seashmore reacted to Windseeker in Finding out your kid used to be a bully and dealing with everyone involved
My older brother was a real bully to me growing up. Being a year younger and the second oldest I was always protecting my younger siblings from him. His Mission changed him completely but some of the things he did had a way of returning to haunt him. During a reunion we held, after we were grown up and married with young kids, my sister broke down and really layed into him about what a nightmare he had been growing up and it got to the point where her husband packed them up and gently escorted her to thier car departing early. They have since made up. My brother just didn't remember anything about the way he was or used to be. It's hard for me because we are just a year apart, but among bad memories or very precious memories that I want to share with him and he seems to have even forgotten those. He becomes noticably uncomfortable when we bring up anything from our childhood.
Recently when I was visiting his family his kids, now college age, asked me about a story their Dad (my brother) told me about when I just attacked him out of the blue. I had jumped off our deck and slammed him to the ground and punched him in the face. Somehow my brother remembered this and completely disregarded my side of the story. It made me think that the distance between me and my nephews and neices was because he didn't share my side of things. The truth was that my brother kept trying to wake me up to go help my Dad who was calling for me. After the third time he had punched me in the face several times and left. I remember looking in the mirror and crying because I could see my face swelling and I had never ever been hit in the face or hit anyone in the face in my life (I was 16). It was that and years of intimidation and abuse that made me finally decide to stand up to him. When I attacked him in front of my Dad, my Dad literally cheered me on and didn't interfere because he was happy to see me standing up for myself. So for some reason my nephews and neices think I was psycho and I don't know how the jibs with their grandparents always refering to me as their peacemaker.
So here I am with this situation and all I can do is love my brother. Whether or not it strained my relationship with his kids is not my problem and the fact that he remembers it wrong is not my problem either. All I can do is forgive him and I do. He has become a someone I greatly admire and he deserves admiration. Whether by choice or circumstance he just doesn't remember things like I do and that's ok. I try to do little things to support those nephews and neices, like liking the facebook posts...lame I know...but we live so far apart I don't have the chance to spend more time with them.
Anyway, I really love this quote.
Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. -Lily Tomlin
Happiness is not found in the past it's found in the present and Forgiveness involves the choice to live in the present. We know what we are commanded to do, our experience and our own mistakes and flaws remind us what a wonderful thing Forgiveness is. If we are to become like Heavenly Father we need to view others as he does. Thankfully he views us as we are, not as we were and that is how we need to approach each other.
seashmore reacted to mirkwood in Finding out your kid used to be a bully and dealing with everyone involved
If I encountered that, well...my phone does audio and video recordings...
...and I would ask the parents if they were calling me a liar...
seashmore reacted to NeuroTypical in Finding out your kid used to be a bully and dealing with everyone involved
Say to the mother? Just throw your arms around her and say this doesn't change your opinion of her. If you have stories of surprising family shame that you can share without gossiping, empathize away.
What should the daughter do to deal? Well, like Gator, I've said, been, and done things in my past I'm not proud of. One person brings them to my attention from time to time. I wholeheartedly suggest the following to the daughter:
* Own, admit. If there's truth to the accusations, if you did those things, then admit such. Maybe not publicly, but absolutely to the people voicing the pain, and might as well include mom and anyone else who saw the outburst.
* Maybe explain, but don't defend or justify. Now is not the time to say something like "Yeah, I did those things, but you don't know the hell [relative] was putting me through at the time!" Maybe this: "Yes, I remember those days. I was taking all my issues out on everyone else, rather than just deal with them."
* Apologize, offer amends. Honestly, responding to these people admitting the stuff you did, validating their hurt, may be the only thing needed.
* Understand past actions don't define you. They describe what you did. No, you were not a horrible little monster, but maybe you did some horrible things. Your actions don't define your worth, your value. God does. Find me the scripture that says "Jesus died for our sins, but not Ashley's, because dang, she was such a shrew". See, that's not how it works.
* Think charitably of the people who blew up. Being stuck in the pain of something that happened more than a decade ago is a sad, horrible thing. Letting past instances of cruelty make someone publicly cruel? That's a hard place to be. There is also a teeny-tiny chance they might be making this face: