My mind is a jumbled mess, and I’m lost in how I feel. It’s a very weird feeling when you hear news that your childhood bully has passed away…died…gone toward the light…I never know quite how to word that, but I’m sure you understand my point. It’s hard to wrap your head around the notion of them being gone, because for so long everything you knew about them revolved around their meanness, their exploding hatred. Do you know how hard it is to try to mourn relationships founded on hatred? I do.
Growing up isn’t easy for anyone, but for kids who are bullied it’s magnified.
You were my bully. You were the person that made me afraid to be myself.
Hearing the news that you were gone shook me in a way I had never known, and now I’m left with questions I don’t know how to ask with answers that don’t exist.
What was your role in so many people’s lives? How can I be so interwoven with someone I hardly know?
There was a completely different side of you—a pretty, popular, and nice side—that I never got to see outside of well-posed MySpace pictures. I only saw the other side of you back then when you were spreading rumors about me and shoving me into lockers. It all makes me wonder when the chain of events started that led to your death. Your actions against me changed the kid I was, and eventually, the person I could have been. You made me feel insecure and worthless. The threats, rumors, and constant physical intimidation were enough to trigger me to have horrendous anxiety, especially in social situations, which continues to this day.
I guess I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for you. Maybe that is a bad thing, but maybe not. I should hate you, but today I am instead choosing to see you for who you were and not what you did. I forgive you.
So here we are. Reduced to two people who never had a chance to say “I’m sorry” before the sand in the hourglass dripped dry. I never had the chance to understand why you had it out for me. We could have been friends, I’m sure, if we would have tried. You were so loved, and I’m sure I would have loved you too had you not thrown me into all of those lockers.
I learned just yesterday that you and my son share a birthday. It’s so unnerving to realize that each year I’ll spend eating cake with my child on his birthday your family will be mourning the loss of too many birthdays cut short.
I guess this is it, dear.