Do I have to take sh*t from a girl because I ruined her life in Junior High?

I was that girl too, all through grammer school and the first few years of high school. My parents were beyond weird, my mother had a police record, but there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t have nice clothes and my family couldn’t afford to get them for me. I smelled bad for quite a while because hygene wasn’t important to my parents and I took me a little while to figure it all out.

The damage that some of my classmates did to me had long lasting consequeces. I felt that no matter what I did, I would never be a worthwhile person. When I lost weight, it wasn’t enough. When I worked and bought my own nice clothes, it wasn’t enough. They made me HATE going anywhere near school. It was so bad, I almost dropped out.

Even years, after I was out of school, I almost paniced if I ran into any of them. My self esteem still sucks.

You were one of those kids. Take whatever she’s dishing out, this probably had a bigger impact on her then you will ever know.

It sounds like you’re getting exactly what you deserve. Find her and apologise, and if she’s feeling nice she may let you off.

I’m going to strenuously disagree with those that say that it’s okay that she abuses you. An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind, and all that. She doesn’t have to like you, and I think you know that, but she doesn’t get to abuse you, either. She was wrong to hit you way back when, and she’s wrong to abuse you now.

I was severely bullied, too. Like dragongirl, I almost panic if I encounter a former classmate. And I’m 34 years old already. Geesh. Anyway, iI’ve already “forgiven” everyone, but would mean something to me if someone from my middle school days were to say “I’m sorry I was mean to you. I kind of liked you, but I felt that I had to pick on you, and I regret that.”

I agree that you should try to take her aside and offer another apology. Maybe write her a letter that she can read when she’s alone. Don’t let the letter stand on it’s own, though. See if you can apologize in person, too. But you should ask for nothing in return. In other words, you should let her know that you are truly sorry, but not ask for her forgiveness or her friendship. As you know, you don’t deserve it. And you should let her know why you were doing it, just like you told us. Remember to include the part about how you were doing it because you were finally getting approval from your own former tormentors. That will help to show her that you have given some thought to the whole matter, and will help show her that you’re sincere. Also let her know how much you enjoyed spending time with her when you were away from the group, and how you regretted being such a jerk after that. In other words, tell her what you told us, except leave out the details of exactly why she was such an easy target. (She knows) It’s enough to say that you picked on her specifically because it got a good reaction from the people you were trying to impress.

She may still hate you and shoot you dirty looks, but hopefully she’ll knock off the overt “giving you shit.” And hopefully, in the fullness of time, her feelings will be salved, and she may even consent to give you her forgiveness and friendship. And even if she doesn’t, at least you can console yourself in the fact that you sincerely regret your jerkitude.

To those of you who are pointing out that START still is showing some immaturity in the matter–he’s still a teenager! Of course he’s still immature. Scumpup says that it seems that START is merely looking to benefit himself socially by making up with Laura. There may be an element of that, but is that a such bad thing? It’s immature in a way, but he’s also learned an important lesson that will serve him well in adulthood–don’t burn your bridges. The guy you were an asshole to might turn out to be your boss. Or a girl that you want to befriend.

In thread after thread, START has shown that he is trying hard to learn to be a good person. This process takes years, decades, and trying to build his own foundation from scratch. It seems that he hasn’t been able to get enough practical guidance from his own family. So he comes to us. And no matter how much crap you all heap on him, he keeps coming back. Good on him. He’s shown an increasing willingness to take his lumps and learn from them.

Also, self-analysis by former bullies is absolutely essential in learning how to reduce and even eliminate bullying in schools. My husband is a seventh grade teacher, and involved in various programs to help make middle school less of a living hell. One recent trend has been towards “bullyproofing.” Now, no one is naive enough to think that they can eradicate bullying. But they can take steps to reduce it. For example:
–Teachers can be trained to recognize bullying behavior and identify the targets and perpetrators. (This can be hard sometimes.)
–Teachers and administrators can stop “looking the other way” and punish bullies. And if the bullying continues, the guidance counselors can try to figure out what is prompting the behavior and try to help the bullies.
–Teachers and guidance counselors can help the targets of bullying by providing positive support, counseling, or just a “safe” classroom to hang around in.
–Students can be trained to take a leadership role in fighting bullies. Ideally, students can exert pressure on the bullies to knock it off. Even if that doesn’t come to pass, a certain percentage of students can probably be persuaded to not provide positive reinforcement to the bullies.
–Students can also be trained to provide support for the targets of bullying. While it’s pretty unrealistic to think that the “popular” crowd will take the “Lauras” of the school into their cliques, they can at least learn to be nicer to her.

Would any of this have reduced START’s bullying of Laura? Maybe. If he had not been bullied in the first place, he might have been less likely to try to get approval from his own former tormentors. If teachers had recognized the bullying, they might have been able to change START’s behavior through negative or positive reinforcement. If they had identified Laura as a target, and had the means to do so, they could have helped her avoid becoming so vulnerable to START. And if the other students hadn’t been so supportive, START would have lost some or all of his incentive to bully her, either because his “audience” would be reduced, or because of the likelihood that among the students that disapproved of bullying would be a few that START wanted to impress. And if “popular” students had been a little nicer to Laura, maybe she wouldn’t have been so desperate for approval that she looked to her bully for friendship.

START, I want you to know that I treasure your presence on this board and count you among my favorite Dopers of all time. To quote a Boynton cartoon from long before your time: Don’t let the turkeys get you down. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll grow into an admirable man. Good luck

START, you have an amazing ability to describe the nasty things you’ve done without sounding the least bit contrite about them. You say you’re sorry, but if this girl picks up the same vibe I do, she’s not going to buy it. Ever.

I was one of the kids who was picked on and my best friend had it worse.

Apologize, sincerely, and in person. Repent as sincerely as the worst sinner at a revival tent, someone who really does intend to turn his life around. It’s the only thing which may save you and that isn’t guaranteed.

Some of the people who made my best friend’s life a living hell while we were in school have apologized to her. I actually respect them. My mother’s best friend has a son who was in my year at school and who was consistently a nasty bully. He has a wife and kids and I’m told he’s a really nice guy. I’m told he was had troubles when we were in school which is why he acted the way he did. So what? He may have had troubles, but he passed them on to me. Mum’s best friend lives three houses up from her and he’d stop by the house sometimes when I used to live there, since my parents socialize with their whole family. I haven’t spoken to him and I don’t care to associate with him until and unless he apologizes. I’m told he’s reformed. An apology will be a big sign of that reform.

As for you START, six months ago, you were bragging about hanging around with a thief and acting like a jerk. Right now, you’re still claiming you can act like a bigger jerk. Being a jerk isn’t compatible with being a Christian, at least not the way I read the Gospels, and it isn’t compatible with the changes you say you’re interested in making. I know you’re trying to turn things around, and I do want to help you, which is why I’m posting, rather than writing you off. Still, you have sinned against this young woman. You have to not only acknowledge the sin, but the consequences. She’s got a very good reason to dislike you. If you want things to change between you, you’ve got to give her reasons to change her attitude.

Oh, and if the only reason you want to change is because she’s slimmer, prettier, smells better, and is generally cooler, well, me lad, I hate to tell you this, but you’re still being a jerk and she’ll probably pick up on it. Indeed, she may suspect that’s the main reason for your reform as it is. Think twice, be careful, and good luck.


I vote yep. The more you show it pisses you off, the more she’ll do it. It’s no fun if it doesn’t piss you off.

You apologized, START; she doesn’t choose to accept, and who could blame her? Feel free to move on with your life because you’ve done enough here. I’m sure you’ll both be happier if you never have anything to do with each other again.

What you are now experiencing first hand is the truth of the term “Payback is hell”.

You caught a break in that you attend different schools. Still, new town to you, you are on her turf now and alla that.

Leave her alone! Entirely alone. If you need to apologize once more for the sake of your guilty conscience, then do that and after that’s done Leave Her Alone.

You may think you can come out on top of arguements if she keeps on picking at you, but things are different now and you won’t come out on top. She probably won’t have much trouble finding a guy friend or two that will stomp your ass just for kicks.

You dished it out, now the wise thing to do is take it, to the limited extent that you’ll have to take it from someone that’s at another school.

Move on!

Yes. The harm you did to her was real and you should be ashamed of yourself.

It doesn’t sound like 7th grade START has grown up.

I never thought I would actually say this to anyone: you might be able to learn something from watching Billy Madison.

I have no advice to add, I think everyone else here has given advice.

I just wanted to say, START, that I’ve seen your threads on here for sometime. For a long time I really didn’t like you. You were the same kind of guy that picked on me all throughout school, simply for being different or for having a “weird” name.

I had pretty much decided not to read your threads anymore and ignore you without putting you on that silly list.

This post, though, is so dramatically different from your old posts that I am impressed against my will. Seems like you have grown up a bit.

I’ll get off my high horse now, and just conclude by saying, you done good. (mostly)

As for the girl, I don’t see there’s anything you can really do. Just leave her alone, and make it clear if you have to that that’s what you want to do. Not get into arguments.

I have to reiterate to you, as other posters have, how much impact you had on her.

You made her life a living hell for a year and a half.

Just think about it for a second – in order to improve your own social standing, you preyed on someone weaker than you. Not just once, not for a short period of time, but regularly for a year and a half. It didn’t just hurt when you were doing it, either – it hurt afterward, and after a point she was probably filled with fear and anger going to school each and every day. You caused a great deal of heartache, pain, and despair just because it benefited you in some way.

While I appreciate your honesty, I don’t feel that you truly understand the scope of what you did, and feeling like you’ve broken even after a few nasty encounters tends to prove that.

If you feel that you can do so honestly, apologize. Chances are, though, that she won’t believe you. You were a predator for your own benefit – why wouldn’t you lie if it’s to your benefit now (since she has improved her social standing)?

Otherwise, deal with it. Karma’s a bitch.

Did “Laura” have to take sh*t from you because you wanted people to think you were cool? Apparently she did.

Your so-called remorse doesn’t sound grounded in actual guilt. It would seem to me that, now that your past asshole behavior has come back around to become an inconvenience to you, you are trying to disavow what got you where you are. Namely, being the boy who enthusiastically picks on the weak and isolated.

It sure would be funny if she became one of the popular girls, and assigned you to the social abyss. It’s what you deserve.

This sounds like the classic “I said I was sorry, what does she want?”

She wants that year and a half of her life back.

She wants all those people back who she thought she might have been able to be friends with until you humiliated her in front of them.

She wants all those times she cried in the bathroom back.

You took those away from her, and you can’t give themn back.

Laura is now well into being a teenager and everything we used to tease her about is gone. She lost weight, her skin looks great and she is more confident.

Just out of curiosity, if Laura will still fat, pimply and smelly, would you have even tried to apologize? Would it bother you this much if she didn’t accept?

She wasn’t a woman. She was a 12-year-old girl.

Apologize in person, START and then don’t approach her again.

I am not seeing how she had a “crush” on him. Can someone point this out to me?

Am I the only one who wants to hear about the places she went with her return rudeness??


Apologize if you really mean it – and not just because she’s not pimply anymore – and then let it go. I went through three years of hell because of people like you, and while I suppose a few apologies would be nice, I still would want nothing to do with those people now. Luckily I’m in a different part of the country so don’t risk running into them.

I’m 29. I still get nervous when I see groups of kids about middle-school age, because I expect they’re going to start slinging shit at me. Thank you SO much, assholes of the world.

Handsome apology, plea for forgiveness acknowledging that you don’t deserve it, back off. She either forgives you in her own time or she doesn’t.

Apologize honestly and profusely, and in person. Take ownership for the hell you put her through. Acknowledge that she has every right to repay you with interest, and tell her that you have no intention of defending yourself.

Then tell her that you hope you can earn her friendship and trust by your future actions, and leave it at that. It may take a while, but if there is a friendship to be had there, she’ll have to be the one to initiate it. If it doesn’t happen, blame yourself and move on - you made this bed years ago.

Only do this if you’re sincere about your remorse, and not just because she’s cleaned up well. The fact that you’re willing to defend yourself vigorously causes me to doubt the sincerity and depth of your new-found niceness, but only time, and your actions, will tell.