Around a month ago my childhood bully OD'd (I don't know on what) and died, and every time someone brings it up I always say something like "Wow that feels weird." The truth is I am happy about it. He was a piece of shit to me and many people who I care about.
For context, I am now in my early twenties. I am graduated from high school and college. I work a good job in a new state. I did not have to interact with him at all since I graduated high school. I have grown a lot since those days and have begun to build myself a healthy life. I don't generally dwell on my past or the role he played in it. Regardless, I would be lying if I said I wasn't happy about his death.
When I was a kid, adults and media told me that bullies are always suffering behind the scenes. They cause pain because they're going through pain. Obviously I don't know everything about his life, but he was a top tier state ranked athlete when we were in school together. Typical jock, did well socially, the works. He did not suffer from addiction (or at least the one that killed him) until college when an injury put him on pain killers he would never get off of, according to a family friend.
I don't even consider myself to have gotten the worst of his bullying, but I have some distinct memories of him terrorizing me for dating a girl with disabilities, ripping a pencil out of my hands in the hallway while waiting for a state exam to start and snapping it, and plenty of just general harassment about my weight, interests, etc. I spent a lot of time in college getting over the self hatred that people like him instilled in me. It was slow, painful work. I genuinely believe he, and other bullies stunted me socially. If you weren't bullied daily as a kid it can be hard to understand the sorts of effects these types of people can have on you. I promise you, it is far worse than it seems in movies and TV.
I have friends who he has literally spat upon. I have friends who have been pushed to the brink of suicide because of the way he treated them. The days spent comforting and reassuring those friends were some of the most painful of my childhood. If it had to be them or him, I am very glad it was him.
I understand these feelings are toxic and wrong. I understand people are capable of change and he very well may have been a different person by the time he died. Many of his friends, who have spent the past few days publicly mourning him, also used to bully the shit out of me and later on reconciled with me and became my friends. Under the right circumstances maybe that could have happened with him too. But the fact of the matter is that it didn't. When those friends post videos of him as they mourn they're always of him being loud, usually drunk and partying. He looks like an aggressive, uncaring, boisterous asshole. Exactly as I remember him.
To summarize my feelings, it feels like I won. As a kid I was taught that we live in an idealized world where everything is fair, and bad people get what's coming to them in the end. As an adult I found out that nothing is fair and bad people usually triumph because they abuse others. For a moment I was able to live in that idealized world. I got justice, and I got it with interest. It is as if my most desperate, angry prayers from my childhood where I wished God would smite my enemies came true. He is dead, and he probably suffered for years before doing so. I am living in the immature sadistic fantasy of my 15 year old self.
I have come a long way since I was a kid. I am a lot happier and more social. I try to see the good in everyone I meet. I am glad I left that angry, sad, edgy child behind as I have grown up. But this one time, I am choosing to embrace my past self.
Good riddance. I hope it hurt.
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