An Open Letter To My Bully

An Open Letter To My Bully

Food for thought: it costs nothing to be kind
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Dear Girls,

I hope eventually through your path of growing up you treat people a little bit better than you treated me. Even though the things you’ve said to my fragile teen of a self when I was struggling through my pre-teen years will always remind me of some of the worst times of my life, it no longer hurts. All of those nasty, discouraging words and backstabbing incidents they’ve made me stronger as a person. Not to dismiss the cruel way you treated people either, but through all of those cruel words spat in my direction it has taught me to have a thicker skin and to give myself a better insight of how people should be treated (after experiencing how people should not be treated- courtesy of you). You taught me that not everyone was friendly and empathetic, and to be more wary of who I chose to trust. All of the negative experiences prepared me for the proper way to behave, and how to treat people.

I won't deny, I had quite a long period of anger and the urge to hide away and never go to anywhere local because we live in the same town. Obviously none of that was happening, because it's petty and immature, and my life was more than avoiding you. I had days of rage, because you gave me years of isolation, tears and weak self esteem- but there came a point where I turned to myself and realized that was entirely me caring too much about what you’d said. Again this isn't dismissing what you’ve done because I'll remember that for the rest of my life, but saying that i'm over it.

I want you to know that even though you’ll forget my face and my name, heck you probably already have. I will remember it always, as much as I don't want to I will. Your name and presence will bring back the worsts of memories for me. I will remember it because that was a traumatic time in my life, that probably meant nothing but simply “joking around” or “doing what you had to do to fit in” but I'll remember it as one of the moments of my shattering self-esteem days. Sadly, the most traumatic times are the ones we as people remember the most. You can smile and say “have a nice day” when I see you working your part-time job on the streets of the town we both grew up in, but i'll always have a cringed feeling inside me when I leave because I remember it for just a second before shaking it off and returning to the present life that I love. I'm not mad anymore, I’m just ashamed of how some people treat people the way you’ve treated me- because someone needs to reach out to that 13-year-old and tell her it's OK and that it gets better.

I remember thinking it’d never get better, that I was too fat for love, too weird for friends and just feeling worthless. My experience with you all wasn't as extreme as a lot of cases can be, but that doesn't make an inch of it acceptable and that's what I want to make perfectly clear. It wasn't OK to do to me, and it isn't OK for anyone to be treated that way or worse even. The reason I'm telling you this is because it is others like you who take it to further levels resulting in young girls and boys taking their own lives because they don't think that they’re worth it. It costs nothing to smile, and teach the generation under us that treating people with cruelty is unnecessary and unacceptable. I wish you the very best because I'm doing fantastic and no longer struggle with half of the issues I had directly following the series of bullying I had been through. Just remember it costs nothing to be kind to someone.
Cover Image Credit: Nappervillemagazine.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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