Am I a bad person?
Hello! Sorry if this is kind of long...
I suffer from pretty bad anxiety, and recently a lot of it has been about me thinking of myself as a terrible person. Especially when I was younger, I feel like I was just really self-centred and only thought about myself. But the main thing that's really been bothering me is how I treated one person in particular when we were around 10-11.
Basically I was just really rude to him for no reason. I don't really remember much, since it was quite a few years ago now, but I think he kept coming to talk to me, and I wanted him to leave me alone so I was rude. I think I just found him really annoying, and just wanted to be alone, especially since my best friend had just left school.
I don't think he was really affected by it, especially since he kept coming back to talk to me anyway. In the end we might as well have made friends anyway from how much time I actually ended up spending with him (though I was still rude most of the time). But I keep worrying that actually I was a bully or something along those lines.
I've read a lot recently on what bullying actually is, and as far as I can remember, other than the being rude and mean part, I never did anything like that. The worst thing I did was start crying because he was annoying me so much, which led to him getting unfairly told off by a teacher (he wasn't actually doing anything, I think, I was just being petty). Even my mum told me that I was quite mean to him, because I wouldn't even speak to him if he said hello, or just downright told him to go away. Although from the way she said it, it might've been an overexaggeration. Either way it made me feel really bad.
Other than that, whenever he did come to talk to me, we mostly just argued about stupid stuff. I think one argument was about who liked animals more, or something. Like I said, we were 10.
Anyway, I just keep thinking that I could've been a much nicer person to him. What really worries me is if I did or said something really bad that I can't remember. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I think he might've called me a bully at some point, and I just laughed it off. I'm just worried, what if how I treated him had a bad impact on him, and I just didn't even realise that how I was acting was wrong. I have no idea where he is now, but I just hope he's okay, and that I wasn't so bad that it's something that actually bothered him. If I ever do see him again, I really want to make sure that there are no bad feelings between us.
Reading other people's stories about how they were affected by bullying makes me feel even worse. What if I did that to him? It just hurts when there are already so many bad people in the world, to think of myself as one of them. I just think that someone that was actually a good person wouldn't have treated someone like that.
I'm beginning to think I don't deserve any happiness or anything. Part of me wants to say that I'm making this out to be a bigger deal than it actually was. Realistically, he probably doesn't even remember me nowadays - it was 7 years ago anyway. But it still makes me worry. Actually, it's selfish to come on here and ask other people whether they think it's bad or not. I just have no idea where he is, so I can't talk to him...
I really just want a second opinion. Do you think that makes me a bad person? Do you think I was being a bully? Or am I looking at myself too harshly and ignoring the fact that he kept bothering me when I told him to leave me alone? Am I just overthinking like I usually do?
Thanks for any advice
You aren't... everyone makes mistakes, and you need to push past it
Crikey, I hope you get an alert to this post so that you cease beating yourself up for nothing?
Reading that - thrice - it didn't sound as if rudeness had been your first response, just that you inevitably snapped because he was being a PEST, refusing to take the bloody hint! Over and over and over until you couldn't take it any more (I'd say well done for having held out as long as you did at age 10!). EVEN after having been told off! (And your mother clearly didn't have the whole picture, either.)
He got what he deserved. In fact, he got decidedly less.
You're not a saint and no-one expects you to be, especially when you're clearly (- to any kid with any sensitivity or empathy) grieving for your best friend. At age 10, your bessie leaving your school life is a BIG THING!
Anyway, bullies/bad people DO NOT - FACT - come onto a forum, asking if they are.
I'm sure that event still evokes horrid feelings, though. That whole event must have made you feel powerless because you couldn't even make a boy that was harrassing you stay away.
Nah. You sound utterly lovely, really sweet, sensitive and consciencious (it turns out - too much). (Up his bum!) (He probably grew up to be a full-size bully, I shouldn't wonder.)
PS: If you do read this, do me a favour and let me know? In case I worry?
LOL - you see? It's not just you. :-)
PPS: If you want a name for it, it wasn't bullying. It wasn't even bullying BACK. It was called........
STANDING-UP FOR YOURSELF.
...which every human has a right to do.
Sometimes I have thoughts along that line.
By the time I was in junior high I was low hanging fruit for ridicule. I wore glasses, was flat-chested, not especially attractive and was socially inept. My parent was a teacher in the same school (very small town) and not one of the 'cool' teachers, just an ordinary one. So some of the kids made fun of my various not-cute traits, or sent me notes supposedly from the most popular boy in class, telling me to meet him at a specific time and place. Kids who weren't doing well in school thought I got good grades because my parent was a teacher and I got special treatment. (Grades not exceptional, BTW, and the other teachers bent over backwards NOT to give me special treatment.)
But - there were kids lower on the scale than me. There was a TV show around that time: the Mod Squad. By junior high some kids had designated an Odd Squad. I was thankful not to have that designation, but I avoided THOSE kids like the plague. I figured I couldn't afford to be seen with them. There was nothing at all wrong with those kids, either - they were just marginally more awkward and weirder than I was. I didn't have the social capital to spare to be their friend, and some of them tried.
Sadly, it wasn't much better in high school. While other people look back on their high school years as fun and carefree, I spent it trying not to be noticed. And from time to time I wonder about those kids even more awkward than I was, and hope they are well. Occasionally I hear about one of them, and their lives turned out okay after all. In an peculiar turn of events, at least three of the more popular students took their own lives in young adulthood.
OH, you were not a bad person. Even kids have a right to be friends with whomever they want. You were ***10*** years old. Learning to stand up for your self is what you were supposed to be doing around then.