photo: Lauren Gordon

In 2016 one in four students report being bullied in the United States. And as a country we're making strides to curb the behavior, the effects of bullying (depression, anxiety, increased feelings of loneliness) can transfer into your adult life.

Don't I know it. 

A photo posted by Lauren Gordon (@laurengord0n) on

BB Lauren. That fabulous hairstyle garnered some lovely commentary.

You and I, dear reader, don't know each other very well. But what you can surmise from my Revelist posts, or like, any of my social media accounts, is that growing up I was (I mean, I still am) an unabashed nerd. And I don't mean just because of my oversized glasses, my pudgy tummy, or my deep, deep love of "Lord of the Rings." I don't mean in the trendy or cute way, either. I am a full out, un-kissed until 16, social pariah nerd.

There are kids who have suffered (and sadly, are suffering) way worse than I ever have. But that doesn't mean the years of name calling and social exclusion didn't hurt, or doesn't affect me now. 

Don't worry, I have most of my shit together now. I came out on the other side with real friends, a great job, and a sarcastic wit so sharp it could cut those former haters into a million pieces — but there have been years of struggling with my identity and body image to deal with because of it.  I'm not alone. 

HS Lauren.

Yeah, High School wasn't much better.

photo: Myspace/Lauren Gordon

I reached out to my colleagues and friends to ask them what they would say to their former bullies if given a chance. Some of them are hilarious, some of them are heartbreaking, but all of them prove one thing: 

YA DIDN'T BREAK US, BITCHES.  

Check them out below:

1
bully quote
photo: Revelist
2

"The fuck did I ever do to you?" — Pat Durkin, 30

3

"I was named Moose by [name redacted] in the third grade. (Still to this day) He was such a bully. I heard he ended up in jail. Lol. Take that, Ned! Ha!" — Anonymous

4
bully quote 2
photo: Reelist
5

"Do you regret it? Did you change? Do you discourage your children from being that way?" — Anonymous

6
photo: Revelist
7

"I sincerely hope you have come to terms with your attraction to smart, attractive women, cause we're everywhere." — Kate Kolenda, 29

8
bully quotes 3
photo: Revelist
9

"Look at me now, bitches!!!!!" — Catherine Coccagna, 27

10

"Man, you were a real asshole when you were a kid! I hope you are happier now so that you're nicer to the people around you... or really miserable so that I can gloat about living a better life than you." - Jess Novak, 32

11
Bully Quote
photo: Revelist
12

"Who was hurting you? Did you ever tell anyone? How are you now? Have you broken the cycle?" — Anonymous

13
bully quote 5
photo: Revelist
14

"I don't hold anything against you. We were kids. My life turned out just fine. I hope yours did too." — Ambrose Souder, 37

15

"Isn't it funny the way life just works out?! Boom Karma!" — Alyssa Dankowski, 34

16
photo: Revelist
17

Oh, and what would I say?

THANK YOU. 

Thank you so much for showing me that kindness isn't weakness, that it takes someone a lot more strength to show compassion than to be cruel. Thank you for teaching me how to value real friendships over rewardless popularity. Thank you for breaking me down so I could build myself up again. You didn't win. Thank you.