From time to time I still see your pictures popping up on my timeline. Looks like college is treating you pretty well. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since it felt like you were running my life.
Maybe the reason you did so much of what you did was because you didn’t know how much I disliked myself already. I was never one of the cooler girls, and you weren’t the only one who noticed, trust me. When you go to the same small, private school from Kindergarten to 8th grade, you either fit in right away or struggle for the next 9 years trying to do so.
And that was exactly what I did. I struggled for years, worrying about where I would sit at lunch just so I wouldn’t be ostracized from conversation. I felt like I was always the butt of everyone’s jokes, and I just took it. I’m proud to say that current me wouldn’t take any of that today. I remember the times I could feel my self-esteem plummet. Like the time the boys in our grade started rating girls to their faces, and I got a measly 2/10.
Did you know I actually felt that way about myself? I agreed 100% with everything they said about me, but it wasn’t until you started bullying me that I changed my mind. The way you went out of your way to treat me, made me not want to believe a thing you or anyone else said about me.
I still remember, in 5th grade, when you mocked me for not having boobs. Which, now that I look back on it, was pretty damn stupid seeing as I hadn’t even hit 11 yet, and neither had you.
I went to the school counselor almost every day to talk just because I felt like I had no friends. I still look back on the day you found that out and I cringe. You never let me live it down. And I sure as hell remember when you went to that same counselor and tried to convince her I was bullying you.
I remember when one of the teachers found out there was a bullying problem in the class. She asked if anyone felt like they had been bullied. I can still see the look on your face when I raised my hand and you looked right through me like I wasn’t even there.
A lot of the things you did were subtle and small, but you did your best to make sure I knew I didn’t fit in. Maybe you think I didn’t even notice some of what you said and did behind my back, but to this day it still hurts a piece of me. I could sit here and list the things you did to me, but that’s beside the point.
I wasn’t half the fireball I am today back then, but I think the person I am today has a lot to do with the way you treated me. By tearing me down, you really only built me up. I wonder, sometimes, if that makes you upset. I learned to stand up for myself and not take crap from people.
I used to pray to God every day that you would transfer schools, or go on a mysterious vacation and just never come back. But what I was too young to understand back then was that, even though I felt like you were the bane of my existence, you were a vital part of me becoming who I am today. You were the sandpaper that rounded out my edges. It would have been way too easy for God to just send you away at a snap of His fingers. He kept you in my life for so long because I needed you to teach me to stand up for myself.
So, here I am doing something I never thought I’d do. Thank you for for teaching me to not take anyone’s crap.