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High school reunions and apologies


Brighteyes03
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Originally, I was going to talk about my experiences with bullying, but these are questions that I've been wondering about.

Now, for those of us who had a hard time in school, what are your views about attending school reunions? Do you think that they could be a positive or negative experience?

And for that matter, what does everyone think of seeking apologies from your tormentors? I would be interested in hearing everyone's thoughts and views.

(FYI, my reunion isn't coming up or anything soon, I just was thinking about this. XD)

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I've never been to any of my school reunions; more of a "don't care" for me than because of any particular bullying. After all, I didn't go to dances back then, and if I had, I would just have stood around watching. Didn't make much sense to set myself up for that now.

But I really don't think that seeking apologies will do much good. Sure, some, maybe even many, would have grown up enough to feel bad about what they did, and a few of those might even be able to apologize. But seriously, even those with the sense to feel bad often respond ungraciously: no one likes to be made to feel bad, even if they deserve it. And I think the vast majority of people capable of being bullies aren't really going to be capable of accepting the accusation, much less its truth. I think you'd just be setting yourself up for more abuse.

On the other hand, I've heard a lot of good things about the idea of unilateral forgiveness, as therapy. Would it be possible to go up to these people and let them know that what they did hurt you, but you forgive them? They still might not respond well, but this way, you're not asking them for something. You're giving it, and to yourself as well.

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Hi All

What do I think of school re-unions? Erm... Well, I've only ever attended one, and I can barely remember it!

I remember meeting up in a pub first with some of the girls that I used to hang around with in school. Some of these girls I had never even seen, since leaving school.

I suppose its a good thing really! Also, it's your own choice whether you attend or not?

I wanted to attend, just to show some of the people in my year and also the Teachers, how far I'd gone!

I was always one of them people who didn't learn much! I didn't know then, but have been assessed since leaving school and found out that I am Dyslexic! Because I got involved with the wrong crowd, (no one to blame but myself) I was never at school. I was always playing Truant! I did this to cover up my Dyslexic! Because of this, that when I did attend school, the Teachers didn't care about my Education because they thought that I was thick anyway! So did I!

I wanted to prove to everyone, how far I'd come since leaving school, and with no thanks to any of them! And that is what I did! It felt good to be noticed for once & not to be looked down on!

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@Malign: I wasn't much of a dancer either then, so I hear you.

But seriously, even those with the sense to feel bad often respond ungraciously: no one likes to be made to feel bad, even if they deserve it. And I think the vast majority of people capable of being bullies aren't really going to be capable of accepting the accusation, much less its truth. I think you'd just be setting yourself up for more abuse.

*nods* I can definitely believe that. One time, I was watching this old television show that reunited old high school classmates. They did that with these two women; while both had been in school, one had stopped talking to the other and started spreading rumors about her (or something like that). When the one woman wanted an explanation as to what caused all the drama (I don't recall her even asking for an apology), the first girl acted like what she had done was no big deal, and overall, came across as pretty unpleasant. She seemed like she hadn't changed much from high school.

Knowing most of my tormentors, unless they had an extreme change of heart (like, becoming born-again Christians or something), I sure as heck wouldn't expect an apology from any of them. Whenever I did run into some of them when we were older, many of them still seemed pretty immature/or up-themselves.

On the other hand, I've heard a lot of good things about the idea of unilateral forgiveness, as therapy. Would it be possible to go up to these people and let them know that what they did hurt you, but you forgive them? They still might not respond well, but this way, you're not asking them for something. You're giving it, and to yourself as well.

That's very interesting; I may try that some day. What actually got me wondering about all of this in the first place was speaking with someone else who told me that her bullies apologized to her. I wondered if she had initiated the situation or if they had, but I'm still waiting to hear a response. Then that made me wonder what others thought about the matter.

@Someguy: *nods* Yeah, I see what you mean. It would be rather hard dealing with all those bad vibes.

@ Paula: That's awesome to hear! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. XD

I admit some pple put it in my head that when you become a successful adult, you should go to your reunion and kinda flaunt how you turned out to you classmates. Paula put it in a much nicer way thou: showing them how far you had gone. I' also be a bit curious to see what they had done with themselves. Prolly not a very nice thing to do, but I admit that I do rather like the thought (tho I'm hoping that by he time the reunion rolls around, I can actually say that I unsuccessful). Not sure would I do it or not, I suppose it'd depend on my mood at he time.

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Hi Brighteyes,

My feelings on this reunion thing? Negative, especially if you are going back for any kind of emotional resolution. Like malign said, you may be disappointed. Why go back and give them the satisfaction of still seeing you in this same uncertain state of self? Don't make it easy for them to apologize to you for the bullying. If they need the forgiveness, let them seek you out through their own efforts, not yours. Show them that you are you, a person better and stronger than they are and you don't need their approval for being!

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I have an interesting story for you BrightEyes.

I had moved to South Carolina during the summer of my 9th grade year. I left all of my friends and enemies of 13 years when I left my driveway. There was one particular part of my life that I had forgotten. In the 7th grade, a kid named Aaron came up and bunched me in my balls for no reason. It hurt like hell, and I fell to the floor crying in the fetal position. It was the most embarrassing moment that year.

About 2 months ago (my senior year) I got a message from Aaron, apologizing for what he had done. I was literally stunned when I saw his message on my facebook. I accepted it because I feel it shows maturity when someone apologizes, especially when you feel it is sincere. He had no reason to, in fact I had long forgotten that it even happened. It was nice that he admits what he did was wrong. We then got to chat, and he seemed like a nice person.

I didnt "seek" this apology from him, he sent it to me out of the blue. I dont think I would have ever asked for it, mainly because I would have never seen him again, and if I did, I would probably would not have asked for it to avoid an awkward moment.

Would I go to a reunion? Probably not my middle school one, if they even had it. I would go to my high school one, I have a bunch of friends that I would enjoy to see how they are doing. I probably wouldn't talk much to the kids that were mean to me, but I would go. In fact, I am one that will be helping to set it up lol.

-Jon (UnsureLife)

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