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Woman Gets a Call from the Girl Who Bullied Her in 7th Grade 40 Years Later

Lois Oladejo
Jan 16, 2022
03:20 P.M.
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After 40 years, a woman, Simon Ellin, contacted a girl who bullied her in seventh grade while doing research that involved her former classmates in high school. 


Studies have shown that bullying or peer victimization can have long-term impacts on victims. This was certainly the case with Simon Ellin, a writer. 

Ellin had struggled with low-grade depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and underachievement for decades. These feelings persisted despite her going for therapy for many years. 

A portrait of Simon Ellin as a young lady [left] A recent portrait of Simon Ellin [right] | Photo:


Although Ellin understood her mental health issues were not solely a result of the bullying she encountered in school, her experiences and the things that made her be a pick for bullies had lasting effects on her. 


On a particular day in 2019, Ellin thought about a girl who rejected her in seventh grade. Despite the many years that had passed since the rejection, it still felt fresh. 

It was while contemplating over the matter that an idea crossed her mind. She decided to interview her former classmates from middle and high school. 


The list of interviewees included the people who bullied her, those who were bullied, and those who did not seem to have experienced either. Ellin wanted them to share their experiences with the social scene while growing up. 



Ellin was able to find many of her former classmates via social media. She sent them messages and explained her project, urging them to participate. The reception from many of the respondents was encouraging. Among those who responded was a girl who bullied Ellin in seventh grade. 

Initially, the woman was reluctant to talk to Ellin and ignored her Facebook message. However, when the latter persisted, she replied and asked her if everything was okay.

The woman admitted that it was hard for her to participate in Ellin's project. She also said she was not always nice to Ellin and apologized. 


In Ellin's response, she reassured the woman that all was okay and explained that her project did not single her out. A few minutes later, the woman called Ellin.

During the call, she repeatedly apologized for bullying her in school. In addition, the woman revealed she had a miserable home life as a girl and did not know why she picked on Ellin.


The woman also opened up to Ellin about some trauma she had been through. Although Ellin might have guessed the woman had a troubled background, hearing it from her made all the difference. She wrote

"I was finally able to forgive her, and (I hope) to help her to forgive herself."



Just like Ellin, another man, Sean had multiple encounters with bullies in his childhood. The most notorious of the lot was Adam, who, at 11, looked much older and bigger than the other kids.

Sean hardly fought off his bullies because he did not want to get beaten up. So instead, he endured the bullying. Sean also understood Adam was from a broken home as his mom was absent from his life while his dad was hardly ever present. 


Sean had to learn how to deal with Adam. However, he was put out of his misery after his family moved. It took ten years before they met again – at a house party. Surprisingly, Adam recognized him and came over to hug him as though they were long-lost friends. 

However, Adam now looked way shorter and smaller than Sean, who had grown much bigger and was fitter. When Sean saw his childhood bully, he was tempted to hit him and repay him in kind for those years of bullying. 


However, he had no desire to brawl with him even though he knew he would win. Instead, he found himself feeling bad for Adam as he was in a pathetic drunken stupor and out of shape. 

Thus, Sean avoided enacting revenge on Adam despite his unpleasant past with him. Doing so would have made him become the very thing he hated.


Adam and Sean had a pleasant conversation and caught up on each other's lives that night. Afterward, they went their separate ways. Sean believes he is not better than Adam as he had also made mistakes over the years and wished to take some things back. He also wrote

"But I do hope he [Adam] is doing well and has not inflicted any more pain on the people around him."

Sean concluded by saying life is too short for him to be carrying anger towards Adam and the latter to be carrying anger towards the world — words many, including Simon Ellin, would agree with.

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