Friday, September 4, 2015

Reunions: Time to forgive and forget

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DEAR ABBY: I'm writing regarding "Lost for Words," who skipped her 10-year high-school reunion because she was bullied in school. (She is now receiving Facebook messages from former classmates who want to apologize.)

That letter could have been about me! I was bullied all through school, too. Things were so bad, I honestly don't know how I kept it together.

My class (1972) had their 10-year reunion, and I went, although I almost didn't because I was scared. When I got there, I was given hugs by classmates. Some of them apologized, and it was wonderful. I enjoyed myself so much that I helped organize our 20th and 25th reunions.

"Lost," you can either keep reliving those painful moments and continue to suffer, or rise above it, prove to your classmates and yourself that they can't hurt you anymore and get to know each other now as peers.

- Cathy in Canada

DEAR CATHY: Thank you for sharing your experience and insights along with many other readers who were bullied in school. One common denominator in their letters was the word "forgiveness." Read on:

DEAR ABBY: When I attended my 10th reunion, the people who had bullied me apologized, and I told them I forgave them. I just attended my 30th reunion, and some of the same bullies asked again for my forgiveness. They are in a self-imposed prison of guilt from which they will be free only when they can accept that I forgive them. My advice to "Lost" is to respond to the Facebook messages with a thank-you, and leave it at that.

- Dawna in Montana

DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, I went to my 50th. It was the only reunion I ever attended. Halfway through the event, the "bully brigade" came up to me to apologize for their behavior.

On my way out, I confronted the worst bully. I said her apology was not accepted. The minute I said it, it was like a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

- Anne in Ohio

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