It’s easy to hold on to old resentments, especially when someone has been making your life hell for years…but is it the right thing to do? A Redditor who refused to donate to a fundraiser for his childhood bully’s cancer treatment is now wondering if he made a mistake.
User @Quirky-Importance-81 took to the infamous/AmILeAsshole Subreddit for an unbiased look at the emotionally charged situation. “Apparently my former classmate Brad (26 months) has been diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and his family is raising $50,000 on GoFundMe to cover the cost of his treatment,” he shared.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a serious form of cancer: in 2023, the American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 80,000 people will be diagnosed with it and more than 20,000 will die from it. So, yes, Brad’s diagnosis is devastating news – but that doesn’t change the fact that he bullied @Quirky-Importance-81 relentlessly when they were younger.
“Brad treated me like crap in high school,” the Redditor recalled. “He constantly made fun of my weight and called me offensive nicknames. I can’t say I felt good when I learned of his diagnosis, but I didn’t shed any tears either..”
The drama began when the GoFundMe for Ben’s cancer treatment made its way to Anna, another of @Quirky-Importance-81’s former classmates. She added him and a bunch of others to a group chat and asked everyone to ‘donate all we can, even if it’s a small amount’ .
She also told everyone to give her post a thumbs up when they made a donation – a little presumptuous, if well-meaning. And therein lies the rub: @Quirky-Importance-81 didn’t feel comfortable donating to his childhood bully.
“Almost everyone in the group donated, except me,” he explained. “Anna noticed this and tagged me, asking if I had seen her post. That’s when I wrote that I wasn’t planning on donating because of how Brad treated me in high school. Anna and a few other guys said I was acting like an asshole, we’re adults now and that stuff is a thing of the past.
The Redditor ended up leaving the group to avoid arguing with everyone. “None of them stood up for me when Brad bullied me, and most of them laughed at his stupid jokes,” he added. “So, AITA here?”
In general, AITA Redditors in the comments section sided with him. Bullying is a real and horrible thing, and it’s totally valid not to forgive someone for making fun of you even after the time is up.
“NTA,” wrote one commenter. “Maybe it’s in the past, yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to get over it or forgive him.”
Some people have taken issue with the fact that @Quirky-Importance-81 is drastically leaving group chat. However, most commentators were more concerned with Anna’s presumption.
“That’s not how these things work,” wrote one particularly appalled commenter. “You’re creating a GoFundMe so people can help if they feel called, not so you can shake everyone they’ve known. Fuck them all. Don’t give them a penny or another thought.
“NTA, but (you) probably should have ignored it instead of engaging,” someone else said.
“You don’t have to donate, but living with the bitterness you feel about this person is going to affect you more than (anything) else,” advised another commenter. “Get to a point where you can forgive them. You don’t have to trust them, but you don’t have to wear it forever either.
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