Dear 14-Year-Old Me,
If only you knew what you know now. Right now you hate yourself. You wonder each day why no one likes you. You pray each night that you could change who you are.
But you don’t realize that who you are today will be a reflection of who you will become 15 years from now. I know that 15 years seems like a long time, but everything you will go through in those years will make you stronger and a much better person than those who are bullying you.
One day, you are truly going to look back and laugh at the way people treated you. Because one day you are going to look in the mirror and see a beautiful person.
I know it sucks right now. I know you wish that life were over so that the pain would stop. But trust me. It gets better. It may not seem that way now.
Especially since yesterday someone put pencil shavings in the sandwich that you had in your backpack and you had to go all day without eating.
The day before that, one of your classmates threw a big history book at you for no reason at all. The day before that, another classmate who’s overweight thought it would be funny to slam you on the ground and lay on top of you.
I hate to tell you this but…
Tomorrow is not going to get any better. One of your classmates is going to call you gay during class and everyone is going to laugh at you. Don’t look to the teacher to help you.
She’s only going to believe the rumor and have you moved to another class. You don’t know this now, but she doesn’t like homosexuals and since people think you are, she doesn’t like you.
When you are walking to lunch a group of boys are going to grab you and push you up against the wall.
They are going to go through your pockets looking for money. Since you don’t have any, they are going to let you go but with a message, “If you tell anyone we are going to kick yo ass.” You’re going to walk off scared to tell anyone because you feel that no one can protect you. No one will help you.
Truthfully, you really don’t want help. You only want to fit in and be accepted like every one else. You want to be “cool” too.
You’re going to be sitting alone like you always do at lunchtime and two boys are going to come up to you. One of them is going to dump chocolate milk all over your head and laugh at you.
When you go home, you are going to contemplate suicide. It’s not because you don’t want to live. It’s because you hate yourself. You don’t understand why people don’t like you and because other people don’t like you, you don’t like you.
As you lie in bed, you’re going to be thinking of all the times people have bullied you and made you feel worthless. You’ll think back to the seventh grade when a boy older than you chased you home because he “don’t like you.”
You’re going to think back to the time when you walked into class and was punched in the jaw by your classmate because he “don’t like you.” You’re going to think about the time when a boy bumped into you in the hall so he’d have a reason to fight you ’cause he “don’t like you.”
You’re thoughts are going to fill your eyes with tears, your heart with pain, and your mind with questions of, why am I different? Those thoughts are going to drift and you’ll start thinking of painless ways to kill yourself.
You don’t care anymore. You just want it to all be over.
Luckily, you’re too scared to do it, but as a result it will be another year of endless bullying before something finally happens.
You’ve always been terrified to fight back, but on this day you are going to feel empowered. You are going to be confronted by another classmate for no reason at all. But something is going to be different.
You are going to stand up to him. You are going to fight back. You were once taught that if someone hits you to just walk away. Turns out that was a bunch of bullshit.
As you’ve learned, if someone hits you and you let them get away with it, not only are they going to hit you again, but other people are going to start hitting you.
You’ll end up winning that fight. Turns out you are a very good fighter. Who knew? Well now everyone knows. From here on out, you will never be bullied again.
In fact you are now one of the cool kids. People like you. You’re happy. Not because people respect you now. But because you respect you and you realize that there are people who love and care about you unconditionally.
You’re thankful that you did not commit suicide. It wouldn’t have been worth it. You have a good life now. In fact you feel like if it wasn’t for the bullying, you wouldn’t be the man you are today.
So in a sense you thank your bullies for giving you the strength, courage, and drive you have now.
I love you, 14-year-old me. I know I didn’t before and I apologize for that. Thank you for being you. You are special and one of a kind. Stay strong my friend.
You will make it through it and come out on top.
Your 30-year-old self.