One of My Former Bullies Asked Me Out…And I Stood Him Up!

stop bullying

Today, I would have just told him “No” and let that be the end of it. The year was 1997 and I was 26 years old and seven years post high school when I ran into a guy who had harassed me mercilessly during high school. During that time I was lead singer of a band and we were doing a show at a nightclub in Memphis. It was during a fifteen-minute break between sets that I ran into him and I’ll have to admit, he was very charming, displaying the very charm which had allowed him to go undetected and escape accountability all those years ago.

I was cordial to him as I’d been to everyone who had come to watch the band. However, when he asked me out, instead of feeling honored, I felt quite insulted. My first thoughts were:

“You’ve got some nerve, buddy!”

“Do you not remember all the times during school you helped make me feel completely worthless?”

Nope refuse

“Do you not remember all the horrible names you called me? All the taunts? The jokes?”

“What make’s you think that I’d be even REMOTELY interested?”

Honestly, I would’ve had to be either stupid or desperate to go on a date with the likes of him and I believed his reasoning for it was one of either three things:

1. It was much safer for him to take me out now that we were out of school and he no longer had to face the old high school clique on a daily basis.

2. He thought I was desperate.

3. He thought I was easy.

This only made me angrier. Then I smiled and said, “Let’s talk about it after the show.”

After the show ended, we talked and I agreed to go on a date with him the following weekend. We agreed to meet at a restaurant in a neighboring town. Only I never showed up.

thumbing nose

When he called me the next day and wanted to know why I had stood him up, informing me that he’d waited for over an hour, my response was,

“You don’t know? You don’t remember all the times you made me feel so bad about myself during school? You don’t remember all the horrible names you called me? You don’t remember all the times you joined everyone else in humiliating me during school? You knew I was hurting and you didn’t give a damn! You knew I was dying inside and you didn’t care! Well, how does it feel, buster?” I shouted.

He apologized profusely, over and over again. But at that time, I just wasn’t ready to forgive him.

It was a rotten thing to do to someone, I know. However, at that time, I wasn’t as mature as I am now and I just had to make a point.

It took a while but things worked out in the end. I eventually forgave him and we became close friends.

 

9 thoughts on “One of My Former Bullies Asked Me Out…And I Stood Him Up!

  1. What you did took strength. I mean the guy may have truly changed but here is what bullies don’t understand. A lot of times they hurt others then they forget their victim (those with a conscience don’t, those without one do quickly). For the person tortured every time they hear their name or run into them (even at a distance) it often brings back memories especially within the first several years because recovering from bullying is hard and for many a lifetime. If the guy is truly sorry he would completely understand your reasoning and truly apologize and understand. It also happens sometimes when a person is a follower and bullies others or backs the bully because they are a follower but deep down inside they know better. They should have thought of that when they did it. Once you are 12, 13 years old and older you know wrong from right.

  2. I have another thought on this. Let me also say it is important that we are smart about who we are partners with even when we think we have found someone. If someone is constantly belittling us (and this can happen to men and women both), trying to hold us back from our hobbies, friends, or career then that is a toxic relationship. Also many people stay in relationships because of not wanting to start over, for the kids, or money. Toxic is toxic and if the person stays for the wrong reasons they are just as guilty as the partner bullying them. Also in a relationship where domestic violence occurs, we need to recognize both genders are capable and people have a right to defend themselves regardless of gender. If it ever comes to that if both sides are guilty they should own it and in some cases may have to end the relationship.

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