I’ve been reading through an article on the long-term effects of bullying, and the most recent comments posted by readers sharing their own stories.  I noticed a common theme of bullying victims becoming very quiet and having trouble trusting, making friends, and the like.  These things sound very familiar.

Some of them have moved on from childhood abuse and some are posting about recent abuse which they are still struggling with.

But disturbing is that some still hold anger, rage and bitterness decades–even 50 years–after the bullying occurred.  It has turned them into shells of themselves, and they still wish evil things to happen to the bullies.

I, too, can recall at least one time when I bullied somebody–not that I meant to, but the words came out cruel and made me into a bully–and times when I said things that came out totally wrong.

In some cases it was a friend who stayed a friend, and the mistakes have long since been forgotten.

But the time I bullied a person, I remember what I said, what I really meant but how it came out instead, and how she reacted, and I often wish I could find her and apologize.  But I don’t even remember her name.

I’ve also discovered that some of my own bullies from school, people who meant to pick on me, and did it over and over, have since–whether at reunions or on Facebook–found me and befriended me, sometimes even apologizing for what happened back then.  They are truly nice people now, from what I can tell online.

So while I haven’t forgotten that I was bullied, and at times it still bothers me, I have forgiven at least most of the bullies, many of whom are now nameless and faceless in my memory.

I realize that even if we have forgotten each other, they probably have matured and regret what they did or said all those years ago.

(The same applies to most of the bullies in my College Memoirs, by the way.  People still act stupid in college.)

I really wish the commenters on that bullying article would do the same.  At this point, they are the ones still suffering from their anger and resentment, not the long-ago bullies.

I have a healthy marriage and a child, and held down the jobs I needed before becoming a stay-at-home mother.  The first job I lost because of large-scale downsizing.  The second, I held for four years before resigning because of my coming baby.

But the commenters who won’t let go, they’re still stuck, often not having healthy relationships or even jobs.

Knowing that I have been able to move on since other cases of bullying and abuse, tells me that I can eventually move on from this latest Tracy/Richard episode as well, even though it has been very traumatizing in its depths of betrayal, gaslighting and bullying.

For it is not an enemy [Tracy] who reproaches me, 
Then I could bear it; 
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, 
Then I could hide myself from him. 
But it is you, a man my equal, 
My companion and my familiar friend [Richard]; 
We who had sweet fellowship together 
Walked in the house of God in the throng.  
Psalm 55:12-14, NASB

A song from Klank, a Christian band that is raw and real and doesn’t bother with happy Christian conventions in songwriting or music, such as the pat-answer/ ending of how Jesus will help me through:

You don’t know what it is to be me 
I was lied to and flat out deceived 
Said you cared, but was never there 
You left me to drown in my despair 
You gave me your word that you’d 
Always be my true friend 
Now that you’re gone, I can go on with 
My life again 
I cared for you and called you my friend 
Shared my life with you and let you in 
Then you dissed me 
Started spreading lies 
Even to my face you still deny 
You gave me your word that you’d 
Always be my true friend 
Now that you’re gone, I can go on with 
My life again 
I still feel it 
Inside, false pride 
Outside, you lied 
You don’t know what it is to be me 
I was lied to and flat out deceived 
One more time 
Twist the knife in my back 
I don’t need no friends like that 
You gave me your word that you’d 
Always be my true friend 
Now that you’re gone I can go on with 
My life again  
–Klank, Deceived 

Story of another spiritual mentor who caused great grief (showing that I’m not the only one this has ever happened to)

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing