to still avoid the woman who bullied me in school?

(110 Posts)
Theicingontop Fri 08-Mar-13 17:44:22

I was bullied by one girl in school, she was the classic bully, very popular. Pushed me into muddy puddles, stole my things and threw them into bins, physically attacked me as well as spreading quite vicious (for our age) rumours about me. She wasn't pleasant to many people outside her loyal pack of friends, but I seemed to be her main target. It was completely unprovoked, based solely on the fact that I looked and dressed differently. It damaged my school life quite considerably to the point where for the last two years I barely attended, and though I went back a couple of years later to retake them, it ruined my chances at passing my GCSEs. I was an anxious, depressed mess.

Fast forward to our mid-twenties and we still live in the same town. I see her regularly in town, and I avoid avoid avoid. I won't make eye contact, I won't acknowledge her presence. She was in the queue behind me the other day and I didn't even look in her direction, I just don't want to see her face. It's actually still quite painful to think of all that she put me through, for nothing, just for her enjoyment.

I went to a gig with an old friend recently, a rare night out for both of us. This woman was there too, because apparently in recent years she's gotten over her aversion to 'disgusting grungers who don't wash and wear goff makeup', and has married the drummer in a local band that was playing that night. The woman came over to us, and hugged my friend. I realised who it was and walked away without a word.

Friend defended her, in her words "She's alright now, she's really changed. We get on really well now." Now, this woman targeted my friend too, albeit not as severely as me, so I'm at a loss trying to understand why my friend would suddenly want this woman in her life. Yes, it happened years ago, but I just don't understand the need.

Friend thinks I am being completely unreasonable, and living in the past. I don't think I am, in fact I've gone long ways to put the past behind me and never think about those terrible years. I just don't feel the need to have the woman that tormented me for years, in my life. So it seems this woman is part of the same social circle now. Am I being unreasonable in not acknowledging her?

Ginebra Sun 10-Mar-13 19:05:58

sansastark, yeah i had a girl apologise to me on fb, 20 odd years later, but i said to her "the way i remember it i gave back as good as i got. I was better with insults, you were good at dirty looks, lol". which was TRUE. She used to mock the music I was into (wham, a-ha, bananarama!) and i found it so tedious. she was a MOD, and I was thinking 'fuuuuuuukkkkkkkkkk off and let me be me and you can get on with being you, or is that too confusing, do you know where 'you' begin and end??'. She is still an absolute fruitcake, spilling her guts out on fb. It's tragic.

sansastark Sun 10-Mar-13 17:43:01

Maybe it's just me, but I can't help thinking that - for a lot of ex-bullies - finding out that they emotionally scarred you for life will just give them an even bigger ego than they have already (I don't have a lot of faith in their better nature!) What'll really piss them off is thinking you've forgotten all about them, and they were nowhere near as important in your life as they imagined.

So when a couple of girls who made my life a misery back at school friend-requested me on Facebook and sent me 'hey how's it going' style messages, I just accepted the request and wrote back as if they were any other fleeting, sort-of-remember-the-name acquaintance from back in the day... one of them actually apologised for being horrible to me, and I said something along the lines of 'were you? don't worry, that was ages ago, I'd forgotten all about it!'--I really, really haven't--

Can't help thinking this casual throwaway indifference is a far more effective and crushing response than going into a vengeful monologue that'll just make you look like an emotionally disturbed bunny boiling nutter grin

But I guess we've all got our own ways of coping with these things, and bullying does have a terrible impact all the way through your life (why can't my ex-bullies have had the decency to become drug addicts and Jeremy Kyle show types, all of mine inherited shitloads of money and married bankers!! moral of the story, don't send your kids to expensive private schools, as the fundamental rules of karma and narrative justice don't apply within their ivy-veined walls...sad')

auntpetunia Sun 10-Mar-13 17:33:39

I met mine recently at a high school reunion! She looked very different) and another girl dragged her to our group of friends and covering the name lalbel said guess who this is..... I took one look and said " it's Porky pig the school bitch who bullied us for 3 years! Why would we want to talk to her? " and then I just stood and stared at her till she went away very red faced and flustered. She tried you make out it was all joke and such a long time ago, she couldn't believe I'd bring it up. My 2 friends who also had shit of her just looked scared. I was only scared I was gonna smack her if she didn't go way.

drudgewithagrudge Sun 10-Mar-13 16:22:42

I was badly bullied by a family member at school and it had affected may life so that I have no self confidence and have made stupid choices with friends both male and female just to have someone like me. The bullying also destroyed my faith in my parents especially my father who knew what was going on but refused to help me.

I have not seen my bullying relative very often over the years, only weddings and funerals. Everyone else in the family likes her and she has loads of friends. I doubt if she ever gives a moment's thought to what she put me through and in fact when she introduced me to her grown up daughter said,"This is drudge. We were friends at school".

The thing is that it would be no good having it out with her now we are grown up because it's the little girl I want the row with.

Snowme Sun 10-Mar-13 14:05:00

I often wonder about these scenarios.

I wasn't bullied at at school but have have experiencd personal bullying in my adult life and also on online forums and Facebook.

I have considered confronting them in person (the facebook ones who I know in real life) but I can imagine it wouldn't be the restorative scenario I hope for, but that they'd either walk off embarrassed claiming not to know anything about it, utter a few choice swear words (and walk off), or just ignore me, or worse, laugh.

I suspect it's highly unlikely they'd look busted, explain their behaviour and apologise. If they were that reasonably minded they wouldn't have been bullies in the first place :/

ShellyBoobs Sun 10-Mar-13 13:54:51

Hopefully your bully is living the utterly shit-filled life he deserves, DrCoconut

DrCoconut Sun 10-Mar-13 13:52:09

I was picked on by a boy at school (among others). The worst thing he ever said was that I was so ugly my dad had died of a heart attack because he realised what he'd helped bring into the world. I was grieving for my dad still and I was constantly taunted about my looks. That unbelievable cruel remark stayed with me and utterly destroyed what little self esteem I had left. It took years to rebuild it. So YWNBU to have punched her lights out never mind walked away. If any 35 year old bloke reading this recognises themself by the way I am over it now but I haven't forgotten you and wouldn't lower myself to p**s on you if you we're on fire. Oooh angry and bitter emoticon!

MagratOfStolat Sun 10-Mar-13 11:52:39

takes bow

Thanks all, I'm here for the foreseeable future ;)
I just wish I had the guts to say it to her in person, but she had a tendency to be violent. Oh well, my revenge worked perfectly grin

ShellyBoobs Sun 10-Mar-13 11:05:19

A good response to bullies is to live well.

How true!

I too was a victim of relentless bullying. In my case it was due to having a cleft lip and a shitty upbringing (scruffy uniform, unkempt appearance, parents who basically didn't care).

I left home and hauled myself through university while working full time in crap jobs and I now have a fantastic career and a lovely DH and DD.

I take great delight in occasionally seeing some of the bitches who made my life hell both in and out of school as they're all total fucking wasters with what appears to be utterly shit lives. Although, I do find myself hoping their lives are even shitter than the glimpses I get of them. grin

There is no way on Earth I would ever, ever forgive or forget. Absolutely none whatsoever.

BoffinMum Sun 10-Mar-13 10:17:37

A good response to bullies is to live well.

You have to remember the reason they bullied you is because you represent everything they want to be.

BarbarianMum Sun 10-Mar-13 09:54:01

You don't have to be friendly with anyone, nor do you have to forgive them although if you do you may feel better.

FWIW when I recently met the woman who had bullied me when we were teenagers (school reunion), it was a very positive experience. She was so relaxed and happy and positive about her life -a different person really -it made me realise how bloody unhappy she was before (didn't think about it at the time, was too busy trying to avoid her). She didn't mention the bullying (I guess an apology would have been nice) but over the course of the evening things were discussed that made me realise how much shit she'd been dealing with at the time. Anyway, it was great to realise that that period of our lives was over for both of us (my teen years were miserable for several reasons too, the bullying was just one part of them).

msbossy Sun 10-Mar-13 09:20:24

Me too rainrain. I'm trying to engineer a situation where my DDs attend schools with a healthy attitude to diversity and those with an ounce of motivation don't get persecuted.

OP YADNBU. I'm glad I went away to uni and never returned home to live. My parents still live in the same place but I haven't stepped foot in a local pub in 20 years.

BB, thank you for sharing your story. It is good to know some bullies wake up and see what they've done.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 09-Mar-13 21:23:19

I agree Agent - if schools fail to deal with bullying, the children and families are in an impossible situation.

It's the biggest factor for me in choosing a school, tbh - how active I think they are in promoting good co-operative and kind behaviour, and how they deal with problems when they arise.

I'm also very wary of anyone (teacher, playleader) who assumes from the outset that all problems are 'half a dozen of one, 6 of the other', or that all kids are 'as bad' as each other. It can be very hard untangling a situation, esp where a child has retaliated in some way - but just refusing to deal with the situation is unforgiveable.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Mar-13 20:14:33

I don't think that's off topic at all rainrain, there are quite a few things posters have said about the effects they've suffered that I've also been through, so that must say if there's a uniformity to the effects it might be also be possible to pin down what really causes it and stop it. (I'm sure they have in some research or other, but it hasn't done a whole lot to stop it as far as I can see)

I can't remember if it was on this thread or another one, but a poster was talking about a school denying they had any bullying problems, and that to me is the worst case scenario to have dealing with a school when your DC is being bullied. If it's in childrens nature to be like this as a group, you can't not have it going on somewhere.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 09-Mar-13 19:57:50

At the risk of straying off topic - sorry OP - the causes and effects of bullying are damn complex, and can be very hard to unravel.

One of the oddest and very sad things i have come across as an adult is people who bully (in quite adult ways - office bullying is a good example, there's no hair pulling or spitting, but constant undermining, excluding colleagues, whispering campaigns, creating whipping boys etc) - but who turn out themselves to have been bullied as children. This is not uncommon. But once people think of themselves
as having been a victim, they find it very hard to accept that they are capable of bullying behaviour too.

It's all very messy and miserable. I think schools are SO important in spotting and stopping this behaviour as soon as it starts. And they often don't.

Ginebra Sat 09-Mar-13 19:42:50

Wow. YOu had all my sympathy until I got to the bit where you said you want to shake the hand of a man who beat up a woman.

Whether or not you hate that woman, there is nothing to celebrate about living in a World where domestic violence is so prevalent.

I get that they made you suffer, but as you recognise, you were the one who had the secure family background etc... and to actually feel glad that these people have been beaten up, lost their kids, died with needles hanging out of their arms etc... you should think about whether or not you REALLY have had the last laugh. You don't sound happy enough to do much laughing.

VictimOfBullys Sat 09-Mar-13 19:32:45

I was badly bullied at school. I went to a 'rough' school, and I stood out like a sore thumb because I lived in a 'nice' area, and apparently spoke 'posh'.

It wasn't just one or two bitches, it was practically all of the 'hard' girls, and even 'nice' girls joined in with the bullying because they where scared of getting picked on as well.

I was physically attacked on a daily bases, the school did fuck all about it, because "they're from broken homes" "they don't have a dad" "they're in foster care" e.t.c you get the idea.
In fact I was the one who they tried to punish, as I was too scared to go to school, I would skive off, and because I wasn't attending school, the school threatened to put me in a residential unit.
Yes, you read that right, I was skiving because of bullying that the school did fuck all about, so they were going to lock me up with the sort of scum who were making me skive school in the first place!
Fortunately, I turned 16 before the panel meeting was held, so they couldn't do anything about it.

Although I've had the last laugh, all of the ring leaders have got ( or had, in one case) shit lifes.
One of the bitches was mentioned in a court report in the local newspaper as her 'dp' had beat her up. Feel free to flame away, but I would love to shake his hand.
Another one was moaning on facebook about 'the social' taking her kids away, and how skint she is because her moneys been stopped, and she might lose her flat. Boo fucking hoo, hope she ends up in some run-down hostel, or even better, a shop doorway. (BTW I'm not friends with her on fb, she's a friend of a friend and her page is public).
Another one of the bitches was found dead in a derelict building with a needle hanging out of her arm. So she obviously had a shit life as well.

I don't care if I get flamed for my joy at those evil bitches comeuppances, I feel the way I do because they made my life hell for four fucking long years.
(I've name changed for this anyway.)

Megatron Sat 09-Mar-13 16:58:32

YANBU at all. I often wonder if bullies read these kind of threads and feel bad. If they struggle with what they were like at school and ever try to make amends? I dont really know how you can forgive someone who made your life hell for years.

Ginebra Sat 09-Mar-13 15:45:20

I think its your prerogative not to let her off the hook. but i would stare thru her and hold her eye without blinking rather than avoiding eye contact. let her feel judged.

Darkesteyes Sat 09-Mar-13 15:37:22

Soft Kitty im sorry to hear this. Ive done it too. When i was 14 i took a bottle of whisky from my parents drinks cabinet and a box of paracetamol and sat there in the living room drinking the whisky. I never got as far as taking the pills (that time) because DB came home ,caught me and rang my mum at work who came home and had a go at me cos she had to leave work confused This was because some girls in the year above had started to wait for me after school to terrorize me and threaten to beat me up.
Instead of dealing directly with them the schools answer was to let me go home half an hour early disrupting my education and treating me like i was the problem. Nice bit of victim blaming there.
I was told that one of these older girls was caring for her mother who was in a wheelchair "so we have to make allowances"
Same for the boy who used to sit opposite me in science and bite off bits of his pen and spit it in my hair.
And on a couple of occasions follow me home from school and push me into a hedge and stop me from getting away by holding my arms.
He turned up in my home town again (after a spell in prison) about 7 years ago. He would yell my name in the street and when i turned round he would be pretending to go about his business. Probably an overreaction on my part but the SL trust very kindly gave me a rape alarm.
Scary thing is sometimes he comes over all friendly and says hello and waves at me confused And at school what did they say about him? Yep "we have to make allowances" because hes a foster child. Unbelievable.

Darkesteyes Sat 09-Mar-13 15:18:58

Just remembered an incident in drama class. we were putting on a play and they put me in charge of costumes. One of the "cool girls" was playing a housewife so i was trying to source a flowery dress and an apron (ok i know thats a stereotype but i was only fourteen at the time.) She started on me in history lesson saying that she wasnt going to wear it and if i made her look frumpy she would put me through a wall.
This is one of the people who wanted me to make up the numbers on sports day which was mentioned earlier upthread.

BrokenBritain Sat 09-Mar-13 15:04:35

FellNel i totally appreciate what you and others are saying.
I have had my life blighted by the fear and emotional pain inflicted by others, I don't want to get into a competitive "I was abused more than you were" type conversation, that won't help anyone. But suffice to say I have experienced physical, sexual and emotional abuse and I honestly don't feel a desire for revenge.
Maybe once I did, and maybe it's different because I know how it feels to make a series of massive mistakes and regret them for a lifetime.
I definitely don't want to be buddies with the people that have hurt me! But I also don't wish them any harm.
I really don't want or expect any sympathy, that's not why I posted. I just wanted to try to explain another side to the same story.
Will leave the thread now. I'm sorry if my posts have upset or angered anyone.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sat 09-Mar-13 13:46:39

OP, I totally sympathise because I was contacted by one of my main bullies on FB about three years ago. She sent me a friend request and a 'how are you, so nice to find you' type message hmm. After pondering on it for a few weeks including considering replying with unabridged details of how utterly shit she made me feel I deleted both the friend request and the message without responding.

I was bullied mercilessly at primary school - I was ostracised, cornered in the corridor and threatened, had money, toys and belongings taken from me (either by force or blackmail) and generally treated with complete contempt. I hated school so much that I ran away twice and hid in a derelict house about a mile from home rather than go to school, after which I was the one labelled as a problem child and made to see a child psychologist (who was useless). My mum parents did nothing when I mentioned that no-one liked me, telling me that all kids fall out and we'd all be friends again next week. It went on for about 4-5 years sad and I contemplated suicide more than once.

The two main ringleaders were friends with each other and everyone else (bar me and one or two others) were friends with them, but in order to stay friends and not become victims themselves, the other friends would do the ringleaders' bidding. This meant that it wasn't just two people doing the bullying but most of my class. I was their biggest victim. It only ended when I went to a completely different secondary school to them.

It has affected me so much. I'm a people-pleaser with very little confidence and am not assertive at all. I've just started counselling to get to the root of my stress, anxiety and OCD-type compulsions, so I'm hoping that will help me to deal with the after-effects of the bullying and my other issues. Those who think that bygones should be bygones IMO have not experienced the complete and utter all-consuming pain that is serious bullying. OP, I don't blame you for walking away. I would too.

qazxc Sat 09-Mar-13 13:37:54

YANBU at all. Why do your friends think you should want this person in your life?

FellNel Sat 09-Mar-13 13:06:36

for people who have been emotionally scarred by their treatment at the hands of someone very cruel it may as well have been yesterday. It never leaves you and it shapes everything you do/are/feel from then on.

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