Woman Criticized By Parents For Rejecting Her High School Bully's Request To Be Friends

If he didn't want a guilty conscience, he probably shouldn't have bullied her in the first place.

Young girl fighting with parents kryzhov / Shutterstock; Reddit via Canva

A woman on Reddit’s “r/AITAH” subreddit — similar to AITA with the exception that this one allows interpersonal conflict — posted about how she had recently had a run-in with her former high school bully while she was out at the bar with her friends.

She claims that she had forgiven the bully long ago, but wasn’t interested in pursuing any kind of friendship with him despite his request to start one.


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Her parents said she was being harsh on her former bully by not being friends with him.

The now-25-year-old woman gave some background on the situation, explaining what happened in high school and why she was bullied, including the aftermath of that bullying.

“I was considered quite chubby (I think I was 130 pounds at the time, 160cm), and I had a bit of a stutter,” she wrote. “The stutter was [be]cause of anxiety and it would only happen when I was around people that would be mean or bully me.”


woman wont be friends with high school bully and parents criticize herPhoto: Reddit

She claims that a boy in her grade (whom she dubbed Jake) was the worst out of everyone. “He used to follow me on my walk home and pour things on me, push me into bushes or into oncoming traffic etc. He once pushed me into a lake when we were on a school trip when he found out I couldn’t swim.”

After a while, she said that she couldn’t take it anymore, and she tried to take her own life with sleeping pills. Fortunately, her uncle found her and was able to get her to the hospital in time, but so much damage had already been done. “I was in a coma for 11 days.”


She wrote that she “didn’t go back to school after that and was homeschooled for my senior year. I never spoke to anyone from my school except 2 girls (Kate and Sara) who checked up on me at the hospital. We’re still friends.”

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Her bully approached her while she was at the bar with Sara and Kate.

“I went to a bar with Kate and Sara a couple of days ago and I saw Jake,” she said. “I didn’t recognize him at first but Sara told me it was him. I felt kind of anxious but decided to pretend like he wasn’t there. He approached us as we were leaving and said hi to me. I said hi and engaged in the small talk. Our Uber arrived so we said bye to him and left.”

After seeing each other at the bar, she claims he sent her a long email talking about what happened, explaining how mortified he was by his own actions, that he was ashamed of himself for having been that person, and it had haunted him ever since he found out about her attempt.


woman wont be friends with high school bully and parents criticize herPhoto: fizkes / Shutterstock

She replied that she had forgiven him long ago because “I didn’t want to hold on to hate and resentment from high school,” and ended up running into him again at the pharmacy.

“We went outside and he asked if we could go for dinner as friends and catch up,” she revealed. “I said sorry but I would really rather not. He asked why I can’t go for dinner if [I’d] apparently forgiven him. I said forgiveness doesn’t mean I have to engage or be friends with him, and I simply don’t want to be friends.”


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He claimed that the guilt was eating him up and couldn’t forgive himself if she didn’t go to dinner with him.

Their run-in at the pharmacy stuck with him, and he sent another email to her, saying “he can’t bring himself to forgive himself if he doesn’t feel like I have, and that me refusing to even have dinner with him makes him feel like I haven’t forgiven him and the guilt is eating him up.”

Naturally, he’s not entitled to having dinner with her, and his guilty conscience isn’t on her in the slightest. She replied, saying, “I’m sorry but I’m not having dinner with you and you should take that up with a therapist. I’ve told you I have forgiven you. I just don’t WANT to have dinner with you and I’m not going to force myself to do so to ease your conscience.”

But her parents felt as though she was being too harsh on him. They said “that I should do what I can to make him forgive himself because no one deserves to live with guilt. They said one dinner is nothing and I should just suck it up and go.”


woman wont be friends with high school bully and parents criticize herPhoto: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock

She said no and got angry with them — as did many of the people in the comments.

“Parents who watched their child come back from an attempt on their own life. I cannot. As a mother, I would still be traumatized by this myself, and definitely not first in line for the ‘keep the peace’ brigade.”


“Your parents are the AHs...” another comment read. “You (and let's not forget, he) made an attempt on your life, how could your parents tell you to just suck it up?!?”

These parents certainly aren’t winning Mom and Dad of the Year awards, but overall, the poster handled the situation pretty well and reserves every right to leave this interaction in the past.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.