Ever since Monday, I’ve been having major flashbacks to high school, senior year specifically.
Why? Because a guy just started working at my workplace, and he basically bullied me at the end of my senior year.
One of my coworkers starts work three and a half hours after me. I noticed someone else was at his desk, and I instantly knew who he was from the back of his head. Weird, right?
I had a huge wtf moment. My coworker wasn’t at his desk at the time so I went to find him. (He’s also one of my closest friends at work) He told me he would be training the guy for the next couple of days.
I told him about how I knew the guy and he told me I should let our supervisor, EDA or HR know that I have a troubled past with the guy. I thought about it for a while and decided not to.
It happened five years ago, so he has probably (hopefully) changed since then and has become a better person than he was before. I wouldn’t let him get to me.
If you’re wondering what happened, here it is.
Back in my fourth and final year of high school, I had English class with this guy, we’ll name BB (for big bully). We never talked but we had a few mutual friends. From afar he seemed like a decent and intelligent guy.
Then for the final project for our English class, our teacher told us we could do our project on anything, and I decided to do mine on my anxiety disorder. At the time it seemed like a good topic because mental illnesses wasn’t a major topic talked about among the students, even though the school itself offered counseling and mental health awareness.
I presented my project in front of the class on June 3, 2013. Which happened to also be my birthday. The presentation went great and there were even a couple of students who expressed to me that they had anxiety as well.
Later that night, I was surfing Facebook when I received a message from BB. It was one long message. It started out simple enough, him explaining he had something to explain to me, a concern or whatever. Then he goes on to insult me by saying that my project was a spit in the faces of people who really had anxiety disorders and that I was a disgrace to people with anxiety and I was a fake, a phony, etc.
I got very upset. I got very pissed. VERY pissed. But instead of being just as rude and cursing at him or calling him names, I asked him what right he had to justify that my anxiety was fake? Who was he to divide which was real and which was fake with mental illness? (BTW I expressed multiple times during my presentation that everyone with anxiety disorders experience various symptoms, none of which can be the same as the next person.) Instead of fighting with him, I then told him we’d discuss it with the principal in the morning.
He chided back that he would have rather talked it out on the chat like mature people. You’re joking right? You just messaged me this long schpeal about how much of a fake I was!
I was in tears, but looking back now it was the right thing to do and it was smart. Giving myself a pat on the shoulder and a Chapters gift card.
I took a screenshot of our conversation and put it on a memory stick. I then sent an email to my principal with the screenshots explaining what happened. The next day when I arrived at school, the principal was already in the office with BB. But the principal didn’t seem too impressed with him. I got the impression that the screenshots he had sent to the principal didn’t show the whole story.
But I had to sit outside in the foyer while the principal talked with him in the office.
As I sat there, my homeroom teacher for the past four years, Ms. Rogers (my guardian angel) noticed me and asked what I was doing there. I told her what happened and she got upset. She marched in to the principal’s office and explained to him that I indeed did have an anxiety disorder and that as my homeroom teacher she has firsthand seen what it can do to me and that I was not lying.
I feel like her statement that day made the situation run along a lot faster. I was taken back in to the office, Ms. Rogers in tow. The principal talked with both of us and apparently BB also had an anxiety disorder or a mental illness of some sort and he didn’t associate with any of my symptoms so he instantly thought I was making it all up. He made BB apologize to me, and BB also said that he “Hoped we would be friends some day.” I blocked him on Facebook when I got home that night.
I get it that maybe he didn’t understand some of the symptoms of something, but to have sent that message to me was beyond rude/. How would he have felt if someone sent a message like that to him? I never spoke to him since that day, and haven’t really seen him since graduation. Until this week that is.
I’m not mentioning the past to anyone unless something between him and I happens at work or something, otherwise I feel like it’s in the past and it doesn’t need to be brought up. We’re both adults now in the working world.
But I honestly don’t think I could ever even be acquaintances with him.