I understand because I’ve been there. It took me several years to forgive my classmates. It was why I didn’t go to the ten or twenty-year class reunion. I had no desire to see their faces. I was just damn glad they were out of my life and had forgotten about ninety-nine percent of them.
As long as I stayed away from my former schoolmates and they stayed away from me, I was happy. But when I’d see one of them on the street, I’d turn and walk away without giving them so much as a “hi” or “kiss my ass.”
During the first twenty years after leaving Oakley High School, I only had something to do with maybe one or two of my classmates. The rest of them, I could’ve cared less if they dropped off the face of the earth.
When you’ve been a target of bullies, it’s only natural to feel anger, resentment, and disgust toward the bullies for a while. To heal, we must allow ourselves to feel the pain and raw emotions.
Never bury the pain. Never keep it stuffed down inside because you’re afraid to make anyone angry or uncomfortable. Because it will only fester if you do. You will internalize everything you’ve been through, which is the worst thing you can do because it will come out sooner or later in either very destructive rage or physical illness, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Take your time and feel your emotions as long as you need to. Just don’t stay in that dark place for long. Don’t set up your tent and live there!
Be open about your anger and talk to a friend, family member, or therapist. Tell them you’re pissed. Speak out about the abuse. But get it out! And realize there will be people who won’t like it.
Understand that, in this world, there are people who won’t mind wiping their feet all over you but will be greatly offended when you become angry about it and talk about it, or worse, tell them a thing or two!
There will be people who expect you to be okay with something they know good and well they wouldn’t be okay with if it were done to them. But tell those people to get lost because they don’t matter. What matters is that you care for yourself and put yourself first.
Why should you give a ticker’s damn about their feelings? They never gave a damn about yours. So, never let those ignoramuses make you feel guilty for speaking out and responding in kind!
Tell them how you feel and let it out. But do it constructively. Put some bass in your voice. Be firm, but don’t yell. A certain amount of cursing is expected when you’re pushed too far.
But don’t drop any F-bombs. Raise your voice if you need to, but don’t scream and yell. Screaming and yelling will only incite toxic people to push your buttons to see you react, then tell anyone who’ll listen that you’re “mentally unstable.”
Go somewhere private and cry if you need to. Crying doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It means that you’re a human being with feelings.
Do whatever you must do to get it off your chest because the sooner you can process those bad feelings, the sooner you can forgive and move on to a better life.
I’m glad to say that I eventually healed and forgave them. And when I did, I found a peace I hadn’t known in years. I was able to forgive them through reading, researching, and writing about bullying.
During something constructive gave me closure and I couldn’t be more grateful!
But first, I had to heal!