My experience: I was 13 at the time, my tormentor was half a year older, yet he looked like he was at most 12 years old. I will just call him "Y" because with that letter his name starts. No-one who had not experienced it would have suspected this cute boy of being a cruel and merciless bully who took great joy in causing others extreme pain, physically and to the soul alike, deeply traumatizing and causing scars to the souls of his victims forever. He had started bullying others a few months ago and I was his main victim. He was picking on one of my friends and another boy who was only 11 years old as well. He would use every opportunity to ridicule and humiliate me in front of others. He would make me trip over, insult me, slam me into the wall, throw things at me, beat me up, extort my lunch money, force me to carry his backpack. He also once opened my backpack and threw all the contents into the garbage can. He once claimed that I had beaten him (a huge lie!) and convinced another bully to confirm that story so I was "punished" with detention by the teacher. I reported him more than once, yet he continued what he was doing and it became even worse. Others reported him as well and one day he was told that he would be thrown out of school. His mother said she would send him to a school for problem children if that happened. After that there were no further incidents of bullying for two days. Then he approached me after school, looking very sad, with his head lowered. He promised to never lift a finger against me or anyone else again and wanted to make amends. He also begged for forgiveness. He told me that he was in big trouble and that he had realized that bullying was not worth it, that he had been very cruel, causing enormous harm and pain and that it actually would make him happy if he could become friends with the people whom he had made to suffer, especially me. I was not ready yet to forgive him: I suddenly felt intense anger and an enormous urge to hurt him. I called him a lying bastard, then I hit him in the face and his nose started bleeding. Then I shoved him so hard that he fell to the ground. He realized that I was about to kick him despite the fact that he now was totally defenseless. "No,no,no, please don´t do it! Please!", he whimpered. I kicked him two times into the ribs and he began crying from pain. When I realized what I was just doing I stopped and helped him get up. He asked me to come with him to his home. Nobody else was there at the time - so we could talk openly. We talked more than 3 hours and I was finally ready to reconcile with him. He even let me in on his biggest secret (that he was gay) despite the fact that he realized I could now use this knowledge for revenge. I could actually feel his absolute regret and great pain about the past. He began crying and spontaneously hugged me intensely and I reciprocated it. He was sobbing and shaking and I could feel his heart racing. He told me that it would break his heart if he had to change to that school for problem children. I also saw that he had scars on his wrists from a past suicide attempt. He begged me to not report his latest acts of bullying and I promised it. The next day he invited me to watch a film in cinema and we spent a great afternoon together. After that we went to his home again. There we played chess,etc. and we just lied down on his bed, listening to music and talking. We understood each other perfectly - I even stayed overnight with him at the next weekend. He gave me back the money which he had extorted. He showed up at my house every morning before school for a whole week and insisted on carrying my backpack until I told him he should no longer do that. He supported me in every imaginable way to atone for what he had done. Of course my other friend and the younger boy teaming up to have revenge on Y was still a problem. He had to virtually bribe the younger kid and I pleaded with him as well to prevent him from reporting Y. Y humiliated himself by the way he publicly asked my friend for forgiveness. He also offered to give him his entire monthly allowance, carry his backpack for as long as he requested, he would do anything necessary to make up for the past so that he did not report him. But my friend insisted on revenge. He said to Y: "No matter what you do, I will make you pay. You should have thought about getting in trouble before you started relentlessly tormenting me. I begged you to stop but you showed no mercy and neither will I." He said he would even make stuff up about him to ensure that he had to leave the school. Y started crying and walked away. I stayed and told my friend that Y had said that his heart would be absolutely broken if he was thrown out of our school and that I had observed his scars of a past suicide attempt and that he might try it again if he was thrown out. He then said something really mean: That it would serve him right, that it would be a better world without him and that he hoped he would suffer a most painful death. I said that Y did not deserve such cruelty because he had done everything in his power to atone for what he had done. But my friend was unmovable like a block of stone. He was going to report him the next day as the first step of having revenge. I told him that I would even lie about what my new friend had done to keep him out of trouble. "Well, that´s the end of our friendship then", he said. And so it happened. I actually did lie to save Y. He had not requested it but I knew it was the right thing to do. I claimed that my former friend was not telling the truth because he was just as guilty as Y for the problems they had with each other and I also claimed that Y had not done anything serious to me. In the end it was decided that he could stay at our school. He was so glad about the news that he could not stop hugging me. He was astonished that I lied for HIM out of all people. My friendship with the other friend was damaged, but it recovered some time later. He also gave up seeking revenge on Y. Y did never again do anything cruel to me or anyone else and in no time we became extremely close best friends. He was always nice,absolutely loyal, really caring, he would intervene when he saw someone getting bullied and he was always there for me when I needed him. Soon we loved each other like brothers and spend much time together. Even months later he was still saying how much he regretted his lousiness and the cruelties he committed and that he would give everything he had if he could undo the past. Whenever I told him that he really had a good heart despite the past, he would be very happy. If I had not forgiven him, insisting on revenge, it would have brought me a few moments of satisfaction but it would have cost me the best friend imaginable and it would have absolutely broken him, possibly driving him to suicide. I also realized that having revenge would NOT have healed the scars of the soul caused by the traumatic bullying. But our extremely close friendship DID heal them, not all at once, yet in the end all of them healed. Now that the months of hell were over, I looked actually forward to attending school and spending time with my former tormentor. Because of this experience I know that everybody deserves a second chance and that it is the right thing to forgive a bully if he truly regrets what he has done and sincerely begs you to forgive and to reconcile with him. Of course forgiving them does not require you to become friends but it might be really worth the while. If any bully reads this, he should really think about it and consider changing his life and approaching his victims to make amends and to ask for forgiveness. It is important that you do this while you are still young and at school together and not 20 years later when you are adults. If you find a way to be forgiven you might assure that you will not be punished for the past and you might prevent your victim from committing serious acts of revenge in the future. You can be a much better person than you believe! Would it not be great if you could reconcile with your victim and maybe even become friends?