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Woman banned from Christmas unless she apologizes to brother's GF she 'bullied,' AITA? UPDATED

Woman banned from Christmas unless she apologizes to brother's GF she 'bullied,' AITA? UPDATED


"Brother's girlfriend thinks I bullied her in high school. I don't remember her, and her story seems... off... but I can't come to Christmas unless I apologize."

Here's the original post:

TLDR Brother (28m)'s GF (26f) thinks I (26f) bullied her in high school. I don't remember her but apologised because I was a bitch back then but she wanted a more heartfelt and specific apology, so I asked her what specifically she wanted me to apologise for, and the specifics don't make sense IMO but unless I apologise for them, I can't come to family Christmas.

My brother (Jack) is dating (Jess). I met her in summer, and she said we'd gone to secondary (high) school together. She seemed upset I didn't remember her so I apologised and she said it was fine and then she walked away.

I'm engaged to a guy I went to high school with and still in touch with a friend from school, so I messaged both of them, and asked them if they remembered Jess and neither did so I figured that Jess just wasn't in my classes and that's why I couldn't place her.

That night Jack messaged saying I really upset Jess once again. I was like 'again?' and he says that Jess says I used to bully her. I'm not going to say I was a great person in high school. I had a lot of friends but I was going through a lot of shit, so I could be nice but could also often be just a raging b!tch.

I never targeted or tormented anyone, and I truly do not think it crossed into bully territory, but I could be very rude and sarcastic. I was definitely an arsehole, but bully is a bit far IMO.

Jack said I had to text him an apology so he could show it to Jess, so I sent a generic apology text because I don't know what I actually did, and could only assume I was an arse to Jess at some point. Jack called me out on it being generic and said I needed to be specific. I told Jack that I didn't remember Jess so if she wants a specific apology she needs to tell me what I am apologising for.

Jess says I stole her boyfriend, gave her an eating disorder, and stopped her getting into her dream university. And here is where the story gets sketchy, because the guy Jess claims to have been dating at the time was a liar who told people we hooked up when we didn't.

As for the eating disorder, I was a b!tc#, but I would never encourage someone to develop an ED, as I had an ED myself and BDD so I was not about to make someone else feel bad about their body when I felt like shit about mine. As for the university, Jess says I made her fail an exam, and failing it kept her out of uni. I have literally no idea what she means.

I'm also pretty sure that Jess and I went to different sixth forms, and sixth forms are where you do A levels, which are the ones that get you into uni, so I have no idea how it's possible for me to have messed up her A Levels when we weren't in the same school.

But bottom line is that she believes that I am personally responsible for all of this. Jack says that Jess said that where she's at in life now is all down to me bullying her. I still I don't remember any of it, and I actually feel like I remember less with every new piece of info she gives me because it just seems... off.

Maybe I'm in denial and I need to take a hard look in the mirror, but until then I'm having an issue giving a sincere apology, and without an sincere apology, I am not allowed to attend Christmas.

I haven't seen my relatives in ages and I'm already in isolation in preparation and my kids are really excited so it would suck to not be able to go after all of this, but my dad is siding with Jack and Jess and has said that he wants a calm Christmas so if I don't deal with the high school drama, I'm not invited. How do I apologise for something I don't remember and resolve this with the least possible drama?

What do you think she should do? This is what top commenters had to say:

zyh0 says:

Got some friends in common with her from highschool? Maybe they can help with the situation aka clear up her bullshit. The fact your dad wants to deny seeing his grandchildren is pure BS.

Babstana 1901 says:

Yeah, I was gonna be super duper success but someone was mean to me in high school and its all their fault I'm a failure. Cmon.

zxvasd 885 says:

You don’t seemed surprised that your family sided with a stranger to exclude you. What’s up with that?

And BufferUnderpants says:

Not going to lie, I was chuckling because your lack of a recollection of the events sounded like you saying that "but for me, it was Tuesday", but,

"Jess says I stole her boyfriend, gave her an eating disorder, and stopped her getting into her dream university. And here is where the story gets sketchy, because the guy Jess claims to have been dating at the time was a liar who told people we hooked up when we didn't."

Chances are that she was obsessing over the guy and him bulshitting about you two hooking up was enough to make her go down a spiral. She sounds like bad news.

Verdict: Probably NTA.

A few days after her original post, she shared this update on the situation:

TLDR I didn't bully his girlfriend. It wasn't her. It also wasn't bullying. So I figured out why I didn't remember Jess. It wasn't Jess.

Fiance and I went through some old boxes. We're in the UK so we don't have yearbooks but we had leavers shirts and this little book and both had names of our fellow leavers on them.

He found his shirt and we went through it. Jess was on there, so she did go to our school, but we saw another name (Kate) and it bugged me but I didn't know why. I then went back to the year photo and almost instantly my brain matched the name Kate to a blonde girl in the photo. My fiance and I realised that Kate dated Jimmy, and Jimmy is the guy that Jess said I 'stole' from her.

I then messaged Jack and explained all of my issues again: Jess going to another school, the notion I gave her an ED, and now the realisation that Kate was Jimmy's girlfriend, not Jess, then said that if Jess can explain this I'll apologise, and if she can't then I expect an apology from her instead.

A few hours later we were all on a zoom call. A teary Jess admitted that she and I didn't interact in school. She was friends with Kate. I was dating my ex husband at the same time Kate was dating Jimmy. My ex and I were very on again/off again, and after one of our break ups, Jimmy dumped Kate so he could ask me out. The date went terribly so Jimmy went crawling back to Kate after.

I remembered Kate and Jimmy as being very on/off, like my ex and I were, but turns out that this was the only time they broke up before the final breakup a few years later. Kate started comparing herself to me, and developed an ED to match mine, so she blames me for that, too.

As for the exam, I am still not entirely sure how I screwed that up for her, but Kate and I did go to the same sixth form, and shared a class, so we took at least one exam in the same place and at the same time. Jess referenced the ED and when I took my exams I was pregnant with my oldest and had severe morning sickness, so my best guess is that my throwing up set off Kate's ED before an exam.

And as for why Jess went along with it, other than still being friends with Kate, is that I had a large group of friends in high school who I have since stopped speaking to, and a couple of them picked on Jess a lot, but Jess confirmed that I did not personally do anything to her at any point.

Jess met my brother in a support group last year, she told Kate, and it looks like they cooked up this little scheme together, though it's unclear if she started dating Jack to get to me, or if it was just coincidence. I asked if we could get Kate in the zoom so I could talk to her directly and she joined.

I did try and get details on how exactly I caused her ED and made her fail her exam and she got very angry with me saying that she wasn't going to explain because if she gave details I would use them to talk my way out of it. I asked why Jess said that I bullied her, and not that I bullied her friend Kate.

Kate said I would have denied it either way and referenced me 'mentally torturing' her, saying that now we were even because I had admitted to spending hours wracking my brain trying to figure out what I did, just like Kate had back then. I snapped at her when she said that, saying she needed to grow up and stop blaming others for her problems, and Kate, Jess, and Jack all left the zoom.

I told dad everything but he hasn't replied yet. I've not heard from Jack, Jess, or Kate since then, but honestly Kate and Jess sound equally batshit crazy so I'm guessing they're feeding into each other's psycho logic right now. No clue what Jack is doing, either, but he was angry with Jess on the call, and he was repeatedly pushing her to tell me everything, so I hope he's on my side here at least.

Sources: Reddit
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