Woman Tracks Down the Girls Who Bullied Her as a Kid | 22 Words

Bullying is something that can have lifelong impacts - as this heartbreaking story proves...

Many of us have wished we could get into the minds of our high school bully.

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And try to understand why they do the things they do.

But for one woman this was a reality.

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She managed to track down her high school bully and had a truly poignant interaction.

Now, of course, from school to social media, bullying exists everywhere.

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In fact, 1 in 5 American children aged twelve to eighteen experience bullying at school every year, according to the US Department of Education.

The statistics are truly horrifying...

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And often, there are mixed opinions on how exactly to deal with bullies.

Many think schools don't do enough and should have stricter punishments in place...

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While others advocate for the classic "fight back" method. Either way, there's no denying how big of an issue bullying is, and preventing it should be a top priority.

But it seems that one woman had a unique response to bullying.

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Years later, she's managed to reach out ...

Simone Ellin shared her incredible story.

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"I won't argue that my mental health issues stem only from the bullying I encountered in school, but those experiences ― and my lifelong shyness, hypersensitivity and self-consciousness, which made me a perfect target for bullying and exclusion ― have had a lasting effect on me," she begins.

"Sometimes individuals bully others because someone is bullying them. That was certainly the case with one former classmate I contacted who had relentlessly tormented me during middle school."

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"At first, she was reluctant to talk to me. She ignored my initial Facebook message but when I followed up, she wrote back, 'Simone, hope all is well with you. It's a little hard for me to participate in this. I was not always nice to you. I am so sorry for that.'"

"'I swear I'm not a bad person. I think about what I did to you all the time. I don't know why I chose you. I had a miserable home life.'"

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This gave Simone a whole new perspective - and finally allowed her to heal.

"She revealed some of the trauma she'd been through and, though I might have guessed that my classmate came from a troubled background, hearing it from her own lips made all the difference. I was finally able to forgive her, and (I hope) to help her to forgive herself."

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"My conversations with some of my classmates confirmed that many of the girls who appeared to have their lives together ― and even be thriving ― struggled just like the rest of us."

"This project has finally given me the opportunity to forgive the women who rejected and tormented me."

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"After decades of hurt and resentment, I now see them as they were — young girls experiencing their own trials and tribulations, some common to many of us, others more painful than I can imagine."

Wow. This speaks volumes.

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