe, if I hadn’t had any support, I wouldn’t have made it out of high school. The reminder that you ruined my adolescent life.
And you’ll want to apologize. You’ll want to explain. You’ll want to talk.
But I won’t, and you get to live with that. While I don’t wish you any ill will, I hope what you did to me eats at you a little bit. I hope you feel remorse.
The Girl You Bullied
Written by Bri May