I would like to say that I was the popular girl in school, surrounded by friends and forever going out to parties. And my patties – wow! They were wonderful collaborations of people, with light and colour and cake.
It would be a lie though. My childhood was one of fright and fear. Not from my family. I always found it odd that even the authorities thought I was having problem at home, but the reality was that the problem came from everywhere else. At school I was bullied, badly. Not physical bullying but mental stuff, although there was one time that the whole school lined up and spat on me as I walked past. That was physical. But that was as tough as it got on the physical side. On the mental side – well if people tell you something for long enough you final start to believe it.
Now I am good but back then… Not so much.
On my eighteenth birthday I invited the whole year. Three turned up. Not the greatest night. Especially as the three were bullies.
I was told I was fat until I was.
But as you get older you can find yourself in situations with the bullies. The first time I was walking outside the local supermarket and I heard jeering. Turning the corner I saw on of my bullies with a group of teenagers following her. You see she hadn’t changed despite the eight year gap. Same hair, same clothes… It was as if she had been stuck in a time warp. I just watched her pass. I didn’t join in with the screams of laughter but I didn’t stop it.
Then there was the one I met whilst waiting for my mum. She walked out of the college looking old. It was ten years from school but she would only have been 26, not old. She stopped and asked me how I was. I answered in shock and then she explained that she was a single mum and trying to get herself through college and raise her kids.
That same year I saw another. She was also a single mum but was living with her parents in order to escape the boyfriend.
At this point I realised that the bullies held nothing over me. They had gone on to live their own lives. I was surprised that they all had sad stories but I just shrugged and thought it was karma. I also realised that I had forgiven them in their adult form. The children that they had been – no I can never forgive them. But as adults struggling with family, illness, money and children, those I understand and will talk to. But really the truth is…
Well, I sorry to say that the truth is I don’t care. I don’t care if they are happy or sad. They have no bearing on my life now. Is that forgiveness? I’m not certain but I am happier for it. So I wish them good luck and I hope that the road will rise up to meet them, because I know mine path will. 🙂
This is a short story based on the daily prompt – forgive and forget?