Earlier this year, I was inspired by an encounter with a "mean girls clique" on my kids' schoolyard (adults! not kids!) to blog about the lingering affects of being bullied as a child. In this modern-day event I managed to sidestep the worst of it and, by not asking others to take sides, I think I came away looking pretty classy and very strong. What a difference from my former life as a victim ...
Since that time, the woman who bullied me when we were children read and commented on my blog. For a long time, I don't think Christine was aware of my existence in the blogosphere (or on FB) as I use my married name exclusively. Funny, though, of everybody from my younger life, Christine is the one person who had the exact right links with a mutual friends that led her to my musings. What are the chances?
Although I didn't identify her by name, Christine recognised herself immediately and the post blew her away. According to a(nother) mutual friend -- the one mentioned in the post -- she had no idea my experience had been as horrible as it had been.
You know, in retrospect my post seems mean. When I found out that she'd read it (her comment was awaiting moderation), I immediately re-read my own muttering from a new perspective. In the few months since I first blogged about her, I came to the conclusion that I was over her, and done with being bullied altogether.
Now I feel embarrassed by my own lack of charity, by how judgmental I remain. As an "evolved" adult, I get that we all come into our own by way of our experiences and our actions to heal our wounds. I don't think that people who have rich sex lives are less moral than I, given my traditional choices. I even envy people that seem more open to life's experiences. And yet, for the purpose of a writing exercise, I went for the cheap kill.
Really, how is that kind of writing anything but bullying? I regularly, daily even, question my own real life behaviours that look like bullying exactly because of my past. The last thing I want to do to my children (or anyone) is to visit upon them the sins of others in my past.
And yet, in that simple post, I insulted the childhood of another. Regardless of how I felt when she was bullying me, I always knew that Christine was as much if not more miserable than I.
I'm not sure where I am going with this, but I know it requires further action and discussion. Stay tuned.