Bullying: A Confession

              

Many brave writers are stepping up to share their stories of being bullied.
I’ve tried but cannot read those accounts because they are too raw and painful.
They reveal in excruciating detail the many ways that humans can hurt one another.

There’s one other reason I cannot bear to read those stories: I was once a bully.
That mean girl you remember?  Me.

I’m deeply ashamed to admit that when I was in sixth-grade, I bullied another girl.
I was horrible and cruel, and made that girl feel so bad she stayed home from school.

I have no explanation or excuse for my behavior, and I’ll forever regret my actions.
I apologized and tried to make amends, but there’s no way to completely erase the hurt.
I did damage that can never be repaired.

For all of you who were bullied, I wish I could stand alongside your younger selves,
and fight off the likes of me.
And to R., again, I am so very, very sorry.
                

30 thoughts on “Bullying: A Confession

  1. Thanks for telling that story, Tracy. It’s important to hear about the issue from the other side too, I think.

    • I certainly didn’t want to tell this story but in reading about people’s horrible experiences, I knew I had to come forward. Thank you for being here, Carolyn.

  2. I love and admire the courageous and loving woman you’ve become, and I suspect R would feel the same way.

    Thank you, Tracy, for lighting a candle against the darkness. xoxo

  3. I was bullied and I still bullied someone once. Granted, she had thrown me up against a brick wall, but still…I used my words to find one of her soft spots, and I ripped her apart. I’m also still very ashamed of that. It was also 6th grade, and I often wonder what happened to her.

    • I’m sorry you were bullied and also that you’re dealing with shame, too, Robin. I really appreciate you sharing that with me although I would not put your behavior in the same category as mine; it sounds as if you were defending yourself. But I understand how we can hold onto those memories and wish we’d acted differently.

  4. Hugs, Tracy. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, too. I was sometimes teased as a kid…but I also remember making terrible fun of other kids behind their backs. It stings to think of those things.

  5. Oh Tracy, we all do things that we aren’t proud of. But to come forward and be honest about our mistakes, not only with ourselves, but with everyone is one of the most courageous things we can do. Your sincerity and compassion is just beautiful.

    And don’t forget to forgive yourself for it, dear Tracy.

    Hugs and love

  6. Tracy, the bravery of your confession is beautiful. I’ve read some of the stories written by adults, and so often they end on the note that the bully never realized and remembered what she did. It gives me a lot of hope that you can remember and regret. And to various degrees all of us have been on both sides. And hopefully grown up. xo

    • I appreciate your kind words, Jeannine. My one consolation in all this is that I never again behaved that way. I remember feeling beyond all the pettiness and cruelty in high school because I already knew those behaviors were so wrong. I also remember being hurt by friends, and looking at it as karmic justice.

  7. All of us have been mean at one time or another. When I look back, I get more pain thinking about people I have hurt and I can’t fix it, than thinking about people who have hurt me.

    Hugs!

    • You are right, Sarah. I know we’ve all struggled but it’s hard facing down these particular memories. I very much appreciate you sharing your thoughts and your hugs. Thank you.

  8. Well, you did learn a lesson and you’ve become a very lovely adult. I think we all have done things we were ashamed of as kids. But the good ones are like you. They recognize it and learn from it.

    Hugs.

  9. *Hugs* Don’t think that trying to make amends isn’t worth anything. Take it from someone who was bullied. It means a lot and helps with the healing. The worst kind of bully is the kind that never sees that it was wrong. You’re a wonderful person and bless you for sharing this. It took so much courage. *hugs* once again.

    • I’m so sorry you were bullied, Meredith. I appreciate your insight into the healing process, and thank you for sharing that with me. Thank you very much, too, for the hugs.

  10. First off, big hugs to you because what you wrote was a very, very brave thing to write.

    Second, how wonderful a person you are that you grew up to know that bullying was wrong and that you felt badly about it and that you voiced it now. So many people would not do that….they never think they are doing anything wrong.

    Third, forgive the child you were because the woman you’ve become is a wonderful non-bullying person that I am so happy to know.

    And last but not least, come back here for another hug.

  11. Aw Tracy. I feel like I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. I feel bad for you, carrying this memory. But I agree that you were brave to share it. Everyone is mean at least a few times in childhood and we can’t ever undo it. But I think you’ve done all you can toward making amends.

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