Monday, May 11, 2009

Bullies, vindication, and forgiveness

I don't know why I let things like this still bother me, but I was bullied in school. This was back in the '70's and '80's, before there were things like "Awareness" and programs that dealt with bullying. Back then, nerdy kids just got bullied and that was that.
Now of course I am a successful adult with my own Facebook page and I get emails like this:
"Just started on Facebook am surprized who I am all finding , wonder if ya remember me .. :) .. Jaosn"
Of course I remember Jason. He made sure I would always remember him.
When I got that message yesterday, I looked him up on CCAP and he had the criminal record that I suspected he would: an indicator of a sad and unfocused life. I also note an inability to successfully spell his own five-letter name correctly every time. At some point I had found out that he also had his own problems- the woman that I had thought was his mom was really his grandmother, and so on. So it's hard to know what to really think. Thinking about it doesn't change anything. Does it?

Here's the Google street view of the building that used to house my grade school (on the northwest side of Milwaukee). God finally shut it down. The building now houses Jesus Cares Ministries for people with special needs and their families. It's a resource center and library, I guess.
Life is a complicated place.


capper said...

The best revenge is a life well lived. That makes the rest easier to deal with.

Anonymous said...

You didn't say whether or not you forgave Jaosn. Did you?

The River Otter said...

Well, whether I "friend" him or not has nothing whatsoever to do with forgiveness- just so that's on the table. Revenge isn't the word I'd like to use. Sure, the best retribution is to lead a happy life. The best piece of spiritual advice I have ever received was that with every thing that happens to you, God is preparing you for the next thing (worded a bit more eloquently). This is also known more directly as an AFGO (Google that). So in otter words, Anonymous,I have no simple answer.

New Mama said...

I had similar experiences in childhood. I am actually FB friends with someone who bullied me in grade school, and I expect I'll be seeing her at my 20th high school reunion this summer. It's weird.

mikemiller34 said...

I'm not sure what all happened to you--and I certainly don't want to bring up any more memories--but school wasn't fun for me either, with middle school probably being the worst. High school wasn't much better. My older brother bullied me physically, and I still have to be his FB friend. (Just kidding--I forgave all that long ago!)

The River Otter said...

Yeah Mike we'll have to talk about it sometime. Maybe over a cup of coffee.

The River Otter said...

I meant to say that it's interesting how many people I know now that say they were bullied. I don't know if it's just the subset of people that I choose to associate with, or that people better remember the bad experiences. I was not always nice either. Then I ran into someone I hadn't always been nice to (she was working at Walgreens and it was really busy so it was easy to use that as an excuse not to say, hey remember me?) so I should probably go back there and attempt to complete the loop. Like I said, life is a complicated place.