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Man Tells Former Classmate 'You Probably Deserved It' After He Confronts Him For Being Mean In School

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A 20-something man looking annoyed

Maya Angelou famously said that people don't remember what we do or say, but they remember how we make them feel.

This feature of human nature reared its head in a very ugly way for one man on Reddit when he recently ran into a former classmate.

Posting to the "r/AmITheA--hole" (AITA) subReddit, a forum where people go to find out if they were in the wrong in a conflict, he detailed what happened.

Their chance meeting resulted in a loud altercation in public, and some choice words that the Redditor now isn't so sure he should have said.

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A man on Reddit refused to apologize when a former classmate accused him of bullying him when they were kids.

"I am not a bully," the man began his post. "I had friends growing up who were bullied. I saw how bad it could be on someone and never wanted to be the cause of that."

So he was shocked when a former classmate publicly called him out for having bullied him in school.

The former classmate loudly berated him in public for bullying him, but he has no memory of it and doesn't believe it happened.

The incident happened while he was our running errands in his hometown. The former classmate, Drew, approached him in a public place, but the Redditor didn't remember him.

The Redditor apologized for not remembering who he was and Drew quickly became agitated and angry. "His whole demeanor changed pretty quickly," the Reddit poser writes. 

Drew then said, "Ohh, then I guess you also don't remember how you used to treat me like sh-t when we were kids, huh?"

The Redditor writes that Drew "then started going off on me." 

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The bullied classmate claims the Redditor purposefully excluded him at school and got other students to bully him as well.

Drew also claimed that "teachers had to forcefully assign him during group projects because no one would willingly accept him" because of how the Redditor led everyone to ostracize him.

And Drew also blamed the Redditor for the fact other kids wouldn't play with him at recess or after school.

The Redditor denied ever doing any of this because he has no memory of it.

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Drew became so belligerent that the Redditor was afraid someone would call the police, so he told him he "deserved it" when he was bullied.

He decided to leave, but before he did, he felt like he "needed to get a jab in" first. 

"Look, man, I'm sorry school was so sh-tty for you," he said, "but if you were anything like you are now, you probably deserved it."

The Redditor regrets it and writes that he knows he should have walked away, but he was angry in the moment. 

He was so distraught about it he even asked his parents about it, who also had no recollection of a kid named Drew when the Redditor was growing up.

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The Redditor later remembered what had happened at school, and it was a completely different situation than what Drew accused him of.

It turns out he knew Drew in kindergarten, but only for a few months. He was also friends with a girl named Alex, who was Drew's cousin.

Drew began bullying his cousin in class, so the Redditor immediately distanced himself from Drew. His teacher tried to get them to become friends again, but the Redditor avoided it.

And he wasn't alone. "Other kids started doing the same," he writes, "because Drew [started] throwing massive screaming tantrums whenever he didn't get his way."

"Eventually, no one wanted to be friends with him anymore and he was pulled from the class," he added.

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Commenters on Reddit found the situation to be a tough one in which nobody handled things well and everyone came away on the losing end.

Many empathized with how Drew must have felt as a kid, but still felt it wasn't fair of him to hold the Redditor guilty for it.

"[W]hen we're alone and hurting," one user wrote, "we may assign blame unfairly..."

"If...you didn't go through a phase where this behavior might have been normal for you, then it seems very unlikely that this person's version of events is objectively correct, however real it may have seemed to them."

Another person empathized that Drew's experience must have been awful, but added, "Doesn't mean [the Redditor] is responsible for Drew having no friends growing up or owes him an apology."

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Some experts say that as hard as it is, forgiveness is the key to healing from having been bullied. 

In 2022, author and pesonal growth coach Jean Walters told us of her own experience healing from being bullied.

She wrote that bullies "are often also the victim" of hurtful behavior, and they then "project their pain and distrust onto" the people they bully.

Walters went on to say that because of this, she "see[s] them as they truly are — wounded — and for my part I forgive."

To that point, bullying victims like the one in the video below say that it wasn't so much an apology but rather forgiving their bully what finally released them from the trauma of having been bullied.



Of course, forgiveness is a difficult thing, and is ultimately a choice nobody owes someone who hurt them.

But one Reddit user had the perfect take on this situation that hits it from all sides.

"It sounds like this guy has issues and has not dealt with them."

"That’s not on you, but also while I don’t blame you for your response in the moment he’s obviously struggling...and when possible it’s graceful to be forgiving of people who are struggling."

That's a good lesson for all of us.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.