By Alexandra Green
Two years ago I wrote an article for the Iron Butterfly Project detailing the bullying I faced in middle school and into high school. I wrote about my bike being smashed past the point of use, my older sister standing up for me, and the profound loneliness I felt whenever she left. Though the article wasn’t long, I spent days thinking about what I wanted to say. I did not think about what would happen if one of the people I wrote about would happen to stumble across my story.
Three months ago I received a Facebook message from an account I did not recognize. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the message (I am still not entirely certain I should have). I cannot begin to describe the hurricane of emotions that I felt upon realizing that my former bully had found my article and had come to me seeking my forgiveness. The mixture of humiliation, anger and pain was overwhelming. Not knowing what to do or say, I shut my laptop, went to my room and called my parents crying.
My Dad told me to delete the message and block her because she did not deserve my time nor was she entitled to my forgiveness. My Mom told me that what I do was my decision to make, but she wanted me to take my time to consider what I wanted to say before I replied, if I decided to reply at all, but most importantly she wanted me to go to bed. I was still dealing with a hurricane of emotions whenever I hung up with my parents but more than anything I was angry.
Not only was I angry for the pain that she caused me in school, I was angry about the pain she was causing me in that moment. I couldn’t understand why, after over ten years, was she reaching out. Was she trying to ease guilt that she had felt for all these years? Was it some kind of prank? All I really knew was that I wanted to make her hurt the way I did thus I took my Mom’s advice. I went to bed.
(t was about two weeks before I decided how I wanted to handle the situation. I replied to the message with the truth. Her behavior towards me damaged me in ways that I am still learning how to heal from. There are still days in which I struggle with a strange kind of darkness. But, I am proud to say most days I am happy and I truly hope that she is too.
Check out Alexandra’s original story on bullying.
Alexandra lives in Midland, TX with her husband, David, their dog Atlas and their cat, Wi-Fi. She got her degree in Political Science and History from Sam Houston State University. She collects comic books, likes card games, and puzzles. She is a self-proclaimed “Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Dr. Who” nerd.