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'AITA for being upset at my friend for becoming friends with my high school bully?' UPDATED

'AITA for being upset at my friend for becoming friends with my high school bully?' UPDATED


"AITA for being upset by friend who has become close friends with my high school bully who palmed me in the face?"

Here's the original post:

I [25f] was severely bullied throughout middle school by Edward [24m]. Everyone knew he was a bully. He once said he didn't want to sit next to me because I was ugly. He was always making fun of me. It was a daily nuisance and harassment. Geraldine [25f] was my best friend in middle school.

By midway of 10th grade, Geraldine and I had grown apart as best friends. We were still friends & basically had the majority of our classes together and sat next together in every class, but just weren't "best friends" anymore.

Senior year she started dating my middle school boyfriend or my first boyfriend, Daniel. She didn't tell me they were dating. I found out after the fact and when they went public. I was initially uncomfortable but I decided to let it go and be happy for them. I reasoned that we were in middle school and only dated for a month!

In high school, bully Edward was a close friend of Daniel as they were on the football team. I didn't see much of Edward in high school until senior year when we joined the same after school club. I tried to be friendly and talk to him thinking he'd changed as we were 18 by then. Well, he took it upon himself to keep bullying me. At talent show practice, he told the teacher to eliminate me as a dancer.

Then that night, we were in a group. He told the girl dancers, "I understand what everyone is doing here, but what is she doing here?" Everyone was shocked. He then kept on telling the teacher to eliminate me.

I went up to him to tell him to stop. He ended up palming me in the face, shoving my face to the side with force. My contacts fell out. I ran out crying. I reported it to the teacher. When we were released, I had lost it. I started screaming at him and told him, "why don't you go hit your mother?!" His mother had died our freshman year.

Edward got in trouble. He never apologized to me although the teachers told him to or he would be kicked out of the club. I never told the teachers he never apologized to me and just let him continue in the club. I also didn't file any criminal charges. (Too long to write, afterwards his friends intimidated me and called me a "snitch" when passing next to me).

I remember afterwards Geraldine told me, "it was wrong for you to say that about his dead mother." Edward got in trouble for forcefully pushing another girl out of a line a few weeks later. Only verbally reprimanded though. We went to college. Geraldine and Daniel broke up after the first year of college.

Daniel and Edward stayed friends. Geraldine and I stayed in contact, I moved states. We called each other each year to wish each other happy birthday. We'd call each other in crisis, and of course, we were friends on social media. I had considered her a life sister, although we didn't see or speak to each other as often, we had the common bond from childhood.

Then last year Geraldine tells me that she and Edward are now close friends. She "sees" him as a little brother now. She said she knew I wouldn't like it. She KNEW what he did. Although he never bullied her in high school, I remember her saying how he was a bully. I was in shock!

Even if we only spoke a few times a year, how could she be friends with a man who thinks it's okay to put his hands on a woman?! I ran into him as an adult, still no apology!

I was told this friendship with Edward is also her gateway to get back with Daniel and get back in his circle. I have cPTSD because of Edward's bullying and other bullying I endured. I'm in therapy for it now. AITA for being upset she is friends him?

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

ALsInTrouble said:

NTB and if it were me I'd tell her what a contemptible POS she is. And mark my words she is. She's using him to get close to an old boyfriend who is in a relationship. Just what about this person screams at you "be my friend"? Move on and let go of all these people.

staticdragonfly said:

NTA. If the bulling had ended in middle school and he'd been ashamed & apologised that would be one thing. But he's not changed and still, for whatever reason, thinks its funny to pick on you.

cannycandelabra said:

NTB You are in therapy now and an adult. You deserve better people in your life. Walk away from the Edwards and Geraldines of the world.

Intelligent_Love4444 said:

She is not your friend and never has been . Move on and get someone better friends who won’t toss aside your personal trauma for a boy. NTA but you would be if you stayed friends with these people.

And whitecloudesq said:

NTA. she is not your friend. she has never been a friend to you. she knows what edward did to you and still chose to become his friend. please consider cutting her out.

Verdict: NTA.

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

I confronted Geraldine and told her my feelings. I think when you grow up and have so many memories connected to someone, it is hard to let go. I think I was trying to give her one last chance to take accountability and apologize for her actions.

Well, it didn't go well. We were messaging. She said she felt blindsided by me telling her how I feel about her being friends with my assaulter. She then tried to say, "we were both in the wrong" because I "talked about his dead mother" after he palmed me in the face. Worst of all, she tried to allege that I hit him first.

She alleged "he and I were arguing and I put hands on him first." She WAS NOT even there when the incident happened. She was nearby but didn't see it. She only saw the aftermath of when I was screaming and made the statement about my assaulter's dead mother. There was NO argument. I have NEVER put my hands on anyone.

This is the first time I heard this nonsense version of the story from ANYONE. I went bezerk! I was 18 when this happened. I work an industry where your background is THOROUGHLY checked and an accusation that I assaulted someone when I was 18, would have been serious and maybe triggered a background investigation on me when I was applying for my license.

Geraldine then said this wasn't the platform to have this conversation, it should be by phone. I said okay, I'll call tonight at 9. She didn't respond. Today, she wrote me that she talked her therapist (She's in NYC, therapists available at all times) and she isn't in the mental space to talk about this issue. She is dealing with something personal and doesn't have the headspace.

There is some truth to her saying she isn't in the mental space to speak. I was told her mom was diagnosed with dementia about 6 months ago and she isn't taking it well. (Note, she became close friends with my assaulter a YEAR or two before her mom got sick). So, I'm not pressing for her to speak to me about the issue anymore.

My thoughts though: 1.) How could any person reasonably say a man unprovokingly assaulting a woman half his size and a woman who has just been assaulted and is in fight-or-flight mode who makes a hurtful statement in retaliation deserve the same moral condemnation?

2.) The statement that "I hit him first" is infuriating and an insult to my character. I have NEVER hit anyone in my life. I was one of those smart geek girls who wore glasses in high school, that's why bullies like Edward targeted me. Our mutual friend even said "that doesn't even make logical sense. If that were what happened, how come he was in trouble but you weren't?"

3.) I told Geraldine she was being a bully-enabler and a woman-beater excuser by what she was doing. It's like wow, this person said they were my friend and had this image that this is the type of person I was? I'm letting her go. It hurts like hell. But accepting friendship from someone who thinks I would be capable of assaulting someone would be accepting a devalued version of myself.

That and someone who would believe the version of a known bully without asking me first. I also don't understand how she could be so oblivious to basic and logical conclusions.

Geraldine and I are DONE. She is blocked.


Sources: Reddit
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