Last night, my husband and I attended a concert at a local pub. Being a Wednesday night, the crowd was small but joyous, waiting in anticipation for the band, Tupperware Remix Party. TWRP, for short, is a band we heard of through a “Let’s Play” YouTube channel, Game Grumps. We were both excited to attend as we were impressed by the talent in TWRP’s online performances.
We choose to perch in an eagle’s nest spot for the majority of the concert, away from the dancing people on the main floor. This way, we snagged a favorable view of the bands/ crowd without the trampling/bumping of strangers. As my husband and I were waiting for the opening act, AA Wallace, to start… I heard someone say my name.
Now, passing by someone in a small town from a previous job, volunteer committee, school, college, etc… is a common occurrence. However, I was not prepared for what this person was about to say. He said he remembered me and asked if I remembered him. I hesitated, but I successfully recalled the person as being an old schoolmate from Middle School. Seeing many people from “back then” over the years, you assume it’s a quick catch up.
Looking somewhat nervous, he said “I wanted to come over and apologize to you for the way I treated you in Middle School. I am sorry for cutting your hair so many times and being an ***hole to you in general. I was a jerk to you and I am sorry.” I was floored. My husband who was sitting next to me, was not aware of the intense bullying I received throughout my schooling ages. I looked at the person and said it was okay and teased that I still keep my hair short. He met my husband, to which he congratulated me on our marriage. After a few more words, I said it was good to see him and he left with a smile.
The opening act was about to start, so I was limited on thinking about our interaction. My wonderful husband looked at me and said, “he’s a nice guy”, to which I agreed. We left the show in the early a.m., happy and full of joy.
I struggled heavily through most of my schooling age, with Middle School (Grades 6 -8) as a heavy hitter. This quiet, skinny girl became the target for both genders as far as bullying is concerned. Various people physically and mentally abused me at school and at home. The negativity caused a snowball effect of hurt, heartache, insecurities and fears. Looking at me today, I have been told that you would not think I had a “hard life” or that I am “damaged” in some way. God is good.
After Middle School graduation (to skip past all the gory details), I went into a severe depression. You could see me crying, literally everyday during the summer. I was absolutely miserable. I remember sitting on our rickety back deck day after day, trying to understand why I felt like I was going to be physically sick. My heart ached for an answer. Friends of my parents would come over and visit me… trying to figure me out. Sometimes I had to be held close, as I would start having panic attacks in the evenings. I would be asked, “Dear, why are you crying?” and I would respond hysterically “I don’t know”. With no friends, having just moved (again)… I became a loner.
Why did I feel so sad, so rejected, so lonely? At this time, I lived in a house full of mice, drugs, alcohol and many forms of abuse. I remember mice crawling on my bed at night and not being able to sleep out of fear and anxiety. I barely ate as I was stressed all the time from pressures to be better than I was and not knowing how to be that person.
Thankfully, I never talked about my issues with anyone other than the Guidance Counselor, as I was scared of rejection from peers. I remember learning that lesson through opening up to a classmate about how a song the school played at lunch reminded me about my dad’s depression/sorrow after my mom left when I was seven. That song became all people could sing. I hated their mockery and they knew it. It was heartless and pathetic on their part to tease someone about losing one of the most important people in their life. The bullying only became more intense/physical after that.
As I grew older, I blacked out traumatic situations that happened as a youth/ teenager. My sister showed me this by reiterating an abuse story with me as the victim that I had no recollection of. According to articles online, mentally blocking out parts of traumatic situations is part of some condition I choose not to be researching in detail. The point is that, after plenty of God-given therapy, tears and placing all my sorrows, fears, anxiety, hurt, hatred, unforgiving nature and sinfulness at the altar… I became free.
GOD changed my life forever, for the better. I cried out to Him and He surrounded me with people at 17 who gave me a life worth living. The family took me in as their own and showed me meekness, faithfulness, kindness, mercy, love, wisdom and much more. They provided opportunities to make mistakes and grow without fear of abuse or in fear of failing. They told me that God was with me, and I am not limited to my past. I was not perfect and matured with time, but Jesus saw me as His own and guided me through it all! What a Savior! After all of those blessings (many not listed), Jesus gave me a husband that does not judge me on my past, but looks to a future with me by his side.
THANK YOU, person, for reminding me that forgiveness is one of life’s greatest joys. Thank you, for having the guts to come up to me and apologizing. I did not need it emotionally, as Jesus delivered me from the feeling and hurt from Middle School, but I am glad you did it… if it was for your own mental healing.
You are loved and are more than a conqueror!
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.