If you’ve ever been a victim of bullying, you know how much it can actually wear down your psyche. It can be traumatic, humiliating, and altogether a haunting experience that can follow you for years, even long after you’ve managed to get away from your bully.
But it turns out, the past doesn’t just haunt the bullied — sometimes it haunts the bullied, too. Fifteen years ago, Nyasha was known for picking on some of her classmates, including Virginia.
Nyasha and Virginia decided to sit down together with Buzzfeed Video to hash out the past, and honestly the whole thing is so much more emotional that I ever expected. You can watch the video here:
Nyasha admitted that most of what she remembered about Virginia was the awful things she said to her about her weight. Virginia went on to explain that she stopped caring about her own appearance once her grandmother got sick:
“She used to take medicine for her cancer and it made her gain a lot of weight. Because she wasn’t really worried about how big she was, I kind of stopped worrying about how big I got.”
Oof, that one hurts. There’s probably no way Nyasha could’ve known that was happening, but it still make the whole thing a lot harder to bear.
But as it turns out, they were both struggling a lot back then. Each of them struggled with their own thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Neither of them were happy with their lives — or themselves.
But luckily the two of them are able to put some distance between who they were then and who they are now. Virginia told Nyasha:
“It’d take a lot for me to really hate you. I don’t feel like I hated you then. I don’t feel like I hate you know. And it took a long time for me to say, even though I haven’t said it to you, that I forgive you guys for that.”
The two of them walked away from the conversation feeling better about the past than they did before. Looking back now, they realize they both had a lot in common — they just handled it in significantly different ways.
Nyasha and Virginia’s conversation really brought to light the struggles that we all go through growing up. And while bullying is never okay, maybe it’s healthy to take a step back and realize that a lot of us are hurting inside — we just need to find healthier ways to communicate that.