It has been several years since I have been out of middle or high school. I did not have a good time in either. I did not have very many friends, I wasn’t popular and got picked on – a lot. I don’t really have any lasting friends from that time in my life. But I still think about it, and sometimes I really do not like the person I was – not because I was unpopular, nerdy, quiet or any of that. That is all okay, and I realize it now. But what I feel bad about is how I acted to fit in better. I was never going to be a popular girl, but I think I was desperate then to be one. I picked on the other kids that the popular girls would pick on just so I could feel like I belonged to the ‘in crowd’. I probably hurt other people’s feelings and did things that would be considered bullying. I knew it wasn’t right, but I wanted to fit in. I knew if I didn’t at least try my life would have been worse in school. I am positive that the popular girls made fun of me too behind my back, they tried to ban me from their lunch table and other things. But I wanted to fit in, even though I clearly didn’t.
I bring this up now because some days I feel really bad for how I may have treated others. I see news stories about kids getting bullied. My “picking on” on someone else seems relatively small in the spectrum of bullying, but then again being picked on hurts whether it is one small comment or many large comments. But sometimes I wasn’t very nice – especially in middle school. I know it was a long time ago, but I still feel bad and have this almost desperate need to apologize to people just so I can be forgiven and that sounds kind of selfish. Is it weird to apologize after almost 20 years to someone you don’t communicate with anymore only to say sorry for being mean to them in school. Is it worth bringing up? If not how can I forgive myself? I know this may seem silly. Picking on kids seems like a part of the normal school life, but I feel bad about it. I don’t want to think that I have hurt someone else. I want to think that this one person in particular doesn’t care anymore and does not give my actions any thought. I don’t think about what other girls did to me in a negative way. It hurt then, but that was then, we were kids and now I have moved on. Maybe that is how this one girl thinks of me, but I wonder sometimes. I feel guilty and want to make amends, but I am not sure if that is appropriate anymore.