Today has been an interesting day. It’s Anti-Bullying Day and I wrote a blog about a few of my personal experiences of being bullied. It was tough to write, but it was one of the chapters that makes up my story and has helped me become the person that I am today. As it turns out, my grade 7 story is shared by someone else, and unfortunately, I was on the other side of it.
I received a reply on my blog post, and it absolutely broke my heart. I read it four times, and then replied privately to the writer, and instead of instantly hitting “approve”, I did nothing. I logged into the back of my blog and read some other comments and replied to a few of them. And some way, somehow, I ended up deleting this particular response. My first thought was, “phew, no one needs to see that” but my second thought was, how would I want my words addressed, so here we are.
Thankfully, I still have the original email, so I’m posting a screenshot of it here for you all to read.
I know that’s really hard to read, so I’m copying and pasting it here.
Very well written! Good for you for standing up against bullying. It is terrible that you were bullied. I do hope you remember that you were also on the other side of the boat in grade 7. I considered not saying anything but since you are calling out people that you know I feel I had to stand up for myself too. Do you recall writing a note with your friend about how you couldn’t believe the new girl wore the same shirt for two days in a row and then proceeded to pass it around the ENTIRE class? I do. That was my first taste of bullying, it knocked the wind of an already awkward shy girl. I put it behind me and realize now it was probably what you had to do to get some revenge for being picked on yourself. Before you call out everyone in your former Junior High school please know that some of us know exactly how you felt.
Now you know why my first instinct at the mistaken delete felt “good”. To say that I feel ashamed of what I’ve done is a gross understatement. I actually still cannot even believe that I did such a thing, and don’t remember doing it at all. But if this person says that I did this, I need to own my part in it.
So “Sunny”, whoever you are, this response is for you.
Today has been a day of humbling for me. As an adult, I conciously make the effort to choose better because I know the pain that bullying and judgement can cause. But today, this one simple act of courage taken by someone from my past has forced me to once again look in the mirror.
Thank-you for not expecting me to be perfect and thank-you for forgiving me in my weakness when I wasn’t yet strong. Your words affected me deeply, and I promise you, they will not be taken for granted.