This one is cliche but I am going there anyway. Having recently done my mental health and psychology course and worked with vulnerable families for 5 years this has encouraged me to look back to my own childhood/adolescence/adulthood for the reason behind my fluctuating mental health over the years. Bullying is traumatic.......with everlasting effects on ones life, mentally, emotionally.
Yes, I am talking to you. I am the one you only know to bow her head, hide her face, hide her skin. I am not even sure if you had even heard her voice before but it's here now, volume up, an ounce of assertiveness....enough for her to write this letter.
I was the young confident girl, baton twirler, prancer, dancer and poser. Call me Little Miss Confident. To the young ones, I forgive you. I forgive you for telling me I was too much of a show off and rubbish anyway. You were too young to know any different, wanted to be part of the "cool crew", in with the latest cruel names to call the ones uninitiated into "cruelty crew"..oh sorry "cool".
No longer Little Miss Confident, introverting, shying away from all social interaction. Tears before bedtime, dreams of the taunting. Even you, my best friend. You took advantage, I was always the pawn in the game, the one discarded if that assertiveness appeared to suggest another way, to stop the destruction of "my" Barbie...never yours. The leader of the gang..."don't talk to her".... and they listened. Alone, I was that a lot.
Then high school, to the boy who punched her in the stomach, f*ck you, I could knock you out now. To the girls who laughed at her first hair colour disaster, you have now had a few of your own. Grabbing her, groping her...you made her retreat into her Cancer shell so much so that she no longer knew how to even feel Little Miss Confident inside her anymore. To the boyfriend who called her stupid at every opportunity, look at her now....far more highly qualified than you, and I have traveled enough to look at the world a little different, more gently, with a compassion you never have or never will possess. You are still the same...Peter Pan.
The one that sticks in her head at age 15..."You are flat as a skateboard that is hard to ride"...well boy that one stuck didn't it. That one hung over her head for years, another f*ck you required here because don't you remember the night, at age 22, she walked past you low cut top, 3 cup sizes bigger with a gentleman on her arm. Did that hurt your jaw when it hit the floor!
To the ones who think she is weak, frail, naive.....never make the mistake of thinking she is any of those things. Try going through deep depression, self harming, eating disorder and heartbreak but holding down two jobs while studying full time. Try being a female, creating, carrying and delivering another human being into the world. Try feeding that human from your own body for 18 months while domestic violence looms over you. Try the dropping baby off at supervised contact, having 2 hour panic attacks, numerous court ordeals/orders, legal fees. Still holding down two jobs. Bravely travelling with boy in tow to amazing places. All alone. With all her vulnerable determination. Is that weakness? A frailty? Naive....don't ever mistake my introverted silence for that. Trust me.
To the ones older, the ones who project power....preying down on the front liners. I am older than I look, know more than I say and don't ever believe your bullshit. I rebel you. all humans are equal. Bullying adults may actually be the children who did not survive.
Bullies, I am an introvert. openly, bravely, quietly not because of you but in spite of you. I believed all of you when you hurt her, you were all liars, projections of your own insecurities.....maybe that gives me, as the adult, room for forgiveness. For everyone has a story, even the bully. Your pain may just be as vast, your own traumas reflected in your behaviours, while she retreats you may lash out. I hope you are sorry, for then, you may know that I have forgiven you.
But I will never forget.
Little Miss Rose.x
500 words a day challenge from Kale and Cigarettes.