Vee took every opportunity she got to say mean things to Allisen. She threatened to spread lies about Allisen. She did everything in her power to try to make Allisen feel bad about herself.
Allisen had a great support system— good friends, a wonderful family, a strong sense of self, and a belief in God— so Vee’s bullying didn’t break her as much as it could have. But it was still something Allisen would have preferred to live without.
Allisen’s perspective of Vee as a mean, self-centered bully was turned around when she learned that Vee’s home life was full of the kind of struggles Allisen could barely imagine. Vee grew up being constantly berated and put down by her mom, so that’s how she learned to treat people.
Vee had an idea of how she wanted people to see her, so she made sure to present herself as confident and having it all put together. Underneath, though, she was an insecure mess who felt lonely and isolated. She was embarrassed when Allisen discovered this, and afraid to let her in. She had learned early on not to trust anyone.
Before Allisen knew the truth about Vee’s life, she never would have dreamed of inviting Vee to hang out with her. But learning a bit about what Vee was facing at home helped her to have compassion on the mean girl. And Allisen’s compassion helped Vee to become a little bit less mean.