This is a letter I’ve been wanting to write for years, but was too afraid to. Afraid that by writing it, it would give power to other people. Afraid that by forgiving, or even acknowledging, the acts of others would mean that what they did was OK. Let me be clear: it is NOT OK. It will never be OK. But I’m done letting it affect my life. I’m done letting people walk all over me out of fear I will “rock the boat” too much. I want to rock the freaking boat. I want to speak my mind. I want to stand up for myself. If that all makes me a bitch, then so be it. I am done being used. Taken advantage of. Treated like a piece of garbage left by the curb and picked up only when someone needs it. There are certain people I want to read this, but I am pretty sure none of them will. Heck, I don’t even know if more than one person even reads any of my blogs. I’m not going to let that stop me, though. This is a letter to my bullies—from grade school all the way up until adulthood.
Dear bullies, young and old:
What you did to me was heinous. What you thought was innocent kid-stuff, wasn’t. The name calling, the spitting in my hair and in my face, punching, stabbing, drawing blood, kicking me down a flight of stairs, throwing books at my head, shoving my face in a snow bank and holding it there so I couldn’t breathe, throwing basketballs at my head, telling me I’m worthless, ugly, annoying, stupid, too this-too-that, not enough of this, not enough of that, too quiet, too loud, telling me my dreams are pointless because I’m never going to amount to anything, excluding me from everything, telling me I don’t belong and never will, acting like I am not even in the room with you, calling me a bitch behind my back when you didn’t think I could hear you, un-inviting me to things, telling me I don’t have the right to cry, I don’t have the right to be angry, sad, hurt, to feel, telling me to just get over it, telling me to just be like everyone else…I’m sorry you felt so badly about yourself to make someone else feel smaller. I’m sorry you hated yourself that much that you had to hurt someone else. I’m sorry you had to drag others down with you. I’m sorry you felt the need to hurt someone so badly, just so you could feel better about yourself. Did it help? Did you feel better? Did your heart heal from that? Did your ego get bigger? Did it make your quality of life better? Did it improve your sleep and everyday life? Who made you so angry that this is how you decided to live your life? What happened to you that was so bad? I’m sorry that bullying me didn’t make you feel better. I’m sorry that by trying to kill me, you ended up hurting yourself. I’m sorry you felt like the only way to get through life was to try to hurt me. I’m sorry your life was so bad that you had to be so mean to me. I’m sorry that as an adult, you still can’t grow up and you still feel the need to hurt me to make yourself feel better. I’m sorry your life didn’t turn out the way you wanted, so you have to turn to hurting others just to make it through. I’m sorry you hated yourself that much. I’m sorry I let it bother me as much as it did. I’m sorry I gave you power over my life and my emotions. I’m sorry I let all of the sink in and believe it. I’m sorry I ever gave you the time of day. I’m sorry I let it keep happening day after day without standing up for myself. I’m sorry I let you get away with it for as long as I did. But that’s all changing now. I met some people. Some people who told me that I am worthy, that I deserve to be happy and have the right to feel how I feel. People that told me my anxiety that was caused by all of your inner pain, doesn’t have to be how I live my life anymore. People that told me I’m beautiful, smart, whole, funny, fun to be around—and who supported me and those dreams you said were pointless. People who liked that I wasn’t like everyone else, because being different is beautiful. Eventually, your negativity stopped bothering me. Instead, it gave me strength. I had to learn how to be strong and take care of myself. I learned how to speak my mind and to stop letting others treat me like dirt. I learned my worth and let me tell you something—my worth is damn expensive, and if you can’t afford it, then get out. I know I will never get an apology from you, but you know what? I don’t care anymore. I don’t need your words anymore. I spent too much time listening to them replay in my mind for years, and I’m done. I hope life has improved for you. I hope you learned to grow up. And if you have kids of your own, I hope you teach them to be the opposite of what you were. You may have thought your negativity was going to tear me down for good, but in reality, it gave me strength, built me up and I am proud of the woman I am. I love who I am. And I hope one day, you will love who you are and you will forgive yourself for what you’ve done. I really, truly do. Everyone deserves to be free from pain. And I am now free from you. You have no place in my life anymore.