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Monday, July 5, 2010

A Message Thirty-Three Years Later...


When I was in the 7th grade I had two best friends - we were the three musketeers... We did everything together... Well - one day I was at one of the girl's homes and we were having a good time and I said - that I enjoyed being with her the most... (I truly felt that at the time) A week or so later - I was at the other girl's home and we were having a good time and I said - that I enjoyed being with her the most.. (again I truly felt that at the time)... My tender age of 12 did not prepare me for the backlash those innocent comments would create...

One night I received a call from Kathy (name change) and she was mad... She said that her and Jennifer (name change) had talked and they realized that I can told each of them that I liked them the best... Kathy demanded that I choose which one I liked the best... I said I could not that I liked both of them... The call got pretty ugly and she said she would not be my friend until I picked one... Oh - the junior high drama of girls..... As it turned out - I became friends with another girl named Tammy - well Tammy and I just hit it off great and Kathy was not happy about that... So during lunch one afternoon (the last week of 7th grade) - Kathy (so I believed) dared a boy to throw an orange at me - he did as 7th grade boys do (they have to do a dare, don't you know?) and the orange hit me square in the back..... I turned around and all I saw was Kathy pointing her finger and laughing at me.... I assumed that she threw the orange and I was mad.... I walked right up to her and punched her in the face... *** This was the first and only time I had ever hit someone... Well Kathy ended up with a broken nose..... Our friendship was forever gone... beyond repair... I never saw her again except at a college party many years later.....

Thirty-three years later.....

The other day I received a message from a Kathy... Face book has made it quite simple to find people from your past and in your present.... So this is what Kathy said.....

" I was looking for someone we grew up with and saw your name, and I stopped... saw your profile photo, your kids, and your obvious love for them. Have wondered if you ever regretted turning on one of your closest friends, and the physical and emotional harm you caused. I had 3 surgeries to repair the damage to my nose. The other part was harder"

Talk about a shocker... I wasn't quite sure how to react... But I thought maybe she was looking for closure.. maybe - so this was my response.....

"I have often thought about you over the years and yes - I have regretted that day more than I can say. Now that my own daughters one finishing junior high and the other starting - I see the damage and immaturity that 7th grade girls can do to each other and it's awful. It's hard for me to believe I was once that self centered little child. I am truly sorry that I caused you so much physical and emotional harm thirty years ago. I hope that you were able to overcome it and lead a happy and healthy life."

The more I think about her note the more I wonder how her life has been the past thirty (30) plus years.... Has she lived her life as a victim? Is she a person that blames others for all the bad things that have gone on in her life? Is she a parent? Has she matured since the 7th grade? Did she forget her part in the drama? I can't imagine staying angry about anything for such a long time... I can not imagine holding my fourteen (14) year accountable for something she did two (2) years ago... This is just weird to me... Am I missing something? I do not take violence lightly nor do agree with it in any form - but we were children for crying out loud...

** Her family did sue mine for $50,000 - I'm not sure how much they received but I do know that it was more than enough to pay for surgeries and counseling.....

What do you think?

11 comments:

  1. Wow - I'm thinking she has lived life as a victim when I read that note. And although you shouldn't have hit her, it seems that her family didn't take into account your age at the time nor did any of them think about her part in it. I really think that if it hadn't been you, there would have been someone else to blame for anything that went wrong n her life!

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  2. Wow! I have to admit my first thought was, seriously she's not over this all these years later? I mean I know I am not in her shoes but that is a LONG time to carry a grudge. Kids that age can be nasty and you certainly didn't mean to cause that much damage.
    Like you said, I have to wonder what her life is like now if she's still holding on to that resentment.

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  3. Wow!! It is amazing to think about how we as teenage girls acted back then. I remember getting into a knockdown-dragout with my very best friend, and we didn't speak a word to each other for almost 2 years. And yes...I also met up with her on Facebook...but with more favorable terms.

    I think your reply was just perfect, and hopefully she will understand that what we do as children, does not mean we are the same today. I can't see her not forgiving and forgetting...at least I hope not! That's crazy that your parents got sued over that! YIKES!

    Tree (aka Mother of Pearl)
    Mother of Pearl It Is

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  4. It is surprising that she would still harbor that kind of anger or hurt after so many years. I think your response was honest and heartfelt. Young people are impulsive. Many of us would have similar stories to tell.

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  5. Wow! What do I think? Well, where do I start? LOL!
    30 years is a long time to hold on to something, but everyone handles emotional hurts on different levels.
    We had an incident at the house yesterday where a young boy was hurt by words and actions from other boys in the neighborhood (mine included). My husband was pissed and punished the boys. I thought the punishment was waaaay to severe, but he said the little boy might carry that around with him for years. He was trying to let our boys realize the severity of harsh words on a person's life.

    So true, but as you mentioned...young girls (and boys) do some really immature things. They have life lessons to learn through relationships and friendships. It's a part of growing up.

    I wondered if I was missing something also, Kelly. Maybe we just have thicker skin than some. Everyone is different. My husband calls me a bully? Me? LOL!

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  6. Wow, that note from her on facebook was really kinda shocking! That must have floored you. Clearly she is very bitter. I hope that your well-worded and heartfelt response allows her to move on. Yikes!

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  7. Unbelievable! Although it sounds like she had issues before you punched her! Many people hold onto every slight, hurt or injustice. Perhaps she did just want closure and you have given her that!

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  8. You could have said, "I have no idea what you are talking about..." but that would probably have sent her to stalk you down with a sniper gun. You handled it well and she needs to get a grip.

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  9. I think you handled it very, very well. I can't believe she has held on to that for THAT long, it's like she was waiting for the opportunity to 'speak' those words. So I guess I hope she feels better now, but man. To live life harboring that has to be painful.

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  10. The answer you gave was a really good one!! I have had cousins tell me they were sorry for teasing me and being mean but honestly I never even really thought about it. Kids just can be mean at times as well as so very very sweet.

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  11. Some people just cannot let go of hurts, real or perceived. I have a sister in law that is like that. I think it is really sad to hold on to any hurt or sadness like that.

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