Regardless of which walk of life you come from, we’ve all dealt with unwanted harassment or teasing at some point. As you may know from reading my first blog post, I was bullied a lot growing up, and people have hurt me throughout my life. I wanted to write a blog post in dedication to all victims of bullying and unwanted harassment. This letter is also dedicated to everyone who has hurt me: I pray for you. Even though you all have hurt me in some way, I pray for good to come your way. This letter will allow me to heal, accept my past and embrace my future. Please note that when I say “you” in this letter I will be referring to different people, but I will use this pronoun to protect people’s privacy.
Dear Those Who Have Hurt Me,
How are you? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen some of you, and not so long for others of you. You may not know this or care, but your words and/or actions have had a lasting impact on my life. I still think about what you’ve done to this very day. They say that time is supposed to heal all wounds, but I haven’t recovered from everything yet. Your words and actions have caused me to question who I am as a person, what I can accomplish and my self worth. Many of you cannot relate to those feelings, because many of you have never struggled with juggling your self worth, life activities and aspirations before. Some of you are quite successful now, and others of you are not, and regardless of where you are in life I forgive you and pray for your success.
In elementary and middle school, you dragged me down when I was already struggling. You kicked me down and made me feel smaller than the tiniest speck. I don’t blame you for what happened, you had nice lives and never experienced bullying so you couldn’t possibly fathom what consequences your actions and words had. I’m sure you would feel terrible to know what you did had me crying in the bathroom, eating lunch alone, and just terrified of other people. I was afraid to get close to people because I was scared of getting hurt and abandoned. The worst thing that you did was abandon me. You made me think I had a chance at being your friend, got me so excited and happy only to knock me down. You don’t know how bad that is to experience that. It makes me scared to push people away that I just naturally do that to protect myself. You think it feels good to have your most private thoughts read out loud and you can hear people laugh at you? It absolutely ruined me and my trust for people. I get nervous when people read my private things on my phone or computer, and I constantly find myself looking at people’s phones and computers just to be sure they’re not talking about me. I remember you talking about me on AIM, MySpace and Facebook, and absolutely hating myself. I remember you setting me up with my crush and me being absolutely ecstatic to have gotten my first kiss from my crush. It was wonderful until I found out it was a sick joke and you only had him talk to me and kiss me to get secrets out of me. It destroyed how I looked at men.
You two were my biggest bullies in middle school. You both came to my school in 5th grade, and we initially got along, but that didn’t last. One of you wanted popularity and the other was just a mean person. You who wanted popularity came to me because you had no one else to turn to. We were friends and talked all day at school, played games and texted online. One day you changed. You befriended popular kids and stopped talking to me. You and your new best friend texted me saying I sucked and should kill myself, that I was ugly and a loser. You who was a mean person, I don’t know where I went wrong with you. I tried hard to be your friend and be nice to you, but it was never enough. You turned my friends against me and would harass me over text and online. Then you have the nerve to start problems with me because I wouldn’t invite you to my birthday party that I invited the rest of our friends to. When we graduated high school your salutatorian speech was about how you grew from being bullied: you went from being bullied to a bully but you didn’t tell anyone that.
High school was less brutal but nonetheless brutal. I remember being young and naïve, and being envious of my classmates all finding love in some way, whether it was meaningless hookups or long lasting relationships. You took advantage of my weakness and tricked me into revealing sexual things about myself, so you could get off on it. I remember you downloading my profile pictures and hinting you would get off to them. I remember catching you upstairs online looking at pornography and you dismissing it as no big deal, and convincing me my future husband would look at it regardless if it bothered me. I remember becoming your friend and being happy about having someone my age as a friend. I had friends who were younger than me but never my age. You used me to drive you around and buy you food with my allowance. When I started running out of money and merely asked you for some gas money, you freaked out at me. Then you and your old best friend became close again and started bullying me. Posting online that I was ugly and that I should kill myself. You knew my issues with my self esteem but broke me down anyway.
My family is full of some great people and some not so great people. My parents and brother have served as role models, protectors and supporters. But there have been times they’ve hurt me and it has been hard to recover from that. Mom, you’re my best friend and your wacky sense of humor is great, but there’s been times you’ve made me question myself. I know your intentions aren’t bad, but you’ve made me feel self conscious about myself: when you say I smell bad, when you say I look like crap, when you belittle me for nervous ticks I have, it all hurts. Dad, you’re a great father, but sometimes you drive me crazy. You treat me like a child sometimes, and I do not recall many times you’ve told me you loved me. You’ve freaked out at me for little things that I am scared to come to you and Mom with things. I’ve lied to you just to avoid fighting with you. My brother, you’re older than me by 9 years. With this age gap is a lot of love and experience. But you’ve also hurt me as well. Catching you watching porn and seeing your magazines made me question my beauty. When you told me that it’s okay that I’m not “naturally hot” also made me question myself as a woman. You and Dad made me fearful of pornography so much that it wasn’t until I started dating G that I realized how badly it impacted me. I hate pornography. It goes against my moral and religious beliefs, but it also brings out my inner insecurities.
To my love G, you’re the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. These past nearly two years have been the best in my life. You’ve saved my life so many times and have helped me heal from the pain I’ve experienced in my life. There’s been so many good times between the two of us that I can’t even think off the top of my head how much fun we’ve had together. We’ve had some rough times too, every couple does. Because of my experiences growing up, I was always on guard and scared of being hurt. I’ve misinterpreted several of your actions. At the beginning of our relationship I was scared because I thought you weren’t serious and would leave if someone better came by. Social media was damaging because I felt threatened by the fact that you’d add/accept requests from females, were a friendly person and talked to females, and unfortunately was the first trigger of my porn flashbacks. When I found out you liked porn I was devastated. It was my fault because I tried rationalizing to myself that all men were into it, so I told you it was ok.
When you said you barely, if ever, looked at it it made me feel better, but I realized that wasn’t the case. It made me try a lot harder. I wanted to be sexier, have sex with you as much as possible, and I’d freak out if you wouldn’t have sex with me because I felt it was my job to take care of your sexual needs. You never dated someone who had issues with porn before so you didn’t know what to do so you just tried to hide it. I would snoop and then it would resurface again. Rinse and repeat. I questioned my self worth as a woman because of porn. It didn’t matter if it was random everyday women posting selfies online, or if it was porn stars, it hurt me. I felt some of them weren’t even as good looking as me. You didn’t really understand at first and it just became a vicious cycle. You slipped up and didn’t tell me because you didn’t wanna hurt my feelings. You probably cannot even recall all the times you slipped up just because that would be going back at least a year. I would cry myself to sleep and ask God what I was doing wrong. The final straw was in November when I felt you had slipped up and you didn’t admit to it until I looked through your Google activity. When you cried and said you were sorry I understood you finally were understanding me. To understand me you had to understand that I never was trying to say porn was worse than cheating, but rather that it is something disrespectful to me and you’ve improved tremendously since then. It’s been almost 4 months now and our sex life couldn’t be better! Porn played a huge role in my anxiety in our relationship and I’m happy we’re improving on communicating about it, and I know to you it means not talking about it all the time so you can focus on not doing it. I forgive you because I know you didn’t mean any harm you just didn’t understand and couldn’t rationalize why I felt the way I did. I know it is not as bad as you physically cheating on me, but it is still hurtful and do not want it in our relationship. I feel that sex and nudity should be saved for your partner, not strangers online. It means a lot to me that you read the book I got for you, that you support my blog, and that you’re at least trying, that’s all I want. 🙂
As a Christian, I am taught that God wants me to forgive those who have hurt me, even those who have had malicious intent. I know that for the most part those who have hurt me did not have bad intentions. God does not want us to hold onto pain and hatred towards others. I have held grudges and held onto pain others have caused me. I want to move on with my life and forgive those who have harmed me. What others have done has made me stronger, made me a kinder and more loving person, and keeps me on my toes. I question things more and this has saved me and others from heartache. I pray for those who have caused me pain, to understand that what they did was wrong and to refrain from it in the future. I am sure that those who have bullied me in the past are no longer bullies, that G understands that porn is serious even if it is not cheating, and that my parents hopefully learn that their outbursts makes them hard to open up to.