Dear Annie: More than 40 years ago, I was the target of cruel bullying. A girl who hated me started a vicious rumor that ruined my reputation. She said I slept with the entire football team.
If that wasn’t enough, she and a carful of girls drove by my house one night while I was sitting with my parents and blurted out this terrible lie. My own mother questioned me about the truth of it. This lie has trailed me my whole life. This “girl” now is the pillar of the community and a do-gooder, but I’ve been told she is hateful.
I went to therapy once and asked about confronting this person. I was told it was pointless, that she doesn’t even remember.
What should I do? — Strong but Broken
Dear Broken: If confronting this woman would make you feel better, go right ahead. However, she seems the type who would derive great satisfaction from knowing how much power she has had over your life for the past 40 years. And you have given her that power by clinging to your hurt.
The best revenge is to live a terrific, rewarding life in which this woman is insignificant. You need to heal from this grievous wound, and it requires forgiveness and acceptance so you can move forward without anger and regret.
Please return for counseling. One session is not enough to work through this.
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