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Talking to my ex-bully to reconcile the past


aties    

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I meet again a guy who used to bully me. Long story short he bullied me  and then fter a long while he apologized but i couldn't forgive him...The emotional trauma still haunts me til today (It happened 7 years ago) Recently i just happened to meet him again, Even though i know it is draining, scary and horrendous even when he is different now. Long story short, he used to apologized to me but because he bullied me for so long ( and many other reason too but i cant figure.. i still struggle to understand myself 7 years ago) Recently, he replied back to me that he is about to take AS-Level exams so he couldn't reply to me and he doesn't understand why i have to message stubbornly to him... As my previous post stated, i want him to help me to resolve this trauma once and for all but i don't know how to express that safely. Especially vulnerability isn't safe and uncomfortable at this time too, for many people who have depression and trauma, do you guy have any idea how should i reply? Many thanks!

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Heyy @aties, I am Luie, one of the support mentors with Ditch the Label. I see that you're new to our platform and I wanted to say a massive welcome! Super awesome having you join our community. You can start conversations like this or even join other topics on the forums option. We also offer one to one support if you'd prefer that, if you click on 'Confidential Support' in the top bar next to blogs, you can send a request and one of the support mentors will get back to you 😃

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15 hours ago, aties said:

I meet again a guy who used to bully me. Long story short he bullied me  and then fter a long while he apologized but i couldn't forgive him...The emotional trauma still haunts me til today (It happened 7 years ago) Recently i just happened to meet him again, Even though i know it is draining, scary and horrendous even when he is different now. Long story short, he used to apologized to me but because he bullied me for so long ( and many other reason too but i cant figure.. i still struggle to understand myself 7 years ago) Recently, he replied back to me that he is about to take AS-Level exams so he couldn't reply to me and he doesn't understand why i have to message stubbornly to him... As my previous post stated, i want him to help me to resolve this trauma once and for all but i don't know how to express that safely. Especially vulnerability isn't safe and uncomfortable at this time too, for many people who have depression and trauma, do you guy have any idea how should i reply? Many thanks!

 

I'm truly sorry to hear about the pain and difficulty you're facing @aties. It's completely understandable that encountering someone who bullied you in the past can bring up a lot of emotions and trauma, even years later. Your feelings are valid, and it's okay to struggle with forgiveness, especially when the wounds are still fresh. It sounds like you're in a tough spot, wanting closure and resolution but unsure of how to navigate that safely, especially considering your past experiences with this person. It's important to prioritize your own well-being and emotional safety above all else. 

As for responding to this person, it's okay to take your time and carefully consider your words. You don't owe anyone an explanation for reaching out, especially when you're seeking closure and resolution for your own healing journey. Also, I was wondering if you've explored any potential ways to set boundaries or communicate your needs effectively in this situation, considering your past experiences with this individual?

Btw, I am happy to help you draft something, how do you feel about this?

 

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7 hours ago, Luie said:

I'm truly sorry to hear about the pain and difficulty you're facing @aties. It's completely understandable that encountering someone who bullied you in the past can bring up a lot of emotions and trauma, even years later. Your feelings are valid, and it's okay to struggle with forgiveness, especially when the wounds are still fresh. It sounds like you're in a tough spot, wanting closure and resolution but unsure of how to navigate that safely, especially considering your past experiences with this person. It's important to prioritize your own well-being and emotional safety above all else. 

As for responding to this person, it's okay to take your time and carefully consider your words. You don't owe anyone an explanation for reaching out, especially when you're seeking closure and resolution for your own healing journey. Also, I was wondering if you've explored any potential ways to set boundaries or communicate your needs effectively in this situation, considering your past experiences with this individual?

Btw, I am happy to help you draft something, how do you feel about this?

Yes! I have set a boundary that i wont spill everything and will make up some part to see his reaction-it is like trial and error to see his personality. As a draft, yes i had done it, can you see for me please?

He said this to me: Is there anything i need to chat with you and i am busy

I want to reply as: Yeah i know you are busy preparing for AS- level exam and i also am preparing for AP exam. It is just, after a while going back o this school again, i have remember our past traumatic memories. I just want to talk, and whenever you have time please talk with me

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15 hours ago, aties said:

Yes! I have set a boundary that i wont spill everything and will make up some part to see his reaction-it is like trial and error to see his personality. As a draft, yes i had done it, can you see for me please?

He said this to me: Is there anything i need to chat with you and i am busy

I want to reply as: Yeah i know you are busy preparing for AS- level exam and i also am preparing for AP exam. It is just, after a while going back o this school again, i have remember our past traumatic memories. I just want to talk, and whenever you have time please talk with me

Heyy  @aties, I think your draft response is thoughtful and respectful of both your own feelings and the other person's current situation. Here's a revised version for you:

"Yeah, I understand you're busy preparing for your AS-level exams, and I'm also in the midst of preparing for my AP exams. It's just that returning to this school has brought back some memories of our past interactions, which were quite traumatic for me (this bit is totally optional - you can remove it). I feel like talking about it could help me process and move forward. Whenever you have some free time, I'd appreciate it if we could have a conversation."

I think this response maintains a respectful tone while clearly expressing your desire to talk about your past experiences. It allows for open communication without placing undue pressure on the other person to respond immediately. Let me know how this sounds to you?

 

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3 minutes ago, Luie said:

Heyy  @aties, I think your draft response is thoughtful and respectful of both your own feelings and the other person's current situation. Here's a revised version for you:

"Yeah, I understand you're busy preparing for your AS-level exams, and I'm also in the midst of preparing for my AP exams. It's just that returning to this school has brought back some memories of our past interactions, which were quite traumatic for me (this bit is totally optional - you can remove it). I feel like talking about it could help me process and move forward. Whenever you have some free time, I'd appreciate it if we could have a conversation."

I think this response maintains a respectful tone while clearly expressing your desire to talk about your past experiences. It allows for open communication without placing undue pressure on the other person to respond immediately. Let me know how this sounds to you?

WOW- i havent think of saying" talking help me process and move forward" thanks so much! As for my "boundary" what would you think?

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10 hours ago, aties said:

WOW- i havent think of saying" talking help me process and move forward" thanks so much! As for my "boundary" what would you think?

 

I'm glad you found that suggestion helpful @aties! In my experience, setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining your emotional well-being. It sounds to me like you're already taking proactive steps by testing the waters with this person and being cautious about what you share. As you mentioned, it's a trial-and-error process to gauge their reaction and assess their personality which I fully agree with. 

Something that I have learned over time is that boundaries are about protecting yourself and feeling safe in your interactions. So it's perfectly okay to only share what you feel comfortable with and to withhold information that you're not ready to disclose. Trust your instincts and continue prioritizing your own emotional safety. If you ever feel uncertain about a boundary, it's okay to reassess and adjust as needed. You're doing great by taking steps to protect yourself while navigating this challenging situation.

I was wondering how have you been feeling since reaching out to this person and setting your boundaries? Also, do you have any specific concerns or challenges you anticipate as you continue to navigate this process?

 

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21 hours ago, Luie said:

I'm glad you found that suggestion helpful @aties! In my experience, setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining your emotional well-being. It sounds to me like you're already taking proactive steps by testing the waters with this person and being cautious about what you share. As you mentioned, it's a trial-and-error process to gauge their reaction and assess their personality which I fully agree with. 

Something that I have learned over time is that boundaries are about protecting yourself and feeling safe in your interactions. So it's perfectly okay to only share what you feel comfortable with and to withhold information that you're not ready to disclose. Trust your instincts and continue prioritizing your own emotional safety. If you ever feel uncertain about a boundary, it's okay to reassess and adjust as needed. You're doing great by taking steps to protect yourself while navigating this challenging situation.

I was wondering how have you been feeling since reaching out to this person and setting your boundaries? Also, do you have any specific concerns or challenges you anticipate as you continue to navigate this process?

ayes, sorry for late respond. Actually, one of the reason i ask in ehre is i have a tendency to avoid situation that make me frel hurt or uncomfortable.. I anticipate that he may not respond to me soon enough, or what if he avoid me and my attempt to reach closure. Imagining that already give me insanity, let alone what if it happens in the real life. Also, one more thing is that i feel like i want something more than just merely talk to him.. but idk if he is going to accept that

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16 hours ago, aties said:

ayes, sorry for late respond. Actually, one of the reason i ask in ehre is i have a tendency to avoid situation that make me frel hurt or uncomfortable.. I anticipate that he may not respond to me soon enough, or what if he avoid me and my attempt to reach closure. Imagining that already give me insanity, let alone what if it happens in the real life. Also, one more thing is that i feel like i want something more than just merely talk to him.. but idk if he is going to accept that

Hi @aties, I'm Aurora and I am one of the other support mentors here. Nice to meet you 🙂 I thought I would jump in as @Luie won't be back online until the weekend. I hope that's OK. If you would rather carry on this conversation with Luie, that's no problem at all - just let me know. 

You mentioned that you feel like you want something more than just talk to him but you don't know if he is going to accept that. Do you feel comfortable sharing what that is? Please don't feel you have to - only if you feel comfortable to. 

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1 hour ago, Aurora said:

Hi @aties, I'm Aurora and I am one of the other support mentors here. Nice to meet you 🙂 I thought I would jump in as @Luie won't be back online until the weekend. I hope that's OK. If you would rather carry on this conversation with Luie, that's no problem at all - just let me know. 

You mentioned that you feel like you want something more than just talk to him but you don't know if he is going to accept that. Do you feel comfortable sharing what that is? Please don't feel you have to - only if you feel comfortable to. 

Thanks for helping me! As for your question, i would say that mayber i my inner self i really hope he will ease the pain and stigma that i have to endure for the last 9 years..

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12 minutes ago, aties said:

Thanks for helping me! As for your question, i would say that mayber i my inner self i really hope he will ease the pain and stigma that i have to endure for the last 9 years..

Thank you for sharing that with me. I can see why you feel conflicted and why you are worried that he might not say what  you really need to hear so you can start healing. From everything you've been telling us I get the impression that he does feel sorry about how he has treated you but I'm not sure he realises quite how traumatic the whole experience was for you. Would you agree?

I'm wondering whether seeing him and talking to him about what happened might trigger some painful memories and with that some difficult emotions. Do you think it would be helpful for you to have someone there with you who can support you (if you do get to talk to him)? Have you spoken to anyone else about what happened and is there anyone who has been particularly supportive? 

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1 hour ago, Aurora said:

Thank you for sharing that with me. I can see why you feel conflicted and why you are worried that he might not say what  you really need to hear so you can start healing. From everything you've been telling us I get the impression that he does feel sorry about how he has treated you but I'm not sure he realises quite how traumatic the whole experience was for you. Would you agree?

I'm wondering whether seeing him and talking to him about what happened might trigger some painful memories and with that some difficult emotions. Do you think it would be helpful for you to have someone there with you who can support you (if you do get to talk to him)? Have you spoken to anyone else about what happened and is there anyone who has been particularly supportive? 

Yeah, i agree with your statement, at the time he apologized to me it was 7 years ago, at that time i think we were too young to understand each other esp my pain even me at that time couldn’t understand myself and my pain either. about some resources for helpni dont think there is anyone who is available to help me tho so far…Personally, i am more afraid of he wont talk with me than my painful memories will come back

 

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On 4/30/2024 at 6:51 PM, Aurora said:

Thank you for sharing that with me. I can see why you feel conflicted and why you are worried that he might not say what  you really need to hear so you can start healing. From everything you've been telling us I get the impression that he does feel sorry about how he has treated you but I'm not sure he realises quite how traumatic the whole experience was for you. Would you agree?

I'm wondering whether seeing him and talking to him about what happened might trigger some painful memories and with that some difficult emotions. Do you think it would be helpful for you to have someone there with you who can support you (if you do get to talk to him)? Have you spoken to anyone else about what happened and is there anyone who has been particularly supportive? 

it is really tough for me..

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Hi @aties. I’m Mestizo one of the other Support Mentors with Ditch the Label. I hope you don’t mind me jumping in while some of the other Support Mentors are offline. If you prefer to wait to hear from them just let me know. I just wanted to acknowledge and let you know that I hear you when you say that this is really tough for you. Have you talked to anyone else about this? If so, who and what was their response? 

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1 hour ago, Mestizo said:

Hi @aties. I’m Mestizo one of the other Support Mentors with Ditch the Label. I hope you don’t mind me jumping in while some of the other Support Mentors are offline. If you prefer to wait to hear from them just let me know. I just wanted to acknowledge and let you know that I hear you when you say that this is really tough for you. Have you talked to anyone else about this? If so, who and what was their response? 

I actually did to my school counselor but it wasnt really effective- tbh i was uncomfortable durig the whole session- it was a waste of time honestly

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17 hours ago, aties said:

I actually did to my school counselor but it wasnt really effective- tbh i was uncomfortable durig the whole session- it was a waste of time honestly

hi @aties, I'm sorry to hear that talking to your school counsellor wasn't very helpful. Are you still seeing them and talking to them about other things or do you not see the school counsellor anymore?

Do you mind me asking if you have told anyone else about what happened? For example a good friend of yours or maybe a family member? 

I can imagine that all of this must be really hard for you and I wanted to reassure you that you are not alone. We are here for you! 

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1 hour ago, Aurora said:

hi @aties, I'm sorry to hear that talking to your school counsellor wasn't very helpful. Are you still seeing them and talking to them about other things or do you not see the school counsellor anymore?

Do you mind me asking if you have told anyone else about what happened? For example a good friend of yours or maybe a family member? 

I can imagine that all of this must be really hard for you and I wanted to reassure you that you are not alone. We are here for you! 

Thanks, well i still see hi. but i seldomly talk about this issue, as for friends i dont think they have time nor they can help me anything so no..

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6 minutes ago, aties said:

Thanks, well i still see hi. but i seldomly talk about this issue, as for friends i dont think they have time nor they can help me anything so no..

Sometimes talking about what happened can help us to process things a bit more. Even though they might not be able to help you per se - you might still find it helpful to have someone to talk to. Do you think they would be understanding if you told them what happened? 

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5 minutes ago, Aurora said:

Sometimes talking about what happened can help us to process things a bit more. Even though they might not be able to help you per se - you might still find it helpful to have someone to talk to. Do you think they would be understanding if you told them what happened? 

well i actually told a friend and she said i should rpely back - but yeah i dont think further thanthat she cant help me  more since she is not a therapist afterall

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1 minute ago, aties said:

well i actually told a friend and she said i should rpely back - but yeah i dont think further thanthat she cant help me  more since she is not a therapist afterall

That's good that you have someone you can talk to about this. How would you feel about asking her to come along if you arrange to meet the guy who bullied you? I'm wondering whether it might be helpful to have someone else there to support you. Just in case it doesn't work out the way you are hoping it will. What do you think? 

Do you mind me asking (and please don't feel you have to if you don't feel comfortable to) - what do you think would have made it easier to speak to your school counsellor about what happened? Also, what kind of support would you have found more helpful? 

Just to let you know that I will have to log off very soon. I will be back online on Tuesday but you can talk to one of the other @Digital Mentor in the meantime if you would like to. We're here for you 

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16 minutes ago, Aurora said:

That's good that you have someone you can talk to about this. How would you feel about asking her to come along if you arrange to meet the guy who bullied you? I'm wondering whether it might be helpful to have someone else there to support you. Just in case it doesn't work out the way you are hoping it will. What do you think? 

Do you mind me asking (and please don't feel you have to if you don't feel comfortable to) - what do you think would have made it easier to speak to your school counsellor about what happened? Also, what kind of support would you have found more helpful? 

Just to let you know that I will have to log off very soon. I will be back online on Tuesday but you can talk to one of the other @Digital Mentor in the meantime if you would like to. We're here for you 

I am not comfortable having someone along with me tbh.. also she doesnt know him. About my school counselor, i think that if he had treat me like in therapy talk and provide instruction and um give this issue more serious because i feel like our discussion is more like teacher versus student ..

Also, i am planning to reply to him 4 hrs later..

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Hi @aties. I’m sorry your meeting with the school counselor felt more like a teacher student connection rather than a therapeutic one. That must of been frustrating. Just to make sure I understand your last statement, are you planning to communicate with your ex-bully later today? 

Is there anything in particular that you think would be helpful to you for us in providing you support? 

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10 minutes ago, Mestizo said:

Hi @aties. I’m sorry your meeting with the school counselor felt more like a teacher student connection rather than a therapeutic one. That must of been frustrating. Just to make sure I understand your last statement, are you planning to communicate with your ex-bully later today? 

Is there anything in particular that you think would be helpful to you for us in providing you support? 

yeah i want to reply to him today but i am really scared that he may not respond like i want and/or there is a possibility that he may hurt me mentally too.. My synpathic nervous system really kick me in

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10 minutes ago, aties said:

yeah i want to reply to him today but i am really scared that he may not respond like i want and/or there is a possibility that he may hurt me mentally too.. My synpathic nervous system really kick me in

How would you like for him to respond to you? How do you envision ideally the conversation to go? In what ways might he hurt you mentally? Is there a reason you need to reply to them today? 

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1 minute ago, Mestizo said:

How would you like for him to respond to you? How do you envision ideally the conversation to go? In what ways might he hurt you mentally? Is there a reason you need to reply to them today? 

in ideal way, honestly somehow i dont think any ideal situation because deep inside i think i know it won't happen. I am really scared that he may avoid me, or like aurora said he (for now) dont understand what pain i have for these years... With his personality, i dont think he will express  mad or sth to me maybe he will ask what do I want him to do. Also, i havent replied him for 11 days so i have the urge to do it but i am too scared to do it lol...

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