As a kid I was never a bully. But I saw other kids get bullied … and I didn’t stand up for those kids.
I still remember in 6th grade when Joe (names have been changed) took a ziggy, a twisted rubber band, and released it in Larry’s hair. I should have stood up for Larry. But I didn’t … I still feel bad about that. I remember watching Larry trying to cut that huge twisted rubber band out of his hair. The next day he came to school with a haircut.
I recently was thinking about my Mean Girl experience and for some reason thought it would be a good post. My guess is many people can probably relate.
Here’s the thing, yea, it sucked. But I am still here. And I am rockin’ my life. And that is the sweetest revenge.
In 7th grade I had a good group of girlfriends. Some were from elementary school and some of the friendships were formed in junior high.
One day in 7th grade on our lunch break, Valerie (remember names have been changed) got all of our friends into a circle, arms around each other. They were laughing and having fun. And I realized I wasn’t included in that circle and there was no room for me.
So I walked away … literally. And my friends were not my friends anymore.
For the rest of that year and the next I never really fit in with the new friendships I tried to form.
One of the Mean Girl followers wrote in my yearbook at the end of 7th grade: Don’t hold a grudge.
Once in high school I started to find my way and formed some good friendships. And once I hit college it got even better. And then as an adult in the real world …
Sophomore year of high school Valerie and I shared a class. One day she apologized for what she did. Which was very big of her. But the damage was done.
In September 2012 at my 20th high school reunion (I know, I don’t look old enough) one of the Mean Girl followers pulled me aside and asked if she was mean to me when we were kids. I thanked her for bringing it up and apologizing. It really did mean a lot to me.
My Mean Girl experience definitely has had a life-long effect on me. I am still learning about myself and my friendships. Sometimes I question my friendships and my role in them.
I know I can put too much into friendships. I have recently learned that I can no longer do that without feeling hurt in some way.
I have also learned that some people are meant to be in our lives for a period of time. And others are here for our whole life or the rest of our lives.
I know kids have had it much worse than I did. Man, kids can be downright cruel. Their insecurities and lack of confidence is why they try to bring others down. It’s not cool. And sadly, sometimes the consequences of bullying can be damaging or even fatal.