Anyone who has endured bullying during their childhood typically wants to leave that in the past and move forward. Chadmichael Morrisette was bullied so badly during junior high school in his hometown of Eagle River, Alaska that when he moved away, he vowed he would never return again. He was tormented daily and even was on the receiving end of death threats from his bullies.
Chadmichael moved to Los Angeles and though his bullies were in the past, he still had the painful memories and emotional trauma from those years of abuse.
He was surprised one day when one of the bullies, Louie Amundson, reached out to him via Facebook message. Louis’ unexpected message left Chadmichael stunned, as he told Inside Edition: “I was shocked, shocked, really shocked.”
It seems that Louis, now a 35-year-old paper salesman and family man, wanted to make up for his past behavior, writing to Chadmichael: “I want to apologize. If we lived in the same state, I would apologize to your face.”
When Chadmichael left his hometown, he really had no intentions of returning, explaining to Inside Edition: “At certain points, I was threatened” by the bullies.
This unexpected message from Louie, however, had him reconsidering reuniting with the bully who once tormented him daily.
Louis explained why he behaved that way in junior high, noting: “I took the easy route, picking on the kid that everyone else was picking on.”
Chadmichael accepted Louis’ offer and made his way back home. He did have some help during his teenage years, noting that one teacher, Janet Steinhauser, helped him, sharing: “She protected me, she fostered my talents, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for her.”
Of revisiting those old memories, he shared: “I feel nervous about pulling up to the junior high. This wasn’t a fun place.”
It was a flood of emotions, he explained: “Entering the hallway was always scary not fun because there would be a big group of guys always gathered here.”
Louie was there waiting for Chadmichael, something that he admitted was difficult for him: “I guess I am just nervous because apologizing face-to-face is a lot harder than sending a message over Facebook.”
He told Chadmichael: “First things first, I am sorry. I really really, am,” to which Chadmichael responded, “I believe you. I accept your apology.”
Louis was happy to have his apology accepted and Chadmichael noted, “I’m sorry goes a long way.”
“Forgiveness does, too, ” Louis added.
The moment might have been nervewracking for both men, but the sincere apology and Chadmichael’s acceptance of it were heartwarming. His former teacher who was there shared, “To be sitting here and listening to them is very powerful.”
Among the many comments left on the Inside Edition video about the reunion story was one person who pointed out: “you can’t take away one’s childhood and then say sorry expecting everything is okay.”
Another commenter responded: “But it’s a start and goes a long way… the vicitm will get a lot of closure from this and if he can forgive him then he will really be able to let go of the past and grow.”
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