“I want you to know I’m here for you. I want you to know you’re not alone. I want you to know that what they’re saying is untrue and as hard as it is you gotta stay strong right now.”
I would love to tell the 13-year-old girl that messaged me, that bullying will stop after she graduates 8th grade.
I would love to tell her the mean comments and blasts across social media will decrease as she gets older. I would love to tell her once you figure out who you are everyone will like you.
But that isn’t the truth. Even at 25, I find myself still lacking understanding of people’s unkindness and why sometimes I’m still a target.
But that’s something I won’t tell her.
I won’t tell her once she gets to high school girls in her honor class will whisper when she enters the room because no one thinks she should be there and it’s clear her presence is unwelcome.
I won’t tell her how she might retreat to the girl’s room in tears or go home to your mom crying because one girl decided to make your life a living hell that day.
I won’t tell her about the fights she almost gets into defending someone else because she refuses to sit back and watch anyone gets treated the way people have treated her.
I won’t tell her how much her personality will change because of all of this or she’ll begin to choose a silence that is comfortable. And in choosing silence people will take it as ‘she thinks she’s better than us.’
I won’t tell her how many schools she’ll transfer to only to discover mean girls are everywhere.
I won’t tell her when she chooses to treat people with kindness and respect and be nice, people are going to tell her she’s fake.
I won’t tell her people are going to judge her for every move she makes even before she makes it.
I won’t tell her she’ll get diagnosed with depression and anxiety and she’ll be too young to not understand this isn’t her fault.
I would love to tell her that bullying and unkindness will stop after high school graduation.
But that isn’t the truth.
I won’t tell her college will be hard at first. And regardless of the club, team or sorority she joins, mean girls will still by lurking in a desperate attempt to take down people like her.
I won’t tell her about the discomfort of walking into a dorm room and the silence of roommates who gang up on her because they decided they didn’t like you that week.
I won’t tell her how she’ll run to her best friend in tears wondering what she did to deserve this.
I won’t tell her the harder you try the worse it will get.
I would love to tell her all of it ends even after college graduation.
But that isn’t the truth.
I won’t tell her the same adults who she’s supposed to look up to will be the very same ones acting like children and she’ll have to be mature and teach them.
I won’t tell her the names gets unkinder and the looks get dirtier and it still hurts like it did at 13.
And in every situation, she’ll handle it like an adult because she had to mature a lot faster than anyone else to overcome all of this.
I won’t tell her when you get a job even then people won’t stop talking. And sometimes being good at something leads to resentment. I won’t tell her people are going to who watch her every move just hoping to see her fall.
I won’t tell her she’ll retreat to the bathroom like she did at 13 only this time she won’t cry. She’ll look at her reflection, bite her lip and continue to handle these situations with the same grace she always has.
The honest truth is it doesn’t end. No matter how old you get or where you go there are still going to be those girls who turn into women and have something to say every time you leave the room.
There are some people who will judge you so harshly they won’t give you a chance in hell to show them who you really are because some people just don’t want to know you.
I won’t tell her they are treating her this way out of a sense of jealousy or intimidation. Because I know she won’t believe it. And I don’t know if that’s the truth. The truth is there are still some people who need to step on others to feel better about themselves.
But what I will tell her is all of this will make her strong enough to endure it. I’ll tell her to continue to just keep her head down and continue walking forward and focusing on the things that matter.
I’ll tell her to keep being herself and eventually, she’ll get a sorry or two she deserves. I’ll tell her to keep being herself and she’ll find the right people who appreciate and value her.
But more than that I’ll tell her you’re going to become someone so beautiful because of all of this.
Despite what people say you’ll never say anything mean back.
You’ll choose to be nicer because you know the reality of selective kindness and refuse to be one of those people.
Despite the negativity and people trying to bring you down, you’ll become this positive person who lifts others up.
I’ll tell her that 13-year-old girl who used to lack confidence will be so sure of herself because she stopped trying to please people a long time ago.
I’ll tell her despite the fact so many people in your life excluded her, she’ll include everyone.
I’ll tell her that same person she stuck up for so long ago is still her friend.
What I will tell her is you’ve made it this far, enduring things you didn’t deserve and you will overcome it every time.
I’ll tell her to stay strong. Stay positive. Stay the path.
I’ll tell her to remember who you are, remember where you came from because it’s there you will find an unwavering strength within yourself and that’s all you need.