At work today bullying was not on my mind. It’s something that happened, that I would rather forget.
After three hours on the floor I was sent on break, I got in line for food behind a few customers and group of four people walked in. I knew two of them, though I can’t remember names, I knew these two.
I waited, hoping they would ignore me.
“Hey” Said one, I couldn’t remember her name, “Remember me?” She asked.
How could I forget? Names don’t matter when you pick on someone for three years. I remember every insult, rumor and look. I remember trying to understand why you seemed to hate me so much. I never figured it out.
“I think?” I replied, “What’s your name?” It didn’t matter, but I decided to be polite.
“******” she answered.
“Oh, yeah, I defiantly remember you” I said, trying to keep the hate out of my voice.
“Remember those times in Junior High that I bullied you?” She asks, my hand clenches around the money in my pocket, why would she bring that up in a public place? “I’m sorry, I thought it was cool, but it wasn’t”
I feel like I should say something, but I’m shocked into silence.
Her friend chimes in, “Yeah, I really sorry too.” I can’t tell if they mean it, but why else would they bring it up? “I hope it didn’t effect you”
A million responces fly through my mind, “It’s fine” Is the one that makes it out. Finally I order, pay and retreat to the crew room.
What did they expect me to say?
Was I supposed to lie? Tell them that it didn’t effect me, that it’s all behind me? Tell them I never cared. Tell them I always knew they were wrong, that my friend were always there for me? Make them feel better about themselves for apologizing?
Did they want the truth? To be told that because of people like them I have trouble connecting with anyone? That I had suicidal thoughts for years? Do they want to know how my friends were not there for me, that I could tell no one. Was I supposed to make them feel horrible?
Should I continue on from there, telling them that what they and others did still effects me? Makes me unwilling to get close to people, makes me doubt everything about myself? Should I tell them that they said things so much, I still feel like it’s true?
Should I tell them that while they never physically hurt me, the emotional scars will never go away?
Or, should I thank them, because now I will be able to help other going through what I did? Should I have told them that the bullying stopped?
I couldn’t say any of these things, only ‘it’s fine’ a lie and the truth at the same time.
What they and so many others did to me was not fine, and never will be. However, they had the courage to apologize. In front of others. I would never be able to confront the people that bullied me. For them to realize that what they did was wrong, though not to the extent that it was, would have been hard. To admit it, and apologize must have been hard.
But I wouldn’t know. Maybe they were lying, maybe they weren’t.
Either way, what did they expect me to say?
~What did they expect? by moonpuppy