Turchin's Take: Sorry I hurt you

John Turchin responds to Facebook message after blog on bullying

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MIAMI - I learned something very important about myself this week – something for which I was not aware.

In my recent blog on Bullying I wrote about how wrong it is, and how it impacts so many people, children and adults - and how I was bullied as a kid and what affect it had on me. What I didn't realize is that to at least one young teen, I was her bully.

Here is her Facebook message to me.


I have to say that I am totally disgusted that you would dare to write anything about bullying or being bullied as a child.  You had a very large hand in the worst summer of my life.  I was a fat, pimpled, picked on 14 year old in teen travel camp at the JCC.  You were a counselor who was wrapped up in being a "cool" kid and sucking up to the popular kids on the bus.  I, however, was tormented, teased, had itching powder poured down my shirt when I slept on the bus, and got no relief or help from the counselors who should have helped. You did, at times, add to the teasing and bullying.  Did you really forget the hell some of us experienced when you came up with the brilliant idea to let some of the "kids" have a day as counselors?  You, of course, picked your little pets to torment me and others that day. Really? You really should take a look at your own past.

WOW!  It's been 34 years since that summer.

I hope it's not too late to apologize. If you perceived my actions as bullying, then I am sincerely sorry. And I'm sorry you carried this all these years.

Never have I thought of myself as a bully. I was taught to be kind and thoughtful. I'm not perfect. I have made my share of mistakes, but never would I consciously or intentionally be mean to anyone.

If you've followed my blog, you know I am an advocate for those who are victimized; I am a voice for those who might not be able to stand up for themselves, or for someone who has been silenced.

While I can't change the past and erase those days, I can try and be more aware of the way I act, and encourage others to do the same.

My response is not about whether "I" think this woman is right. It's her perception of her reality.

No one deserves to be bullied. Not you, not me, not anybody.

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