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To My Childhood Bullies

Anonymous

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I bet you never thought you’d hear from me again. Bet you’d never think that I’d bring it up. I bet you think that I forgot. I didn’t, I never did. The words you threw at me will always stick to my skin; unwanted and bothersome. Just like you made me feel, just like I will always feel when I’m talking to literally anyone, ever. I never understood why it was that you didn’t like me, sure I was an odd kid but that’s not really my fault.

 

Don’t worry, I forgave you a long time ago and I’m not here to yell at you through the screen. I just thought you should know.

 

Of all the names that I’ve been called there has been one that’s been a constant reoccurrence in my life; Doll. I was my older sister’s baby alive before there was such a thing and I was expected to act like one too. My mother and my sister would dress me up in frilly pink dresses and put bows in my hair and make me wear tight, uncomfortable white shoes. They would indulge in fantasies and tell me stories of my prince and how he was waiting for me so that he could whisk his pretty princess away into the sunset, as if I belonged to him already. We would go to family gatherings and, while the other children got to go outside and play, I had to sit right next to my mother. With a straight back, crossed ankles, and an emotionless face, I had to sit still and alone. I never spoke unless spoken to and I was always isolated from the happy, dirt covered cousins that got to run and play. Adults would coo at me and touch my bouncy curls and tell me what a pretty girl I am. They would make me read to them, to prove that I could, and the room would become silent when my mom told me to sing. I was the center of attention and the main source of entertainment to my drunken uncles who would clap and whistle and holler when I performed. It never struck me as odd; the way I was sat upon that pedestal and expected to sit there without moving. It was just the way things were.

When I got older and I started to go to school is when I noticed that something was different. I noticed how all the other little kids would behave in class and out on the playground and how it was always different from how I was. I would go out at recess and sit the way I was taught on the cold blue benches and watch the other children play. I was never taught how to interact with other kids my age so I guess that made me an easy target because I never fought back and I always wore pink. The yard duties would always talk to me so I wouldn’t just be sitting on my own. It’s interesting to me now because they never actually helped me at all, even though it was happening before their very eyes.

Like I said before, I was expected to be a doll. I went through a stage where I was fighting with myself because when I started gaining weight it ruined this perfect image I was supposed to maintain. As a result I became very depressed and I reached a point where I wanted to kill myself because I was changing so much that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I sat with your words in my head on the cold bathroom floor, staring at a bottle of pills and wishing that I had the guts to take them so I wouldn’t be such a disappointment. So I wouldn’t feel anymore.

 

There was no way you could’ve known but it was the hardest thing I had ever experienced because on one hand I was getting older and I wanted to be independent and just find out who I am, but on the other hand I wanted to be perfect and I wanted to just be the person that I was always told that I am. But I mostly just wanted it to stop. It’s hard being at odds with yourself, especially when both sides are so completely different and when you’ve been told your whole life that only one of them is right, and your words didn’t make it any easier. Nonetheless, I survived, and I think it’s clear that I came out the other end stronger.

After fighting with myself for a long time I have accepted that I am beautiful, but I am so much more than that and I don’t need to change myself in any way to make anyone else happy. I am smart and capable and I can be everything that I aspire to be all on my own, no matter how hard I have to work to get there. I have opinions, so many opinions, and I love being independent. Although I still struggle with it sometimes, I know who I am and I know exactly who I want to be.

 

I don’t blame you for the way you used to treat me. We were just kids and unfortunately there is nothing that any of us can do to change what happened. But I can’t judge you anymore than you had the right to judge me. Hell, I don’t know your story any more than you knew mine. We’re completely different people now than we were then. Of course there will always be a part of me gnawing at the back of my head that says nasty things in your voice and makes me question my worth but that’s just my cross to bear. We can’t turn back time after all, we can only move forward. I hope you’re doing well and I hope that I’m not making you uncomfortable because, after all, I’m not angry.
I just thought you should know.

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The student news site of Moreno Valley High School
To My Childhood Bullies