I’ve been really lucky lately. My blog post on getting US Netflix in Canada is ranking on the first page of Google and It’s really picking up steam. Because of this, I’ve been spending more time in Google Analytics, playing with stats. What I found on Thursday morning kicked the wind right out of me.
I found a website referring traffic to my website. One I’ve never seen before. I clicked on the link and saw this: I’m sorry (I stole your boyfriend) and other things I can only write in a letter
It was a letter written to me by the girl who bullied me in high school. The same girl who stole my boyfriend and poured an entire 2 litre bottle of Rockaberry cooler on my head at my first high school party. The girl who wrote “fat bitch” on my locker in fat, permanent marker. Marker that took months to be removed.
The girl who was being abused.
I was the one person in my house of terror to stand up to the man who we all thought would kill us one day. I was the only person who could protect my three younger siblings (13, 9 and 7). I spent nights awake, vigilantly listening to violent arguments and plotting ways to save my brothers and sister from this madman. I called the police repeatedly to stop arguments that left bruises and blood stains but nothing changed – no one believed me, no one came for us
By the time I read this, I was already in tears. These words twisted through my heart and made me sick to my stomach. I never knew. No, it doesn’t take back the things she did, but it put everything into perspective. The dots were being connected.
By the time I got to the bottom of the post, I was dry heaving and crying so hard my whole body was shaking. Funny enough, I wasn’t upset by the memories that came back. I was upset that she had to live through such hell. I felt like I could have done something if I had only known. Maybe I could have been the person to hug her and tell her that she will get through it. Obviously, she did. Thank goodness.
Being bullied helped make me the person that I am today. During the two years that she came after me, I never reacted. Even when she poured the cooler over my head, I kept talking and allowed for the shock to subside before I got up and left. I didn’t change lockers. I didn’t yell or hit her. I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction. I walked away the bigger person and I forgave her almost as soon as we passed through the doors of the high school and into our adult lives.
I must have read the letter 20 times before I could really make sense of it. The words ‘Holy shit!’ went through my head over and over. When I got my bearings back, I left her a comment asking her to email me.
She did. My heart almost stopped.
Over the last 2 days, we’ve exchanged numerous emails and It’s has been amazing. I told her how flattered I was that she took the time to write this to me and that she was incredibly brave for apologizing like this. We’ve cleared the air and even found some common ground in running. In a different time and place, I’m sure we would have been friends.
It took almost 20 years, but we’re both healing. It’s hard to forget being bullied or being a bully, but there really is two sides to every story. If Google Analytics was a person, I would give him/her a high five. Yes, an actual high five.