To my bully,
If your goal was to leave a permanent mark on someone before graduating high school, then congratulations. No ghosts or monsters can ever compare to the nightmares I get about you. Yes, you still haunt me subconsciously and I wake up crying every time.
Maybe at the time, you thought you were just being funny and trying to make the whole class laugh. Maybe you had your own issues to deal with. Or maybe you just thought being mean to someone was synonymous with being cool.
Whatever reason you had for choosing me to pick on, I want you to know that I bear no ill feelings.
Thanks to you, I am stronger. When you’re a confused and pubescent kid, being made fun of in front of an entire class is the last thing you need. In my case, it became a pivotal moment in my social life because that’s when I started to develop social anxiety. The next few years of my life felt like rock bottom, but I pushed through. Without you, I wouldn’t have such a big obstacle to overcome and I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Thanks to you, I am grateful for my friends. To say that I was more than relieved to leave high school would be an understatement. My high school life and early college years taught me that not everyone will like me for who I am. I hit a few bumps before I found the people who truly appreciated the person I was but when I finally did, it was worth it. And it’s because of you that I love and cherish my friends as much as I do today.
Thanks to you, I learned to give love. Knowing how it feels to be left out, ostracized, and even being forgotten altogether, I make sure that none of the people I know will ever have to experience the same thing. I’ve learned to see the good in my least favorite people in the world and focus on that. You helped make me into a more understanding and open-minded person. I learned to be careful with the way I treat people and the things I say because I’m afraid to give them the same scar you left on me.
I have no hard feelings because during the mornings I wake up from those terrible dreams of you, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have the people in my life now and I realize how far I’ve come since that day I ran out of the classroom to cry in a bathroom stall.
I want you to know that even though the scar may never heal, I had already forgiven you a long time ago. And I want you to know that it’s thanks to you that I am a better person today.
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