317/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. As I’ve written these posts, I have had to go back in my life and relive some of the good times and also revisit the bad ones. I have been able to thank people who have positively helped create who I am and also back-handedly give “recognition” to those who just made my life negative to completely unbearable. Some may say that I am bitter and others may say that I should let it go but this experience has been cathartic and through writing these posts, I have let a lot of feelings go since they were never acknowledged. I did confront some of my bullies during a high school reunion about how negative they made my life. I wasn’t really surprised to learn that they had no clue as they were so self-absorbed and I didn’t matter at the time. The bullying boys – with the exception of one – channeled all their dislike for me through physical aggression. After it was done, they would just forget and move on. I’m an elephant – I didn’t forget but after taking my minor in Psychology, I understood how they operated. The girls also got their bullying on through relational aggression – getting others in on it, creating stories and gossip and generally egging it on. During that same reunion, I spoke with the girl who was in every one of my classes in grade 8. I had to be honest with her about how she made my life miserable with her friend “A”. Although “A” was the main perpetrator, this other girl would jump in and tag-team the venomous verbal barrage directed at me ranging from my geekiness, to my ethnicity, from my less than ideal masculinity to my unattractiveness yet when we were not within A’s vicinity, she would be pleasant – that’s the worst kind of mean girl/bully. Hate on me all the time. Don’t toy with me. When I told her all she put me through at the reunion, she broke down in tears – but not because she was apologetic but because I was making her feel bad?! What? Because you can’t handle how horrible you were to me? Stuff that stayed with me a lifetime but I’m not supposed to say anything because you feel awful? I am glad that I was able to let all I felt out as she needed to hear what I had carried into my 40s. This is my healing. Because of that reunion incident, I have actually been empowered to be honest with people from my past regarding how I was treated be it positively or negatively. If they can’t handle it, that is because they needed to hear how they affected another person’s life. This girl could definitely not handle it as she unfriended me on Facebook but that just made me stronger as I knew that I had become a much better person. Yes, to you nameless girl, a back-handed gratitude post for making me a stronger person as an adult and being able to address issues and then finally let those bygones become bygones!