I Wish You Hadn’t Found Me

It was a lifetime ago and yet it also feels like yesterday. Suddenly I am taken back to when I was thirteen years old, dreading going into school because you and your gang of friends decided to pick on me. You’d start talking about me really loudly and laugh hysterically, while I would try with all my might not to cry. My face would go red but most of the time I wouldn’t be able to hold back those fat tears. It was a mixture of humiliation, hurt and anger. Those tears would fall down my face and every drop would feel like defeat. You’d won. You’d got to me, just like you intended.

It still baffles me today that the teachers would never notice a thing. Were they unaware, or was it just so easy to turn a blind eye to it? Now I am a manager and watch over my team all day, I see little hints here and there of bullying…stronger characters making the more placid ones look foolish, just so they can look impressive. Except I see through it. I see what they are doing. I notice it and I can’t turn a blind eye like they did. I can’t let people feel like that way, unsupported and being thrown into the firing line without any notice.

You made me under-confident and insecure. You are the reason I don’t like to sit near teenagers on the bus. Or why it stings when people start laughing like hyenas in public. I think to myself “they can’t be laughing at me”, hoping I’m being paranoid. You sucked the confidence I naturally had within me and created this shy girl who was scared of speaking her mind. It was only when I met my other half, and he reminded me that I need to be proud of myself, that things started to heal. I bet you don’t even think about what effect it had on me, I bet you don’t care. You were the popular girl at school and wanted to look impressive in front of your bitchy gang of girls.

Almost twenty years on, and most days I don’t give it a single thought. As the years rolled by and school ended, I moved on and you faded from my life. I didn’t have to be anxious anymore where I would see you in the street in town. As I write this, I’m angry yet again that after twenty years, this still has the power to upset me. You don’t deserve any of it and we were both existing blissfully unaware that we now live in the same city. But you wanted me to know, so you followed me on Instagram. You ‘like’ all the pictures of my daughter, of our life together. You want me to notice you, but I refuse to let you do that once again.

 

I wish you hadn’t found me but you did. At first it made me want to quit my blog and never write or post a single picture again. It seems easier that way, to just close off this very public part of my life. I did genuinely think about it but at the same time, I hate that I would throw away something I love because of you. So here we are – in the same city, unknowingly yet inevitably with a few mutual friends already. You may have been able to take my positivity and spirit all those years ago, but not anymore.

 

Mummy Times Two
3 Little Buttons

69 Comments

  1. January 16, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    Whoever they are, they sound dreadful – don’t feel that you have to be friends with them because you’re older now and have mutual contacts. Bullies usually always have a bit of the bully in them and you’re best rid! Xxx

  2. January 16, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    Aww Bridget, I hate that events from so long ago can still have an effect on us. Keep on blogging and reminding yourself that they don’t matter, you are the better person. My latest post is actually about my teenage years and the advice I wish I could give myself! x
    #PostfromTheHeart
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    • January 16, 2017 / 10:53 pm

      I’ll have to give your post a read – it’s a bit mad how the effects can last so long. So much advice I could give my teeange self 🙂 x

  3. January 16, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    I’m sorry you went through this – what a horrible person. You’d hope she’s grown up and changed, but if I were you, I’d just block her. I wouldn’t be happy with her seeing my daughter. And no, don’t give something you love up! Don’t give your blog and your Instagram up! Don’t let her win. She probably is unaware, but you’re winning at this. Hugs for you #PostsFromTheHeart

    • January 16, 2017 / 10:52 pm

      Aww thank you Sara. I have been feeling slightly sick this evening after sharing such a personal post but your comment has really made my day 🙂 xx

  4. January 17, 2017 / 5:09 am

    Never, ever, let this person keep you from something you love! I”m so glad you decided to keep writing and I hope you never feel “less than” ever again. You are awesome and the blogging community, and world, is better with you in it-making your dreams come true. #DreamTeam
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  5. January 17, 2017 / 6:04 am

    One would hope that she has grown up and only wishes you well when she likes your posts. At least going to school now, this type of behavior is called out and recognized for the damage it can cause. Maybe now that bullying has been publicized so much, she may recognize that she did wrong when she was younger. I may be overly optimistic, but you were right to not let her interfere with the things that you enjoy. She has already done enough. Best wishes! #dreamteam

  6. January 17, 2017 / 7:08 am

    I’d like to think she’s changed. It doesn’t alter the fact she caused you pain with her hurtful bullying. However, what happened to you means that you understand those who suffer at the hands of bullies and can be that friend or that colleague who can encourage them and step in if need be. You can empathise and do your bit to show you care.

    You are doing a great job. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. Keep on your path, keep doing what you do, keep blogging and being your kind, thoughtful sensitive self. xx

  7. January 17, 2017 / 7:13 am

    It’s something I always worry about with blogging in the public arena. The worry that in opening up your life, you’re also letting in people who you’d rather not know anything about you. I feel the same about part of my estranged family. Don’t let the bullies stop you doing something you love. They’ll either get bored and stop following or they might actually learn how to be better human beings. #postsfromtheheart

  8. January 17, 2017 / 7:40 am

    I’m glad you decided not to quit. It’s hard when you’re putting personal things out there for the world to see and it’s not possible to just hide it from a few. But like you said, don’t let her get to you. Just keep doing you xxx #DreamTeam

  9. January 17, 2017 / 7:49 am

    Oh this makes me so angry – I feel that I’m lying that bullying world at the moment and I know that it stays with you and I’m so angry that this has stayed with you and that undoubtedly it will stay with my children. How dare she follow you on Instagram. I’m angry (can you tell?) for you! I know many will say rise above it but that’s easier said than done. Though with all that said and done (I’m calming down now!) maybe she feels awful and is actually a little in awe of what you’ve achieved – she should be #DreamTeam
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  10. January 17, 2017 / 7:49 am

    This made me feel really sad, I hate the thought of anyone being bullied, especially someone as lovely as you. Don’t quit your blog – I mean that. One person, no matter the memories, does not have the right to stop you from doing something you love. Especially when you’re as good at it as you are. Her liking insta photos probably means she wants to draw a line under things and perhaps seek your forgiveness. Rise above it, ignore her. #dreamteam
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  11. January 17, 2017 / 8:18 am

    I’m glad you’re not letting an old bully dictate your life, don’t give them any attention. when you were younger it was harder I know but now you’re much stronger. keep doing what you love and be you xx #dreamteam

  12. January 17, 2017 / 8:19 am

    Do not let her win and do not let her upset you like that anymore! Keep writing, keep doing everything you LOVE. It’s the best way to let her know that she DIDN’T break you and that you’re so much STRONGER than her. At the end of the day we all have to face ourselves – who knows what she feels inside looking at herself in the mirror… #DreamTeam

  13. January 17, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Thank you for this. I was bullied in school and it really shaped the person I am today, i too have had thoughts about not doing my blog but we should never let them win. Youre a million times the person they are #DreamTeam
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  14. January 17, 2017 / 9:51 am

    She probably realises what a nasty piece of work she was and is now regretting it. I’m not saying you should forgive or make any contact, just be empowered by the fact that she is following you and is most likely jealous of your success. Bullies are cowards and what more of a cowardly way to behave than to follow someone on Instagram whom you once ‘despised’! Be strong and remember that you are the better person xx #DreamTeam
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  15. January 17, 2017 / 9:55 am

    What a fabulously, brave and honest post, which must have been very difficult to write. Well done! I understand how all those feelings must have come flooding back when your tormentor ‘found’ you, but I really do feel that by allowing her to follow you and like your photos without doing the same back, you are now holding all the cards. You are showing her that you are strong, confident and able to do whatever you want to do and she absolutely holds no power over you anymore. I also want to say a big thank you for being such an amazing manager. I didn’t suffer bullying at school, but have done in the work place and my bosses did nothing, I’ve also seen others suffer and not be helped. Your staff are so lucky to have you #DreamTeam x
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  16. January 17, 2017 / 9:58 am

    I had a similar experience when I started writing and it was heartbreaking how easily those feelings bubbled back up and almost paralyzed me from writing. Thank you for sharing #DreamTeam
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  17. January 17, 2017 / 11:31 am

    How awful for you, but don’t let them get to you. Your blog IS great!
    Don’t give them the power they crave to make themselves feel good.
    #dreamteam.

  18. January 17, 2017 / 11:34 am

    I’m so glad you wrote this post because hopefully the comments will help you see we’ve got your back. Rise above it and keep doing what you love – she clearly finds you FASCINATING! #DreamTeam

  19. January 17, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    This is so powerful, Brigit and I really admire your willingness to write about it and your ability to so clearly articulate very difficult emotions. Your attitude it great. Nothing to fear here. I hope she feels some remorse. Chances are she does. Teenagers can be so cruel. I’m sorry you had to go through that as a teen. All too common too. #DreamTeam
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  20. January 17, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to experience bullying like that – it’s awful how cruel kids can be to one another and how the results of bullying can last long into the future. Well done for ignoring this bully and not letting her get to you anymore – you’re a strong woman with a career and a lovely family, and no one can take that away from you. #DreamTeam
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  21. January 17, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Sending so much love. As a child a child who was bullied at school, I think it’s something that as a teacher I’ve guarded against fiercely. My students know I have one golden rule that they aren’t allowed to break, it’s up in big letters on my classroom wall ‘It’s ok to be mad, but not to be mean.’ I never want another child to feel like I did. For this girl as a woman to follow you into your adult life is even worse though. I hope she reads this post and a part of her breaks, knowing how she made you feel. I hope it givers her the wisdom to leave you in peace, the courage to teach her children a different way and the focus to move on with her life. Thank you you so much for linking this post up to #PostsFromTheHeart more people need to be aware of how devastating the effects of bullying can be.
    Mummy Times Two recently posted…Enjoy Your ChildrenMy Profile

  22. January 17, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Bridget, I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’d like to say she’s probably changed, but she may not have. Some people who were bullies as children or teenagers grow up to regret and change their behavior, but some never do. I hope you can work through this and get to the point of “forgiveness” in the sense of letting it go and not letting it have power over you, though not to the point of letting her into your life. There’s someone in my town I worked with in my thirties. If she came up to me today and apologized for her sociopathic behavior toward me and wanted to be friends, I’d just say: “Thank you for the apology, but the time for us to be connected in any way is past. I wish you all the best, but we should just go our separate ways.”
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  23. January 17, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    You are already winning this Bridget. I had a similar experience but I was at work – but the youngest at work. I experienced a bully. I remember being in tears on the phone to my Mum one lunchtime because of the upset she was causing me. I remember Mum telling me to just go back in and hand my notice in because no one deserves to be that unhappy at work. I did in the end, but in hindsight I wish I hadn’t. This person now lives on the otherside of the world. Is my ‘friend’ on Facebook and gives me the most ridiculous amount of compliments. Telling me how gorgeous I look in pictures and how wonderful my family is. I hate to say it but way back when I think she was jealous. Jealousy has a vile way of coming out in people and sadly it can do more damage than the jealous person would ever imagine.
    It sounds like this person was jealous of you when you were younger. Bullies usually are.
    So carry on with your amazing blog. Let her see the pictures and every time she ‘likes’ one just laugh. Laugh that she is still so hung up that she’s had to revisit her past. This is an amazing post and your blog is the biggest ‘up yours’ you can do. Hugs xxx #DreamTeam
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  24. January 17, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    I think this post shows how much stronger you are than that horrible bully. I bet she has no idea about the years of pain and anxiety she has caused you and that is the saddest part for me. You have carried around this around with you but it has made you stronger, remember how strong you are. Her complete lack of awareness will make her think that it’s ok to “follow” you on instagram and to like your photos but actually it’s not ok because you don’t need her “likes” or approval. Blog on my lovely and keep doing an amazing job and if she does twig this post is about her then how ashamed she should feel. You have absolutely nothing to worry or feel ashamed about. Thanks for sharing such a brave post #DreamTeam
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  25. January 17, 2017 / 7:57 pm

    As a mother of two little girl I am dreading the teenage years. But as you wrote we in theory leave this period in the past. I am sorry you are facing this issue again as a grown up. Hopefully your past experience has made you a stronger and better person and you will rise above this. Don’t let anyone stop you living your dream #dreamteam

  26. January 17, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I had similar feelings to this when someone found me. I wanted to quit everything and very nearly did. We are stronger than that though, stronger than we used to be. Let them follow, let them like. You are creating a wonderful online memory box for your little on, as well as being part of an amazing community. You are achieving and that conquers all!

    #DreamTeam
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  27. January 17, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    Oh Bridget, I think we all have a person from our past that was a ‘friend’ and treated us poorly. At least I know I did. Thie biggest difference you need to know is this: “Who owns this problem?” When you know the answer, you take away their power and free up the creativity and love that you have and give so freely. This person is a Bully, capital B. They don’t deserve you. Carry on, we are all here for you friend! #DreamTeam xoxo

  28. January 17, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    Hopefully as an adult you feel its easier to remove yourself from contact with unwanted people than when you were younger.

    I wish you the best of luck

  29. January 17, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    Don’t let her take this from you as well. Your blog is something to be proud and something that you enjoy. I totally understand you not wanting her to read the personal stuff that you write on here, but if you quite now, she’s still got a hold on your life. You should be proud of yourself for getting through such a tough time and coming out the other side. Teenagers are so vulnerable and the stuff we experience at that age affects us greatly, but you’ve conquered it. You are strong. Keep going, lovey #DreamTeam
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  30. January 17, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    kids can be really mean:/ it’s hard to hear that you went through something like that:/
    #DreamTeam
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  31. January 17, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    Wow what a post. I’m so in awe of your bravey and honesty. I was breifly bullied as a kid and it’s so funny how old feelings can be ressurected so vividly. Wishing you all the best on this journey. Yvadney x #DreamTeam

  32. January 17, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    Good on you for posting this. I’m so glad that you’ve found the courage to keep going, to not let anyone stop you, and now to stand up to the bully’s. It’s far easier said than done, I know that. You’re also being an incredible role model for anyone out there (including the team that you manage!), who’s experienced bullying, and I am pretty sure there are several people who are reading this, taking comfort from what you’ve written. Well done you!! Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t ever let anyone stop you! #DreamTeam x

  33. January 17, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Oh lovely, this is just heartbreaking, although your strength is inspiring. Good for you for refusing to let them win. They are no doubt just as jealous now as they were then, you had the last laugh my lovely, look how amazing you are. #dreamteam
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  34. January 17, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    I wonder if people ever read posts like this and feel guilty for the way they have acted! The things which happen to us as children become the things which define us as adults.
    You may have had a terrible time but it’s made you more passionate and understanding. As for the bullies, they were and will always be just bullies.
    Never let anyone stop you from doing what you love!
    #dreamteam
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  35. January 18, 2017 / 7:54 am

    Bullying is horrible. Kids can be so cruel to one another. I was bullied slightly at school but I think it made me stronger and more determined. It’s not the case with everyone, especially if it’s very full on bullying. I’m glad you stick up for those who can’t. I think anyone like us would do so.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  36. January 18, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Oh lovely I am so sorry you faced this and I can understand your feelings. But don’t quit. Fight! Be strong. You are a different you to the one she knew all those years ago. Big hug #DreamTeam
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  37. January 18, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    I went through similar times at school and also feel uncomfortable and immediately in the defensive around groups of teenagers but I know I didn’t have it anywhere near as bad as some at my school, and nothing ever seemed to get done about it. It’s amazing how many friend requests I’ve had on Facebook from people like that, I just ignore them. Don’t ever give up what you are doing, you’re far too good at it and we all need you x
    #DreamTeam
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  38. January 18, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    I can really feel how much hurt there is behind this post and I’m so sorry you went through such difficult times, and that they still haunt you. As you say, this person probably has no idea just how much she hurt you. I’d like to think that she is just reaching out to you as an old acquaintance in “liking” your posts, as I would hate to think that she has a less innocent reason for doing so. You are a wonderful mum with a great job, and your blog is so very successful. Please stand proud of who you are and don’t give up! You are worth so much more than that. Love and hugs xx #DreamTeam

  39. January 18, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    You mustn’t give up something so great.The reality is that kids can be mean and she was more than likely having a difficult time in her life as bullying is usually about putting someone else down because you feel shit yourself. You should be very proud of your achievments.#DreamTeam
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  40. January 19, 2017 / 6:37 am

    This had made me sad and angry for you too. Hold you head high and crack on – your blog is yours, it’s fantastic, you’ve worked so hard and it’s not worth throwing away for someone like that. #dreamteam
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  41. January 19, 2017 / 8:43 am

    Oh Bridget! Im so sorry you went through this. But I’m also so, so glad that they are not going to defeat you this time around. I, for one, would’ve been really upset if this had made you stop blogging. Stay strong lovely lady xxx #DreamTeam
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  42. January 19, 2017 / 9:12 am

    Good on you for making the choice to NOT change your life because of this person. They didn’t matter back then and they matter even less (if possible) now. My school was mostly too small for much bullying, but I actually did have a teacher who knew of a bullying situation and she wanted desperately to help but didn’t know how to without possibly making the situation worse. She was a great teacher. I’m sorry you didn’t have one like her.

  43. January 19, 2017 / 10:58 am

    The effects of bullying can last a lifetime. It’s understandable that you are feeling so exposed. But don’t you dare stop posting and writing! Never let her win! You will always be the better person. #postsfromtheheart
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  44. January 19, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    It took me years to realise that the bully’s were cowards, half of them do it to look good, others do it because they’re sadistic bastards who get off on an insecure girls tears.
    Dont let them get the better of you. Im glad you decided to continue this blog. I also hope this post gave you a bit more power.
    I too also found my voice through my husbands love and with his family’s support i’ve even managed to stand up to my own relatives who seem to revel in belittling me as i’m one of the youngest.
    Just remember how amazing you and your life is and in a way – maybe the hardship you had as a teen pushed you to strive for todays successes?
    chin up lovely, you’re way better than them! #dreamteam

  45. January 19, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Oh Bridie. Know you are not alone and that you are the better person in all of this. #DreamTeam

  46. January 20, 2017 / 8:30 am

    I was found by old bullies too and they also had the cheek to follow me and one even sent me a message on FB messenger!! I couldn’t quite believe my eyes and didnt know what to do. Do you know what I think? I think they have no idea what their behaviour was like or how it affected us- they are so consumed with their own self importance that they probably think we are glad to hear from them. But what to do? Rise above it and be proud of who you are. I messaged her back, all bright and breezy but aloof. I was the bigger person and I know I am happy in my life to not care a single jot about her. Big hugs to you. You are amazing, don’t forget that. x

  47. January 20, 2017 / 9:30 am

    I really don’t know what I would do in this situation, I was bullied as a kid and the thought of them contacting me now makes me feel quite sick. It’s awful that you’ve had to go through this. What a brave post! I am selfishly glad that you didn’t close your blog – I love reading your updates and tips, don’t let anyone take that away from you! #DreamTeam
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  48. Carmen
    January 20, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Brava Bridie!!! X

  49. January 20, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    Oh gawd Bridget, that’s horrible! Really really horrible. The light out of this (apart from your smashing blog) is that you can see through bullies and in your position, not let the quieter people go unnoticed at work. I am sorry this has happened to you, and of course so happy that you didn’t quit your blog. Perhaps she is curious and regrets what she did in the past, who knows. But I wouldn’t let someone like that back in my life, they don’t deserve your friendship lovely. #DreamTeam xx
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  50. January 20, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    I am so glad you have written this. I think that your bravery and honesty will help others who are struggling to find their voice. You have a voice and it is strong and powerful and successful and you need to keep on using it…loudly. Alison x

  51. January 21, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Ive had this *exact* thing recently and do you know what? Screw them. That individual does not define you xx

  52. January 22, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Sounds like you ARE a bit stronger now. You got this girl and don’t let another dictate what you do or how you feel about your blog. Sounds like they are interested in your life, probably because there’s a tinge of jealously there. Head up Hun x #DreamTeam
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  53. January 22, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Hi Bridget. I really feel your pain from your bad experiences years ago. You were an amazing person then and now. Very brave of you to write about this, it couldn’t have been easy. Keep doing what you love because we love what you do. Also keep positive that the troubles you have had in the past have led to you having a wonderful family, becoming a strong manager and having the strength to share who you are with the blogging community #dreamteam

  54. January 23, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    I want to give you a massive high five and fist pump for writing this and for not stopping your blog because of them. They probably stalk you now because their jealous of you/what you’ve become, or just because they think you may want to befriend them. I had a similar time at secondary school. Luckily I’ve moved now and although we are still Facebook ‘friends’ I have purposely cut myself off from them. I don’t have time for pretence. The girl who was mean to me later apologised a few years later and knew what she’d done so I forgave her but I am not friendly with her now. Well done for being so brave to write this xxx #DreamTeam

  55. January 24, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    Good for you, hun, don’t let her, or any of them get to you. One or two bullies from my school send me the occasional friend request on Facebook and I take great pleasure in ignoring them! #outsidemywindow

  56. January 25, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this but so glad you were able to put it behind you and build a life with your husband and now your beautiful little girl. Let the bully see your blog and just how amazing your life is and how you’ve got everything that matters – a family, a beautiful spirit and a few bonkers mummy blogger friends who have your back xx #PostsFromTheHeart

  57. February 6, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    So Sorry you had to go through this. You are stronger because of it. You are a better person and will come out on top. remember that. <3

  58. Lauren
    February 14, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    omg❕Horrible❕❕ So sad to read this Your ability to keep reminding yourself that everything’s changed now is total perfection✨ Love that❕❕❕

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