I wrote a post about bullying I encountered in elementary school and shared the link on Facebook. At the time I wrote it I hadn't thought about my bully actually reading the blog post, but she did. Not only did she read it, she responded to it by sending me a private message via Facebook. I've sat on responding back to her for reasons I can't really articulate. It isn't that I didn't want to respond I just haven't had the words...the heart and mind don't always synchronize.
Here is my response to her:
I hadn't anticipated hearing from you in response to my recent blog posting. The fact that you recognized that I had written about you and reached out to me within an hour or so of my publishing threw me. While I read your message, I saw you and I as ten year old girls. While I can't get back the years of childhood that were stolen, I certainly don't define myself by those years. Your apology has settled in and I can honestly say it was good to read.
My one regret is that I did not stand up to you. I did not stand up for the other girl who you targeted either. I suppose even as an elementary student I could see you tearing me down had more to say about you than me. You were my Nelly Olson. If I only knew what I know now.
I appreciate you reaching out to me and sharing how I left a mark on your heart when you experienced tragic loss. I vividly recall that day I came by your home. I was terrified to drop by but with my mother's urging I knew it to be right.
My posting brought to light how bullying is pervasive, how bullying is damaging, how powerful it is when someone speaks up and says I will not witness this bullying and let it continue.
I'm grateful for your message.
I wish you only the best.