I Ran Into My Childhood Bully At My High School Reunion

Somethings don’t change.

There’s been a fair share of girls who made their point to pick on me in school.

There’s one in particular that wanted to make my life miserable. Her name is Lyndsey.

I’m writing this story off the top of my head, and I’m pretty sure there will be errors in it. Oh well.

In recent years, I’ve heard she’s called herself a woman of God aka God’s gift. To make a not-so funny situation slightly funny, I’ll call her God Fearing Woman or GFW. Just for the record, some of the worst people I met was in a church. While I ran into my fair share of nice church going folks, too many I’ve come across are the most self-righteous, judgmental, cruelest people I’ve met in my life.

She started out as a friend. Then she started spreading rumors and gossip on me. She left for one year in 5th grade, and the drama started in 6th grade. Her mother used to hang out with my mother so she can get information first, and make her look like she knew things first to other parents. At the end of my 8th grade year, she was single handedly able to turn the class again me, by spreading a nasty rumor. They believed it at face-value. A guy and girl (I’ll keep them nameless for now) was making out at the back of our bus during my 8th grade field trip to King’s Island. Because my mom was one of the chaperones, they believed the God Fearing Woman at face value. That I went around telling people they were making out. I did not. I minded my own business. I knew how a good portion of my classmates were, and I wasn’t willing to gossip or scoop down to their level to fit in with them. So I stayed to myself and watched Dragon Ball Z. And took up other interests outside and inside of school, like martial arts, volunteering, altar serving, and basketball.

If you read this article, I realized how toxic she was along with my other classmates, so I stopped hanging out with her. In fact I’ve written a few stories before.

I didn’t use her name in those, but for this article I am, because I’m retiring the subject after this post.

They were not worth being friends with, and grade school was just a phrase of life that will be over soon in my mind. One of these days, I was thinking back then, I won’t have to see them again, and that’s the day I looked forward to (high school graduation). Other girls and her had something in common: they were jealous of my light skin and long hair, and it was a common goal to destroy me and figure out what I was doing at the time.

Here’s a few of the many ways she tried to be a nuisance.

God fearing woman convinced people not to go to my 13th birthday party.

She took my science fair ribbon and pretended like it was hers even though she didn’t place at all. She wrote her name on the back and claimed it as her own

She told me multiple times that I’m not capable of being an African princess (which honestly I didn’t give two f****s about), because I’m not dark skinned like her. (By the way, she would bring up light skin and dark skin wars with me all the time).

She would follow me to both engineering camp and biology camp, just to convince my friend that she shouldn’t be roommates with me, and I should be roommates with someone else, even though we made a promise to stick together. She played my friend like a puppet, and she fell for it.

Her mother told her ways to keep bullying me.

She was willing to do anything to be popular, even if it meant destroying someone trying.

But never in enough trouble to put an end to it all. It has been a long-standing tragedy that teachers are piss poor at policing bullying in schools.-Sean Kernan

My grade school teachers looked the other way, because they wasn’t a fan of my mom, and they wanted to get back at her by getting to me. They wanted to punish us because in their minds, we didn’t stay in our place and act the way a black person should act. My Catholic grade school had some very bad people in it at the time, with a priest that got paid to look the other way (that story is here). A rich guy paid the priest to hire his daughter in the school. I got so many stories from my Catholic experience that it should be made into a movie, and people wouldn’t believe the shit because it just was so off the chain. You would probably say Alesha, no f****** way. They did what?

Full disclosure, I am not a psychologist nor am I qualified to comment on the pathology of bullying. But I have heard, more than once, that a bad home life is frequently a source of aggression. Who knows. Either way, his circumstances didn’t justify his behavior. And his behavior was something that I simply had to live with.-Sean Kernan, I Bumped Into My Childhood Bully 10 Years Later

I’m no psychologist either, but through the grapevine I found out that the God Fearing Woman had a bunch of mental issues. And I was on the receiving end of her wrath. I didn’t go to school to be a psychologist, but I did take a psych class that I slept through lol. Sometimes, living life and having life experiences can be the best teacher too. It doesn’t take a psych course to tell me that this is someone you need to stay away from. In high school (yeah unfortunately we went to the same high school haha) she was absent to the point if I missed school like that, I would be kicked out. It was clearly stated that you can’t miss more than 3 days of school in a semester. God fearing woman was gone 3 days a week.

In the girls arena, getting boys attention and looks matter, especially in middle school and high school. Since in their minds I is/was a nice looking girl, here’s a reason to pick on someone (they said it, not me).

It didn’t justify her treating me like shit. And there’s plenty of parents who tell their kids to do something and they made a decision not to do it. She could have easily said this isn’t right to do this to another person. But she made her choices.

In high school, she kept following me around to different clubs. Sat at the same lunch table (at a mostly white catholic school, I made it a point to move around sometimes. The black kids sat at the same table, and the white kids sat at the same table). Even tried to get a real woman of God, aka a nun to talk me into being her friend again. She showed up to my bowling try outs just to try to be my friend.

Her mother told my mother “popularity don’t matter.” So she was indirectly suggesting to us that in her daughter’s eyes I was considered popular? I was the one she was always trying to keep up with?

At the end of the year celebration senior year, my mom was sitting by and heard her tell her: “She didn’t get into her top choice either.” When my high school announced that yes, I did get into my top choice along with all of the other schools, she had a priceless look on her face.

God Fearing Woman is the person that’s looking to get close to you so she can have an opportunity to destroy you when given a chance.

All this time, the people who bullied/spread gossip on me was also always trying to keep up with me. Sick-twisted-admiration. Some of them started wearing their hair the same way I did. I’m like wtf. Can they think for themselves?

They all reminded me of the kid you played games with as a child who said to “team up” only to sneakily kill you when convenient for them then remind you, when you in turn try to kill them, that you are a “team.”

At the end of high school was where my music career began. I was never trying to be famous for it, but the newspapers did interview me and I got a lot of local hometown buzz. (I have very little interest in being a celebrity, because I find that you don’t have to be popular or famous to be successful. Many people think you got to be famous to be successful, but this isn’t the case.)

I had every one in the school (including my grade school bullies) rallying behind me acting like we were all tight since first grade. In my mind I’m like get the hell away from me. They came around because they wanted a piece, not because they were friends. I remained cordial to them in the hallways, but that’s as far as it was gonna go. You always have those bandwagon riders, people who are waiting to ride your coattails any chance they get. Or people who never cared about you in the first place, but want to have some sort of connection with you so they can have a way in-or claim that they know you, but haven’t talked to you in years.

After high school, I made it a point to not get in touch with Lyndsey, aka God Fearing Woman or my classmates from grade school. I changed my number. Moved and didn’t leave a forwarding address.

I went to school. Spent time in different cities. Out of sight, out of mind.

Then it was 2018.

I ran into her husband little bit before this reunion happened. He knew who I was before I ever approached him.

He was like:

“Hey are you Alesha”

I’m like uhhh ya. How do you know me?

Lyndsey T, my wife talks about you and how nice you are to her.

F**********

To the people reading this. I said B******.

Wait.

WAIT A F**** minute. She acted like we have been friends this whole time, making her husband think that we been in conversation recently.

WTF.

I haven’t seen this God Fearing Woman in YEARS. I avoid her like the plague and Covid-19.

This girl went from trying to destroy my life in grade school, doing what she could to be my friend again in high school (just to have another opportunity to destroy me again if I became friends with her), and NOW PROCLAIMING TO BE MY FRIEND?

(Keep in mind this is information given to me, that her husband told me off record. She doesn’t know that I know.)

I’m glad I’m not in Indianapolis all the time. Shit.

I heard rumors that she had kids right out of high school, didn’t make it out of college, and works at a food joint. My mom ran into her working at one of my favorite Indy restaurants (now I avoid that location like the plague). As long as she’s happy and away from me, I’m good.

Then it was 2018. My high school reunion.

I walk in the front door.

I saw her there and said holy s***.

This is the last person I want to see. My former friend aka bully aka want to still be my friend because her husband confirmed it? I don’t think she’s aware that her husband told me this insider information.

With the two other girls (one I’m still cool with, the other one was a troublemaker too) hearing about the updates from our high school since we left.

She came over and gave me a hug right before the tour of our high school started. I thought I wanted to wash myself off with hand sanitizer after that.

At the time of this writing, there’s a pandemic. Due to this 2020 coronavirus, I will not be letting people get too close to me anytime soon. No hugs. Just air fives and elbow fist pumps.

I know there’s many times in life where we wanted to punch someone or a group of people in the face. How many of you have this person or people in your life?

Do you have a list of people that’s highlighted with a yellow marker and underlined with a red pen that deserve it? The God Fearing Woman made that list a lot.

As a 30 something, I’m better equipped to deal with a bully, and won’t have any school rules this time holding me back. I’m not the one to start a fight. Or pick on people for no reason. I’m not a jealous type of person either. However, I will shut down shenanigans and bullshit. If she would have tried something, I would check her and mate her at the door.

But the vibe I got at the reunion? It wasn’t going to happen. I saw a lady who managed to get a whole class against me at one point in 2004 coward in the corner, was now afraid to talk to anyone but the two main people she came with. As I was talking with everyone in the room by myself catch up with people, I noticed she wasn’t talking to anyone except the other black people (hello, keep in mind we are a Catholic high school with mostly white people), and then she went back to her two main people.

I’ve been a lot of places, especially spending time in LA and NYC for auditions and filming. I’m still a little bit shorter than her, but my confidence makes me taller. I have two martial arts styles under my belt, and I’m currently in my 3rd and researching my 4th. Vegeta, Jiren, Goku, and Gohan (Cell Games Saga when he wasn’t a slacker at training) are my influences (any other Dragon Ball fans out there?). I workout on a regular basis, got 12 pack abs (recently discovered after trying a new aggressive workout). I’m an actress and musician. I have worked on multiple businesses and like traveling.

I’m in my own world doing my thing. Success and living life on your own terms is the best revenge.

Shoulder, meet chip. Past Alesha, I wish you could see how much you dominate Lyndsey without having to do anything to her. That the decision not to box her in her mouth and knock a few teeth out back in 8th grade was the right decision. I don’t have a great past with God Fearing Woman, but NOW I’m not going to go out of my way to start any shit.

You never know what someone is going through. Perhaps The God Fearing Woman had gotten hers and been reformed out of her bullying. Or maybe she just learned on her own by living life (like in Sean’s story). Or maybe she’s still a bully, in the poorly veiled guise/costume of a shy person outside of her element. Like my other friend who still defends her (and has since become her best friend, she used to be my bff, but we are still friends haha) will still try to convince me.

SHE HAS CHANGED ALESHA.

GIVE HER ANOTHER CHANCE.

Yeah right. Sure. Keep in mind this is coming from a person that haven’t been on the receiving end of the treatment and even played into it. It amazes me how much some people still defend God Fearing Woman. I make plenty of mistakes and give people plenty of chances. But once I’m done, I’m done. Apologies have no meaning, when a person simply says sorry and repeats the offense again later. These people, especially Lyndsey did not care about how their actions was hurting someone else. They kept doing it so I was done. I keep my distance.

When I talked to God Fearing Woman, she kept the conversation short and swift. She wasn’t bragging about her kids like the other reunion goers were, like she wasn’t proud of the life she was leading.

Usually at high school reunions, ESPECIALLY THE FIRST ONE, people are one upping each other. People our age generally want to prove to the world that we are successful, and doing something with our lives. Talking about what house they are buying, places they are vacationing at, etc.

God fearing woman sat in the corner.

I was invited to a grade school reunion from a Facebook post. I declined. Have fun kiddos.

I didn’t get to knock my bully’s lights out as an adult, lol. Lucky duck. Maybe I’ll get my chance in a sparring (kata) session or a martial arts tournament?

I’ve heard stories on what happened to my bullies, but I was too busy living my life.

Brother Patrick Gale, I got the feels reading this one. (I hope he doesn’t mind me calling him brother). Sometimes sorry isn’t enough to justify someone’s behavior. I totally understand. If someone hasn’t been through that, they don’t know what it’s like, and it’s super easy for them to stand on the sidelines talking about forgiving someone and being friends with someone again. Just for the record, forgiveness doesn’t mean what the person did was right OR you are going to be friends with the person again. It doesn’t necessarily right the wrong. You do have a choice to forgive someone or not.

But I could not forgive him. The scars run too deep for that.- Patrick Gale

Now I don’t think about them everyday and make sure I stay away from them. They definitely don’t have a grip in my life. I’m all for positivity and love but I keep any sources of negativity out of my life. I have accepted apologies before and have refriended one person before. But when they said sorry, they meant it, and made attempts to make amends. That was the difference. I make plenty of mistakes and definitely give a lot of chance to people.

However.

Apologies have no meaning, when a person simply says sorry and repeats the offense again later. Many of the people in my case said sorry because it was the convenient thing to do, then was up to their old tricks again when my back was turned.

I don’t expect a Facebook apology, although that’s nice the person in that story got one.

It never goes down like it does in the movies.

For those who’s gotten an apology, lucky you. I’m not ever expecting to get one. Like I keep saying, I do expect one of my childhood friends to keep sticking up for this person, and keep telling me why I should give this person a 100th chance when it’s proven that she hasn’t changed.

In this story, one person says his former bully works in the food court, he work at a Fortune 500 company. Karma’s a b**** ain’t it? Like I said above, my mother told me she ran into God Fearing Woman spooning spinach at one of my favorite restaurants in Indy. As a major foodie, all the power to them.

To finish off, I want to add two quick side stories.

A). A group of girls that I wanted to be sorority sisters with rejected me too. At the time, no organization on campus wanted me, so I took matters into my own hands. I got into bars, and met the same people I would have met if I would have gotten into the organizations. They didn’t like that I liked the same bars they did and ended up accusing me of following them around. I ended up just fine despite them. They didn’t want a black friend at all, and just didn’t want to admit it. I filmed a project in the sorority house a year after they graduated and I noticed no POC on the walls. They didn’t want me anyways. Instead of being friends with them, I talk about the situation in a few songs and got a project that I sometimes show casting directors. This abolish Greek movement that’s been happening in 2020 has been bringing up a bunch of hard truths.

Then a few years later, after trying I finally got into an organization. But I ran into cliques, people gossiping about each other and so on. I made some great memories in the organization, but too many of them acted like a high school clique: This person wouldn’t move unless this person did. They usually would think the same, because no one wanted to think for themselves and have a different opinion (after all, that would piss everyone else off in the group, and then that means no acceptance for you, or getting kicked out of the group). I watched people mend and fold to peer pressure just to fit in. For different conferences, I had to end up breaking away from my own chapter just to hang out and meet new people.

I hope Lyndsey has learned that you don’t treat people mean because they have the things that you want. In general I hope she has learned to treat people the way I want to be treated. I hope she’s ok and not inflicting anymore pain on the world.

Lyndsey could have been doing so many other things with her energy instead of following me around to everything I did. Think for yourself. And finally if someone doesn’t want to be your friend for whatever reason, LEAVE THEM ALONE.

There’s been times when people didn’t want me either, and I kept going until I found my people.

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