I’ve wanted to write a letter to my bullies since the first day I got bullied back in the second grade- little did I know that the bullying wouldn’t end there- it would follow me until my senior year of high school.
Unfortunately, I know I’m not the only victim of bullying. I definitely wasn’t the only person bullied at my school or even out of my friend group- but we all got bullied for different reasons. For some, it was that they weren’t “girly” enough, for others it was because they were “too girly”- but for me, it was because I was fat. Please recognize that when I use the word fat, I am using it as a descriptor. To me, it is not a demeaning term and, in my opinion, should never be used as a demeaning term or “feeling”- but we’ll save that for a different blog post.
I was bullied solely based on the fact that I didn’t look like everyone else I went to school with. I didn’t fit into the mold of what was “acceptable” to them and wasn’t (and still am not) conventionally beautiful. I didn’t wear the trendy clothes that came from Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister because I couldn’t fit into them. I didn’t have boys tell me they “liked me” or thought I was “pretty”. I never got asked out on a date or to a high school dance. I never had a boyfriend. I was scared to eat lunch or buy anything from the lunch line because I feared people would judge me based on what I was (or wasn’t) eating. I was well aware of how different I was.
I was constantly aware of how my body looked in comparison to my peers, how it fit into clothes, how it fit in desks, how chairs squeaked and creaked when I sat in them, and how sweaty I was after walking up and down stairs, pushing past crowds of thousands of people to get to my next class (I went to a big high school). These are all things most of my peers never had to think twice about- my bullies included.
I’m not saying my bullies didn’t have problems or bullies of their own because that would be a lie- I know they had problems (who doesn’t?)- they just weren’t the things I had to deal with on a daily basis. You’ll never know what it’s like to live in a larger body until you’ve actually done it.
For so long I wanted to shout and scream at my bullies. I wanted to flip them the bird and tell them how much they ruined my life. I wanted them to know how much they hurt and damaged me- pushing me to my breaking point. But one day I had a realization and I knew I had to do one of the things I do best, write about it.
So here you have it – an open letter to my grade school bullies. I’m not sure if any of them will actually read this- but I hope that if you’ve experienced similar situations, my letter will bring you some peace and understanding- enjoy!
Hello ladies and gentlemen-
Remember me? How are you doing? I hope all is well. That’s right, I hope your life is going well.
I hope you’ve accomplished everything you’ve ever wanted in life. I hope you’ve followed your dreams and are doing exactly what you want to be doing. I hope your life is going the way you always hoped it would.
Because mine sure is.
I could go on and on- listing all the crappy things you did and said to me, but I’m not going to do that.
I’m not going to do that because even if I did, I don’t think you’d remember doing any of the things I wrote about.
I don’t blame you for making both my childhood and adolescent life a living hell.
I don’t blame you because I now understand why you made fun of and tortured me.
I only learned this after I became a bully myself. I made people feel bad about what they ate, the size of their body, and judged them hardcore. Want to know why I did it? Because I was so dissatisfied with my own life that in order to make myself feel better I put others down. Now, I’m not going to assume this is why you bullied me- but I can make a pretty educated guess that’s the reason why. I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that you were just going along with the other people in your group and didn’t want to act otherwise in fear that you would be bullied by them, or even worse- “let go” from the group. I also know that you were just making fun of me because I wasn’t “like you”. I was fat and you weren’t.
You were probably taught by family, friends, or society (maybe all three), that fat=bad and that fat people didn’t deserve anything in life and weren’t as worthy as thin/conventionally beautiful people. I’m not saying what you did was ok by any means (because it most definitely wasn’t), I’m just saying I can see why you did it.
Now that I understand and have come to terms with why you chose me as the victim of your many bullying frenzies- I want to thank you. That’s right, I would like to send my personal thanks to you.
If you didn’t bully me, I wouldn’t be as caring, empathetic, understanding, and open minded as I am today.
Now- I’m not going to give you all the credit, because let’s remember, I have some absolutely AMAZING parents who brought me up with good values and taught me right from wrong (hi mom and dad! Thanks for everything! 🙂 )
I bet you never thought in a million years I would ever write you a “thank you” letter. But yet here we are, all those years later.
You may or may not understand the lasting impact your words and actions left all those years ago- but I can say without any doubt in my mind that I would not be on the path I am without you.
It might be hard to imagine, but, in a way, you played a role in the discovery of my true life’s calling– to help people heal their relationships with food and their body. Thanks to you (and countless others) I was always self conscious and aware of the size of my body from a young age- always trying to change it and make it smaller. But it wasn’t until I realized I had an eating disorder that I decided to make peace with food and my body size and made it my life’s mission to help others do the same.
And I hope, in some small twisted and demented way, your bullying towards me made you realize your dreams, passions, and true callings in life too.
So thanks. You made my life pretty unbearable there for awhile, but now I’m at peace with your actions and love my life- I simply can’t image it any other way.
Peace, love, and pineapples-
That’s all she wrote…
Were you bullied growing up? What would you say to your former bullies? What have your bullies taught you about your life?
Have something you’d like me to write about? Let me know here!
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