I’m Truly Sorry – A Letter from a Bully

I have wronged a lot of people in my life. Many of those people I wronged were young, vulnerable, different and particularly kind hearted. I should reach out to them personally, but I am still a coward, just as I was then when I did cruel things. If you are one of the people I was cruel towards, I am truly sorry.  I am “think about you and feel ashamed” sorry.  I am “my son is being socially excluded due to my bad karma” sorry.

Please know that I wish I knew you now because I have heard you’re interesting and the kind of person I’d now want to befriend. But it’s too late for that and good for you. I want you to know, I grew up and made friends with people who were bullied and they are my favorite people – interesting, kind, unique, bold and talented.

When I look back, I cringe, but also hope.

– I hope that you were not forever scarred or injured by something I said.
– I hope you were able to turn your rotten interaction with me into something worthwhile. Not positive.  I’m not daring to say or believe that nonsense. Just worth something more than plain rotten.
– I hope you never think I was right. Whatever I said or implied. I was, and mostly still am, an idiot. I don’t know you and I never did.

Why?  I had moved from a school where I had found my place and confidence. In my new school, your school, I was bullied after we moved to town. In my mind, not a sensitive or sharp one, I simply figured I could be a victimizer or a victim. I was not a creative, forward-thinking kid. I was a social climber and reactionary. I rarely thought for myself.

Why you? Because you were better than me and I was filled with self loathing. You were a leader or you had a strong sense of self. I hated that. How dare you not be popular, be different, and still have a sense of self? I did everything I could to be like everyone else and still hated myself. I wanted to bring you down a peg. I wanted to lead you, somewhere, anywhere, because then that would mean I was better than you. I desperately wanted validation that I was equal to or better than you. Clearly I was not.

If you thought of killing yourself because of me, didn’t want to come to school because of me, cried yourself to sleep because of me.  I am sorry. SO, SO sorry. If you ever see me, please make me squirm as you tell me how I wronged you. Please raise your voice.

Know that I’m truly sorry.  Know that I realize that’s not enough. Know that I’m trying to be a better person now; trying to not be a drain to the world.

Melissa Hickey (now Melissa “Rocky” Lewis)


  1. Bleeding occasionally on your blog like this is so, so powerful.

    We are always most hard on ourselves.

    I’m a firm believer that we all are just doing what we can at any particular moment. Going forward is all we can hope to change. Forgiving ourselves is part of that process.

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