I once did something I’m not proud of, I was old enough to know better but I did it and it’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life.
Throughout Primary School I was the victim of a gang of bullies, although they weren’t the kind of people associated with being bullies. They were a gang of bitchy girls (yes even in Primary School) and their parents were all well-to-do and they lived on the “posh” estate. The bullying I experienced wasn’t the typical bullying either. There were the occasional sly digs and comments about my weight, but the worst was that they refused to include me and because they ruled the school (think Mean Girls and you can’t go far wrong) I was excluded from everybody’s groups.
During my Primary School years I developed broad shoulders and thick skin and taught myself to not show how much it all hurt me. This was something that I did too well; I became someone I’m not.
When I started Secondary School I made friends and felt that I was finally accepted. When Zee came to our school in the 2nd term of Year 7, she befriended us and we became close. She would stay over my house and I would stay over her house.
As with all ‘cliques’ within life, our little group was jeopardized by bitchiness and backstabbing. Girls can get very bitchy but when there are several together you can guarantee there will be some level of bitching behind someone’s back and Zee was the unlucky victim.
I was afraid that I would be next so joined in. Little childish letters were exchanged creating rumours between ourselves about Zee. She was this; she was that... etc. etc...
I am so ashamed of the part I played in this but I’m more ashamed of what I did next, I started a rumour that Zee was a thief and told the rest of the group that she stole my Grandmother’s ring. This went on for a while, we argued with her but wouldn’t tell her why, we ignored her and gave her no reason, we made her life hell and she didn’t know why.
A few months later, the whole group turned on me. One of them told Zee what had been going on but she was also told that I was the one who instigated it all. Apparently my lie was the spark that started the fire.
I was the one that got called out in front of our Head of Year, I was the one who’s parent’s were called to the school, I was the one put in solitary for weeks because I couldn’t be trusted. All the while, the rest of my ‘friends’ laughed about it all.
When asked by my Head of Year why I did it, the words stuck in my throat. I didn’t know what to say. As an 11 year old girl who had been bullied throughout primary school all I wanted was to fit in but “I did it because I wanted to fit in” seemed too feeble, was I not my own person?
The worst part? I actually liked Zee.
I spent the next few months avoiding Zee and the group. I made a decision not to get too close to anyone but that’s a whole other story.
Funnily enough though, Zee and I became friends again and are still firm friends now, 13 years after I bullied her. We have been there for each other through thick and thin over the last 13 years and she is my oldest friend. We don’t see each other as much as I’d like but I know she’ll be there for me if I need her.