They all eventually grow up, but that doesn’t mean that they all stop being bullies – though some of certainly them do.
Meeting your childhood bully rarely goes like in the movies or that short story that was actually too long to be a short story, you know that one you wrote/read in your sophomore year of college that was totally just a rip-off of Pearl Jam’s Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town.
Anyhow, here are 13 folks who stumbled onto their old bullies years later and reported the mixed results on askreddit:
#13. Never rely on the kindness of your old nemesis.
Even though I am a college graduate, I decided to go to truck driving school for a CDL. It seemed like the perfect job for an introvert; just driving around, listening to podcasts all day.
One of my bullies in high school dropped out so he could work for his father’s truck driving business. I figured since he knew me, I’d have an advantage over all the other applicants.
My bully used the interview to lord it all over the valedictorian who was now relying upon the kindness of the dropout for a job.
“You sure you’re man enough to handle a 40 ton eighteen wheeler?”
Then he lectured me on the importance of customer service. “The business owners we deliver to like to bullshit with the drivers but you wouldn’t even say ‘shit’ in high school.”
I was also notorious for napping in class back in the day. “If you couldn’t keep your head up for fifteen minutes in class, how can I trust you behind the wheel for ten hours?”
#12. “It felt really good.”
I was bullied by this mean girl all through elementary and middle school. Senior year of high school we had a mutual friend and were sitting at the same lunch table. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 2.5 years and she asked me about it. She then told me that I was too good for him and he didnt deserve me.
It felt really good. No animosity towards her ever again.
#11. The really sad one.
Mine’s kinda sad. I was bullied by this kid in high school pretty often. I was small, he was big, and in his mind that was all it took to mean I was worth tormenting.
Flash forward to two years ago: It’s ten years later.
I’m successful, independent, healthy and happy. I’m working in my hometown’s ER now. We get a patient found down out in the bushes, and I’m asked to see him. It’s this dude. He’s looking kinda rough, puked on himself, covered in leaves, but still huge.
I don’t miss a beat. Vitals, line, labs, fluids, everything you would do given the situation. Hours later he’s sobering up, were talking about his situation and he stops and just stares at me mid sentence.
“Oh, I remember you now.”
Cue me thinking, “Great, thought we weren’t gonna bring this up.”
But then he went on, “Man I am so sorry for how I treated you in high school. I was a horrible person, there is no excuse. But I really want you to know I regret who I was and I’m not that person anymore.”
Well my jaw basically hit the floor. It gave me a lot of hope for people to change. I’m glad he had a chance to, but his alcohol addiction was probably now covering the same pains that caused him to be such a broken person a decade before.
Three months later he came in again as my patient, this time because he choked on his own vomit. He never woke up.
#10. I know you are, but what am I?
Guy who bullied me for being “gay” (not liking sports) turned out gay himself and hit on me several years later. He’s a bigger queen now than I ever was.
#9. The observer.
I used to get made fun of in grade school for my clothes and shoes because my parents couldn’t afford to buy me anything new. There was one guy, Miguel, who was the worst about it.
Around this time last year, I went to a McDonald’s and saw him behind the register. I had just gotten freelance work, which could potentially lead to getting hired, at a company I really liked.
He didn’t recognize me, but I definitely knew it was him, especially because of his name tag. I didn’t confront him or anything, because it was years ago and we were kids, but I thought it was interesting how different our lives were.
#8. “After years of being used as a punching bag, simply saying, ‘Yeah we’re okay’ does not do the job.”
Was bullied for about 10 years, 5 years of those by a guy we’ll call Kenny for now. I had switched schools, was doing much better, and I actually had some good friends.
About 4 years after I had last seen him, there was a volleyball-tournament between different schools. And so it turned out, we matched against each other. The moment he saw me, he shouted:”Oh that’s XXXX, we’re definitely going to win now!”
What he apparently didn’t know, was that in those 4 years he hadn’t seen me, I had changed from a small and skinny guy, into a 6’2, 165 lbs guy with a 124 mph tennis serve.
The first time I saw his face again, all the memories came back to me, and for a bit, I was scared again, until one of my friends told me, after I had explained who Kenny was, that I was now taller and stronger than him, and that it was time for some revenge.
Every time I had the opportunity to smash a ball when standing at the net, I would aim for him. The 124 mph tennis serve meant that i had an incredibly strong smash as well, which terrified him.
My team ended up winning the match, after which I shouted:”Hey Kenny, I thought you were so sure you were going to win?” That once sentence, that one time of getting back at him was enough to make him snap. He went berserk, and stormed for me in a fit of rage.
Bring on that 124 mph serve again, and that moment right there, was the first person I ever punched someone… And also the first time I saw someone go K.O. All it took was 1 hit, and it was all over. All the fear, the years of tormenting, they were all over.
I don’t like fighting, and haven’t punched anyone since said punch, but when people say “Violence is not a solution”, bullshit, yes it is. It’s the only way to let go of all those memories. After years of being used as a punching bag, simply saying “Yeah we’re okay” does not do the job. It simply doesn’t.
#7. “But I was nice.”
I saw a bully from middle school in my local shoprite. He had a lot of problems. His mom had a heart attack, and he had a car accident and suffered serious back injuries.
When I first recognized him, I exclaimed, “I remember you! You were such an asshole to me in middle school!” We laughed, and he told me the above. He apologized for acting like he did.
He said something about this stuff happening to him because of how he treated me, but I was nice, and I denied it.
#6. People really do sometimes change.
A girl and her clique bullied me quite badly when I was younger, and at the time I resented it a great deal.
10 years later she added me on Facebook out of the blue, and we actually had a really nice conversation about our lives and what we were up to these days. She somehow turned into a pretty decent person, and the unpleasant past was not mentioned once by either of us.
I have never really been good at holding grudges, and I do believe that people often grow into someone very different than who they once were. Not to make light of bullying but a lot of the time children have no idea of the damage that they do, and are the victims of awful parenting (such as poor discipline) themselves. Sorry, I know you guys would prefer something more juicy than this, and I’m sure some people stay assholes for their entire lives.
The kid that bullied me the worst (gave me swirlies, paddled me, made fun of my mom after she died of cancer) got cancer at like 28.
I’m glad. Fuck him.
#4. “The look of hatred on his face, as I pulled out the credit card…”
Third through sixth grade this punk made my life hell. That fat bastard Lenny had a gang even.
fast forward to just after college, making real money for they first time. I go to a shop to buy a high end sound upgrade for my new car and whodya know is there. Shitty shirt and tie and all.
Salesman shuffles up to me and I say “Hiya, Lenny. I’m here to buy, but not from you”. I walked over to another salesman and requested his assistance instead.
I spent over twice as much as I intended to, sort of my version of both middle fingers in the air. The look of hatred on his face as I pulled out the credit card made 8 year old me very content. Worth it!
#3. Yeah. It happens.
I met them while I was working at subway.
They were rich and still douches.
#2. “He turned out to be an OK guy.”
When I was still in college I was managing a tax office. I ordered pizza for me and the staff. High school hot-shot delivered my pizza. He’d gained at least 75 pounds. Got a good laugh after he left.
He was also working as the bouncer at a bar I like. They had a cover I wasn’t aware of. He waived the cover for me and my friends.
He turned out to be an OK guy.
#1. Free highlights are a very confusing gift. On the one hand they’re free, on the other hand…highlights.
I was bullied by this massive guy when I was 15. He easily had a foot and 2-3 stone on me. Went on for about a year and then kind of fizzled out. Nothing too harsh, just the occasional bloody nose.
5 years later, I wander into a new hairdresser in town to get a standard trim and here’s the guy cutting hair.
He was incredibly apologetic and explained how he’d been so confused and angry because he couldn’t admit to himself that a massive, tough guy like him could be gay and want to be a hairdresser.
He had the final laugh though, as he offered me free highlights to make up for things, and I looked like a tool for the next 7 weeks.
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