THE other day, I was confronted by my past.
A girl I went to high school with in Bathurst left a message on my public Instagram page.
It read: “Did you also hide behind being a bully too … because of your body image issues? You were so horrible to go to school with.”
This really made me think about my past and what I was like at primary and high school. Yes, this girl was right — I was a bully.
I went to an all-girls high school in the 90s — man it was bitchy.
There were around 80 girls going through puberty all in one courtyard. As you can imagine, there were some nasty things that were said and done. I never got to see how boys bully each other, but us girls can really be, ‘mean girls’.
I finished high school in 2001 and to be honest, I’ve put most of it behind me. But clearly this is still affecting my old classmate — for which I feel terrible.
During our school years together, I was constantly referred to as ‘the fat, loud mouth.’
I was picked on by bullies and it was always about my weight, and maybe it’s a survival technique, but in turn, I was replicating that on to her.
I’m not making excuses and I’m sure parents and teachers see this cycle over and over.
I was just like any other mean girl; I called people names and excluded classmates from our group if they didn’t fit in.
I made people feel like s#*t because that’s how I was feeling.
However, for this, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the things I said at school. I’m sorry for the things I did at school to upset or hurt you or anyone else.
I’m sorry that I didn’t understand at the time what affect my actions had on someone else. I’m sorry that I bullied her and others.
Maybe I was just following the crowd? Maybe I was just being a bitch? To be honest, I will never understand why I chose to act this way.
I hope one day to be a parent, and if my child comes home and say’s they’ve been bullied — I’ll at least have some idea of what a cycle this behaviour is and I’ll tell them my story.
I’m not proud of it but I cannot change what I did at school, nor can I take away the pain that I caused this girl or anyone else.
But what I can do is tell my story in the hope that young people don’t make the same mistake as me. I’m proud of the person that I am today and I wish that I knew then what I know now. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?