It's never okay to bully someone even if you've been bullied. Just because you're hurting doesn't give you any right to lash out at someone.
Some people never learn this or take a long time to learn this, but I learned it rather young. When I was little I remember there was a girl that I always hung out with during recess in elementary. I told her that I was going to play with someone else one day, and she went off crying to other people.
Other kids (a horde of little girls) attacked me for hurting her feelings which annoyed me: 1) because she had played with other kids at recess before and I never said anything and 2) they didn't know the whole story and assumed I had meant to hurt her. They simply assumed I was being mean because she had cried. I remember other misunderstandings cropped up, and in my irritation I had told her that we couldn't be friends any more because I was sick of people coming at me like I was a bad person simply because I wanted to have more than one friend, and because this girl was sensitive and always made me out to be some sort of monster.
One day—I actually was. I remember it clearly. My mother made me invite her to my birthday party to be nice (even though I protested that I didn't like her). My cousin learned this, and when we were water balloon fighting hit her in the face. I laughed.
The moment still haunts me sometimes and I still feel guilty about it.
I never saw her again. I still remember her and I feel bad. Because I can't take that back. I hate that I was cruel. Even one time is one too many, and I am sorry for hurting her. No one deserves to be hurt. Especially not by someone they love.
Linda M. Crate is an author, poet, and writer from Pennsylvania born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She has many poems, short stories, essays, and reviews published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She is the author of the Magic Series and the forthcoming fantasy novel "Phoenix Tears".