1. I was a bully.

    I remember bullying other kids, mainly in elementary school, and even now in my last year of middle school I still do. I think I slowly started to change when I realized what I was doing wasn’t funny and it was inexcusable. I only realized this when I got in trouble and I then remained in a state of shock.

    Everything I will post will be excuses because I don’t know what to say. I have apologized to some of the people I bullied. I thought at the time they were my friends but all I did was scare them and threaten them and abuse them. I have no way to make up for anything I did, no amount of apologizes can undo what trauma I inflicted on them. I verbally and physically hurt them. I thought it was normal but like I said before, I can only make excuses for my actions.

    I have or I like to think I have chaged, but it’s hard to change. I still make threats and I still hit people but these are still only to my friends who can handle my actions and realize I’m not trying to actually hurt them. It took me forever to realize people aren’t robots, they have feelings and they feel the same things I do. I have been bullied before but I didn’t seem to know what I was doing was worse that the teasing I had.

    I wish I could apologize to my victims or anyone I have made feel less than what they actually are. I’ve seen them a couple times and I know they know me and recognize me and I am happy they glare at me and sneer at me because they have that right. They have the right to do everything I did to them and throw it back at me. I want them to stand up for themselves and I want them to be strong. I hope that maybe I can gather enough courage to go up to all of them and apologize for everything I did.


  2. Bullied Many Great People

    When I was in high school I was a bully to some young people that I genuinely wish I would have got to know instead of push away.  Bullying was rampant in my suburban high school.  I guess you could say there seemed to be a “food-chain” type structure to the bullying there.  There were a select few at the top who bullied everybody, then it trickled down from there.  I wasn’t at the very top, because there were a few individuals who bullied me, but I wasn’t far behind them.  To the best of my estimation I was worse than them because I knew better.  I could very easily name ten individuals that I bullied at some point in high school, but I couldn’t possibly name ten people that bullied me.

    I can not justify what I did, nor would I attempt to try.  However, I can tell you that at the time I bullied people to feel better about myself, which is the most ironic element of all.  How could any self-conscious individual feel better about themselves by putting others down?  It will always catch up to you in the end… Say, about ten to fifteen years after graduation when you are talking to your boss about where you went to high school.  Perhaps they mention that they are very close friends with somebody you graduated with.  Imagine the conversation your boss might have with that person (about you)… what would you want them to say?

    I have been able to apologize to very few of the individuals who deserve it.  In fact, I often imagine that they deserve to never even hear from me again, quite possibly thereby preventing them from re-living painful high school memories.  In truth, that is just me being selfish — avoiding confrontation.  They do deserve apologies.  They deserve much more than an apology…


  3. I’m 15 and repulsed by what I did

    In grade six I was a greasy pimply disaster. I had entered a new school and was a greasy little dork. That’s when I met him. He was a tall pudgy boy with dark brown curls. He was bigger than the rest of us in height and size. Same as me, we were going through that awkward phase. But what I did was still cruel. Because I was nice to him, he eventually gave me a note that said he liked me. I laughed and told everyone.

    I was pathetic and insecure. Everyone mocked you. After all that I ignored you, attempting in vain to become popular or beautiful. So here I am, 15, and have just started high school. I am repulsed about what I did. I hurt you and humiliated you. I’m now sitting here hoping for forgiveness. If I ever meet you again I’m sorry.


  4. I was a bully.

    I was a bully. When I think back to the acidic words that have come spewing from my mouth I feel an immeasurable amount of guilt. Two people in particular were targets of my anger, a girl in my class and a boy with some sort of developmental disability. The girl’s crime was nothing. Nothing at all. There were rumours she was poor, but other than that, nothing. What drew such anger towards her from me and my fellow classmates? I remember her wearing a large hair clip in her hair one day, and when the teacher left the room another student mocked her openly, we all laughed. The image of silent tears rolling down her face is stuck in my mind and typing this is painful. In grade nine I sent her home crying from the Halloween dance, berating her for what she was wearing. In that moment I am a monster. The boogeyman doesn’t exist, but bullies do. 

    As for the boy, he was a target for being “different”. Was there ever some sort of intervention for us as kids to combat bullying? Never, and I never saw teachers go out of their way to help him. I made fun of him for liking Noddy, because we were in grade seven and that was a baby show. Now my malicious behaviour hits me like a punch in the gut when I see any merchandise from the show. I think of all the time I hurled insults and felt genuine anger, and I deserve that horrible sick feeling. 

    Because I had smartened up in high school, I apologized to the girl who I had bullied on the day of our grade 12 graduation. Her eyes lit up and she smiled as I explained that the way I had treated her was wrong, and that I was so sorry for ever hurting her feelings. That moment was filled with pride for me, but I can never, ever take back the hurt I caused. An apology can’t travel through time and make someone feel less worthless. It can’t dry tears that have dried long ago. If I could, I would apologize to the boy too. I would talk to him. I wish I could. I hurt when I think that I was so ignorant and hateful. Truthfully, my biological father died when I was nine, my parents often had loud and frightening screaming matches, and I was bullied myself because I had hit puberty so early and was given the gift of being chubby with acne. I took my hate out on the people I felt were easy targets because I was weak, and because I think in a way I was projecting everything I hated about myself onto someone else. I think of my nephews and how I might feel if they get bullied, and to have to see their hurt. I talk to them often about the importance of treating everyone nicely. Now as an educator I have an extreme zero-tolerance policy against bullying and when I work with youth I make sure to talk about bullying; the effects of bullying, and how being a bully is something you can never take back, and you will regret forever. If you’ve been bullied, I’m sorry. I’m sorry my apology will never take away your hurt, but it will get better. You will be stronger. You are an individual worth loving and caring for, and just because your bullies can’t comprehend that, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be happy. Pity your bullies, and believe in yourself. 


  5. I can’t believe I took part

    So the other day I made a comment about a girl’s bathing suit. My friend next to me laughed and then said a comment related to her weight. I laughed, but then hushed my friend because the girl had turned around. I feel awful about this. I shouldn’t have said anything! Weight doesn’t matter. Everyone looks different and beauty is an internal thing. I’m ashamed I said something and now I don’t know what to do.
    I began liking her Facebook posts..
    I can’t believe I took part in an act of bullying..
    Let’s this be a day of change.


  6. i fucking hate myself.

    I used to bully a girl all because I didn’t like how loud she was in my art class. Now that i look back on it, it feels so painful, and i wonder where she is now, how she is now, and if she would ever forgive me, which I bet she wouldn’t even anyway. I was so terrible to her, I teased her and said my fellow classmates didn’t like her. I feel like a spoiled, ignorant, arrogant, prat now, and i just want to jump off a cliff, just to make that girl happy if I could meet her again. I think it was due to my brother teasing me at home and making me feel bad, but that’s no fucking excuse, I know. Now i just wish I could throttle myself to death, because of what I was like when I was seven years old. And nobody better give me the ‘you were just a little girl, get over it’ card, because i knew what I was doing, and despite not being mature, it makes me sick to the stomach of what impact i’ve had on this girl. i just want to meet her, run up to her and hug her, allow her to yell at me and beat me up, just if she could be happy. i want her to my happy and living the life i have now, because she deserves it more than me.

    In year six, I don’t even remember, but I asked a girl without any harm about my she was fat. I was just curious, and bam, I soon had her reveal one of my deepest secrets online in year 8. I feel like i deserved it, and that it served me right for being a bully, and for being a bitch, without thinking about others feelings.


  7. I was a Bully

    When I was in first grade, I bullied a classmate. I was bullied all through preschool, and then later a bit through elementary school. In kindergarten and first grade, I was bullied really badly by a boy I will refer to as B. He was my best friend in preschool, and then he kind of turned on me and started teasing me, hitting me, etc. Anyway, there was a boy on the swing sets and B asked him his name. The boy replied, and his name was also another word for a kind of animal, which B found hilarious. And he started making fun of him, telling him he didn’t belong in school, that he should go to a zoo. 

    "I’m going to take you to a zoo after school!" B said. And I joined in, thinking that maybe B would like me again and leave me alone. Of course, that didn’t work and so whenever I saw the boy I’d taunt him, because I thought maybe B would eventually stop antagonizing me and we’d go back to being friends. I don’t know, I was confused. And this keeps me up at night and I hate myself because of it. I’m still hurt by things people said/did to me in school, and I just feel so bad; I think that if he’s depressed now, it’s all my fault. My friends and family (the ones I’ve told this to, anyway; I don’t like to talk about it) say it’s not my fault, I was a victim, I was a kid, etc., etc., but it doesn’t help. I regret the things I said every day. I’m so sorry. 


  8. in junior high

    I bullied a boy named Richard Castle.  Oh the agony of remembering.  I chased him and stuck pins in him and, this is the worst, I called him “a fairy.”  He may have been effeminate, who knows about 12-year-olds, but that was the label I stuck on him.  It’s true he was more well-dressed than the rest of the kids.  He was a nice, smart kid.  And I made his life a living hell.  I have no idea why.  I am so sorry.  I am 80 years old now, and still regret my foul actions. Since college I have been supportive of gay people and have worked and contributed money to promote marriage equality.  My daughter is gay, happy, radiant, successful.  I don’t know why I bullied Richard, but I am profoundly sorry and would like to apologize profusely, if he is still around.


  9. We made them stand bottomless, facing each other

    When I was about 9 or 10, i went to a day centre for kids after school. I know don’t know how to say this but i participated in bullying two young children - the girl was one or two years younger, and the boy, Jackie, was about 5 or 6. She was quiet; he was noisy but did not know the same words that kids his age knew. 

    I, together with a friend (or two, i can’t remember the details), shut the classroom door one day and told them to take off their bottoms. I cannot remember if they resisted - i vaguely remember pulling down some shorts, and the laughter of the little boy. They didn’t look frightened. We made them stand bottomless, facing each other. That was all.

    I knew what i was doing was wrong; it’s something i wouldn’t and haven’t told anyone. The girl lived in an apartment below mine, and my mother knew hers. I thought of them today, 14 years after the incident, and i really felt so sorry. What i had done was a terrible, terrible thing. I cannot fathom how i could have been such a bully. No, i was not a bully. I felt like i was a sexual predator. A little sexual predator girl.

    I am sorry. I wish it had never happened. 


  10. Saying sorry to a man I never knew

    As someone in long-term recovery, I am compelled to reflect often on “crap I’ve done to others.”

    This day, “crap I’ve done” brings me to Robert Rutley.

    I went to Lord Byng Secondary School with Rob, Class of ’74. Rob was something of an outsider. Easy prey for the pack. He presented as a suitable victim, though God knows he likely never saw himself that way.

    Rob had his friends, of course. Derek Milton, his best friend. Doug House, an admitted “nerd.” There were others.

    As for myself, well, I chummed around with a modestly popular collection of sometime-do-wells. Derek told me the other day he thought I was cool in high school. I wasn’t cool at all. I only wanted to survive whatever the day was going to throw at me.

    Like, the 2.2.

    In Grade 12, at Byng, calculus was tough. The 2.2 was tougher.

    The 2.2 was a gruelling run of 2.2 miles from Crown to Blanca and back along the 16th Avenue boulevard. I don’t know what high school is like today, but my guess is students train harder than we did in my day. They certainly could not train any less.

    Often the 2.2 would unfold during the first class of the day, which happened to be gym. Along the run, more than a few of us would be coughing up toxins from the night before: booze, tobacco, pot.

    World records were never threatened. In fact, in retrospect, it seems only the impenetrable resilience of youth kept most of us from dying somewhere between Trimble and Sasamat.

    None of this was a concern for Rob Rutley.

    Rob didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs, and he could run like Sebastian Coe. On a good day, he would be 500 yards ahead of the pack by the time the pack got out of the schoolyard. Rob could easily run the 2.2 in between 11 and 12 minutes, while the rest of us would require cheating to make it in 20.

    Sadly, Rob never ran the distance in 12 minutes. At least not during gym class. We wouldn’t let him.

    Having been the first to make the turn at Blanca, Rob would have to run the gauntlet through a pack of assholes, myself included, who would grab him, tackle him, punch him, pick him up and carry him back to Blanca. Sometimes we would loosely tie the sleeves of his shirt to a post in order to attempt the seemingly impossible: make him come in last.

    He would get angry. He would swear. He would fight.

    I felt terrible. Can’t say I enjoyed one minute of it. I bullied Rob because the pack was bullying Rob. I was a coward. If there are 10 things I’ve done in my life I profoundly regret, treating Rob as I did in gym class is one of them.

    I asked Derek Milton why he thought Rob was bullied. “I have no idea why people treated Rob that way. He was a super athlete, good looking and the funniest guy I knew.”

    Doug House, who has no reservations describing his caste in Byng as “nerd,” grew close to Rob because Rob had the strength of character to see something in Doug others did not.

    I left my conversation with Derek and Doug no closer to answering the question, “why was Rob bullied?”

    It then became clear I wasn’t asking the right question. Certainly I was not asking the more important question. “Why was he bullied?” suggests Rob did something wrong. Clearly he did not. The real question remains, “why did we bully him?”

    Envy, undoubtedly played its part. I know for me it was fear. Fear of not getting involved and, as a consequence, becoming the next victim.

    For 30 years I promised myself that I would apologize to Rob when the chance presented itself.

    Rob died last month of an aneurysm. For someone I barely knew, his passing has had a significant effect on me.

    “I wish you got to know Rob,” said Derek.

    God, brother, so do I.

    Derek, Doug and I spoke for an hour on the steps of Byng last Friday. We arrived in the cold with a thick stew of rain and cloud overhead. Five minutes in, the sky cleared and the sun shone down upon us.

    At long last, Rob is getting some well-deserved respect. My higher power is good with the man who could run and run and run.

    On Sunday at noon, I will be on the front steps of Byng. I will walk the 2.2 in honour of this fellow I never knew. I welcome any and all company.