There are too many of you to list, but you know who you are. Do you remember me? I’m the girl that walked down the crowded hallways with my head down, refusing to make eye contact with any of you. I’m the girl that walked behind you, hearing the nasty rumors you would spread, even though you didn’t know the first thing about me. I’m the girl whose profile picture you stole off of Facebook and “colored” it up to spread all over your public social media websites, gaining likes and favorites because no one would dare cross you.
I’m the girl you called ugly. The girl you called fat. The girl you mocked & laughed at when I answered a question or did a presentation in class. I’m the girl whom you named your cars after – you remember; showing pictures of your cars all decorated and captioning them “trying to make Allie look girly”, “dressing up Allie to make her pretty.” Remember? You said it was no easy task. I’m the girl you threatened to beat up in the parking lot because I stood up for someone that you didn’t like.
I’m the girl you left sitting alone for the senior luncheon. You crowded into one table, some of you standing, because you refused to sit next to, or even near me. I’m the girl who found your little notes in my locker, reminding me of how “weird” I was. I find that hysterical now.
When we were in Notre Dame high school, in our little class size of 65, I thought I’d never survive it. I dreaded spending five days a week with you. The hatred I felt toward you burned so deep. The thought of seeing you made me sick to my stomach each morning. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to live anymore. I was desperate to escape in any way that I could.
The breakdowns every day; crying into my mother’s arms, shaking as she tried to comfort me and tell me that I would get through this; watching my self-esteem drown in the toilet; and the seemingly endless torture from you all should’ve killed me. But, it didn’t.
In high school I was too scared and not mature enough to respond to you. I couldn’t stick up for myself, but you all knew that. I tried to simply ignore your hurtful remarks. I didn’t have the courage to use my voice because I thought it would make things worse. I listened to your bullying for four years. Why? Because I had values.
If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. The social media postings making fun of my appearance and body, made me learn to love myself just the way I am.
You taught me that I never want to treat anyone like that. I never want anyone’s self-worth to be ruined because of me. I learned from you that I don’t need to care about what anyone thinks of me. I’m allowed to love myself for who I am, and nobody has the power to control that, except for ME.
I learned how to be an adult, and how to handle situations with grace and dignity. You all taught me how I want to raise my children when the time comes. I want to raise them with respect, courtesy and compassion for others. I want them to be the leaders, to take a stand against people like you.
Your cruelty also taught me how to be kind. You allowed me to open up my heart and care deeply for others. Your behavior showed me who I didn’t want to be. Every time you showed disrespect, a complete lack of courtesy for others or a lack of self-respect for yourselves, made me hold myself to a higher standard.
When you treated me as if I was worth nothing, you taught me that my value isn’t based on your opinion, or anyone’s opinion. You taught me that nobody has the right to steal my worth or mark my value down.
You taught me what it meant to be a friend, and how important it is to stay close to my family. My mother is now my best friend and I’m not one bit ashamed. She suffered right along with me. Migraines, breakdowns, and the enormous pressure I put on her with my venting – perhaps was the worst effect of your behavior. You weren’t aware of how your actions and words hurt other people aside from me. But, you know what? You made us strong.
Secondly, I’m sorry no one came along to teach you about kindness. I’m sorry that you didn’t know how to love. I’m sorry that you had such little respect for yourselves that you had to take it out on innocent people. I’m sorry that you spent your high school years focusing on being wicked and learning to bully.
Lastly, I forgive you. After all the hell you put me through, all of the after-effects, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your help. As it turns out, my life is fantastic. I’m surrounded by amazing people who genuinely love me. Because of you, I had an unforgettable college experience. I’ve found my passion in life and found my own faith and strength.
I forgive you for being the way you were. You didn’t know how to be a leader, not a follower. You didn’t know the impact of your words or actions. I realize now that you didn’t know that everything you said about me, was a reflection of how you felt about yourselves.
I truly hope that your life is filled with happiness. I hope you found the same type of self-love that I have. I pray that your life takes you further than you’ve ever imagined and that you have the focus and drive now to follow your dreams.
From the bottom of my heart, I pray that you have matured and are not stuck in your high school mindset. I pray that you learned from your mistakes and one day raise your children to be caring and kind individuals. Finally, I pray that you find the peace to live a wonderful life full of many blessings that you deserve.
Good luck and God Bless,
A girl who has let go of the past.
To those who are experiencing any form of bullying right now: know that it does get better. It doesn’t last forever. Don’t let the mean girls or bullies take your self-esteem. Remember that your life is important. YOU MATTER. YOU ARE LOVED. There will always be bullies in life, unfortunately. You just need to know that they’re not worth your energy. Walk with your head held high, secure in the knowledge that you do NOT need anyone’s approval. Don’t be afraid to speak out. You don’t need to suffer in silence. I know you feel like you’re all alone, but you do have a huge support system that is ready to help you. Talk about it. Stand up to bullying.
To those who are the bullies: you might not realize it now, but you are severely hurting someone. Following the crowd may seem like the ‘cool’ thing to do, but it’s the complete opposite. Recognize that everyone is unique and different. That doesn’t make them bad people, and that doesn’t mean you have the right to shame them for their beliefs, choices, etc. Take a step back and think if you would want to be treated the way you treat others. If the answer is no, then your behavior needs to change. Cruelty is not attractive. Cruelty is not cool. Be a leader, be empathetic, be kind. Don’t go down the path of hatred.