Thanks for ruining my life.
No, really. Your two-year incessant torment of me has done a lot to make me who I am now.
I suppose that was your plan all along, wasn’t it? You wanted to make me a better person, didn’t you? When you called me an idiot in front of a class of thirty, you were trying to teach me that I wouldn’t always be the smartest. When you pulled the chair out from under me, you were showing me how to recover. When you spent whole class periods insulting me in multiple ways, that was to teach me to be able to grit my teeth and get through things like that. When you literally stood in the path between me and my goals, you were preparing me for other obstacles. When you were racist, and sexist, and every other kind of prejudiced, you were showing me examples of the worst kinds of people in the world.
I didn’t know, back then, that you were trying to teach me. That’s why I cried every night. That’s why I dreaded going to school each morning. That’s why I desperately wanted to be someone else. Everyone else had already learned these lessons. That’s probably why they all told me I was overreacting.
You were truly my best teacher.
Remember when I nearly pushed you into the pool? That was me taking your lessons and teaching them right back to you.
Dear bully, I hope you read this someday. I hope you know that I know that wasn’t your real plan. Your plan, if you had one at all, was to make a lonely, lost girl even more lonely and lost. You enjoyed watching the tears I shed almost daily. My stress was your de-stresser.
Even though you didn’t plan to make me a better human being, you did. I’m braver now, and stronger. Most importantly, I’ve learned to do the one thing you wouldn’t and be kind to others. I am enjoying a life where I, for once, control it. Not you.
What I’ve also learned is that I’m not the only one who’s had to go through this. Hundreds of thousands of people across the world go through the same thing you put me through. Now I know what bullying is, and what it can really do. I’ve experienced it myself.
And I want you to know right now that because of you, I will now stand up for every single one of them. Bullying is a problem. I know just how much that’s true. We need to stop it, and I will be the very first to put my life and soul into helping others that have had the same problems as me.
Dear bully, I will say the words you want to hear least–thank you.
And dear bully, I hope you can see how I’ve risen above you and will help others do the same.
I hope you can see how I won’t be hurt by you ever again.
And in the peculiarly accurate words of the All-American Rejects: when you see my face, hope it gives you hell.