So, I just accidentally invited my old junior high bully to be my friend on Facebook.
Here’s the thing. I was invited to join a Facebook page for someone I had graduated with who suddenly and tragically passed away this week. I didn’t really know him, but I was scanning the page and reading all the posts. Honestly, it freaked me out a bit – reading through the page it seemed everyone in my graduating class knew each other and maintained all these friendships from high school and remembered all these shared moments. Maybe I blocked it out. Maybe it’s because my parents moved after I started college so I never went back to my high school town for summers or breaks. But reading through the page felt like somehow I had missed out not only on high school, but whatever seemed to have transpired socially after that.
Of course I went into self-therapist mode, thinking it was probably due to the bullying I endured. I know that I pretty much spent every moment after 7th grade trying not to be noticed, so no one would attack me. It was a matter of survival. And then as I was scrolling down this memorial Facebook page, there it was. The name of the girl who, along with 2 others, emotionally destroyed me for a whole year. Who screamed at me down hallways, gathered her friends to do the same, toilet papered my house, and on and on – and there’s her picture staring at me 25 years later. Again, how odd is Facebook.
So I clicked. I guess I was surprised, reading over posts to her wall and her photos. She seems pretty cool now – a big runner, diverse friends, married. I’m not sure what I expected – but she kind of looked liked someone I’d be friends with now. I thought about it and was curious if I could send her a message through Facebook even though she wasn’t a FB friend. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say exactly, but I did want to say something. That she hurt me. That I think of her and the other 2 every single time I read a story about kids who are bullied, or who take their lives because of it. That I turned out to be a successful, generally happy person, but that what they did to me absolutely impacted and shaped me. Some for good, some for bad. Anyway, I was looking to see if I could just send a message without friending – but apparently you can’t. But while I was exploring the possibility the mouse accidentally clicked (or WAS it an accident?). So this person now has an invite from me asking her to be my friend on Facebook.
I guess now I just will see what happens. I have no idea if she’ll remember me at all. She certainly won’t know my married name, but will she recognize my picture? Will she just ignore it, assuming I’m some stranger? We’ll just have to wait and see what, if anything, happens now. Stay tuned.