An Open Letter To The People Who Bullied Me
When I allow myself to remember, I’m still shocked at how cruel people can be.
There are people in the world who don’t want the best for me. Are they worth wasting energy worrying about? No. Does it bother me? Of course it does.
In my ideal world, people would know the real me, understand hardships and hurdles I’ve faced, know I’ve tried my best even when I’ve struggled, see my good points and wish me happiness. But that’s never going to happen.
I don’t throw myself in a crumpled heap on the floor and sob about it and it doesn’t keep me up at night, but sometimes a flashback fizzes and bleeds.
I accepted a long time ago that I’m like the human equivalent of wasabi. I’m not to everyone’s taste. Some people, in the taste test of life, try me, scrunch up their face and pass me by saying, ‘Urgh, not for me thanks.’ Minute by minute, day by day, I’m okay with that because I know it means I’m not vanilla, but sometimes, when I waddle into a shallow well of wallowing, it really rattles my cage. Often that’s because I never got to look them in the eye and say, ‘Urgh, you’re not for me either, thanks all the same’, spin on my heel dramatically and flick my hair defiantly as I flounce away.
Instead, we accrue our haters, keep on trucking through life and never get to bite back at those who’ve wronged us, hurt us, stabbed us in the back or blocked us on social media (yeah, cheers for that, you’re not for me either). Biting back is weak, serenity is paradise, holding onto hatred only causes us stress; I get all that, but I would like to say this…
When you bullied me at school, it stayed with me. When you wronged me in the cold light of day, you caused me to unravel behind closed doors. When you stabbed me in the back while smiling in my face, you left me with scars. I don’t wish you harm (maybe a broken umbrella in a downpour and a burnt dinner when you’re really hungry), but I want you to know the damage you’ve done.
There are plenty of days when drawing a smile on my face is part of getting ready. I leave it till last when my eyes are twinkling with mascara and apply it just before I waltz out of the door to face the world. But never, ever underestimate how much I have been through. I am not strong, I am not bulletproof, your words scratched at my confidence and your betrayal knocked me for six.
Years later, when I allow myself to remember, I’m still shocked at how horrible people can be; people who clearly don’t have a hearty conscience.
I have cried myself to sleep more times than you could count on your impressively extensive dagger collection. Even though you may see an illusion of success from the outside, Little Miss Sunshine does a good job at hiding heartache.
It’s funny, because as I’m writing this, faces of foul folk I’d rather had never showed up in my taste test of life are parading through my mind, and anger bubbles through my veins. You see, there’s the proof – holding onto grudges does no good. Maybe only to share swiftly so that everyone reading this who has a voodoo doll secretly stashed in their bedside cabinet with the face of someone who’s stolen their sunshine at some point knows they’re not the only one to have been wronged. It happens to all of us, and haters aren’t worth your tears.
So swiftly, I step out of the past and ping back into the present moment.
I’m proud of who I’ve become, there are exciting things lurking, and ahead of me isn’t hatred, it’s happiness.
Images via favim.com.
Comment: Do you believe in forgiveness?