"While I personally forgave my classmates for what they did to me, and looking back I treat the whole experience as a growth opportunity (I know for a fact that I would never be the person I am now if they treated me as a friend)
, I still can't let go of all the pain I felt back then."
Sound like they did you a favor then *winks*.
But really, same thing happened to me. Bullied like crazy all through my sensitive years. Just remember, what does not kill you, only makes you stronger!
I think bullys are in this world to teach people who are hyper sensitive (you do know that is who they pick on, right?) to well, GROW SOME
Sounds like that happened to you! Congrats!