Of Bullying and Forgiving   Leave a comment

Have you ever been bullied?  I was bullied, in Junior High School.  By two different girls who would boss me around, call me names, shove me.  I remember at one point we were playing a kick ball game (my whole class) and one of the girls started yelling at me, and then telling me what to do and not to do.  The other kids looked at her with a puzzled look while I just ignored her, secure in my safety in the big crowd.  One of my classmates finally said to her, “Why don’t you leave her alone?  She’s not doing anything to you.”

Which was true.  I had four older brothers and three older sisters, and I knew the best defense was to ignore the person giving you a bad time.  All they wanted was to get a reaction from me, and if I failed in that they would leave me alone.  Eventually.  Sometimes that took a long time, which is the problem with using that method.

The girls shortly started to ignore me as much as I ignored them.  I remember one of them, in my Junior year at High School, tried to strike up a conversation with me while we both happened to be walking out of school at the same time.  I told her I was flying to Washington State for the Easter holiday to go house hunting with my parents, as we were moving up there in the summer.  She stopped and looked surprised, and I remember glancing back at her, puzzled.  I thought she had tripped or hurt herself or something.  “Well,” she said almost in wonder, “We’ll miss you around here.”  I just smiled and walked away.  It felt like a victory, but later I thought that maybe she had wanted to be friends with me?  I was in no way going to befriend someone who had deliberately treated me so horribly for several years.  I truly can’t remember the names of either of the girls.  It has been many years and I forgave them long ago.  It just is not important enough to me now.

Which brings me to the next thing.  Have you forgiven people who have wronged you?  Who have hurt you?  Mistreated you?  I had a friend who I got along with great.  We would talk on the phone several times a week and get together a couple of times a week.  Then, she asked a lady from church to move in with her.  She needed help with her mortgage payment.  But what hurt was that suddenly I was no longer invited when she did things.  See, the other lady had a boyfriend, and my friend soon had a boyfriend.  And I didn’t.  They both ended up getting married, and I was invited to both weddings, but did not see them or talk to them afterwards.  It really hurt to be dropped like that.  Just recently that lady found me on Facebook and sent me a friend request.  I thought about it.  And then I decided not to accept.

Not because I hadn’t forgiven her.  I truly had.  But, after being betrayed and dropped as a friend I couldn’t trust her to not do it again. I wish her well and not harm – but I don’t want to see her or talk to her.

Does that make sense?  What about you?  Were you bullied?  Did you bully?  How have you resolved that?  Or have you?  Have you forgiven?  Do you need to forgive?

 

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Posted October 21, 2013 by Maureen in Randomness, Stories

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