ChadMichael Morrisette received an unexpected Facebook apology from someone he hadn't seen since junior high.
ChadMichael Morrisette, bullying survivor. (ChadMichael Morrisette via Yahoo)
Many people who were bullied as children carry that experience with them the rest of their lives. They can move on and become successful and happy, but they'll always remember the way they felt in those terrible moments. Most bullying victims dread any reminder of their past, but for 34-year-old ChadMichael Morisette, it was a positive experience. One of his former bullies reappeared in his life not to torment him, but to offer him some closure.
Louie Amundson grew up with Morrisette in a small town in Alaska. He was one of a number of boys who would mercilessly bully Morrisette, following him through the hallways of their junior high school while shouting insults and threats at him. Morisette left the town when he was 15, and his life got better. These days, he is a successful brand consultant and visual designer in West Hollywood. He had put his troubled past in Alaska behind him, so he was surprised one morning when he woke up to this Facebook message from Amundson:
I probably would have assumed it was spam. (ChadMichael Morrisette via Yahoo)
Morrisette didn't remember Amundson specifically, but realized he must have been one of the football players who used to harass him. He told Yahoo Parenting: “It unlocked something in me I didn't realize I'd been holding onto. I cried a little bit. It was so moving." He wrote back a few days later:
That's much more mature than I would have been. (ChadMichael Morrisette via Yahoo)
Amundson wrote back right away:
*NOT the last. Autocorrect kills the moment as usual. (ChadMichael Morrisette via Yahoo)
Amundson told Yahoo Parenting that he didn't expect Morrisette to forgive him: “[I felt] humbled and ashamed and relieved all at once. I owed him that apology, he did not owe me his forgiveness. The fact that he was able to forgive me showed that I may have been the bigger kid, but he is the bigger man." I hope that's not a height joke. Don't slip back, Louie! You were doing so well.
Morrisette posted the exchange online in the hopes that it will inspire bullied children not to lose hope, and inspire bullies to change their ways: “For the ones that are bullied and are young, it does get better. It's hard to see that now. And it doesn't get better in a year or two, necessarily, but 20 years later you'll look back and realize, it is better."
He sums up his message this way: "It's never too late."