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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?

Cherriesarelovely Fri 08-Mar-13 23:34:49

MrsMills I had the same experience. Did some supply teaching, taught a lovely class with a really sweet little boy in it. When the children went out to meet their parents at the end of the day this boys mum was the biggest, meanest bully at my high school. I couldn't believe it! I had to hand it to her, she at least had a gorgeous child!

Darkesteyes Fri 08-Mar-13 23:37:52

Old post of mine from a PE thread last year on how i stood up to some of the bullies who just wanted to use me when it suited them.

DarkesteyeswithflecksofgoldFri 21-Sep-12 23:29:19

I had the always picked last thing too.
In fact it went a bit further than that. At the end of the choosing teams bit they used to fight over NOT having me on the team
"no you have Dark we had to have her last time" etc.
Both PE teachers knew what was going on and did FUCK ALL.
So i walked out of a PE lesson and refused to take part any more until the teacher sorted out the bullying. (did her fucking job)
A couple of years later the same bastard kids who were treating me like shit asked me to take part in the relay on sports day cos they didnt have enough people to do it.
I wondered why they were asking me if i was so shit at it.
They said they were one short and just needed me to make up the numbers.
So i then said "but you will be moaning and having a go at me if i cant run fast enough"
"oh we wont" they insisted.
Well going by past experience and the way you have treated me in PE lessons i think thats bollocks.
So i refused to do it and to this day im proud that i stood my ground and refused to be used by them!

SquinkiesRule Fri 08-Mar-13 23:40:12

I'd blank her too, YANBU. My bully tried to make friends on friends reunited like some others, I told her sorry I think yu have the wrong person, maybe you were friends with my sister. I think I totally confused her. I even told her Dad and Step Mum what she had been like (I still know them as an adult) and they were shocked but not surprised. She turned into a drug addict, didn't clean up till her thirties, married a washed up musician and had a child.

MagratOfStolat Fri 08-Mar-13 23:40:38

I was "friended" by one of my old bullies at school about a year ago. She was a vicious, spiteful, hate-fuelled wench who would physically abuse anyone she found worthy of her vitriol. It was fucking disgusting the way she treated people.

Childish though it was, I posted this massive thing on her wall about why she thought she had the right to request my friendship when she'd treated everyone so appallingly, and how truly awful her life seemed to be now (which was noones fault but her own, she came from a good family and would have been able to do something with her life if she weren't such a cunt).

long story short, I posted that, it received about 100 "likes" and supportive comments from people who were too chicken to say it to her, and from what I can gather there was a mass exodus of people, leaving her with almost no friends, Facebook or otherwise.

I don't give a stuff how childish it was, to me it was perfect. Bitch deserved it. Wouldn't piss on her if she were on fire.

Helltotheno Fri 08-Mar-13 23:43:46

Magrat I'm actually a little in love with you right now... take these thanks grin

gaelicsheep Fri 08-Mar-13 23:45:57

No way are you BU. There are still many people from my school I would never ever choose to spend any time with at all.

livinginwonderland Fri 08-Mar-13 23:54:42

YANBU. i was bullied too and i ignore the girls who bully me now. they all tried to re-add me on facebook a couple of years ago and the snide comments carried on despite the fact that we're all in our mid-twenties. i blocked all of them and if i see them i act as though i don't know who they are.

livinginwonderland Fri 08-Mar-13 23:55:47

MagratOfStolat you are perfect!

LilQueenie Sat 09-Mar-13 00:00:53

Dont run. Work the karma. Casually mention in front of others how surprised you are she married on account of her little aversion to the goth/grunge lifestyle. Then drop a few bits and peices about what she did - without mentioning names if you prefer.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Mar-13 00:03:35

There are lots of past bullies trying to contact the people they bullied as children on this thread, I wonder what proportion of them are doing it because they're genuinely sorry for what they did, and how many for purely selfish reasons that they want to feel better about what they did?

I thought it was more because they felt crap about it, but maybe I was being too charitable.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Mar-13 00:12:18

And that's the thing about imagining how you'd deal with it LilQ, you'd be cool, calm and collected, say all the right things in an offhand manner, walk away from the encounter in control and with indifference - before going off to successfully mingle, in a witty and engaging way, with interesting people about the room.

The reality of the situation is that you're transported back to how it feels to be an isolated and excluded child, and standing in front of the cause of your problems makes you buckle at the knees and get a dry mouth. You'd do well to stammer a 'fuck off' before wobbly legged flouncing off feeling like a prize twat.

I don't know whether to grin or sad bit of both maybe?

rainrainandmorerain Sat 09-Mar-13 00:30:56

agentzigzag - I've wondered about past bullies trying to friend former victims on FB etc (it was friends reunited before that, ironically) -

This has happened to a few people i know, and each time, the bully just doesn't remember things the way the victim does. E.g. the bully can remember 'an argument' when the victim remembers what amounted to a sustained campaign of physical attack. The bullies
have either denied being bullies, or actually been very upset they were accused. I remember seeing a bit of a tv programme where Aled, the gay bloke off the Chris Moyles breakfast show, went back to his former school. He met a girl who had bullied him, confronted her quite gently, Nd and she was shocked and in tears. Didn't remember things like he did, and obviously hated the idea that he thought she was a bully.

It has made me think - so much of what victims
go through is 'private' anguish. So much of the battle with bullying is to get bullies to see and understand the consequences of what they do. But as adults, I think it might be quite common for bullies/victims to have very different memories of what happened.

mrsbunnylove Sat 09-Mar-13 01:09:41

quite right to avoid.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Mar-13 01:18:26

That kind of winds me up even more rainrain, that something that was so significant to me (and the OP/other posters) at the time and even now, but was so insignificant to them in the scheme of things (if you believe that they honestly don't remember, which I probably wouldn't tbh) can make you feel even smaller.

I don't believe they didn't understand the misery they caused at the time, I think they got off on it because it satisfied an inadequacy they had at the time, and they fed off the aggro they caused.

Most of the ones on the periphery I could forgive for not wanting to be the brunt of it themselves, but the central ones, they knew.

Chottie Sat 09-Mar-13 05:18:56

OP I would feel the same, I was bullied at school over 40 years ago by a girl in my class. I have no wish to ever have any contact with her again. Why should I want to have any reminders of a very unhappy time of my life?

Your friend is being very unsympathetic and she really doesn't understand where you are coming from.

I have a great life, happy family and loving DH, I'm living in the now. Please just do whatever suits you x.

FellNel Sat 09-Mar-13 05:37:50

I think playground bullies can grow out of it eventually, but at mid 20's she's still pretty young so I imagine she's still capable of being a fairly horrible person if it's in her nature. And even if you turn into Mother Bloody Theresa it doesn't mean the people whose lives you ruined should automatically forgive and forget. I know I wouldn't.

I think you are doing the right thing. If you find yourself running into her socially and she tries to catch your eye or speak to you just keep calm and impassive and turn your back, walk away, ignore. Hopefully if she has any kind of conscience at all she will know why and she'll feel ashamed and foolish.

Make sure she doesn't think that you are doing it out of fear though.

Theicingontop Sat 09-Mar-13 06:48:05

She knew what she was doing, she once cornered me and asked why I wanted to make myself so unpopular, if I just dressed 'nicely' and did my hair the way the other girls did, she wouldn't pick on me. She knew she was targeting me. There's no way if she was confronted that she'd be able to deny all knowledge. A confrontation I don't intend to have though. I cry when I'm angry and it would be humiliating...

I think I'm going to take some of the advice on this thread and just continue as I am, nod and smile whenever friends talk about her but just avoid her. I don't see anything positive coming from being around her.

Jossysgiants Sat 09-Mar-13 07:00:33

Yanbu. One of the nastiest bullies in our school was the daughter of the Head of Year. She was actually enabled by him to do whatever she liked. The hypocrisy of her reaction on Facebook when one of her victims committed suicide a few years ago was sickening. I feel the same about her today as I did 25 years ago and would keep her well away.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Sat 09-Mar-13 07:16:37

Having a shit time at home is not an excuse to bully people. When you bully someone you don't know if they are having a crappy home life then being bullied at school too.
There's no excuse for doing it.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Sat 09-Mar-13 07:19:56

OP you are not being unreasonable, the best thing to do is to not let someone so disgusting take up any of your time thinking about her the skanky fugly cow that she is

SirBoobAlot Sat 09-Mar-13 07:42:26

No, YANBU. I do understand the whole idea of "face her, don't let her win", but why the hell put yourself through all that when you can just walk away? I still live in the same town as school too, and most of the bullies haven't moved out either. One turned up at my old antenatal session for young mums, and tried to be all buddy buddy with me.

These bastards tend to not understand the impact that their actions can have long term. And yes, I'm sure a lot of them are doing it for a reason, completely agree with that. But that doesn't mean you have to forgive or forget what they out you through.

Magrat think I now love you grin

rainrainandmorerain Sat 09-Mar-13 11:05:31

agent - yes, I get what you mean - I think the idea that someone made your life horrendous but it was no big deal to them, to the extent that they might not remember it well, is an awful thought.

Problem is, I think some former victims who confront their abusers as adults do get this response, and they aren't prepared for it at all. I think if they can do like Magrat did, and just sort of have their say, get their feelings out, and that's it, then it probably works very well! but where former victims have a kind of conversation mapped out in their heads where their bullies will be forced to admit what they did and feel ashamed etc - well, it is unlikely to play that way.

I have noticed that when children (and adults) are confronted with accusations of bullying, they nearly always have some notion that the victim 'deserves' their treatment. I read what icing said about the girl who bullied her asking her why she WANTED to make herself unpopular. The attitude is exactly that. 'You do something which annoys me - I react by hitting you/excluding you etc - therefore it is your fault.'

Obviously that is totally wrong, but it is a very very hard cognitive positon to unpick - I think especially when the bullying is a group activity, as the bullies just reinforce each other's attitudes.

(I have to say, when I read things on MN and elsewhere about people 'needing a slap' or 'deserves a good kick in the cunt' etc, I think - same attitude, really.)

lrichmondgabber Sat 09-Mar-13 11:22:08

Iwould challenge her. But thats not for everyone.

CelticPixie Sat 09-Mar-13 11:28:20

A similar thing happened to me, although I would never actually say that I was bullied in the traditional sense. More a victim of typical teenage girl "mean girls" type of behaviour.

There were two groups at my school. The popular mean girls types who all the boys fancied etc and the rest of us, I was firmly in the "rest of us" camp and it never bothered me because I had plenty of friends but we were often the victims of bitchiness from the popular lot.

Fast forward ten years and I find myself working with one of the popular girls and she's as nice as pie. Genuinely lovely and nice and all I could think was that ten years previously she wouldn't have been seen dead talking to me. I honestly think she didn't realise how so far up their own arses and mean her little clique were.

bootsycollins Sat 09-Mar-13 11:34:42

Magrat you brilliant genius!

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