From being in and out of jail, to receiving a PhD and publishing a book on disease research, 31 people share what happened to their school bully.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
1. So, not going well then.
I’m the supervisor of a shop he constantly steals from. I don’t even think he recognizes me, but I knew exactly who he was the first time he walked in when I was there. You cannot imagine my joy when one of my employee pointed him out as “the guy who keeps stealing stuff.”
It was such a cathartic experience to call the police on him for stealing, and to turn over the surveillance footage of him loading the front of his jacket with my merchandise. He’s in custody now, so I probably won’t see him for a few months, but I’m sure he’ll be back.
It’s quite a sad situation, honestly, but the tiny high school version of myself in my brain can’t help but celebrate a little.
2. Did he deserve it?
There was a guy who was a complete jerk to me. His name was Lance and he was the kid who would punch you for the laughs. I remember that he wouldn’t listen to his teachers and would always mess around. One day he was in Shop class and the teacher had said not to mess around with the jointer planer because kids were apt to lose their fingers. So I’m standing on one end and he’s on the other and he starts the machine. He took a piece of wood that was roughly 2 inches by 4. The wood piece was whisked out of his hand it took the end of a couple of his fingers with it. He grabbed his hand and looked at me in shock as he started to bleed everywhere. This guy was such a prick to me that I just pointed at him and laughed at him loudly. Was that a terrible move on my account? Yeah, but if you knew this guy you’d have laughed too.
3. The definition of satisfaction.
It seems like he’s doing okay. I still see him occasionally, and he still takes my lunch money, but now I get McDonald’s in return.
4. A successful bully
Went on to get a PhD in the States (I’m from Europe), made a small breakthrough in research of a disease and published a book about it. When I found out, I was envious for a second, but I quickly realized it’s really for the better. Teenage bully or not, he helped humanity. If all bullies would turn out like that, the world would be a better place.
5. The bullys life is a drama
He still lives in my hometown. I was up camping with my brother and a bunch of other locals and discovered he was one of the dudes camping with us and a good friend of my brothers now.
Ended up hanging with him and he was totally cool. Nice guy. As the night wore on some drama started to ensue between him and his girl, and some other girl. Turned out he was getting too drunk which upset his girlfriend, because he is an alcoholic, and on probation. The other girl was his ex wife so there was some other stuff going on there too that I did not care to dig into.
Had I not talked to him earlier this all would have pleased me greatly. But it didn’t. It just made me feel bad for him.
6. Expect the unexpected
A few years back I decided to enter the names of old classmates into my county’s jail records database. Not only did I find out that the last guy I would have expected was arrested for sexual assault, my school bully had evidently fallen afoul of a three-strikes drug law and had gone to prison for a lengthy sentence.
7. Some people do grow up
He didn’t specifically bully me, but he was somewhat well known for being kind of a jerk to a lot of people. I ran into him like half a year ago in the local pub, had some beers with him and played some darts.
While we were catching up, he mentioned that he had opened a hairdressing salon with another guy, who he eventually married – an interesting outcome since he especially bullied the gay kids in school.
8. Bullying as a coping mechanism
He died in a house fire after his meth lab exploded.
I literally can’t feel anything but sympathy for the guy. He was clearly suffering and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he was a bully because he was going through some stuff. You don’t become a meth dealer/addict because life is going well, you know?
9. People change
My middle school bully got his girlfriend pregnant Sophomore year and dropped out. For a guy who used to push kids down stairwells, he’s an adoring father. He came into the restaurant I work at a few weeks ago with her for self proclaimed ‘daddy-daughter day’ (he didn’t notice me) and you could just tell she’s the apple of his eye. I know the mother left after she had the kid; the girl was well mannered, well dressed, and didn’t fuss at all. That’s a lot for an 18 year old guy to accomplish in his child. I was impressed.
10. Interesting how things turn out
He’s currently going to school at a really good university, with my high school crush as his girlfriend. She is local athletic champion and incredibly hot. They’re both in the same uni, doing great and are both probably going to have wonderful lives.
As a high-schooler, I would NOT have been happy that things worked out so well for them. But now that I’m an adult, I can just be happy for them.
Aw, who am I kidding? I’m so annoyed by it. People shouldn’t be allowed to stuff others in lockers or pants them in front of a class without consequences! I’m sorry, but I’m only human.
11. A positive outlook on things
The girl that abused me in high school went on to go to a good college and have a promising career in the field of her dreams. Since I was survivor #3, I’m guessing she kept hurting people after me, but I wouldn’t know. Meanwhile I flunked out of college, have no career prospects to speak of, no car, and no apartment. But at least I’m with a nicer girl now, and all the meds and trauma counseling have started to help.
12. Not too bad
Last time I checked he works a decent job at construction and inherited a house from his parents but he has a newborn son he never sees and the wife (ex-wife now) was unfaithful which kind of messed him up. So not too bad, not too good? Same as myself now that I think about it.
13. The homeless bully
I met him the other day. He was sitting at the train station in our hometown, and he was totally strung out on something, I don’t know. Looked homeless. I was on my way back to university from visiting my parents, having just gotten in to my Masters program.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy inside, seeing his life like that.
14. Cool guy turned criminal
I remember when he joined our school he immediately showed out. Coming from a rich family who gave him everything. But he was also the “cool skater” guy so everyone somewhat related to him.
Countless times he targeted me, stealing things and poking fun. I finally retaliated at a concert and punched him. I’ll never forget the look on his face. He never messed with me again after that.
Fast forward 10 years and he is now serving a sentence for running over a pedestrian.
15. In and out of trouble
I was terrorized in school by a boy, and he was relentless. I was in tears everyday after school. I was humiliated in front of my friends and classmates. As the years went on, we saw less of each other in school and didn’t share many classes. One day during lunch, I saw him in the pay line and another kid was bullying him! Calling him fat, ugly, shoving his tray and telling him to move faster. For a split second, I was pleased but then my empathy set in and I felt horrible for him. My stomach was in knots. I knew what it felt like to be ridiculed and embarrassed in front of my peers and now he did, too. It didn’t feel like a victory.
Sadly, he didn’t turn out very well. He has been in and out of prison since he turned 18.
16. Befriending the bully
I have been bullied most of my school years (like 9 of the needed years of school) but when I started college, it got WORSE. The bullying got almost life-threatening until I got so angry that I kind of saw red (my friends told me that). The bully (thats now is one of my best friends) started throwing stones when I sat in the halls of the school waiting for my next lesson. I ran up to him, punched him in the gut, and broke his arm.
I got called into the principals office 30 minutes later with that guys parents, and they asked why I did it. I explained what happened.
Two weeks later after that happened, he got up to me in school, and told me he was really sorry, and he wanted to start over, like friends. I said that if he ever tried anything like that again, it would get ugly.
He does work in the local GameStop now, and I’m unemployed.
17. Teaching the bully a life lesson
He got involved in drug and gang activity, got shot in the leg, amputated, quit drugs, still hung out with his gang buddies, friended my sister on Facebook (she’s friends with his sister) sent me a friend request that I ignored because I never use Facebook. He then started talking bad about me saying he ran me off of Facebook, and started harassing my friends and family. I accepted his request, posted a video on his wall of me running and working out. He started playing the victim, then I posted screenshots from my sister’s phone of his messages where he was trying to get with my sister onto his wife’s Facebook wall. She filed for divorce, he couldnt afford a lawyer and kept playing the victim and blaming me for his failed marriage and financial insecurity. I responded saying that he ruined his own life by getting involved with drugs and gangs, cheating on his wife, dropping out of school, now he has a criminal record, no education, problems with fidelity, and a huge victim complex.
Didnt hear anything from him after.
18. The bully who re-invented himself
I was bullied by multiple people in middle school. I don’t actually know what happened to all of them, because I transferred to private school in high school to get away, and haven’t really looked back since.
One of my bullies ended up going to the same college as me. He had completely re-invented himself during high school, including coming out as gay. I almost wonder if that was why he bullied me so relentlessly, because we went to school in a time where “gay” was still a valid insult and homosexuality was looked down upon, so he probably had a lot of internalized homophobia to deal with during that time. I didn’t really have any desire to talk to him, but I couldn’t have even if I wanted to, because despite having some mutual friends he went out of his way to avoid me (I think out of guilt?). We had one painfully awkward conversation freshmen year and then never spoke again.
19. Blacklisted a bully
Out of high school I tried college but found out that it wasn’t really for me. So I got a job at a local TV station as it was relevant to my interests. He went onto college for sports broadcasting I believe. There’s 3 TV stations in my hometown and over the course of the years I ended up working at all of them. So I knew everybody in charge of hiring people for all positions. 4 years after high school one of my news director comes to me and asks if I know this person.
I don’t usually hold grudges, but this guy was a jerk. In all the years of him bullying me, pushing me around and ganging up on me with his friends, I retaliated only once in middle school because he pushed me to the ground and had to go to the nurse. I just went about my own business and did my best to ignore him through high school. Him and his friends were relentless though.
Now back to the news director, he asks about this person because we went to the same high school. So I tell the director all about the thing he put me through and that I while I don’t about his professional experience, I do know that he’s a terrible person.
This got me thinking though that he’s obviously looking for a job after college. So I call up friends from my old jobs. I ask them about people applying for jobs and surprise surprise, he applied to those places too. I tell them about his history with me in the past and again, I can’t speak about him professionally, but personally I think he’s a jerk.
He didn’t get those jobs either. I got my middle school/high school bully blacklisted from working in his field in our hometown. I don’t feel bad.
20. Hating takes a lot of effort
There was this girl (we’ll call her Karen) who used to terrorize me in middle school for having no friends, being pretty socially awkward, and being poor. She made my life a living hell all throughout middle school and I became extremely isolated and depressed in that time because of the things she made me feel and believe about myself. I have hated her for years, so much so that I think about her at least once every couple of months.
I literally met her at a bar last night, so this question is pretty timely. Turns out she’s dating a guy who’s a friend of one of my close friends. She kept looking at me weirdly and I thought she was just being the snooty jerk I remembered from years ago. I was there with my boyfriend and several friends, so I managed to avoid her for most of the night. Then, our mutual friend calls my boyfriend over and I have to either follow or stand awkwardly several feet away by myself.
After a few more minutes of weird looks, she came up and asked me, “Hey, um, are you [my name]?
Yeah… are you Karen?”
“Yeah. Hey, we went to middle school together right?”
“Yeah I was a horrible person back then. I’m really, really sorry.”
And with that, we ended up buying each other drinks for the rest of the night and bonding over our jobs (we ended up going into really similar fields). We both work with kids now, and we talked about the effects of bullying on them. She kept apologizing, and I can tell the person she is now is completely removed from the person I knew in school.
I feel kind of weightless today. Didn’t even know how much effort hating her took until it was gone.
21. What a way to waste a good life
He constantly picked fights with everyone. One time he ran up to my friend who was in his car and opened the door and started beating him, for no reason!
Fast forward to after we all graduated college (well not the bully but my friends) and we go to get gas. He’s the cashier and looks like he’s been involved in some pretty heavy substance abuse. And his other friend who was also a bully died from an overdose that year. Sad way to waste a good life, their families had more than enough to provide them with a good education. But instead the guys just went off the deep end.
22. Thats intense!
My bully was always a larger guy. I was always real small. Of course he picked on me a lot and ultimately made me hate him. He got held back a couple grades before we got in to high school. I forgot about him until I saw his mug shot in the paper last year (I’m just finishing college right now, so it’s probably been almost 10 years since I’ve seen him). He had gotten hopped up on something or other. He got into an argument with his girlfriend, who was also his baby’s momma, because she wasn’t there on new year’s when the ball dropped or something. An hour after that she is laying dead in a baseball field. He only got 7 years for pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter. But he got an additional 8 years for having a lighter in the jailhouse. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the story.
23. Finding bullies on Facebook
I got on Facebook and checked things out about the guy I got in fights a lot with in middle school. Looks like he’s married, but he doesn’t share much to the public on Facebook. Looks happy, at least. Good for him, I learned in high school he acted out because his parents were going through a nasty divorce.
Another guy I got bullied a lot by in high school turned out alright. I think he manages a commercial tire store. I talk to him on Facebook now and then and we talk about hunting and fishing. Nice guy.
I got teased and bullied a lot in school, and I’ve had several people from back then message me on Facebook and apologize. I don’t really place any blame – admittedly I was a weirdo in school. I started kindergarten at age 4, so I was younger than most in my grade by a year or two. I graduated at 17. My parents didn’t help the situation, they made sure I dressed like a dingus and didn’t keep up with the current styles.
24. Changed for the better
He got kicked out of the college football program for drinking and lost his scholarship. He ended up as a laborer on a construction site and was involved in an accident that almost sheared his arm completely off. The only thing that saved his arm was the muscle he had built up from working out. I guess the tendon allowed for enough blood flow that they were able to save it and reattach it. I ran into him while he was still undergoing rehab, at that point we had been out of school for about 5 years.
He was a changed person, much more humble, who acknowledged he had done a lot of wrong when we were young. We had a really nice conversation and I was greatly impressed with his growth.
Today he is a high school teacher and a football coach. I’m sure he is doing a great job and that the kids he mentors are the beneficiaries of his hard won experience. He did alright.
25. Always drunk
I watched him slam his Dodge Neon into the back of my brother’s parked truck. After it landed on its roof, he came crawling out, which is when I recognized him. He was pretty drunk. I told him we had already called the rescue squad. He crawled back in the car, got a joint, offered us a hit, and wandered off down the road. When the cops and ambulance got there he was pretty happy and shook everyone’s hand. He got some jail time, my brother got a new truck. Last time I saw him, he was drunk at a tractor pull.
26. The bully turned attorney
My wife’s older sister was a bully in school, but also extremely smart; she ended up being the valedictorian of her class as well. She ended up going to a very prestigious college and is now an attorney. Emotionally, her work as an attorney fits with the bully part of her personality.
27. The most embarrassing moment
He plays baseball professionally. He now does charity work. I have gotten to the point of letting go of my anger. I think that he has really grown as a person, and I hope the best for him.
He never hurt me, but he embarrassed me and afterward I was an easy target on everyone’s radar. He asked me to go out with him at a middle-school dance (our schools shared an auditorium for dances sometimes). I got ghosted after talking to him on the phone a few times. I found him at the next dance and asked him why he hadn’t called. In front of his friends, he told me that he had gone out with me as a joke, and wanted to see “the face of a fat pig cry” when he dumped her. He got his wish. I may have thrown a shoe at him.
I had a breakdown that night in my school’s gym restroom. I had a bunch of other stuff going on in my life at the time, but it was the straw that broke me.
28. A changed person
The last I saw of the girl who bullied me the most in junior high and high school (actually the only person who continued the bullying for that long), was a laudatory article in our local newspaper about how she encouraged her of-age history students to register to vote and then drove a bunch of them in a school bus to early voting to make sure they got the opportunity to cast a ballot.
29. The fashion designer pretender
Had a girl who bullied everyone at the school. Her parents were loaded. Sometime after high-school something happened to that money. Now she lives in a tiny apartment and attempts to stay relevant by pretending to be a “fashion designer” with thrift shop clothes. It’s like a more satisfying version of Grey Gardens.
30. The irony
This girl cyber-bullied me for four years of high school. Made multiple Facebook accounts, caused me to have to get multiple new phone numbers because she kept discovering my new number, recorded videos of herself and others listing reasons why I should leave the city, etc. She now doesn’t have an education as I’m doing my thesis on cyberbullying and applying to PhD programs.
31. Lunch from the bully
I used to get bullied by this one girl all through middle and high school because I would never hurt a girl. She always said I would amount to nothing and probably be in jail. It always made me mad because I was never a bad kid. One day I did something stupid and ended up in jail. Well little miss bully shows up at the pod in uniform, bringing everyone lunch. I literally had my high school bully in uniform, bring me lunch in jail. I kind of gave up on life afterwards.