Monday, February 09, 2009

You cannot make this stuff up...

For some inexplicable (and probably twisted) reason, I decided to see if the bully who made my life a living hell in 5th and 6th grades was on Facebook. Sure enough, she was...so I googled her married name to see if she showed up on the intertubes.

Not only did she show up--she has a flashy website. And get this: She makes her living as a "motivational speaker," speaking at schools and talking with kids about how to deal with...bullies.

Wonder if she ever tells them that she knows whereof she speaks?

25 comments:

Missy said...

Man...
Well, who knows. Maybe shame and guilt have carried her there.
One can only hope.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

My 10- and 11-year-old self seriously doubts that she knows what shame and guilt ARE. Especially since she still wears that same smug smile she used to flash at me as she was putting a knife in my back...

My 45-year-old self is trying to be more generous. But, Lord have mercy, I want to leave a snarky comment on her website! ;-)

bluestockingsrs said...

This happened to me on Facebook. The boy who tortured me throughout elementary shool tried to friend me on Facebook - needless to say, I rejected that request.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Ah....revenge is sweet! ;-)

I hope you told him WHY you were refusing!

Kirkepiscatoid said...

She should be good at it...she does knoweth from where she speaketh!

Doorman-Priest said...

You should leave a comment for her readership.

I think the words HYPOCRITE and BULLY in big red letters might just make a point.

IT said...

Aw c'mon, you don't think she coulda had an epiphany? The way reformed gang members try to intervene to keep kids out of gangs?

Wormwood's Doxy said...

DP---I love you. :-)

IT--anything's possible. But I don't see anything on her website that says "I'm a reformed bully." ;-)

TBH, I really don't think people change all that much. People I know who were kind or shy or assholes in elementary school have tended to grow up to be kind, or shy, or assholish as adults. OCICBW...

Rowan The Dog, Bishop of Playing said...

She's a bad human lady.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Rowan

Wormwood's Doxy said...

She was VERY mean, Rowan! Thank you for growling...

But I do wonder what it says about me that, 35 years later, I still remember and feel grieved and angry about the whole thing?

She's the one who taught me that the old nursery rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" was a big, fat lie. I will carry the scars of some of her mean words forever.

But she did have one good legacy. I pay VERY close attention to the way my children talk about school and their friends. I will not allow my children to be bullied (thank God schools are so much more attuned to this now!)---but neither will I allow them to BE bullies.

When the Emperor was in the 3rd grade, I started hearing regular afternoon reports on one little girl in his class. It quickly became apparent to me that she was being bullied and that one of Emperor's closest friends was the ringleader. Emperor himself wasn't being an active bully---but he was part of the group that stood and watched and didn't stop it. And he told stories about it with great relish every day when he got off the bus.

When I realized what was going on, I marched him in to see his teacher, whom we both adored. I made him tell her the whole story (I filled in details where appropriate.) He was devastated when she told him how disappointed she was in him for standing by and not telling her so that she could stop it. She made a much bigger impression on him than I could.

I believe very strongly that parents have a responsibility to be aware of their kids' "pack behaviors" and put a stop to them. For that, I will thank Mean Whats-Her-Face. I guess she started her anti-bullying business long before she was aware of doing so...

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I love the story about you and your son.

As for Ms. Mean-What's-Her-Face, one can only hope that this is a John Newton "Amazing Grace" type experience. Although she doesn't sound nearly so humble about it as he was.

FranIAm said...

Holy crap!

Ken said...

Dox, if you still have a resentment 35 years later and can actually manage your life in spite of it, then I envy you no end. I have to watch my resentments like a hawk--I cannot afford the potential price. The mantra is "GET OVER IT, SCHMUCK!"

Actually, we both are victims of a malady known as [Ethnic or Religious Group Goes Here] Alzheimer's. That's where you forget everything but a grudge. My mother had the Jewish variety. It's well known that Episcopalians don't get grudges, they just use Peter Akinola's face on a dartboard. As for my mother, even in her dementia she could remember a slight from before I was born, at the time at least 50 years earlier. It usually involved a member of my father's blood family. Then I could ask her "So how was lunch, mom?" and she'd give me this blank look.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Well, Ken...I *did* note that I've tried to turn the pain she caused me into something positive. And, all things considered, I manage my life about as well as any other 45-year-old single mom with two active kids and one boisterous dog, a business to run, a fiance who lives 170 miles away, and an aging grandmother to care for. Which is to say...great some days and crappy others.

My remaining resentment, such as it is, is grounded in my lifelong belief that people should be kind and decent to one another--and that we should be outraged and hold them to account when they aren't. A belief, I might add, that continues to fuel my political and social activism....

So yes, in one sense, I should just "get over it." But in another, my *not* "getting over it" meant that at least one other little girl was spared being bullied. I think I can live with that...

Pax,
Doxy

Anonymous said...

I was miserable as a child thanks to cruel classmates, so I applaud you. And the cynic in me believes that the s!@#s generally win. Yet I also have this sneaking light of hope that people can be redeemed and learn and do good. So maybe she's an a@@ but maybe she also figured it out and is making amends. Confessing up front might be a bit too much for her.

No, she's probably a s##$

I hope when you are married you and DF manage to consolidate households because let me tell you from personal experience 100+ miles apart really sucks. But then it coulda been worse, I coulda gotten the job 3/4 of the way across teh country.

IT

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Cruelty makes me furious. Literally. When I see kids being mean to each other, I turn into Mr. Hyde.

As for the commute...well, we've been doing it for 1.5 years now. It's not optimal--I miss him like hell and he seems to feel the same way. But my children are happy and stable in their relationship with their dad and me--and Dear Friend is *clearly* where God has called him to be, so...I'll keep commuting as long as there is petrol for the car.

Or until my ex decides that living close to my kids' favorite aunt (his youngest sister), uncle, and cousin (who live 3 miles up the road from Dear Friend) is enough to cause him to move. I cannot imagine him doing this because it would make me happy--but, then again, I could never have imagined what a miraculous turn my own life would take. Grace happens. :-)

Anonymous said...

Try 5 years....it gets old....

But good luck! I am sorry your ex is a meany and not a sweety like BP's. Whom we love.

I wish there were more of that....agape.

IT

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Me too, IT....

PJ DeGenaro said...

Oh my God. This is classic. Just classic.

My bully (a girl, eighth grade, destroyed my self esteem for decades) claims not to remember anything about that time. Her family was effed up: alcoholism, abuse. I learned this from a friend of mine who actually confronted her several years later.

A real big part of me just has no sympathy, I'm sorry to say.

Ken said...

Believe me, Doxy, I was not telling you to "Get over it." That is easily the dumbest advice anyone can give out. It's only a little less idiotic than the catchphrase of the millenium, "It is what it is."

I concur with a nasty social heresy I learned from a devout RC friend up in Canada: that you are not obligated to forgive someone who has not either asked for forgiveness or at least owned his or her wrong before God. Yes, I know this goes against everything most of us learn. There are indeed times when I am compelled to pray for someone who has done me great harm. But (my inconsistent opinion) I am not therefore required to forgive that person first. I can ask God to forgive them, I can pray that they are able to live in their own skins and come to the recognition of the people they have hurt (if you've hurt one you've hurt more), then feel compelled to make some sort of amend. But the idea that one must "let it go" and "get over it" cheapens the gravity of the sin committed against us, and yes, even the sin we have committed against someone else.

themethatisme said...

I am sure she does. I know I do.

Jan said...

That is really weird.

Oddly, I had a brief dream (that I remembered) where a similar person from 6th grade appeared in my dream--name and all. Haven't thought of her for years. I may have to look her up now--if I'm brave enough.

Anonymous said...

I'm a born snoop, can't help it, it's what makes me tick. So I'm looking up a gal that my wife and I knew... in all the databases, a bully like yours. She died in '97. A car accident. Then there's an abusive ex-husband. Him too. No cause listed. No one claimed to survive him in the obit. We're not surprised. It seems like a bit of karma, just a little...

David said...

I believe it was a C.S. Lewis book (not generally my favorite Christian author, but nonetheless) where I came upon the idea that you can have Christian love towards God's children while not liking some individual members one teensy bit.

I think that's true, and I'm glad of it. 'Cause there's been a few people in my life like Doxy described that I'd be hard pressed to forgive vs. just whacking them with an axe handle.

Thank goodness for them (and me!) that God's grace is so much larger than my own. ;)

johnieb said...

I get so angry at bullying I have to be careful for fear I may not handle it as well as you did with your son, Doxy.

Which grade? All of 'em. And who? Too many to list.