I am now 17 years old. Approximately nine years ago (when I was eight), I did an absolutely terrible thing-which I believe could never be forgiven. There was an innocent and awesome cute little blonde boy two years younger than myself, who I would sometimes chase and frighten for no apparent reason. He would then burst into tears, sobbing and pleading for me to leave him alone. Intimidating somebody who is weaker and more vulnerable than oneself is undeniably the worst act of bullying one can possibly commit. I know, with full conviction- that I'd never perform such a resentful action again. Now, I am a transformed individual. Ever since this incident, Iâ??ve always possessed a highly positive reputation. Elementary school teachers have absolutely adored me, with one stating how I was the most pleasant, cooperative, quiet and respectful pupil she had ever taught. However, when I think back to this completely disturbing incident- I always feel a well-deserved pang of guilt- even though I have changed drastically since then. I keep dreading that I might have caused some irreversible emotional damage. My question is: should I continue progressing forward- and forgive myself, or should I continue fixating on this unfortunate incident that occurred nine years ago (which is impossible to erase)?
Perhaps the key here is to forgive yourself, but not to forget. Torturing yourself over something that happened 9 years ago isn’t going to help you any and it’s not going to change anything for this boy. However, by not forgetting what happened, you will stay connected to the importance of treating others with kindness and respect and be able to take steps to ensure that you are not the bully in any situation in the future.
If you continue to have trouble dealing with this, FX suggests you speak to a mental health professional. People are often in therapy because they are looking to resolve things. If you would like to resolve your feelings around this, but are having trouble doing so on your own, it might be helpful for you to have the support and guidance of a therapist. In addition, if you ever find that you are experiencing impulses to act in an aggressive way towards others in the future, a therapist could help you to better understand these angry impulses and find a more constructive way to deal with them so they are not taken out on the people around you.
If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.