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Forgive and forget or once bitten twice shy

(54 Posts)
itsAllinTheNameChange722 Fri 12-Jun-20 10:42:10

Name change as this is pretty identifiable .

When I was 17 (over 20 years ago) , my mum died. It led to a pretty difficult time , I had to move house etc. I was still at school with a few months to my final exams.

I had a group of friends at school , 7 of us mainly. I didn't really notice it at the time but suddenly I wasn't really getting invited to anything anymore and we weren't talking about 18th birthdays anymore. I noticed but I didn't notice if you know what I mean.

Anyway when I was studying at one friends house I found a note from another friend (before mobile phones were common). It said how annoying it was that they had to have all their parties in secret and how they couldn't talk about it in front of me because I was so depressed all the time... I was just a killjoy etc. She said she wished I'd just take the hint and leave them alone etc. It was a really awful note to read at that time.

I asked the friend who had received the note and she confirmed that they had had a few nights out and parties , they used codes to talk about it when I was there. I was like... Wtf?

I kind of went into a huge depression and left school and apart from meeting in the street etc I didn't really talk to any of them again.

I am more than over all this now , I really am. But the woman who wrote the note has moved close to where I live now and I've bumped into her a few times recently. She wants to go for a coffee when everything is back to normal , I don't, but I've been told I can hold a grudge.

Should I just let it go and start up even a basic friendship or would that be nuts?

OP’s posts: |
LuluBellaBlue Fri 12-Jun-20 10:44:22

I’d go for a coffee with her and call her out on her behaviour!!
That’s absolutely appalling of them.
I’m so sorry you were treated this way flowers

SunbathingDragon Fri 12-Jun-20 10:45:42

I wouldn’t even bother with a coffee and bringing it up. Just leave her in the past.

NoMoreDickheads Fri 12-Jun-20 10:51:59

It's your choice OP.

If you don't want to go, don't go.

17 is a bit old for them not to have been capable of empathy/being real friends when you had suffered a bereavement etc.

I would say what the person did probably tells you something enduring about her character.

Perhaps you could have it out with her, say you saw this letter and you were really upset?

If she apologizes and says she was young and didn't know what to say etc then you can decide where her apology makes any difference to how you feel about seeing her.

And if it doesn't make a difference, that's ok. xxx

Opaljewel Fri 12-Jun-20 10:53:49

I'm so sorry you were treated that way. How absolutely disgusting and nasty of them.
I think people can change but if you want the honest truth, a lot of people do not and I do not think this will serve you any purpose to meet with them.

If someone asked me if I wanted to meet with my bullies, it would be a resounding no.

Remember you aren't in that place anymore. You did nothing wrong at all. Leave this person firmly in the past. Move on with your head held high.

I would never have treated someone like at 17. You're old enough at that age to know it was sneaky and atrocious behaviour. Otherwise why they all be cloak and dagger about it? Just nasty.

NoMoreDickheads Fri 12-Jun-20 10:53:52

If you decide to bring it up, do it in whatever form is comfortable for you- email, messenger, phone, video call or in person.

You do not have to meet her to bring it up if you don't want. xx

TiffanyPerspicaciaWeatherwax Fri 12-Jun-20 10:54:38

I don't hold grudes, but after that I wouldn't want to have anything to do with them again. What do you want? You don't have to be friends with her. You can say no or you can go and confront her or you can go and be polite or you can go to see if she's changed and is worth getting to know again. I doubt she's changed. The important thing is you do what you want. You don't owe her anything, even just a polite coffee.

itsAllinTheNameChange722 Fri 12-Jun-20 10:55:18

It is nuts, I shouldn't even be considering it. She's acting like nothing happened but then I just left the group, I didn't make a fuss. For all she knows I didn't even know what they were doing and 17 year old girls can be awful .

For me though it would be daft to get involved with her again.

We were friends since we were 5 before that happened.

OP’s posts: |
Aquamarine1029 Fri 12-Jun-20 10:57:48

This person has been well out of your life for years for a very good reason. Keep her out.

user1972548274 Fri 12-Jun-20 11:03:22

Just because she wants to see you doesn't mean you have to acquiesce. Nothing to do with "holding a grudge".

itsAllinTheNameChange722 Fri 12-Jun-20 11:09:30

At the time I got really upset about it all and it all led to a pretty dark time for me. I suppose though I always wondered if that was because it was the straw that broke the camels back or it was really awful all on its own so your responses have been really , really helpful to me.

I know that I could never have did that to someone I wasn't friends with let alone someone I had known and spent a lot of time with.

OP’s posts: |
LouLouLoo Fri 12-Jun-20 11:13:27

If it doesn’t feel right for you then don’t do it.

I do think that our immature, selfish younger selves can act in ways that we become ashamed of in the future.

That said, she obviously hasn’t given you any indication that she is remorseful and has a burning need to apologise to you.

I think I your shoes I wouldn’t meet her. I would tell her why though. If she isn’t aware of how piss poor her behaviour was then she needs to be told.

I’m sorry you lost your Mum flowers

TooTiredTodayOk Fri 12-Jun-20 11:14:03

I wouldn't give it too much thought, it could have been one of those "we must go for coffee when this is all over" type comments which people throw out without actually meaning it.

At age 17 I believe your character is pretty well formed, I doubt this woman has changed much and she is not someone I'd want to reignite a friendship with.

I am the queen of grudge holding grin (having said that there are only 2 people I hold a grudge against), and I'd probably have some response rehearsed to tell her why I won't be going for coffee with her is she ever mentioned it again.

backseatcookers Fri 12-Jun-20 11:20:57

I think we do ourselves a disservice by using the phrase "holding a grudge" as actually what we mean is "choose not to engage with someone any more because their behaviour means they don't warrant my time or attention".

This isn't holding a grudge because someone told a boy you fancied them when it was meant to be a secret, this was covert and nasty bullying you have no responsibility to write off due to age. They were 17, they were being nasty and it deeply upset you.

That doesn't mean they are fundamentally awful people and you should slap them if you bumped into them, but it does mean you have no responsibility to engage with them as an adult. At all.

I would ignore as it's already brought up some painful memories for you and I can't see a huge amount of goodness would come from re-engaging thanks

Windyatthebeach Fri 12-Jun-20 11:22:58

Arrange to meet. At the time she will be sat there waiting for you email her what she made you feel back then. Then block her.. Leave her sat one like she did to you..

PicsInRed Fri 12-Jun-20 11:26:29

She wants to go for a coffee when everything is back to normal , I don't, but I've been told I can hold a grudge.

No. She wants to use you to shoehorn into friends you have in the area. She sounds like the type to then work to turn you out of your own friend group and leave you with noone. This is a recurring theme on mumsnet and a surprisingly common woman to woman abuser tactic.

Leave this woman firmly in the past and DO NOT EVER introduce her to your friends, acquaintances or contacts of any kind.

Dont tell her where your kids go to school, or where their activities are. If she pops up anywhere, pushing in, immediately tell your friends what she did and the effect on you. Your silence would allow her to use you as an "in".

It's not a grudge, it's experience, relevant information and reasonable caution against danger. Protect yourself and your new life. Be coolly polite if you run into her in the street and quickly excuse yourself, do not FB friend her - and completely exclude her from your life.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 12-Jun-20 11:26:36

You do not want to meet her so do not go. You do not owe this person anything now, let alone a coffee. Be with radiators, not drains in your life.

backseatcookers Fri 12-Jun-20 11:36:19

It's not a grudge, it's experience, relevant information and reasonable caution against danger. Protect yourself and your new life. Be coolly polite if you run into her in the street and quickly excuse yourself, do not FB friend her - and completely exclude her from your life.


EchoCardioGran Fri 12-Jun-20 11:38:31

Excellent post. I agree.

itsAllinTheNameChange722 Fri 12-Jun-20 11:41:03

I remember at the time the friend (who received the note) said something along the lines of "we are just thinking about you really , you don't want to be talking and thinking about nights out".

I felt really sick about it all and confused. I had a boyfriend a year or two later and I told him what happened and he kind of just said that that's the kind of thing that happens in school, and best to just get over it. It took me years to let it go in reality. At the time it made me wonder what was real and what wasn't. I understand that now but at the time it just made me really confused.

You are all right, this woman won't be thinking about my best interests that's for sure. I wonder if I should bring it up in some form or another the next time I see her. I do tend to avoid drama though, but maybe sticking up for myself wouldn't be bad for my self esteem?

Not something awful, just clear.

OP’s posts: |
YgritteSnow Fri 12-Jun-20 11:42:03

I wouldn't give her the time of day.

NoMoreDickheads Fri 12-Jun-20 11:43:17

For me though it would be daft to get involved with her again.

Then you know what you have to do.

^ I suppose though I always wondered if that was because it was the straw that broke the camels back or it was really awful all on its own^

Maybe both, but how someone treats you after/during a different time makes all the difference- it doesn't make it 'just' the straw that broke the camel's back, it is a very unpleasant experience to have someone not support you, or worse, criticize how you and reject you based on how you respond to a traumatic event/bereavement etc. x

BlueJava Fri 12-Jun-20 11:57:38

Personally I wouldn't be involve with her again. Maybe it was an immature reaction from a group of girls, but it was pretty hurtful and nasty. You feel better now and over it, don't re-embrace part of your life that was painful just because she has turned up.

itsAllinTheNameChange722 Fri 12-Jun-20 12:06:23

Thank you everybody. I kind of thought this was an awful.thing to happen to "me" but others would have coped just fine.

And the reframing if "holding a grudge" is absolutely brilliant. That's going to become part of my thinking now so thank you @backstreetcookers

And @picsinred , that's really interesting . Another thing I didn't mention is she has a teenage daughter who is a wheelchair user , they are always together when I meet them in the street . It made me wonder if I should be kinder and be the bigger person and I suppose added an extra dimension to it all. But your post has helped clarify that for me, my priority is to myself.

Everybody's posts has really gave me a lot to think about , they were really lovely. , I even got a bit upset at them . I feel better now though. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
GilbertMarkham Fri 12-Jun-20 12:16:35

No, I wouldn't meet her or be friendly with her. Just minimally "pass yourself" with her.

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