//
you're reading...
6th Grade, High School

I Was a Mean Girl – by Renée Schuls-Jacobson

Today we have a new perspective: the one of a reformed “mean girl”. As an adult I find her funny and kind to all, so please be supportive. I always said this site was for both sides, because only in hearing both, can we truly grasp how and why mean girls exist and thrive. I know this story tied her into knots, because while it is hard to admit you were ever a victim, it just as difficult to admit you were wrong.

This is Renée‘s story.

* * *

I was a mean girl.

Sometimes.

In elementary school, I was friends with Cat. Best friends. Together Cat and I
made elaborate puppets with scraps of fabric and wrote scripts that we turned
into full-length plays which we performed for ourselves. We baked cookies,
experimented with exotic recipes which we made Cat’s sister taste-test.

I spent countless hours at Cat’s house and woke up on many Saturday mornings
enveloped in the sunny Marimekko sheets of their guestroom bed.

For three years, life was filled with creative projects with Cat. But as we transitioned to
middle school, I became more interested in boys. And Cat put on a lot of weight.
She developed enormous breasts and an anxious stutter. Her hair grew long and
scraggly.

I started hearing people call my best friend “Fat-Cat” behind her back. Instead
of protecting my friend, one day, I simply dropped her.

As I started 6th grade, I began eating lunch with an entirely different group of girls: girls
who were not necessarily more popular but people who were definitely more naughty. And
infinitely less supervised. They introduced me to The Rocky Horror Picture Show
and invited me into a secret basement clubhouse where we could write on the
walls in invisible ink, our messages only apparent under a black light.

Cat called my house. A lot.

I never returned her calls.

And I didn’t really think about what I was doing.

I just did it. I distanced myself from her.

Later, in high school, my social group changed again.

A cheerleader now, mostly, I just went along with the popular kids.

I understood how unstable everything was. How people could be ousted from
lunchroom tables. I didn’t want that to be me.

In 1982, I went to summer camp where I jockeyed hard to make sure that I got
into one of the popular girls’ tents: my efforts paid off.

One of the girls, Aubrey, was beautiful. She had blond hair, blue eyes and skin
that turned brown in the summer. She had a perfect figure — petite and curvy -
- and she got a lot of attention from the boys. Aubrey could be soft-spoken, but
she knew how to manipulate people in the way that people with wounded hearts do.
One day, Aubrey decided that we needed to turn our attention to one of the girls
in another tent. Her real name was Martel, but everyone called her “Leech.”

Aubrey said “Leech” needed our help. I didn’t know Martel. I lived in another
city, came from a totally different place than most of the other kids. Martel had
never done anything to me. In fact she was completely off my radar until Aubrey
pointed her out to me.

Martel was not a pretty girl. She had tight, black curls and a rather boyish
figure. She had masculine mannerisms that seem to offend Aubrey’s feminine
sensibility, and one day Aubrey approached Martel and suggested that she come
to our tent during rest hour and receive a “special beauty treatment.”

I don’t know what Martel could have been thinking. Maybe she simply knew not
to try and go against Aubrey, so she appeared at our tent at rest hour as she had
been instructed.

I sat on my bed and pretended to read as I watched Aubrey and my other
bunkmate, Jane, work on Martel’s hair using a blow dryer and a round brush,
trying to straighten out Martel’s kinky curls, using the same techniques that
Aubrey used on her own long, sun-kissed locks.

Aubrey first applied purple and green eye shadow, black liner and mascara to Martel’s
lids. Then she stained her cheeks with a color far too pink for her skin, and completed
the treatment by tinting Martel’s lips with a red stain, which gave Martel the appearance
of a circus clown.

Aubrey and Jane purred at each other.

Like two satisfied cats, they licked their paws.

I read and re-read the same sentence of my book and felt terrible. Why didn’t I
stop them? I wondered.

But I knew the answer.

I knew to speak out would be to commit social suicide. I was not pretty enough or
secure enough in the group to take such a bold stand. So I stayed quiet. I didn’t
want to bear witness to their cruelty, and it never occurred to me to leave.

As Aubrey held the mirror up for Martel to admire the terrible makeover, Martel
did not smile. And I felt something turn in my stomach.

I felt like a mean girl.

I went back to school that September having decided I was not going to be a
follower anymore. I promised myself that I would not stay silent if I saw someone
being mean to someone else. I promised myself I would always intervene.

No matter what.

Many years later, as my 20th high school reunion approached, I thought about all
the times I had been cruel: actively – like with Cat — but also when I had acted as
a bystander for all those years. When I silently stood by and watched people do
mean things and did nothing. And I realized I had to make it right.

I volunteered to work as the Communications Guru and as I found people
and told them about our upcoming reunion, I also used the connection as an
opportunity to apologize to anyone I felt I had ever been intentionally hurtful to
during my entire life. I told people the stories I remembered, my involvement – or
rather my lack of involvement – the shame I felt when I should have intervened
but didn’t. I tried to atone for the pain I felt like I’d caused.

Not one of them admitted to even remembering these events.

They could find nothing of the mean me in their memories.

But I knew her. I could feel her in my shoes. She had worn my jeans.

She had followed me in snow and rain and summer heat.

So there I was: a decidedly mean girl that no one remembered as mean.

What does one do with a cracked memory of herself that no one can confirm?

Ultimately, I had one last person to contact: Cat. I got her phone number from her
parents who were kind enough to share it with me.

When I called her and identified myself, the phone was silent for a beat. I thought
we’d lost the connection. I started to explain why I was calling – about the
reunion, but also because I had wanted to apologize…

“Fuck you.”

Everyone else had been so forgiving. I guess I had started to believe that maybe
I hadn’t been that girl.

“Fuck. You,” she repeated. “Fuck you and your fucking reunion and your bullshit
apology,” Cat said before she hung up, leaving me with a dead phone in my
hand. No dial tone. No cleared conscience. Just a black phone and that old, sour
feeling in my stomach.

Memories can be sweet or painful. And Cat reminded me that while I may
have been a bystander for most of my life, with her I had been undoubtedly,
unforgivably mean.

As an adult, I still see there are still plenty of “mean girls” out there. They are just
older. These women seem to need that same kind of tight clique of friends, that
same kind of exclusivity some girls craved in high school. I understand nowthese women
have their own insecurities causing them to behave in this way.

But I don’t have to hang out with them. Or even like them. Or even pretend to like
them. I can be friendly without being their friends.

There are no more lunch tables and, frankly, I don’t want to sit at theirs anymore.

Sometimes I find myself alone, but I’m honestly okay with that.

Because I decided a long time ago, I’d rather be alone than be a mean girl.

* * *

She specifically requested I post this under her full name: Renée Schuls-Jacobson – to publicly apologize and atone for what she did, either overtly or as a bystander, in her youth. She cannot change the past, but I have no doubt she would do anything to right the wrongs done then.

It is a good thing to remember – sometimes the followers were as trapped as we were, scared they would become one of “us”. 

Sometimes it was just the callousness of youth, not realizing the full consequences of their actions.

Because who is to say, had we been on the other side, if we might not have followed for fear of being ousted?

If you’d like to see what Renée does now, you can check out her blog, Lessons from Teachers and Twits.

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.

Discussion

76 thoughts on “I Was a Mean Girl – by Renée Schuls-Jacobson

  1. Bullies can forget ,although Renee did not. Many years ago, I was teased because of my weight. One winter, a girl I thought was my friend pushed me into a snowbank. I don’t remember much about it. I don’t recall a reason. I probably cried – I was about 8 years old then. I have remembered this now and then, over the years, but truly without much thought. We were kids. She was taller than I was. A few years ago I ran into this girl at a luncheon. She came over and apologized for pushing me into the snow. It must have been 60 years ago!!. I was quite startled. Though I had not given this much thought over the years, apparently she had. Like Renee, she felt the need to make amends. Ironically, in the long run my life has turned out much better than hers. I went to college, got married, worked professionally for 33 years, had children and am living a very comfortable life. She is still in that little town, did not make it to college and has had 2 divorces. She did not look too healthy. Often, time takes care of everything.

    Posted by Marlene Maloff | October 10, 2011, 8:02 AM
    • Marlene, you have such a positive outlook. And you are right. Time does take care of everything. I just wish my old friend would have forgiven me. That was really hard. To look in the mirror and know: I really hurt this person who showed me nothing but love.

      It is a lesson I have learned well and I carry with me.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 9:08 AM
  2. I remember this guy at my ten-year high school reunion, who’d been a notorious bully in school; he showed up just right out there that he was a horrible person and was sorry to anyone he’d picked on. It was a little startling. The response was similarly mixed. Some said, “eh, we’re all idiots in high school.” Some had clearly been wounded and were only going to be pleased if he’d been a wash-out and a loser. Some could forgive, some wanted vengeance.

    Atonement’s a tough road. Perhaps, most of all from ourselves.

    Posted by Byron MacLymont | October 10, 2011, 8:30 AM
    • Hi Byron:

      Yeah, many people don’t remember me as a mean girl. But it’s what I felt inside. I know what I felt as truth. I try to live my life these days as a better person. I’m no where near perfect. I still screw up. But I really do try to remember my awful mistakes and not repeat them.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 9:10 AM
  3. WOW, what a powerful post. Thank you for speaking out. A lot of mean things happened to me growing up and I perpetrated a lot on my own. I am embarrassed about my own behavior and looking back it shaped me in all of the wrong ways, now at middle-aged (and grown up, supposedly) I have the ability to look back and change who I am and treat folks with respect and acceptance and teach the same to my own kids. Sadly, I see the same repetitive behavior in society as I did then I just see it more clearly. I teach seventh grade kids and I see it every day, kids who hate school because it is not a safe place to be for them, the exclusion, the mean things that are said when my back is turned, and even when it is turned the right way. I see it in society with politics and gridlock encouraged by the media as they pit one side against another: the powerful vs. the powerless, the rich vs. the poor, Democrats vs. Republicans, to call out a few. I see it at sports games at all levels. …..and sadly, I see it with my own kids – who are excluded and marginalized because they don’t fit the mold, they have different ideas, and different ways of doing things……. And it can stop with me, it can stop with all of us, stopping to think before we act, before we speak, before we choose to hurt again.

    Posted by claywatkins | October 10, 2011, 8:47 AM
    • Clay, I know what you mean. There is so much unkindness — on television, in the media, in music lyrics that our kids mindlessly sing.

      “And it can stop with me, it can stop with all of us, stopping to think before we act, before we speak, before we choose to hurt again.”

      You said it best. And that is what I try to do now. But I still feel such regret and shame. Even after all these years.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 9:12 AM
  4. This is one of you most powerful pieces I have read, and I have read them all. When I look back I never thought of you as a mean girl. I thought of others, but not you. All I can say is wow!

    Posted by melissasobo | October 10, 2011, 8:47 AM
  5. I agree with the others. This is a truly powerful piece, Renee and your pain at your own behaviour has brought tears to my eyes. I can see both sides of it. But like Bryon above, I too think that forgiving yourself is going to be one of the toughest things you do. But I believe it’s necessary for your own happiness.

    Posted by Trish Loye Elliott | October 10, 2011, 9:02 AM
    • Trish, thank you for following me here.

      I can’t believe I’m getting so emotional about this — again — after all these years. And you are right forgiving oneself is sometimes the toughest nut to crack. I’m working on it. Or I’ll start working on it because I don’t think I have. Not fully anyway. I feel like I have to be ever vigilant to make sure that others are kind to each other. It’s become my thing. And, you know, we can’t always control others’ actions, right?

      Thank you for being gentle with me when — apparently — I’m beating myself up again today.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 9:17 AM
  6. Oh Renee, great piece. We’ve talked so much about this, how insecure we can be as kids, how our own home life can make us act out in ways that we never thought possible. No excuse, at all, but, we all make mistakes and the good at heart try and make amends. Poor Cat, but maybe she felt good, even empowered,finally getting to tell you to fuck off!? Who knows? Maybe, that was her moment to say, “Damn that felt good, I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time!” By opening yourself up, you gave her that opportunity. Doesn’t erase the hurt perhaps but makes it a little bit easier to live with, you know. I have my own personal “Mean Girl” story and I also have my own victim stories. You do too. Don’t continue to beat yourself up. :D I love you! I think your fantastic!

    Posted by Mary | October 10, 2011, 9:59 AM
  7. Unfortunately most all of us go swimming in the bully pool at one time or another. Whether you swim with the bullies or the bullied, you prove your souls worth when you pull yourself out of the pool. Rejoice, Renee, you have a beautiful soul. Love, your friend~Jeff

    PS-Your community pool is always looking for lifeguards.

    Posted by Jeffrey Tuck | October 10, 2011, 10:24 AM
  8. Renee,
    this was undeniably brave of you to post. I have been on both sides of the ‘mean girl’ experience, in much a similar way. There were times I’m not proud of when I was a bystander, like you, who didn’t do anything to stop the behavior. And then, I was on the other side. The ‘girls are so terribly mean’ side. Those events changed me completely, and also like you, I see the women who didn’t grow up and grow out of this behavior. I also choose to distance myself from them because I would WAY rather be alone than be a mean girl.
    Forgiveness is the key and you cannot change the past but you can absolutely change your current actions and the actions of the future. I’m also doing my best to teach my daughter what I didn’t know back then. Standing by and doing nothing, is just as bad.
    You must be gentle with yourself because you are a beautiful, warm person and while we might not like everything about our pasts, we have to embrace it, all of those things (good and bad) make us who we are.
    Hugs, Renee!

    Posted by Elena Aitken | October 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
    • Renee Schuls-Jacobson says:
      October 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM
      Thank you. Your words mean the world to me. I have tried to stay away from the adult mean girls. They are the worst.

      And like you said, I am trying to teach my son well. He had his fair share of bullying in 4th grade, but he has learned the lessons early: of picking his friends cautiously, of protecting those he cares about, about not being a bystander –like I was. He is so much smarter than I was. Am.

      Posted by Renee Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 12:16 PM
  9. Renée, this was really brave and wonderful of you to share! If I’m being honest, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. (I think maybe we all have?) I’m so glad you put this out there; it was wonderfully written (as always) and honest. I’m sure one day Cat will forgive you (if she hasn’t already), but you just might never know it. I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to confront people like you did, so you have my utmost respect!

    Posted by gojulesgo | October 10, 2011, 11:31 AM
  10. I’m proud to call you friend. This is a very brave and sobering post. I was just at a women’s conference, who had a keynote speaker who wrote a book called Mean Girls. You are right. The meanness doesn’t necessarily go away with age. I’m glad you did the right thing.

    Posted by journeytoepiphany | October 10, 2011, 12:52 PM
    • Thank you KD:

      Your words mean the world to me. I have tried to stay away from the adult mean girls. They are the worst.

      And like you said, I am trying to teach my son well. He had his fair share of bullying in 4th grade, but he has learned the lessons early: of picking his friends cautiously, of protecting those he cares about, about not being a bystander –like I was.

      He is so much smarter than I was.

      Am. ;-)

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 6:55 PM
  11. so good to do this.

    SO VERY GOOD.

    I wasn’t a mean girl, but I was a teased girl.

    I had a funny name, my family came from a different country. I had funny lunches.

    It was never physical, but there were notes I found written about me.

    So sad.

    But, it made me into a reader, being lonely and all.

    So, not that bad..it made me who I am.

    I appreciate your public apology, for all of us, who were teased.

    Posted by Alexandra | October 10, 2011, 1:32 PM
    • Alexandra:

      You are too kind. I am sorry to hear that you were treated badly growing up. I suppose you can look at it as character building, but as the reformed mean girl…well, I wish I hadn’t been the one forming people in that way.

      I was a stupid girl. I wasn’t the smartest or the prettiest. I was treading water — and sometimes I swam right over people.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 6:18 PM
  12. I wrote and deleted. Wrote and deleted. Decided to say nothing. But I can’t. I must speak.

    This is a toughie. Adult me wants to pat you on the back and say, “Well done, I’m glad you’ve changed and are making amends, how brave of you to speak up, etc.”

    Bullied inner child wants to respond as Cat did.

    Your recollections deeply upset me, and I feel ill.

    It is very difficult for me to forgive. Maybe that makes me petty. It’s a character flaw I’m actively working on, because forgiveness is part of letting go of the pain. Holding the pain hurts no one but me.

    In the PFLAG Safe Schools program, one part is about teaching kids that it’s not okay to stand by or turn a blind eye. The past cannot be undone. I guess I need to focus my energies there.

    I sincerely wish you well in all things.

    Posted by Phyllis | October 10, 2011, 2:18 PM
    • Phy – I find how I view such actions greatly depends on which version of me is doing so.

      If it is the 13 year old me, I am bitter. Resentful. Hurt. Angry.

      But I was that way about a lot of things as teen.

      As an adult it is different. I have perspective. I know it is survivable from this side. I know surviving it forged me into the person I am and made me strong. It made me impervious to bullies. It makes me want to kick bully booty. Would I feel nearly so strong had I not been a victim?

      Would I have been so strong at a tween and teen to speak up?

      I remember being on the outside, desperate to get back in. I probably would have done almost anything.

      My best friend for years was similar to Renee. If any other member of my former friend circle was around, I was invisible. She didn’t speak to me. She joined in with the laughter.

      But if they weren’t, we were friends, as we had been for years.

      We never spoke about the rules. It just was.

      Because I recognized, even young, that if our positions were switched, I would likely do the same thing.

      But I wasn’t given a choice to be “cool”. I was cast out.

      I became strong because of that, more so than I think I’d be otherwise.

      Reading Renee for a while. Knowing her before this story, I can see both sides.

      I know there are things in my past I regret. I cannot undo them.

      She made a change and because she cannot right her wrongs or have a do-over, she is making damn sure she doesn’t follow anymore. She makes sure she isn’t silent.

      For that, I understand.

      Have I forgiven the person responsible for my ousting?

      I don’t know.

      But she hasn’t explained or apologized.

      I’d like to think the adult me would be open. It knows people can change.

      The 12 year old me would likely tell her to go to hell.

      I just have to remind myself I am not that person anymore.

      Keep up your fabulous work with PFLAG. Don’t let those students have regrets too. Don’t let them turn a blind eye.

      Thank you for your comment, Phy.

      And thank you Renee, for opening yourself up to the possibility of harsh criticism.

      Oh for that time machine…

      Posted by Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos | October 10, 2011, 3:01 PM
    • Phyllis:

      Honestly, I appreciate your comments.

      A big part of me that feels like I deserve that scorn, that judgment.

      I think a lot of people feel the way you feel, but they haven’t necessarily felt comfortable saying so here today. I’ve carried this weight for years but it’s time to stop.

      I don’t expect anyone to forgive me.

      I have to make peace with myself.

      I am a teacher these days, too, and I feel very strongly about bullying. There was an incident at my son’s summer camp this summer that I took very seriously. I reported the incident. And followed through. Aggressively. This didn’t necessarily make me popular with people, but I did what I felt I had to do. I think I’ll spend the rest of my life repenting for those stupid acts.

      But I will never be a bystander again. Ever.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 6:29 PM
      • Renee, I do not feel scorn toward you, honestly. Your story was just … disturbing. It took me places I didn’t necessarily want to go, and as a result I found myself thinking about things I didn’t necessarily want to think about, including doing some self-evaluation.

        When I said, “It is very difficult for me to forgive,” I said it poorly. What I meant was, it is difficult for me to forgive others who I feel have done me wrong, in general. It’s not for me to forgive or not forgive you specifically; you’ve done nothing to me except made me think, and for that I should thank you.

        Funny thing about forgiveness. When one asks to be forgiven and is denied, the denier becomes a smaller person. And when one forgives when no apology has been made, the forgiver becomes a larger person. The people I need to forgive are not people who will ever, ever apologize to me. Many have forgotten all about me, and others I will, God willing, never see again. But I still need to forgive them in my heart if I am to let go of the pain, and grow.

        Living my life on the fringes, I never even contemplated trying to be one of the popular girls. I branded them as the enemy by the time I was seven, and turned away. It is difficult for me to walk in your shoes and imagine what it was like to want to be included, no matter what price you had to pay, because there was never any possibility that I could ever fit. But I’m trying to walk in your shoes. I am, truly.

        I am glad that as a mother and teacher, you are actively working for a safer environment for all children, an environment in which they will not be bullied. We are formed by the path we walk. I am glad that path has brought you to where you are. Who knows where you would be — or who you would be — had you not walked that path. I am glad that what you saw, what you experienced, what you were a part of, has brought you to being someone I probably see eye to eye with now on many things, and who I could probably call “friend.”

        Have a hug *HUG* Kelly will tell you *HUGS* are my trademark. Look at me …. now I’m smiling and crying. :-) Maybe you’ve been a surrogate for me forgiving some long-forgotten girl who stood in your role when I was child. Thank you *HUG*

        Posted by Phyllis | October 11, 2011, 10:20 AM
        • Phyllis! I am so sorry! I don’t know how I missed this response.

          Because, quite honestly, yours is the most important response.

          To me, you wrote for the people who probably did the write/delete, write/delete.

          You just went that step further and pushed submit!

          And for that I am so grateful.

          Because by having dialogue with you, I feel like — in some way — I get to explain my own weaknesses. The way I had hope to do with Cat, but never got the chance.

          I’m telling you, from a place of honesty, I was not a “popular” girl. I was a popular girl by association.

          Being mean to Cat is truly one of the biggest regrets I have in my life.

          Thank you for writing back.

          I am so sorry for the cruelty you must have endured. It sounds like there were some people who were positively miserable to you. I’m sorry that I brought you back to that place.

          Be gentle with yourself. You are not small for not forgiving others. You don’t have to forgive them for their cruelties. But it is much easier (and lighter) to walk around without carrying those heavy suitcases filled with rage. Grudges are really heavy.

          I wish we could sit down to table together. To share coffee or tea. To share stories. Not about bullying. Maybe about books. Or movies. Or our mothers. Or our childhoods. I bet we’d find a lot in common. I’m sure of it.

          So thank you for offering me that hug.

          If you don’t mind, I’ll take it.

          Because now I’m crying, too.

          And it feels nice to hold onto you, too.

          Because you know that you are my surrogate, too, right?

          And your spirit… well, let’s just say, you feel like an old friend.

          Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 14, 2011, 3:46 PM
  13. Publicizing your flaws in a blog is very brave. Hopefully all of us grow and mature with age. Forgiveness is hard. I think it’s the hardest part of Yom Kippur. Apologizing is difficut at times, too, but I think most people sincerely feel bad knowing that we have hurt others in any way. It takes a much stronger person to forgive. You said in your other blog that your Rabbi had said to try three times to ask for forgiveness.

    I know I usually do end up forgiving, but it does take me a long time. Sometimes longer than it should. Maybe Cat just needs a little more time. I would try to talk to her again. Maybe send her a letter or an email so she can read it and contact you when she’s ready. That way you’ll be able to say everything you really want to say to her, and hopefully she will take the time to read and try to understand. It couldn’t hurt….

    As a kid I think you were fun and carefree — maybe a bit of a spitfire at times ;) As an adult you are a wonderful, caring wife, mother, cousin and friend! :)

    Posted by Larisa | October 10, 2011, 2:57 PM
    • Larisa, you are right. I have only tried once with Cat.

      I need to try again.

      I’m scared. But I will try again.

      I think I could find her sister and maybe find her.

      Maybe she is in a better place.

      It is nice of you to remember me as a “spitfire,” but I think we both know I wasn’t always nice. Not even to my cousins. I am ashamed of this. And you are beyond kind to be as generous as you are to me in these comments.

      Becoming a parent — watching my son endure chronic bullying several years ago — gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own behavior. My son is the lesson that keeps on teaching. He has made me a better me.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 6:35 PM
  14. I only see Cat’s story here because, to my mind, it is the only story that matters. I will try to explain. I may fail. These are the chances we take.

    So, somehow we seem to have decided, as a culture, that sociopath behavior is acceptable for certain age groups and I simply do not think that is a compromise I am willing to make. The idea that people mature beyond their youthful behavior certainly has evidence to support it. However, much like serving a jail sentence does not provide true restitution to the injured party in a criminal act neither does growing up and saying “I’m sorry” change the experience of the abused.

    Look, it’s great that the writer discovered a warmer, more loving side of herself. But all I can think is that it is inherently selfish to re-open old wounds with parties already injured by you so that you can apologize to make yourself feel better. Did you ever think before calling people that they may not want to be reminded of their traumatic youth? It’s like a rapist calling years later to ask forgiveness of the woman who has finally put her life back together. In theory it sounds benevolent but who does it ultimately serve?

    Anyway, I say all of this with an admitted bias against people who injure the weak for what I consider the worst reason of all: just because they can. Almost any other motivation – financial gain, jealousy, ambition – I can conceive of even though I’d still find them reprehensible. But hurting because you can is absent all human goodness to me. I cannot stomach people who do it at any age.

    Thus, I say, “good for Cat.”

    Posted by tressie mc (@tressiemcphd) | October 10, 2011, 3:26 PM
    • The problem with the past is, even if you know you were wrong, you cannot change it. Not without somehow creating your own flux capacitor.

      We have something we wish like hell we could undo.

      Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I’m glad you gave yours. It is obvious you carry much pain in your past. Perhaps you will submit your story at some point.

      This blog is about healing.

      It was my decision to allow posts from both sides. Because as someone on ostracized side, I wanted to know “why” someone could do such a thing.

      I am not justifying her actions, simply pointing out she cannot change the past, but she’s taking steps to make sure both she and others don’t make the same mistakes in the future.

      I think that is a step in the right direction.

      Also, let’s keep comments on topic about the post itself and not bring in other hot button issues like rape, because it is certain to incite everyone’s hot buttons and I’ll be forced to close down commenting.

      I do understand why you cheer for Cat.

      I hope someday you find peace with your past, because as the victim, we cannot change it as well. Only choose how to let it affect us from here on out.

      Posted by Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos | October 10, 2011, 5:14 PM
    • Dear Tressie:

      I come from a religious tradition that requires me to examine myself and actually try to do right by other people. It is not enough to feel bad and try to be better; I am supposed to try to act and genuinely repent. And then I have to ask for forgiveness. The person is not required to grant me this gift, but I am required to try. Three times.

      My attempt to apologize was not about trying to make myself feel better. And if that is what this post sounded like then I got it all wrong.

      My attempt to apologize was about recognizing that I had been a terrible person, an attempt to restore the other person’s self-esteem which I believe I damaged. It was about accepting personal responsibility for hurting another person. It was an attempt at saying, “I’m sorry for making you feel less than you are because you were amazing! I was the messed up one! I was the one who had everything backwards!”

      You are right — “hurting because you can is absent all human goodness.”

      I think all this comes down to one question: Do you believe that people can change?

      If you do, then maybe you can believe I am not that person anymore.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 10, 2011, 6:46 PM
  15. I wish I didn’t have to pack up and pick up my son, because I could write an entire essay in response to this. I love it. I love it with goosebumps, with tears, and with remembering.

    Sometimes I find myself alone, but I’m honestly okay with that.

    Because I decided a long time ago, I’d rather be alone than be a mean girl.

    Amen to that. Just, amen.

    Bless you for sharing this, with unflinching frankness from both “before” and “after.” As always, you are a light.

    Posted by Deborah the Closet Monster | October 10, 2011, 6:24 PM
  16. A powerful post and powerful replies. I think with this issue we’re all on the same side: that bullying must stop, that these are conversations we need to have, and that people need to be encouraged to speak out, whether it’s by a “Fuck You” or in atonement.

    Renee is not Every Girl Who Is a Bully, nor was she ever. She needs not our forgiveness; she has (is/will) grant(ed) that herself.

    What worries me now, however, is how subtle and public bullying has become. Cyber-bullying means kids can’t escape it, even when they’re away from school or camp.

    I say this as a teacher of middle school.

    Thanks for sharing, Renee. And thanks for giving her (and others) a place to share, Kelly.

    Posted by Leanne Shirtliffe | October 10, 2011, 7:46 PM
    • Thanks Leanne.

      We have come to know each other a good bit over the year. I hope you know my heart. I have tried to tell it straight. I am an educator, too — and I see bullying, even at the college level.

      You are right; our kids can’t escape it anymore.

      And that is terrifying.

      And it has to stop.

      As I said before, I’d rather be alone than stand by and silently watch people who hurt other people.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 6:31 AM
  17. This is, quite possibly, the bravest thing, admitting cowardice. Renee. Geez, Louise, I am so freakin’ amazed by and blessed to know you – the girl you were, mean as she was (mean as we all were, in our ways) the woman you are.

    My friend, you are brave and true – despite of (or perhaps because of( the girl you were. I want to hug you. Hug Cat.

    Heck, all of us, really.

    Posted by Liz McLennan | October 10, 2011, 7:54 PM
    • Thanks, Liz.

      I get plenty of hugs (though I glad accept your cyber-hug).

      Mostly, I wish Cat has someone who loves her, hugs her.

      She was so wonderful, creative, generous, magnanimous.

      Not that knowing this would erase my stupid acts of cruelty, but at least I would know that she was able to move forward and continue loving.

      I hate the idea that I just cut her off. People have said to me, “Well, that isn’t bullying” but it is! Ignoring a person is the way girls bully other girls! And, I would argue, it is probably the most cruel kind of bullying. And even though it was a single incident — because we never spoke again, I imagine she had so many questions swirling around in her head.

      I had hoped that in offering a sincere apology she could have gotten answers to questions she might have had about my behavior, which had to have seen erratic.

      But then, she was very smart, so she probably had me pegged.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 6:39 AM
  18. Ultimately, I don’t think adolescence is an excuse for being a jerk, but I do think that people that recognize that their behavior was wrong and want to make amends shouldn’t feel badly about making that step.There are an awful lot of people that don’t shift away from being “mean girls” as they get older. They just continue in subtler ways.

    For that reason, I do think what Rene chose to post is brave, and I do commend her.

    If we are the one who has been picked on or singled out (that group I belonged to), it is up to us to rise above it. If we are the mean girl, it is up to us to be honest about that fact and try to be a better person.

    Kudos to you, Rene.

    Posted by Amber West | October 10, 2011, 8:35 PM
    • Amber, I know so many adult “mean girls” — women who seem stuck in high school. They care so much about their clothes, their hair; their material possessions. They focus so much on the physical things, rather than what is inside other people. They smile to your face, then turn around and gossip behind your back.

      I wish the media would be more responsible in this area. Because if you think about it, watching the antics of The Housewives makes the audience bystanders. Many reality television shows do this. And I can’t stomach it these days.

      As a result, we watch very little television in our house.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 6:45 AM
  19. Hey there, I promised a response and have thought about this all day…

    I was a target throughout 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade (those are the years I remember most) and Renee’s “Aubrey” was my worst tormenter…although she was my ‘friend’ at one point around 3rd grade. And glory of glories, I got to go to summer camp with her, too :-o Although, at camp, it was “Jane” that I remember as being my tormenter. And it was at camp that I met Renee. I always ALWAYS remembered Renee as a kind kid. (she still is)

    So, “forgiveness”…what do we mean by that? It is such a loosy goosy word in some ways…I think what it means is that we put the burden down. Just stop in our tracks and put down that bundle. and walk away from it.

    But there is another layer to ‘forgiveness’…”I forgive you”…I forgive YOU…why? for what? For contributing to making me the person I am today? All those experiences that I had as a child, are part of MY story, part of my ‘becoming’.

    We were 10, 11, 12… we were learning to navigate the waters…some are sharks and some are chum, heehee, I was chum :) As adults, we don’t hold something against a 10 year old…you just try to teach them a different way.

    But I learned how to be strong, accept the parts of me that were NOT likeable or pretty, stand up for what I believed in, learned to believe in ME, and still stay KIND in the process.

    But I am disappointed by Cat. Her response was disrespectful and unkind. I don’t have room for that in my life. I don’t think Renee needs forgiveness, she was a kid…she’s learned from swimming with the sharks. But she still deserves (as do we all) respect and decency for the person she is now. I don’t have room for people like Cat, who have NOT learned …not learned to move through pain to the next higher level of human-ness…I think that’s why we are here. That’s why we are presented with the burden’s we have…so we can learn to set them down and move to a different way of embracing life.

    I apologize for the ramble (and the ellipses, Renee)

    BE love…
    Peace~GinnyJelilah:>

    Posted by ginny | October 10, 2011, 8:57 PM
    • Thank you, Ginny.

      Yeah, you were there. And this gets dangerously close so that “Aubrey” and “Jane” might recognize themselves. So that “Leech” might find herself re-victimized. And that was not a goal.

      I think Cat is entitled to any response that felt appropriate for her. She had a right to her “Fuck You.” I deserved it. I just wish that there wasn’t dead air afterwards, so I could have had a chance to away some cobwebs.

      I don’t disagree with Tressie who said that Cat is entitled to peace, to not be harassed or constantly reminded of her past. So I no longer actively seek her out. But if we ever happen to run into each other, I would try again: face to face. If she is unwilling to forgive me again, I would still give it one more try. But three times is what my rabbi said is all I am obligated to try. After that, we are absolved. Because we have tried.

      I’m not there yet.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 6:55 AM
  20. I’ve spent all day watching this post, reading the comments, and commenting to Kelly about them. Seems it would make more sense to just say what I’ve been saying here.

    To make your mistakes public, available for scrutiny and judgement; to admit you were wrong; to make a decision to become a better person… it’s more than many would do. Most of us hide the things we are less proud of. You chose to learn from them, and to use them for good. You will give people insight into something they may have never understood.

    Excellent post. You’re steel, darlin’. Pure strength.

    Posted by Bobbi | October 10, 2011, 10:02 PM
    • Dear Bobbi:

      I don’t know if I’m steel, Bobbi. It’s been a hard day for me.

      Revisiting a time when I was ugly.

      When I was a coward.

      When I was weak.

      But my interactions with Cat (and some others) have changed me forever, too. They have shaped me into the person I have become.

      When Kelly asked me to write for this blog, and I had to admit, I would have to write “from the other side,” that was really hard. Writing this post was among the hardest posts I’ve ever had to write. That said, I’m glad I wrote it.

      Maybe some girl out there will understand her bully is not operating from a place of strength but a place of absolute weakness and insecurity. That though her bully seems powerful, she is scared. That her bully is confused and hates something inside of herself. And her bully will have to live with her shame.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 7:02 AM
  21. Again Renée, a testament to your growth. Many people will never publicly admit to their faults or failings – past or present. Sometimes we choose sides for the wrong reasons but it’s always wonderful to see (and indeed, realise ourselves if it is us on the wrong side) what’s happening and make the decision to change our course.

    I don’t see how anyone think ill of a person who recognises the effect that their actions may have had on another person and who courageously and sincerely hopes to atone for them. Such an action provides an opportunity for Cat to exercise whatever response she believes is personally just.

    Regardless of what Cat chooses to do, I applaud you for seeing that your course needed to change. I’m glad that you’ve come through to a much better place in your life; I’m pretty sure that you’ve had your share of cosmic balancing along the way.

    Thanks for being so bold in telling your story Renée and thanks to you too Kelly for creating this space for people to share.

    Posted by Christian Emmett | October 10, 2011, 10:51 PM
    • Christian:

      Thank you for following me here. For following Kelly and supporting her mission. It is such a good mission.

      I do believe you know that I’ve had some cosmic balancing.

      For sure.

      But that is life.

      We do the best we can.

      And when we screw up, we do the best we can to make things right.

      What I have learned over the years is that it is best to try not to do things that will require apologies later.

      Think first, then act.

      I didn’t really get that when I was a teen. I’m not sure most teens think that way.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 7:06 AM
  22. What an incredibly powerful piece and so very brave of you to own it. I share in your pain and shame. I was a bully and mean girl. And I was also bullied and beaten up. It seems like it can be a vicious cycle. Bullied girl/boy then bullies others. It’s sad and devastating. I carried such guilt and shame for my actions for years. But I did come to a point where I had to learn to forgive myself. In the end, and I know it doesn’t excuse my behavior, but I did the best I could with what I knew. And like you, when I knew better, I held myself to a higher standard.

    It’s sad that this behavior still persists today in our schools, especially with everything we know. I have often wondered and pondered about how we could eradicate bullying but I am at a loss.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Posted by Hartford | October 11, 2011, 7:33 AM
  23. Renee – Your bravery continues to astound me. You bring up many memories of my own that I’ve never wanted to face, especially those where I stood by and said nothing. When I was an elementary school teacher, every year I read, The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes hoping my students would take away the lesson that watching meanness without speaking up is still participating. Well done.

    Posted by kasey | October 11, 2011, 11:13 AM
    • Kasey, you know of what I speak.

      It was a difficult time.

      There was definitely a lot of standing by and saying nothing.

      As another classmate said to me in a personal message, “perhaps this is why The Breakfast Club had such resonance for us. It was the first movie to really throw together a geek, a freak, a jock, a beauty queen and a bad boy in one room. And we could all relate to those classifications.”

      We could also go home. There was no internet. There were no mean private messages waiting on Facebook. No mean emails. No one would be stupid enough to send a mean letter in the mail.

      Kids today have it worse than we did.

      They can’t seem to escape all the mean.

      I wish one great book could heal the world.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 1:55 PM
      • I’m not sure they can “heal the world”, but Mitch Albom has written some great books about human relationships.

        **Tuesdays with Morrie about reconnecting with an old professor, seeing him in a totally different light.
        **The Five People You Meet in Heaven about how your actions can influence and impact the lives of others, sometimes without even knowing it.
        **For One More Day about family, missed opportunity and self-forgiveness.
        ** Have A Little Faith about faith and friendship transcending religion.

        I have found all of them educational and inspirational – and normally I don’t even like educational OR inspirational books! These are worth reading.

        If that’s not enough he’s in a band with Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Greg Iles, Stephen King, Matt Groening, James McBride, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan, and Scott Turow. Pretty cool.

        Posted by Larisa | October 11, 2011, 3:14 PM
        • Thanks Larisa.

          I’ve read all of Albom’s stuff — and I think I’m even allowed to call him Mitch because I met him when he came to speak at Monroe Community College where I work. ;-)

          You know me well enough to know I’m always reading something. I love every writer you have mentioned and then some!

          And believe me, I have read more about bullying and forgiveness and human relationships than you can imagine.

          But I kind of think you can imagine.

          Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 9:15 PM
  24. Great post. I know you would have felt better if Cat had forgiven you, but it makes this message and lesson more powerful that she didn’t. I can’t remember ever consciously being mean in school, but I often think of the times I looked away when someone else was being picked on and I still feel terrible. The feeling that you’ll be the next one picked on if you speak up is incredibly frightening.

    Posted by The Good Greatsby | October 11, 2011, 11:51 AM
    • That feeling you describe is social anxiety of the highest order. It is the stuff that Hitler understood. He understood where people are weak and how to break communities, slowly. Because the masses prefer to look away rather than intervene.

      These days — when I feel safety and human dignity is at issue — I intervene at all costs.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 11, 2011, 1:58 PM
  25. Renee, I ran into this blog through my friendship with the amazing Bobbi. Thank you for writing this post- I, too, think it was incredibly brave. I was the victim of bullies growing up, and I now have to deal with one of my persecutors on a daily basis at my daughters’ school, where her son also goes. I have forgiven, for my own sake as much as for hers. However, I would be grateful if she were ever to acknowledge the pain she caused. I am sure that I have caused pain to others along the way, and I try to apologize as the circumstance arises. I, too, am doing my best to raise my own daughters not only to be kind and compassionate to others, but also to stand up for others when they can. It makes me ill to hear them describe the bullying they have to deal with in their own lives. I think you are absolutely right that too much of today’s media encourages bullying and mean behavior. I have personally banned a few books because the characters in the stories celebrated being rude to each other. Anyway… I don’t believe that God withholds forgiveness based on whether the person you wronged is willing to forgive you. I don’t believe you should withhold forgiveness of yourself based on that, either. It sounds to me like you have more than atoned for your behavior. Kudos to you for that!

    Kelly, thanks for providing a place for this kind of dialogue. I think it’s wonderful.

    Posted by Carey | October 12, 2011, 1:24 PM
    • Thanks Carey.

      I’m so happy to have just met Bobbi. Isn’t the blogosphere cool?

      My son won’t let us watch American Idol — you know, the beginning part, when people are trying out to audition to be on the show. He pointed out how incredibly mean it is when people get up and think they are fabulous singers and then they sing terribly — and then everyone kind of laughs at them. When he pointed this out to me I realized how this has become “the model” for a lot of television shows: We have become the voyeurs to laugh at other people. We watch people get voted off islands. We watch “The Biggest Loser” and — but instead of helping everyone, someone has to get voted out. We watch “America’s Next Top Model” where we focus on face and body. And the girls fight and bicker behind the scenes. And these shows are set up so we can watch the cruelty, the betrayals. And feel nothing.

      So we don’t watch these shows anymore.

      Once your worldview shifts, it REALLY shifts so you see all the tiny cracks.

      The Torah teaches that G-d forgives. I’m not worried about my personal relationship with G-d. I just try to do the best I can do with individuals on the day to day.

      And while the happy ending would have been to have Cat forgive me, the reality is, her withholding that keeps me honest. And humble.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 12, 2011, 2:55 PM
      • Renee,

        Yes, it certainly is cool!

        That’s wonderful about your son’s discerning taste in television. Great job, mama! We don’t watch those shows, either. Unfortunately, that mindset is so prevalent that it’s hard to keep away from it completely. So, we talk about compassion a lot at our house, as I can tell you do, too.

        Just for clarification, I certainly didn’t mean to question your theology. :) I’m Lutheran, and don’t pretend to know anything about anyone else’s beliefs, though I am very interested in the Jewish faith since it’s obviously the basis for my own. Anyway, I always want to be sure my words don’t unintentionally cause offense.

        Humble- that’s a hard one for me. Anything that keeps me humble is a good thing. Thanks for your honesty.

        Carey

        Posted by Carey | October 13, 2011, 10:38 AM
        • You weren’t questioning my theology. Like you, I love to talk to people of different faiths. In fact, talked to a fabulous blogger, TamaraOutLoud for over an hour today via Skype, trying to understand a particular comment that someone left for me on one of my posts. I’m all about dialogue.

          As far as praise regarding my son goes; honestly, I can’t take the credit. That one keeps me straight. He is so good. I’ve learned so much being his mother.

          Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | October 13, 2011, 4:59 PM
  26. Wow this one hit home for me.

    Posted by April Keaton Kelly | November 7, 2011, 10:24 PM
  27. Renee,
    I wasn’t one of the mean kids — at least not in the open. I was, in fact, mean enough that the pain I caused others sent me to prison for 25 years. The people I hurt certainly didn’t deserve what I did to them. I can’t make direct amends. Even in the internet age I can’t find most of the people I’ve hurt (I doubt even the great Tech Support could find them). My time in prison wasn’t wasted. I learned lessons that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve bettered myself and help a few others along the way. I’ve decided I owe the universe a debt I can never repay. I believe our deeds, good and bad, are weighed on scales (maybe it’s a Jewish thing), and right now my scale is leaning precariously toward the ‘bad’ side. The rest of my life will be spent trying to balance the scales, one small act of kindness at a time. I don’t think I will succeed at counterbalancing the bad I’ve done, but I get the awesome privilege of trying. I hope when all is said and done, God will look at my scale and say, “You didn’t balance the scale, but you made a good effort. I’ll make up the difference.” Thanks for sharing and allowing me to share.

    Posted by Gamin Savant | November 10, 2011, 11:48 AM
    • Gamin:

      That is definitely “the Jewish thing,” right? To try to repair the world. But I believe in that stuff. I believe that true and radical change is possible in people. Call me an optimist. Call me stupid. But I wish you luck on your journey. And I am here for you. The only thing that separates us is that I caught myself earlier than you did.

      You did your time in jail.

      Now you can choose to reinvent yourself on the outside of the bars and be a different person. You can make everyone say: Whoa! Look how much that guy changed.” And that would be awesome. ;-)

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | November 11, 2011, 3:01 PM
  28. I hope you don’t mind my replying to this two month old post. Jenny Hansen directed me here, if you want to blame anybody. ;)

    It was brave of you to admit your wrongdoing. Not many people could have done it. I admire you for having the courage and humility to examine your behavior and admit you were wrong. Many people never do this.

    I was skinny and homely when I was a kid. I had a big nose and buck teeth and stringy hair. My school years were very Romy and Michelle. At least I had someone to suffer with me. :D And despite how it hurt us to be the butt of jokes, we had people to whom we gave the mean girl treatment.

    When I hit fifteen, everything kind of fell into place. The things that were homely about me became “exotic.” I attracted a lot of males, but I never won the approval of females. In my way, I did things that made the divide between me and other women even wider and deeper. I, too, was a mean girl.

    Your’e right about one thing: some women never grow out of being a mean girl. It’s a defense mechanism, I think. Women tend to compete with one another–at least from what I’ve seen. There’s a lot of one-up-man-ship when you get a group of women together.

    In my adult years, I have not had one close female friend. All my IRL friends are men. I like chit-chatting with women online. IRL, I keep my distance.

    I think we all have things we wish we could undo. I don’t think you’re an evil ogre for being a popular mean girl. Peer pressure is law when you’re a kid. Life is a perpetual make-up test. If we’re wise, we learn as we go and do better on the next go-around.

    That Cat chooses to stay angry with you is her prerogative. I will say this, though. Resentment is like a poison we drink instead of giving it to our enemy.

    I hope you have a good weekend.

    Posted by Catie Rhodes | November 11, 2011, 11:53 AM
    • Catie:

      Your response is a blessing. And don’t our blog posts live forever?

      When I was in my teens, I had my group. It is only now — as an adult — that I have become more guarded. I see the cliquishness of certain women, their exclusiveness. I don’t have time for that. I recognize it for what it is, as you said a defense mechanism. I’m not interested in competing with other women. For anything. It’s too exhausting trying to outdo other people. And what does it get you?

      That said, I am blessed to have one uber-best friend. I can call her anywhere anytime. I trust her with all of me. All of my joys, my fears, my secrets. She is one of the greatest to have ever wandered into my life.

      I have made my peace with Cat at this point.

      But if she ever wanted to talk to me at a future high school reunion, I’d do practically anything to sit in a distant corner with her and watch her mouth move. I’d be silent. I have no idea what she would say.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | November 11, 2011, 3:09 PM
  29. I am, uncharacteristically, at a loss for words. I am so moved by your honest desire for forgiveness. This is what t’shuvah (repentance) is meant to be. Not only did you recognize what you did was hurtful, but you took the hard step of trying to make amends with those whom your actions affected.

    And I can understand, as well, how momentarily satisfying it must have been for Cat to say what she did to you. Are there any among us who haven’t fantasized about saying that to someone who caused us deep pain?

    Each time my daughter (3rd grade) comes home and tearfully relays some exchange she had with the Queen Bee at school, the stomach aches that plagued me during middle and high school resurface. I try, as my mother did and, most likely, her mother before her, to reassure my little one that she will find her place in the social strasophere. It might not be ’til college…but it will happen. Until then, she must always try to be a kind person and seek out those who are kind in turn.

    I wonder if I would be gracious in the face of an apology like yours…or if my younger self, no doubt egged on by my Yetzer HaRa (evil inclination), would have similar words for my Mean Girls.

    Posted by Frume Sarah | December 2, 2011, 3:26 PM
    • Frume Sarh:

      Thank you for following me here. This was one of the most difficult posts to write. It is always difficult to write about the things that shame us the most. I hate that your daughter is already having dealings with the Queen Bees of the world. I remember being protected from that for much longer.

      I did some real soul-searching during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. This post was born from an honest place of t’shuvah. Thank you for seeing it for what it was meant to be.

      Posted by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson | December 17, 2011, 5:51 PM
  30. I realize I’m really late to this, but it’s a good thing you outgrew being a mean girl.

    In my experience, adults that never outgrew being mean kids tend to be these pathetic and/or seriously warped people. When I think of adult mean kids, Lori Drew and the Petkovs come to my mind.

    Posted by Rosalind Lord | October 23, 2012, 3:45 PM
  31. Then we simply disagree. And no bullying is not like rape but the act of forcing your need for forgiveness on a victim of your bad behavior is, I maintain, akin to forcing any victim — including a rape survivor of which I am also numbered — to relive their experiences for the benefit of the attacker. Cat’s ultimate right is to not be contacted by her tormenters because they require absolution.

    Posted by tressie mc (@tressiemcphd) | October 10, 2011, 5:00 PM

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: I’m Confessing My Sins Today « Lessons From Teachers and Twits - October 10, 2011

  2. Pingback: Whoa, What Are You Doing? « Lessons From Teachers and Twits - October 13, 2011

  3. Pingback: Blog Love For The Day: Pimp or Promote–Round 2! | Jenny Hansen's Blog - November 11, 2011

  4. Pingback: Scorpios: Were You Born This Way? « Lessons From Teachers and Twits - November 18, 2011

  5. Pingback: Take a stand against bullying! – Natalie Hartford - November 18, 2011

  6. Pingback: The Year in Stats & Spam « Lessons From Teachers and Twits - December 30, 2011

  7. Pingback: An Unconventional List of My Transgressions « Teachers & Twits - September 20, 2012

  8. Pingback: Lessons From Ants: Rebuilding After The Storm « renée a. schuls-jacobson's blog - October 9, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new survival stories.

Share Your Story

Do you have a tale of survival you want to share? Please email me at danceswithchaos (at) gmail *dot* com.

The Survival Button

Have you survived the mean girls? Grab this button to share on your blog.

When I was in….

Follow me on Twitter

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: