Winona Ryder in high school
“I was wearing an old Salvation Army shop boy’s suit. As I went to the bathroom I heard people saying, ‘Hey, faggot’. They slammed my head into a locker. I fell to the ground and they started to kick the shit out of me. I had to have stitches. The school kicked me out, not the bullies.
“Years later, I went to a coffee shop and I ran into one of the girls who’d kicked me, and she said, ‘Winona, Winona, can I have your autograph?’ And I said, ‘Do you remember me? Remember in seventh grade you beat up that kid?’ And she said, ‘Kind of’. And I said, ‘That was me. Go fuck yourself.’”
I was just talking about this sort of thing the other day.
I used to get into fist fights with a group of bullies nearly every day in 3rd grade. I held my own but it drained me. My school progress reports said that I had a really bad temper. I had trouble trusting and making friends beyond those I already knew.
In 8th grade, my parents moved my sister and I to a suburb in Jersey where I got into fights every day at lunchtime for a while. Whenever I looked for help from the teachers on duty, they would look the other way. If I was angry before, suddenly I had even more reason to be.
But somehow, I never grew up racist or angry or violent. Not sure why but I’m glad it didn’t happen.
These experiences helped define me but I never let them consume me.
Instead I did what made me happy — I fulfilled my intellectual curiosity while my friends and family taught me how to be more emotionally open.
Now I’m a grown up with a life filled with people and things that never fail to interest me.
While I don’t necessary believe in revenge or that, somehow, bad people get what they deserve, take it from Winona’s or my story above — yes it sucks but DFTBA because in the long run, it won’t even matter.
I’m not sure if I would have believed it back then but it would have been nice to know.