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It Got Better So Why Was I Still Angry When I Met My Bully From High School?

bullyIt didn’t take long for the kids in my high school to call me a faggot. What started as an insult in the corridor of the main building my freshman year quickly echoed into four years of prank phone calls, threatening IMs, and physical assaults. However, Dan Savage’s sermon is not a lie. It did get better after high school. But while my life changed in so many ways, when I reflected on those awkward years, I found myself furious, and still holding a grudge. It wasn’t until over 10 years later, when I came face-to-face with my bully at a small bar in Miami did I find forgiveness.

High school wasn’t the first time I was bullied. I had been called a faggot, queer, mariposa, and flamer at my small Catholic junior high school in Miami because of my over-stylized hair and obsession with Sailor Moon. It didn’t end with name calling in junior high. During Ms. Boffil’s religion class, while we were readying ourselves for the sacrament of Confirmation, the other boys would poke my butt with their Paper Mate ballpoint pens while softly chanting “fag” in my ear.

I found confidence the summer before high school. The new school I would attend was in Coconut Grove, and no one I knew was going there. I would finally be liberated from my tormentors. This newfound confidence translated itself into how I acted. I became extroverted, talking with my hands and letting my emerging lisp run free. I made bold fashion choices: frosting the tips of my hair and wearing tight tees from Pacific Sunwear. For the first time in my life I was proud when I looked into the mirror.

On that first day of high school, there was no one else with frosted tips. The metamorphosis I had gone through over the summer only made me a neon target at the new school. Words like “fag” and “gay” were remerging. I dyed my hair brown but it seemed every thing I did, from how I wore my uniform to the way I walked, was deemed gay by my new peers.

“You walk like a pato,” one girl told me. “Walk like a man. You don’t want to be gay do you?”

I eventually made friends in high school, but there were always plenty of people ready to bully me. Some were overt about it, shoving me in a locker like a sad cliché. Others were more coy, sending me anonymous IMs with the word pato. But there was one person who’s bullying made me feel helpless, and I carried his cruelty with me the years following high school. For the sake of this article I’ll call him TJ.

TJ was not the meathead, Karofsky archetype from Glee that one normally thinks of when talking about bullies. He was a straight A student, in AP classes, and constantly on the morning announcements for his accomplishments. If there was anyone who was going to be valedictorian of La Salle High School in 2002 it was going to be TJ. He was also charming, able to win over large crowds with jokes and sat at the head of his lunch table like a king.

It’s easy to look back and say TJ was taking out some buried insecurity out on me. That wasn’t true. In fact he was the opposite of insecure. He was confident.

bullyOne morning junior year, TJ chased me to biology class, storming the classroom, and exclaiming in front of everyone, “You’re a faggot, Paul.”

Another time, an online message board was started. The message board was a sign of rebellion against the school’s administration, as evident of the communist Cuba motif it sported. On the board there was a thread dedicated to my sexuality with the usual slurs being thrown. Weeks after the thread was started, our dean pulled me aside to say, “Don’t worry, they won’t call you gay on the Internet anymore.”

The founder of the message board was never revealed, but in my opinion it was clear who started it — or at the very least who had a hand in its creation.

Over the years I forgot about the message board and biology class, but what stuck was the humiliation. Not the humiliation of being embarrassed, but rather the humiliation that TJ knew me better than I knew myself. He announced to everyone I was a faggot before I had the chance to discover it, and I had to defend myself without knowing exactly what a faggot was. He forced me to say in front of everyone, “No! I’m not a faggot!” as if being a faggot was the worse thing imaginable.

High school ended. My college years were truly the best of my life, and then I moved to Manhattan.

I spent this past summer back home finishing my first novel. My friend Karina invited me to grab drinks with her, and a few other people from high school at a small bar in downtown Miami. We drank, laughed and got along. No one called me a fag and instead congratulated me on my accomplishments. It seemed any ill feelings were in the rearview mirror.

Then Karina exclaimed, “TJ is on his way.”

I spent over 10 years playing scenarios of running into TJ in my head, and how I would confront him as an adult. And yet I was trembling with both fear and anger at the thought of seeing him again.

TJ made eye contact with me when he stepped out of the cab. I ignored him and went back to my conversation. The post-high school stereotypes are true. Bullies do become overweight. I don’t say this out of spite but to demonstrate that from the second I saw TJ that night he didn’t seem mythological anymore. He looked vulnerable and unsuspectingly human. I continued to ignore him and as the evening progressed it began to feel anticlimactic. How could I not confront TJ? I owed it to my inner kid.

Karina was with him at the bar when I approached. We gave each other half a hug. He knew I was in New York, and mentioned he went to law school in Queens. I steered the conversation to how great my life was, telling him about the book, fabulous Manhattan parties and how much I paid for my sneakers. In retrospect showing off must have given away that I had something to prove, but at the time I thought it was pivotal in establishing self respect. I kept mentioning I was gay to let him know he was right back in high school. I was a faggot and a proud one at that.

TJ said he’ll tell everyone in his office to buy the book, and picked up my drink as a congratulations. We took the conversation outside and at no point did it feel right to tell him off. After several shots of tequila, we were left alone. In my drunken stupor I asked what else he was up to, and he replied proving himself.

“I’m like Jay Gatsby,” he mumbled, intoxicated. “I’ve climbed up from nothing to impress this girl.”

I placed my hand on his shoulder, acknowledging the man I held a grudge towards no longer existed, and said something to the effect of “Well, she’s an idiot if she can’t accept you for who you are.” And we clinked our tequila.

We forget it does not get better for bullies after high school. Where we spent years thickening our skin, they are released into the world no longer kings of their lunch tables. I never asked Karina if TJ said anything about me. In the weeks that followed I found myself silently rooting for TJ, hoping he got the girl and learned to get over his insecurity. More importantly, I found forgiveness and closure. I no longer remembered him as a monster, but rather as a boy in need of love.

UPDATE:

TJ reached out to me after reading this article. He wasn’t angry. In fact, he praised the writing and my ability to be objective. Most of all he apologized for his behavior during high school.
 

I wasn’t seeking an apology when I wrote this piece. What I wanted to do was remind all of us who have been bullied that it’s imperative to forgive and that bullies are human too. But even so, receiving that apology demonstrated TJ’s own character and how much he has grown since high school. And yes, life got better for him as well.
By:           PAUL FLOREZ
On:           Sep 24, 2013
Tagged: ,
  • 60 Comments
    • 2eo
      2eo

      I prefer the biding time, waiting then destroying their career just after they finish teacher training with a hacked article about them being a child molester, rendering 4 years of very hard training completely worthless and ruining their professional career.

      Err. Not that I did that. *Shifty Eyes*

      If you went to Uni and made a friend who now works with Experian [UK finance and credit monitoring organisation] and they owe you a favour, it works wonders.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 7:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fael
      Fael

      I was reading but when I saw that it was overly extensive I stopped, anyway…

      What it means: “You walk like a pato”? To me is so strange reading this, in portuguese “pato” means “duck”

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • middleagespread
      middleagespread

      Mine will come when I hear of his death. I want to be ring side. As they bury his good for nothing waste of life, I’ I am going to stand up in front of everyone and piss on his coffin as it is lowered into the ground. Yes, I have thought about this for years!

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MSchmal
      MSchmal

      The whole point of the Article is that Bullies are just regular people. Bullying isn’t some kind of inevitable, necessary phenomena. Bullying is a product of a system that doesn’t care to stop it.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ron Jackson
      Ron Jackson

      Wow, what a bunch of hateful people there are here. Healing starts with forgiving others. The author discovered that. Apparently most of those commenting here have not.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miss Understood
      Miss Understood

      @Fael: Pato means duck, but it’s also an anti gay slur. Before you crab about something consider taking 2 seconds to Google it.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      The author is conveniently leaving out the psychological realization that maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t help to maintain a secret crush on your main bully after all these years. Damn, what a disappointment that TJ gained a few pounds, huh?

      I was expecting the ending to be, “Then I got him drunk and took him back to my hotel and blew him.”

      Barf!

      Sep 24, 2013 at 9:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevinpat
      kevinpat

      Does anyone else find the irony of anonymously insulting and cutting apart an article that tells the story of a boy surviving (sometimes) anonymous insults and cuts? I found the article to be insightful: it’s one thing to say that forgiveness is the better than harboring resentment, but it’s a more difficult thing to show that. The author successfully showed that, at least for me, and he did so in a relatively short space. This article demonstrated the maturity that comes with experience, and that’s something we should all reflect upon.

      Also, points to Fael for admitting to us that the article was too long, so he stopped reading. Maybe you should stick to Buzzfeed, and the grown-ups can enjoy Queerty.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportsguy1983
      sportsguy1983

      If you are still holding out a grudge from high school, that speaks more about you than the person you hold the grudge against. God forbid any of us are judged by our actions in high school. All of us were scared and trying to figure our way through the world, even the most popular and confident on the outside kids.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      Kudos to the author – you’re a bigger man than I am. I have nothing but contempt for the people who were mean to me in high school. But there’s a point at which you just have to let it go. It’s over, and I’m happy with where my life is. Any time I feel especially vengeful or aggrieved, I think of Bishop Myriel in Les Miserables when he sets into motion Valjean’s redemption: “Take these candlesticks and make yourself a better man.”

      Having said that, there is little so sublime in the world as having angry, adversarial sex with douchey, closeted jocks/frat boys.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      Those of you who know 12 steppers will appreciate this:

      My “bully” was my supervisor at a job I had in high school. I was 16, he was 21. He criticized me relentlessly for no reason, after 6 months he got me fired.

      Fast forward a decade. I’m walking through the West Village and this guy runs up to me to “make amends” because he’s now in recovery and he apologized for hating something in me he saw in himself (gay).

      He walked away so proud of himself and I stood there like YOU M*THERF*CKER, how dare you dump that on me for your damn recovery and I’m standing here PISSED AS ALL HELL.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kpj558
      kpj558

      When I saw the title of this article, I was worried it would be some Velvet Rage pseudo-psychological nonsense. I’m really glad it wasn’t. This story really rang true to me. To all the people saying it was boring: how often do you think people really ‘get even’ with their high school bullies? How often does a gay kid get to take “6 inch nail driven through the business end of a baseball bat” to their ex tormentor’s kneecap? Life, thankfully, rarely resembles deranged revenge fantasies and is, more often than not, anti-climatic. It sounds like the author grew from this experience and I’m glad he possessed the wisdom and maturity to realize people grow out of their 16 year old selves.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro
      Polaro

      @kevinpat: Yes, most of the regular people who chat on this site are bitter, nasty people with nothing good to say about almost anyone. Sad.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @QJ201: Indeed.

      You don’t have to forgive, you don’t have to forget, and you are free to act on the will in any way you see necessary.

      Not really one for pointless moralising about being the better man, I got my own back on a guy who stabbed me in school, and I did it in a way that I was hoping would lead to his suicide.

      It did lead to drug problems though.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dxley
      Dxley

      I’m never forgiving that guy who bullied me. The day I hear of his death, will be the day everything becomes beautiful. In my world forgiveness doesn’t exist, just as I don’t talk to my exes, I don’t talk to somebody who wronged me and I never forgive. Even if my lover cheats, I don’t care how I love him but I will never forgive him. EVER!!! This article was a waste of my time because it speaks of something I’m very incapable of; forgiveness.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B Damion
      B Damion

      This was a beautiful article. I thank the author for sharing his truth. Life is hard enough, but when you find your true self in all the mess, it makes life a little bit more bearable.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fael
      Fael

      @Miss Understood: Why are you so insulted? It was you who wrote the article?? And I thought that the comments section was to express opinions and interact with other users, it was for this reason that I have not used Google, and if I were using it probably would not find the answer I was looking for because is a common word of my language, the results would not be the most relevant to my question!
      I was clear enough or you have something to add?

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oodle
      Oodle

      Is this a true story? I seriously hope so, even though it sounds too good to be true. My bullies only turned into successful business men and bully their employees now even more so. I still can’t make myself go to any class reunion. I don’t think I ever forgave them, but I didn’t hold a grudge and just let it pass by. I’m happy that your experience turned into a “per aspera ad astra” story.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fpcinnyc
      fpcinnyc

      I have marched in gay pride parades in LA, NY, London and Paris. The last time I marched down 5th Avenue and saw so many people cheering I forgave my 8th grade tormentors. I mentioned it on Facebook the following Monday and named the two guys who tormented me. I’m sure they grew up to be white trash but I don’t really care. I let it go. Going through that terrible year made me stronger and it’s part of who I am today.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @sportsguy1983: I have a feeling you were the bully type in high school.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dc
      Dc

      @sportsguy1983: I guess that I should keep that thought in my head when I remember my friend who was terrorized in high school, ostracized and bullied because, in her incredibly weakened and fragile state, she wore a wig that covered her bald head — the result of brain cancer, chemotherapy, and finally death shortly after high school ended. I guess I should forgive the spit balls that we would pick out of her wig, and forgive the taunts and humiliation that she endured. I don’t.

      Let it speak more about me – my hope is that the lives of those who bullied her have been filled with disappointment. Perhaps one of their children will find themselves in the same fatal situation and then we can all reflect on how badly teenagers behave. I do not believe that that a teenager should have to be told how to treat others – is the assumption here that we start out feral and must rely on something outside of ourselves — school, church, community — to teach us how to behave with civility and simple decency? I do not accept that. There are no free passes for being a teenager. They must accept responsibility their actions.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevinpat
      kevinpat

      @Dc: The focus of the story is the author’s journey from anger to forgiveness. It’s a worthy story to be told. Why? Because it’s safe to say most of the people on this comment thread have been or are in that place of anger, probably for similar reasons. The author was able to move out of that dark space into a space of peace. I think that’s laudable, and to the extent that I’m able to do the same, I hope to achieve the same peace.

      It’s comforting, especially in that place of anger, to say, “The bully deserves punishment. They deserve to be tormented. Their children deserve to be tormented. They must accept responsibility for their actions.” It’s comforting because we, the victim, get to act like judge and jury (and a few commenters have even wished to act as the executioner!). While this is understandable, being a wise, mature, sophisticated member of humanity means that we need to learn to forgive. That was the focus of the story. That should be our collective goal as a community. There are enough evils in the world; let’s not spend energy cheering for revenge, however, fulfilling it might be.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sirald66
      sirald66

      So many comments of evil.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @kpj558: Ugh! Thanks (sort of) for mentioning that idiotic book, “The Velvet Rage.” A few years ago I befriended a gay guy in his 40s who was still seething with red-hot rage at his junior high bullies from 30 YEARS BEFORE. He remembered all their names! I found this disturbingly bizarre; I was bullied far worse than he was (which he admitted) but I didn’t recall the names of even one of my bullies.

      Naturally he loved “The Velvet Rage.” He was always saying stuff like “My therapist told me to channel my anger” [in such-and-such a way etc.]. He was awestruck by his therapist, though I couldn’t imagine why. I thought he’d be better off firing her and learning to meditate, and/or start smoking pot… or you know, getting a fucking life.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @kevinpat: Agree. I was brutally bullied as a kid, but I’m baffled by most of these comments. I suspect what several of these commenters really want to do is take a gun and go shoot up their old schools (Adam Lanza and the Columbine killers were bullied too).

      I’ll say: it’s a red flag if someone is older than about 28, and still remembers the name of even one of his childhood bullies. That is a sign you are just not busy enough with real, adult life and should GROW THE FUCK UP.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      @sirald66: and with good reason, bullies deserve painful vengance

      Sep 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommysole
      Tommysole

      I was never bullied, being bigger and crazier than most of the people I went to high school with.
      Military school can be very unforgiving, A few other gay kids were bullied and I intervened. One boy in particular was about 5 foot tall and 110 pounds soaking wet in full dress uni and pea-coat. I intervened and taught him how to handle bullies, kick them in the nuts and stomp his face when he down.

      25 years later one of the bulliers confronted me and tried to slap me down for what had happened to him, He ended up slapped down and arrested. Little did he know that I was dating a cop at the time. Even funnier was, he was out of shape, fat, bald, and a drunk.

      Confront them and make THEIR lives a living hell!

      Sep 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robho3
      robho3

      That was a really great story.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      @Tommysole: You are now my hero, I hope more gay men take up your example

      Sep 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jmi2
      jmi2

      you have to let the anger go, and i know how difficult that can be & is. but it will eat at you in ways that are you can’t imagine. it can pop up out of nowhere in a ‘discussion’ with your partner. you can lash out & not know why.

      in a lot of ways it is the same thing as PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. in fact, it may exactly be that from the years of torment & for some people.

      you don’t have to forgive them. you don’t even have to pity them. they’re yesterday; you have today & tomorrow. and should you run into them, remember this story.

      thanks for sharing it…

      Sep 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pauleky
      pauleky

      I really think it’s different for everyone. I think there needs to be some understanding from those criticizing others for still being angry. If you were never in that position, you’ll never understand it. If you were and got over it – good for you! However, the level of bullying some face is so intense that they’ll never forget it. Let’s not make blanket statements. You never know what someone else has gone through. “Letting go” is a great concept, but I know people that were permanently injured from bullying. They’ve had to deal with it their entire life. A little difficult to “let it go” when it’s staring you in the face every single day. Empathy is a good thing – a lot more people need it, though I fear some never will.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bumper
      Bumper

      I’m not how anyone can tell another person how to feel when they were bullied in high school. Sure, its good to rise above the twisted emotional roller coaster of feelings of being hurt, but everyone handles and thinks about things differently.

      My best time confronting former bullies wasn’t really confrontational at all. After serving in the military and then building my body, I held my own and didn’t have to say a thing. The former bullies were a bit intimidated by me. Loved it!

      I still have considerable hatred towards my bullies. Not sure if that will ever go away. After all, they helped shape the way we feel about ourselves and the world in general.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Doughosier
      Doughosier

      @Dxley: I hope you like living alone.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Teleny
      Teleny

      It amazes me how some people will bully you and call you faggot from Kindergarden and then as adults proclaim being gay is a choice.

      I was called faggot so much I thought it was my first name.

      Forgiveness is powerful. I hope I find it…

      Sep 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ynottonycom
      ynottonycom

      “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens by letting them know that it gets better.” – Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Tony Eason – San Francisco – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNYKNxY8omM

      Sep 24, 2013 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      Google:
      Rev Ted Haggard
      George Rekers
      Roy Ashburn
      Bishop Eddie Long

      Then Google “link between homophobia and closet homosexuality”.

      I taught for many years in a high school. Many of the most homophobic kids were closet homosexuals who behaved the way they did to protect themselves, as it turned out, from EACH OTHER!

      Sep 24, 2013 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @the other Greg: You seem to be projecting a lot. Maybe you’re the one with a secret crush on your bully? Just saying . . .

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @pauleky: Bravo. Excellent comment. Thank you.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @the other Greg: Guess you didn’t learn much from being bullied, except how to bully. Come on! You are so judgmental! Being bullied can be psychologically scarring and that can effect you all your life, but not everyone “over 28″ are able to “get over it” (just because you did), nor do they become mass murderers. Get some brains and quite being so judgmental and “holier than thou”!

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @sportsguy1983: Cheap excuses for bullies. Guess you were one?

      Sep 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @dbmyers: So what exactly have you “learned” about bullying? – except, apparently, to hang on to whatever anger you had about it at age 16? Why is that better than what I propose instead?

      You prove you know nothing personally about bullying, if you seriously think someone is being a “bully” by using a little negative language, pseudonymously to pseudonymous grown-ups, on Queerty comments. That’s an offensive and ridiculous comparison. As I said before – grow the fuck up.

      As for the psychological theory that teenage homophobes are often covering up their own homophile desires – oh yeah, I agree.

      I’m not even advocating “forgiveness,” necessarily, as some here are doing. Forgiveness may be ideal, I don’t know, but unlike some here I’m not going for that Mandela or Gandhi “merit badge.”

      I merely advocate getting BUSY enough with adult life that you have little time to wallow endlessly in childhood trauma.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      Forgive my bully? Which one? Too many to count.

      In a word: No.

      The kind of damage bullying does lasts a lifetime. So I don’t forgive them. But they also don’t occupy my conscious thoughts. I’ve moved on with my life as best I can.

      As for running into one of them, I escaped my hometown long ago and while I do occasionally venture back, it’s generally to spend my time with the dead, not the living. So unless one of my bullies is going to frequent a cemetery, I doubt I’ll be running into them. Unless they’re dead, at which point the joke will be on them, since I survived.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.c.
      J.c.

      @kevinpat: Kudos!

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      @pauleky: Thank you for that.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      @the other Greg: You don’t have a clue, and we no one needs your judgmental, bloviating opinion about things your clearly do not understand.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      I realize, of course, that there are a lot of unethical, goldbricking so-called “therapists” out there who want their gay patients to wallow endlessly in childhood trauma. (Especially the patients with good insurance.) I suspect some posters here are therapists and aren’t admitting it.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Elloreigh: Why? Because everything you say in #42, I totally agree with.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      It’s hilarious that someone comes on here and totally AGREES with everything I just said… HOWEVER, he senses that my opinions are somehow unpopular in some nebulous way that he doesn’t quite comprehend… so therefore, he feels obligated to jump on me and attempt to say something insulting.

      Ah, the bullying impulse in action! LOL.

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.c.
      J.c.

      The author of this story is very noble. If it makes someone feel better and heals the past pain to let it go like this that’s great and I have tried that by attempting compassion towards what they might have gone through to make them like that and it worked for a while but with the new media access we now have I am aware of todays bullying and suicides of the victims in many cases and though I am free of the pain personally my heart goes out to those who are being bullied as we speak and that just makes me furious. That this was taken lightly for so long,and still is in many instances. Ignored by adults who are there to protect . Brushed off as a right of passage or “just something kids do” I will never forgive my oppressors but I have lost my anger for them. I just see them as sub human , not even worthy of being called an animal. I don’t care if they suffer , or find happiness, live or die. I can look through them without emotion except maybe like I would a fly I am about to swat. (lol)

      Sep 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yaletownman
      yaletownman

      An unhealed victim is destined to carry the energy of a perpetrator. Because all energy must be expressed this makes not doing the necessary work in order to forgive dangerous. It is what keeps the wheels of karma spinning and spinning. Forgiveness is about the forgiver. The one who choses to forgive is making a choice to no longer allow their perpetrator to run their life. There is a process to this and this is not to say that feeling of anger, hate, revenge aren’t natural. I’m only saying that it’s your life and you get to choose how you want to live it and if you want to be free you can be. It takes work but the rewards are a life free from the misery of the past.

      Sep 25, 2013 at 12:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Y-Love
      Y-Love

      I find the patronizing attitude of a lot of this thread’s comments extremely insulting.

      While, admittedly, “moving past pain” and “forgiveness” may be an ideal, not only is it not attainable for many people, it is not even necessarily something one has to pursue, in my opinion. I have not forgiven my bullies from high school – but it’s not like I fume with some seething hatred against individual people 24/7: I have to sit and jog my memory to even remember individual names, and the worst bullies were people whose names I never knew (“the guy who beat me up on the way from the store that one time”, etc). But I’m still angry. And this *positively channeled* anger helps fuel my creative outlets, helps fuel my activism, even helps me at work.

      How many artists draw from painful experiences to produce beautiful works, and how many entrepreneurs are driven by social exclusion? Would I be “free from the misery” and “healed” if I forgave the kids from high school? Perhaps. But then I might not be as driven to do good myself. And someone else out there wouldn’t have been helped by me. And I don’t want to make that trade off.

      Sep 25, 2013 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Y-Love: That’s a great way to put it! Thanks.

      Sep 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Glad the author feels better. Weird that a guy gaining a little weight suddenly was a catalyst for thinking he was a nice person and you would root for him.

      Sep 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      The article doesn’t talk about how to change bullying. I have ideas. Support school choice, vouchers etc. Give kids a chance to go to and form schools that fit their needs. It won’t happen until gay liberals demand the democratic party support school choice. And the teachers who tolerate bullying FIRE THEIR ASS!! That too won’t happen until gay liberals demand that the democratic party stop giving in too the demands of the teachers union.

      Sep 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dixie Rect
      Dixie Rect

      I have a friend who is 55 years old, and still whines and complains about High School. I find it so pathetic. It was 40 years ago, how can you even remember? I think some people just use it for attention.

      Sep 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigomega73
      bigomega73

      @kevinpat: Wow! That was by far the most inspiring, intelligent and well written comment I have ever read on this site. It helps restore my faith in humanity that there are still people out there like you who make the effort to move beyond negativity and hate. It benefits us all when just a single person chooses to do so. Thank you

      Sep 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JayHobeSound
      JayHobeSound

      @brent: Bollocks!

      You are shilling for privatisation along with the Education Deformers, i.e., Jeb Bush, Michelle Rhee, et al.

      Sep 27, 2013 at 3:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @JayHobeSound: Who are you shelling for? The teachers union? Ask students what happens when they complain about bullying. The teachers will blame them, the victim. When it comes to education I would rather be with Jeb Bush, than the teachers union.

      Sep 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RANIDAE
      RANIDAE

      Liked the article. But we all often miss one point in these discussions. Someone is usually to be impressed by bullying behavior. Someone is an audience. We need to be teaching, then confronting the ‘innocents’ who stood by and watched. Its the ‘disinterested’ bystanders or acquaintances that need to be accountable. As someone once said, “First, do no harm” We need to make sure everyone knows watching is doing harm. At least have the decency to walk away and deny the fire its fuel, if you can’t find enough fortitude to do more.

      Sep 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Condor221
      Condor221

      I was lightly bullied in high school. There was a particular “threesome,” who delighted in the fag crap and one even pulled out his dick for me to suck it. I walked away. One year after graduation, I was a police officer. We pulled over a car and when my partner handed me the license to run, I saw the name of the chief antagonist. Larry Greth. I told my partner I’d take care of it. I pulled my police hate down low and altered my voice and had him get out of his car and step up on the sidewalk. I made him do all these silly drunk tests, busting his balls good, then when I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I looked up and said, “Now don’t you look like a silly faggot doing all that in broad daylight,” and smiled. A look of shock spread over his face and he was about to react when I smiled and pushed my hat back up to wear it normally was worn. He then looked at my name tag. He actually burst out laughing, and then I said was was going to write him a couple hundred dollars worth of tickets. I wasn’t of course. He had lost that incredible good looks he had already. Age was not being kind to him. We laughed, I told him he was a dick in high school, which he admitted, handed him back his license and told him to get lost. Ahh, fate was in my cards that day. It felt so good….and I didn’t use the opportunity to cost him hundreds of dollars, or arrest him for oh, I don’t know, “Contempt of cop.”

      Sep 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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