There’s something you don’t know about me. Something I’d rather let sit in the back of a dark closet and never revisit—or admit, for that matter. But for some reason, I feel the need to come out with it. I can feel it stirring inside of me like a cyclone ready to escape. It’s uncomfortable, so, I’m letting it out.

I used to be a bully.

I’m not proud of it. In fact, I’m ashamed. I ashamed of the way I behaved to those I hurt. I’m ashamed of the way I carried on with others, joining in on their petty games, taunting other innocent children, calling them names and laughing at their pain.

My bully years were in elementary school. We were girls who just didn’t know better. To this day, leaving 27 years behind, I still remember the two girls’ names who we picked on the most: Sabrina and Sharon.

And to them, all I have to say is that I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I followed you around at recess, making fun of your crooked nose. I’m sorry I tailed you around, making kissy noises and asking if you’d ever had a boyfriend, which I was sure you had not. I’m sorry I gave you those looks and sneers.

What bothers me most—aside from being a jerk—is that I ridiculed you for things that I lived with as well. My nose wasn’t crooked, but my ears resembled those of a mouse. I’m not sure why I taunted you for not having a boyfriend when I had only ever had one by that time. I wasn’t the one with perfect features nor was I the one who boys chased.

And yet, I faulted you.

But you both proved me wrong. You didn’t take it. You walked away when we mean girls came up to you. You paid no mind to our hurtful words. You pretended not to listen to us and carried on, as you should have.

I have no idea what kind of effect this had on you both, but I’m sorry.

Make no mistake, I was bullied as well. I was called names and taunted. I remember running home after getting off the bus, crying after spending what felt like eternity being threatened with rumors and lies. I remember what it felt like to have everyone against you, feeling like you had no one on your side.

And even though I knew those feelings, I took it out on you.

I wasn’t the worst bully you’ve ever seen, but I did have a mean streak and I did know how to get to someone.

So why am I sharing this now? Well, bullying is quite prominent in our society—the world’s society—and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I took up writing as a way to get my thoughts and feeling out in a productive manner. Now I know there are many people who read online articles and who find comfort knowing there are others out there like them.

So, in an attempt to get the word out, I’m sharing my truth because I want others to know that change is possible. That mean streak I spoke about? Well, it’s gone now, and I have zero tolerance for bullying of any kind.

I’m also hoping that Sabrina and Sharon somehow stumble upon this article and read it and know that I am sorry.

Because I am.

I was a bully, and I’m sorry.

You may also like: 

To the Middle School Bully Who Changed My Life

My Best Friend Was a Mean Girl

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Karen Szabo

Karen Szabo is a part-time worker by day, boy-mom by night, and blogger at The Antsy Butterfly any time in between. She’s doing her best to keep her sanity by writing about being an anxious mom. She’s a contributor for The Mighty and has written for Sunshine Spoils Milk, Sammiches & Psych Meds, Parent Co., Perfection Pending, and Mamapedia. Karen can be found on Twitterand Facebook.