Want­ing to con­front grade school bully

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Amy Dickinson You can con­tact Amy Dickinson via email: [email protected]­dick­in­son.com and fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy.

DEAR AMY » I had a hor­rific child­hood with an al­co­holic, vi­o­lent fa­ther who phys­i­cally beat my mother, sis­ters and me on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. l would get so scared I would lit­er­ally pee in my pants dur­ing the beat­ings be­cause I thought that he would kill me, or them — it was that bad.

When I was 9, the sex­ual abuse started. No one pro­tected me.

To make mat­ters worse, when I started the fifth grade, there was a girl who bul­lied me con­sis­tently, and beat me up a cou­ple of times. She made my days hellish.

I re­cently found her on Face­book un­der a dif­fer­ent (mar­ried) name.

I am told she is a nice per­son now, but I wouldn’t know, be­cause our paths haven’t crossed since the end of fifth grade.

I feel such rage when I see her pic­ture. I want to con­tact her and let her know about my home life and how hor­ri­ble she made me feel for an en­tire school year.

I want to say that I never for­got her cru­elty and that I am now a grown, suc­cess­ful woman who would “kick her be­hind” if I ever saw her.

She caused me so much pain, it is only fair that she suffers for what she did to me. Un­for­tu­nately, I start get­ting anx­ious. I re­vert back to the child that was ter­ri­fied of the bully, and my mon­ster fa­ther.

I don’t know if I am a cow­ard or be­ing kind to my­self by let­ting sleep­ing dogs lie.

I would ap­pre­ci­ate your words of wis­dom.

— Sur­vivor

DEAR SUR­VIVOR » You were vic­tim­ized by un­speak­able abuse dur­ing child­hood. Your sur­vival is a tri­umph.

“Let­ting sleep­ing dogs lie” is not the an­swer for you, be­cause, for you, the dogs never sleep. Th­ese mem­o­ries still pace and stalk and threaten to pounce.

You need to deal with your rage. Vengeance doesn’t quiet rage ... it stokes it. You de­serve

(and would be well-served by) pro­fes­sional help with a trauma spe­cial­ist to con­tinue to re­cover from years of child­hood abuse.

Chil­dren who bully and vi­o­late other chil­dren are of­ten reen­act­ing and ex­press­ing their own rage. Un­less she is a gen­uinely de­ranged psy­chopath (a true rar­ity), I sug­gest that the mon­ster who bul­lied you in school was most likely also a wounded, des­per­ate, de­graded child whose twisted in­stinct was to tar­get the only per­son she saw who was per­haps more wounded and vul­ner­a­ble than she.

It might seem like a cliche, but you truly need to tend to, love and honor both sides of your­self: the ter­ri­fied and vic­tim­ized child, and the fierce and an­gry sur­vivor.

When you are ready, you could con­tact this woman to speak your own truth with­out threat­en­ing her, but you’re not there yet.

Un­til then, dis­en­gage from her on so­cial me­dia and con­tinue to work on your own re­cov­ery.

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