Friday, February 20, 2015

Old School Bully Is A New Man

Dear Tazi:

This week I got an invitation to my 10 year high school reunion. It is the first reunion my class is having, and my wife is looking forward to going. We met after college, and she wants to see "who I was" in high school. Tazi, this is why I don't want to go; I am not the same person I was back then.

Growing up, both of my parents were alcoholics and I used to bully the other kids in school. I guess it was my way of dealing with things at home. I got a lot of detention, which was great because it meant I wouldn't have to go straight home after school, but it also left me surrounded by a bad crowd. I scraped through high school and went to college as an excuse to live away from home without having to pay my own way. I racked up a lot of student loans to pay for my room and board.

When I was 21, I saw my best friend die of a drug overdose, and I realized I needed to get my life straight. I went to counseling, started to take school more seriously, and even qualified for some scholarship money! I live a clean, sober life and work hard to support my wife and our young family. I have no desire to re-visit my past full of mistakes. I feel like I have lied to my wife by not telling her about the man I was back then - all she knows about my younger days is that my parents were alcoholics (still are, which is why I have no contact with them) and that I led a troubled life of my own.

Am I lying to my wife, Tazi? Should I go back to my roots and hope that those people can accept me for who I am now, and forget who I was back them?

New Man

Dear New Man:

The great thing about reunions is that they offer us a chance to catch up with people; to hash over old memories; and even to apologize for old hurts. I suggest you go to your reunion, but first prep your wife by telling her the truth about your less than savory past. As your wife, she has the right to know about who you are - past and present. Let her know about the events that molded you as a child, and those that molded you into an adult. I get the sense that she wants to go to the reunion to find out who you were because she is curious to know you better.

People change over the years. The class clown might now be the Vice-President of an Accounting firm; the ugly duckling may now be a total swan; the nerd you picked on may now keep company with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates...and the school bully who picked on everyone may now be a stand up guy, who feels the need to apologize to those he hurt when he was young. Attending your reunion is an opportunity to give closure as well as get closure on your past. I sincerely hope you choose to attend.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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