Wedding Woes

You already blocked her, so what else are you wanting to do?

Dear Prudence,

Recently on social media, I got bombarded with accusations of being a childhood bully from a stranger. She accused me of destroying her mental health and even driving her to a suicide attempt as a teen. I was completely baffled and promptly blocked this person. I didn’t remember anything like that, but there were enough details in the messages that added up—like the name of the middle school I went to.

I ended up reaching out to my mother and sister. My mother recognized the last name as one of our old neighbors, and it flipped a mental switch for my sister. It had to be the weird kid that rode on the same bus as her until we moved her freshman year. I asked if she had done anything to this girl, and my sister told me no. Other than not wanting to sit next to her and listen to her weirdness. She pointed out that the woman got us mixed up. We are three years apart, but have similar coloring and sounding names (think Ally and Callie). My sister told me this woman was projecting and couldn’t be bothered to get the right sister. She obviously had issues.

Exactly what sane person hopes to get out of a confrontation like this on social media more than a decade later? The conversation ended with both my sister and mother telling me to just ignore it and go on with my life. It is still sticking to me though. My sister was pretty introverted as a teen, and while I can’t imagine her as being deliberately cruel, she could seem to be pretty cold. I know she would get up and move without a word if I annoyed her enough as a kid.

— Mix Up

Re: You already blocked her, so what else are you wanting to do?

  • What are you wanting to do?  Tell her that not only are you not the person she's thinking of but if she was suicidal that it wasn't your problem?  Leave it alone unless you really want to maintain contact and be her sounding board. 
  • If LW speaks to her again, she should say that they're wrong person and speak to a therapist
  • There’s nothing else to do unless you want to talk with her but you’ve clearly said you don’t want to do that. So you need to let it go. Either one of you made an impact on this person and you don’t remember, or she has the wrong person and she’s mistakenly taking it out on you. Either way it’s not a great situation and unless you want to engage, what is the outcome here? 
  • LW, it's okay to not want o have anything to do with this person.  I think that's what LW needs, is just validation b/c they feel guilty.  I think far too many people are guilted into doing emotional labor for people when they don't want to.  It's okay to not want to, just make sure to OWN it.
  • The fact that you're still referring to her as "the weird kid," saying she "has issues", and asking "sane person" screams your and your sister's lack of empathy. I kind of doubt that your sister was quite as innocent as she claims to have been. 

    This really bothered me too.  I get that LW is bewildered, but the absolute lack of introspection after thinking on it, discussing it with mom and sister, and then writing a Prudie letter is mind-bottling.  No, it's not about you LW...but it's still a person that is clearly struggling with something.  No need to use rude and bordering on derogatory language regarding a literal case of mistaken identity. 

    People who are 'sane' to irrational things all the damn time.  I mean, LW you wrote to an advice column about something that you've seemingly resolved by blocking this person. 
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The fact that you're still referring to her as "the weird kid," saying she "has issues", and asking "sane person" screams your and your sister's lack of empathy. I kind of doubt that your sister was quite as innocent as she claims to have been. 

    Kids who are badly bullied suffer trauma, and sometimes deal with that later on in adulthood. It's not unheard of for victims to reach out to their bullies; sometimes they want an apology, sometimes they want the bully to understand what they'd done, sometimes they just think they'll get some sort of closure. Anyway, you weren't the bully and this really isn't for you to deal with. You've blocked her, now move on. 
    There was a group of girls who were pretty awful to me in middle school, but one of them was 110% the ring leader.  Around ten years ago she sent me a social media friend request that I immediately declined. About a week later she followed up in a private message asking about her friend request (we have several mutual friends) and I kept it simple but did take the chance to tell her how she'd made me feel and why I wasn't comfortable being friends.  I wouldn't have reached out to her but when presented with the chance to let her know (in private msg) it was nice to tell her.  
  • While the LW's actions were fine, their letter is really distasteful.  This person has every right to send a social media message to someone they thought bullied them.  There are a lot of good reasons to do that, even if it is just to have closure.

    @ei34, I also had an experience where someone who did me wrong in HS, sent me a friend request on FB years later.  I didn't decline it, I just ignored it.  Thankfully, he didn't pursue it any more than that.  Because it was upsetting enough to be reminded of that guy to begin with!

    I wouldn't have minded a message that had an apology.  In fact, I would have welcomed that.  But to send me a generic friend request.  Like he didn't even remember or realize what an AH he had been to me, was like reaching from the past to hurt me a second time.

    That's another good lesson for society at large.  Unless it's to apology...and even that's a not contact people you hurt.  Just leave them alone, ffs.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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