To the people that I went to school with. I don’t think you understand how much you hurt me. I don’t think you understand how badly you broke my spirit and scarred me for the rest of my life.
Hey, you. Yes, you! Remember those times you used to make me cry and ask me things like, “are you looking at me or the sky?” Do you remember bumping into me in the hallways? What about pushing me? Or throwing things at me as I walked by? Do you remember going out of your way to make sure I was miserable? No? I didn’t think so. I bet you only remember how I reacted. The throwing desks, screaming profanities, multiple fist fights, and countless suspensions. You remember the things that led to my isolation from our peer group, but not the things the led to it in the first place.
Hey, you. Yes, you! Do you remember laughing at me and chiming in with the crowd? Remember how you hated me, because they hated me and laughed at me for being “different?” Remember how instead of standing up for me you endorsed the labels they placed on me. Like “bad,” “mean,” and agreeing that I had a “bad attitude” and needed “anger management?” Of course not, because you were privileged enough to be “normal,” so you didn’t have to go through half of the pain that I went through. I didn’t need anger management. I needed pain management.
Living in the shadows of the cross-eyed girl was the darkest place I’ve ever been in my life. I would have given anything to be like everyone else, but I didn’t have that luxury. In the shadows was a broken-hearted girl struggling to find her place in this world. In the shadows was a nine year old girl that cried herself to sleep every night. A ten year old girl growing up thinking she had no worth. A twelve year old girl that would grow up thinking she deserved to be hurt. A fifteen year old girl that felt she deserved all the bad things that happened to her. A seventeen year old girl that was afraid to trust. A twenty-one year old woman incapable of believing in love. A twenty three year old woman that was dead inside.
Hey, you. Yes, you! For many years, I hated you. I wanted bad things to happen to you, and I was unable to forgive you. But today, I am releasing all my anger towards you! I forgive you! Quite honestly, I want to thank you for forcing me to live in the shadows of myself. If it wasn’t for you out-casting and ridiculing me, I would have never grown to be this AMAZING woman that I am. I would have never learned what love is and how to give it to myself and other people. I would have never learned what values to instill in my children. I would have never wanted to change the world!
Because of my struggles, I emerged a humble butterfly, floating from place to place, spreading kindness, acceptance and love. Thanks to you, I have a career that fulfills my hearts desire. I work with children that have no voice. I am blessed to be able to teach them to find and use their voice and assure them that someone is there to advocate for them so they know that they are not alone in this world.
Everyone has the right to feel accepted, no matter their skin color, physical ailments or mental impairment. Our place in this world is ours alone and no one should feel as though they don’t belong. We are all worthy of love, and we are capable of giving this as well.
Moral of the story:
Sometimes darkness bears light, but not all the time. Sometiemes people are not stronger than their sadness and they can succumb to it. Be careful what you say and who you make fun of. To you, it make be a joke, but to the person on the receiving end of the joke its a harsh reality. Everyone is entitled to their joy, so don’t steal it. Lastly, the very person you laugh at today may be the very one that saves your life one day, so choose to be a light.