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.