Here's the original post:
My brother (B) is getting married and his fiancee (F) went to the same high school as me. I used to be mercilessly bullied in high school and didn’t have any friend, which led to a horrible period of depression and anxiety. I now mainly deal by suppressing those memories, and cutting off contact with people I knew from high school.
F used to be part of a mean girl clique who were especially terrible to me, but to be fair she was more of a follower in the clique. She never directly bullied me, but she used to just laugh along when her clique made fun of me. When B started dating F, I was shocked had a hard time dealing with it because it brought back what her clique used to do to me.
If I ever bring up something they did, F usually just laughs it off saying she doesn’t remember, and that they were probably just young and stupid. It took a lot of convincing by B and a lot of time working on myself for me to finally forgive F accept her as my brother’s girlfriend.
B & F are now engaged and B asked me to be his best woman. I accepted, and even agreed to help out with F’s side of wedding events because her MOH has too much on her plate. The wedding planning has been going smoothly so far, until F told me she was going to invite her high school clique to her bachelorette party when she can have it.
I immediately felt the old anxiety come back, and asked her if they will be invited to the wedding too. She said yes, and learning that nearly crushed me. I spent some time thinking about it, and I don’t think I could be at the wedding if those people are there.
F at least never tortured me herself so I can handle it, but seeing her gang leaders again would very likely trigger my depression or worse, send me into a panic attack at the wedding itself. I told B that I might need to pull out of the wedding because of that, but I can still help however I can with the wedding planning as long as I don’t come in contact with F’s old gang.
B is very upset and says I’m only thinking of myself, and clearly I don’t want to be at his wedding because I still don’t accept F as his future wife. He also told me I should move on from whatever happened in high school, but even if I try to do that, a high-stress event like his wedding would be the worst time to test if “moving on” works. AITA?
I don’t think B & F are bad people at heart. B just really wants me at his wedding, and F despite our past has become quite nice and has made efforts to improve her relationship with me. We’re still not BFFs, but I recognised her efforts enough to help with the wedding.
This new development is just unfortunately too emotionally charged. As of now B is saying he will stop talking about it, but he’s saving me a seat at the wedding no matter what and he hopes it won’t be empty. It’s the best reaction I can hope for atm and I hope we can work it out before the wedding.
Do you support her decision to pull out of the wedding?
NTA I'm sick and tired of people telling emotionally scarred victims to "move on" because it was in childhood. I know people are shit accepting any kind of consequences, but rarely what type of abuse is so dismissed and mocked as the school abuse.
"Oh its fine, you spent your formative years tormented by your peers, WHY can't you move on?" the whole thing is so ridiculous, as if just because it was fellow children abusing you it's suddenly fine?
And then we're labeled as pathetic because in our adulthood we have do deal with the consequences of the abuse that was indeed carried out by at time children, but alao supported and endorsed by ADULTS, people who's job should have been protecting us and setting a good example.
Nope. F that. She will never stop triggering you and the least you can do for yourself is not go to the wedding to have to smile in the face of the people who abused you.
MIND YOU, YOU ARE BEING CONSIDERATE. You have trauma. There is no guarantee you'll be able to look happy at the wedding no matter how hard you try. An unhappy guest at a wedding is a shitty guest. You're doing them a favor.
Also, F remembers full well. Do with that info as you will, but she's full of it when she claims she forgot. If she were truly worthy of your forgiveness, she'd have a big talk with you, deeply apologize with no excuses, acknowledge your trauma and disinvite her clique because they are her HS friends and YOU are her sister in law.
NTA. Fiancé never apologized for what she and her friends put you through, she just made excuses. Have you told her how upsetting it is to see those people? Talk to her directly. If she blows you off, you know she doesn’t care about you and has no loyalty to family. You would NBTA if you pull out of the wedding b/c of that
NTA but this is really a situation where you should talk to a therapist or counselor about your feelings. It’s reasonable for B to be upset but not reasonable for him to take it out on you or start making accusations about how you feel about F.
I don’t think F is a bad person. She tried very hard to grow closer to me after our rocky start. It’s a lot of small steps I can’t describe, but one example is how she made a point to remember my favourite food to cook, or find out what I like to help B pick presents for me.
I really did appreciate the effort, which is why I got over my initial disapproval of the relationship even if she never outright apologized to me. Right after I posted, the situation was tense for weeks. I barely talked to B, and our mom heard I didn’t want to be at the wedding and got upset at me too. The weird thing was, our mom being mad actually turned B around.
I told B once how mom told me to just get over it when I was being bullied, so when she was ranting at me for being selfish, B snapped and told her it was partly her fault this was happening too.
There were lots of tears over a few days, but at the end, I managed to tell B everything I went through. B got mom to back off and told me he wouldn’t be mad or pressure me anymore, but he still would like me to be at his wedding if I feel better.
What happened next with F actually was the most shocking. I still didn’t talk to her after I reconciled with B because we both felt too awkward, and her bachelorette party went on without me.
After the party, F finally reached out. Turned out, when her old clique went to her party, she got them to write an apology to me. She gave me an apology letter signed by them and herself, plus some notes from the girls who wanted to add their own apology.
It was surreal to get those notes, and it took me days to finish reading because I kept crying. Honestly I still don’t know how to feel about them or how much they actually helped. But, what I decided was that this was clearly an effort to mend things from F’s side, and I should meet them half way.
My intention now is to try to make it to the wedding since B and F has done their parts. With that said, I’m still worried about my mental state when the actual day comes, and I’m talking to B about backup plans in case I still can’t feel better enough by then.
I’m looking into therapy and have tried 2 different therapists. Neither feels quite right yet since I still feel very uncomfortable talking about what happened, but I’m actively looking for options to resolve my issues.
This is probably one of the better ways my situation could have played out, and I’m lucky that I got B back on my side. For those who came out with their own bullying experiences, please know that you are in my heart, and I truly hope we can all get better together.