An Open Letter to My Grade School and High School Bullies

I want to forgive you.

I want to forgive the times we were still immature, we were still growing up, we still weren’t adjusted enough to know how to treat other people. Maybe I never did what you did to me, but I know that I wasn’t as mature as I am now. Still, I want to forgive how you didn’t know what it meant to empathize with me or to be patient with how shy I was or how you laughed along with your friends when they laughed at me.

I want to forgive you for the cruelty you might have not known was cruelty yet.

I want to forgive you for ridiculing me and my friends for liking what we did or dressing the way we did or talking the way we did–all different from you. I want to forgive you for how you didn’t probably realize it was wrong to make fun of other people just because they were different and it rubbed you the wrong way. I want to forgive you for the hurtful words you let go of when you were referring to me and the stark difference between us.

I want to forgive you for going through my personal belongings and throwing them into the trash or ripping out my notebook papers or ganging up on my best friend.

I want to forgive you for the immaturity we all were trapped in, but one you specifically used to justify your actions.

I want to forgive you for the things you said or did, that even if it was just a moment of harmless snark for you or a need to feel authority over someone, it festered and grew to be a lifetime of pain for me, pain that I take medication for now. Pain that I have never outgrown, all because you wanted to feel powerful over me for one second.

I want to forgive you for wanting to elevate yourself and using me as a stepping stone. I want to forgive you for the possible insecurity you felt that you needed to take out on someone else. I want to forgive you for choosing me and my friends to take it out on.

I want to forgive you for thinking that we’re all good now that we’re older, that you don’t have to apologize, that you think that you can just joke around with me now to erase everything in the past. I want to forgive you for thinking that you never hurt me and that I don’t have to feel entitled to an apology because of how nice you’re being now, because of how you think we’ve all grown up. I want to forgive you for thinking that it hasn’t followed me all this time.

I want to forgive you for making me think that it’s wrong of me not to forgive you. But I can’t. Because you made me feel so low all my life that I thought I deserved nothing. But I do. I deserve, at the very least, an apology. I will be polite to you, yes, decent, but that does not mean forgiveness. I will never treat you the way you treated me because I know how bad it feels–I’d never return that to you or wish it on anyone. But I don’t forgive you.

Do you have any messages for anyone who bullied you? Let us know!






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