Bullied and I didn’t even realise
In my last semester of highly school what I thought was never going to happen did, I became the outcast of the friendship group and unfortunately am still suffering the consequences. I had been friends with these people for over 10 years, I know people move on but by the end of school they hated my guts and no one could tell me why. Tensions and resentment had been building for sometime but I was only one ever saying sorry, Sorry that I could only see faults in people, sorry I made them feel like couldn’t enjoy their high grades sorry that I couldn’t be like a normal friend and invite them to my house. But they always criticised me my marks, my looks, my socioeconomic status. There were times where I would share some facts then two weeks later they would tell me the same thing when I would say I told you the response was no didn’t I meant this in extension. There was an example in year 10 where we were at a party and they didn’t want me the photo in fact even the adult were excluding asking me to sit out for photos. when I asked why that said that they couldn’t change what happened they were sorry. For me it felt like evidence that they never saw me as an equal just a pity case. I didn’t get a phone till year 11 then social media till year 12 I thought finally I would fit in. But the thing that tipped the scales was what I call the limousine. For year 12 formal the group was going to get a group car. At the same time very thing was being organised my grandparent passed. And I didn’t have a job yet. I don’t get birthday money or pocket money so I really don’t have anything no bank account. So I couldn’t pay and asking my parents at the time just wasn’t the best idea. I owed like 34- 40 dollars which I know isn’t a lot I just couldn’t ask. Soon one of the three started asking for their money. When I was talking to another friend they said I was a terrible person that they work hard for their money that nobody was going to cover my expense. To clarify I never asked and what hurt me even more is that when my family suffered a period of unemployment I had always known how hard it is to work for money. ( my friends all got allowances from their parents). The text conversation had happened in holidays by the end my so called friend of ten years had reduced me to tears saying that I was pathetic friend, selfish - I don’t understand I never degraded them when they had a boyfriend I never spread lies I always asked if they were okay even when they got sick with covid I checked in everyday- when I got it they never even asked.
by the end of year 12 I spent most break-times in the bathroom just to avoid the guilt and shame I felt. I didn’t go to my graduation - but unfortunately I’m still living with shame and guilt - but now I feel crazy with paranoia about not trusting people I even deleted one of my closest friends contact because I don’t know who to trust. I feel so alone I feel unmotivated with life and the only thing that brings me joy is gardening. I know in the end I isolated myself which probably made the situation worse. But was it all my fault did I read into things to much - nothing I describe will every fully encapsulate all the elements but did I do this?
My challenge here is to put a older head on your young wonderful shoulders. That wont be easy as you might not grasp the big picture I want to paint. However you might get some benefit and then remember over time about this post.
Imagine you have two rooms and in the middle is a turnstile like at a footy ground. People go in and then go out but only at your decisions. At a young age we let them do this without screening what they are like and innocently let them come in and go out. Whereas when you get older you begin to be more aware of the nastiness hidden and be more patient with letting them in. This is like developing a security side to our friendships, so instead of letting them in straight away they must pass a chatting test.
Imagine a person wants to get into your life and they come to that turnstile. You remember when they banded together to bully you last year so you think -have they changed? It can happen. So the mature thing to do is to be civil, talk but you stop that turnstile and dont let them in. It is up to them to prove they have regrets not you to pursue them for a possible friend. This fluid motion of people in/people out develops over time so eventually you have a better quality friend inside your private room of life.... it isnt a free for all. It's a special place that only good people get in and those that show a bad side you kick out.
I'm 67yo and I can say I still use this method in my daily life. Some neighbours would never be allowed into my home but I still say hello etc. Some I couldnt get more of their company.
I have a link below. It's a special post that I adore about this topic. Just need to read the first post. Before you do remember- bullying by groups is a predatory behaviour that is unacceptable and they need a victim. To hurt someone means they elevate themselves. It is childish and they are the wrong crod for you. Find real friends.
It feels weird to post this 2 weeks later, but you should know that even in a world with many terrible people, remember about the small percentage of people you will meet, that care for you and will share your pain and suffering, because they're like you. They care about their loved ones as much as you. Remember about that small percentage and if they really did all of this, they weren't your friends from the beginning.