Bully apology letters are quite rare. No one knows this better than ChadMichael Morrisette (pictured above). When he was in junior high school, the 34-year-old was a frequent target of his Alaska school’s football team.
He now admits that he had so many tormentors it was hard keeping up with all of them. Over the years, he found his footing in West Hollywood, where he now works as a brand consultant and visual designer, but he was still holding on to those bitter experiences more than he realized when he received an unexpected message on Facebook Messenger.
It was from Louie Amundson, a name he didn’t recognize at first, because Louie was one of the kids that made Morrisette’s young life one of torment.
The only difference between Amundson and the others? He was ready to make amends.
“Hey Chad, I was recently talking with my 10 year old daughter about bullies,” the message starts. “She asked me if I ever bullied anyone and sadly I had to say ‘yes.’ What came to mind is how s***ty and mean I was to you when we were in Jr. High. I want to apologize. If we lived in the same state I would apologize to your face. I don’t even know if you remember, but I do and I am sorry.”
At first, Morrisette wasn’t sure what to do with his bully apology message.
“It unlocked something in me I didn’t realize I’d been holding onto. I cried a little bit. It was so moving,” Morrisette said in comments to Yahoo!
He waited a few days and considered what he should say, then responded with this.
“Louie, I’m quite moved by this. Thank you and accept your apology. In 20 years you are the only person to apologize for being a bully to me when we were younger. I hope you can proudly tell your daughter that you have also apologized for it, and that we are good. It’s amazing what 20 years and children can do to us, no? Thank you again, and I hope you stand up to bullying anytime you see it. Have a great day!”
Amundson wrote back that Morrisette’s forgiveness “means more than you know” and added that he hoped he wasn’t the last “to ask for forgiveness from you.”
Later, in comments to Yahoo! Parenting, the former bully confessed that he felt “humbled and ashamed and relieved all at once.”
“I owed him that apology, he did not owe me his forgiveness. The fact that he was able to forgive me showed that I may have been the bigger kid, but he is the bigger man. I really didn’t expect him to respond at all, and figured if he did it would be telling me where to stick the apology, kind of like ‘too little too late.’ “
Have you ever been the giver or recipient of a bully apology? What was that experience like? Share in the comments section below.
[Image via ChadMichael Morrisette c/o Yahoo! Parenting, linked above]