“I’ve never gotten taller making someone else feel small, If you have got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all” – Karey Musgraves
Having been through all the sufferings that you imposed upon me in our school days, I had never thought I would be writing this letter to you. I realized that even after so many years, the scars still burn and the wounds still hurt; that there is something still deep within that doesn’t let go. Maybe the grudge that I have held over the years into my heart doesn’t let me relieve myself of all the ordeal memories, maybe the malignant urge of revenge that has always been somewhere back into my mind doesn’t let me sleep peacefully, while the demons in my head perpetually flaunting the tribulation of the past. Lately, I have realized that I need to rescue myself; I need to set my shoulders free of this heavy burden.
Dear Bullies, I may never be able to forget the past, but to make my future a better place, I forgive you. I forgive myself too, for being too weak, for staying silent to the torture, for not fighting back when I should have fought back.
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For others, the best memory about childhood would undoubtedly be their school days, but for me, the memory of the school haunts me, chilling me to the bone. The worst part is that I cannot blame you for hurting me because the fault was mine that I never gave it back to you, I take the blame for helplessly ingesting all your vicious venom into my timid individuality. I blame me for letting my confidence drown in the suffocating depression.
I am not angry at you, but myself.
I remember those years like it was yesterday – the beatings, the pulling down of my pants, spilling ink on my clothes, public humiliation, shoving my lunch box while eating, stealing my books, calling names, ridiculing my stammering and at times even molestation.
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I had habituated myself to live with the offensive treatment because with every passing day of ragging I got more accustomed to it. With every other beating, I became more numb, with every other time you pulling my pants down, I felt less ashamed. I had surrendered myself to the pain. But the bathroom incident broke me completely; I felt crushed that day, physically and mentally.
I was helpless, you were inhumanly cruel. You were in groups, I was alone. Being four years elder to me, you were stronger, I was weak. More than the fear of you, I had the fear of my mother that kept me paralyzed. Her stringent commands acted like handcuffs to me forcing me to bother about the consequences of any of my stupid act. She is proud today that I had been a good student throughout my school, but Mom, I blame you too.
It’s not that I never opened my mouth; I did try to talk about this to the teachers a few times, but at that age I didn’t understand the perks that you enjoyed being the son of a powerful politician, now I realized why you were never expelled from the school even after failing several times in the same class. It’s funny how our parents incidentally played a vital role in shaping our mindsets.
Over time, I became a bloody slave about whom you thought had no feelings, felt no pain. Maybe it was all fun for you, you were an immature kid then, but for an extremely sensitive and precarious person like me, it was too much to take in. I still remember how you would tease me every time I stammered, I remember how you would try to impress those girls by beating me up in front of them, I remember how would you hide my specks and enjoy watching me find them like a blind puppy, I remember how you would intentionally spew cold drinks on my clothes and spoil the whole picnic.
And I remember what you did in the bathroom, the incident so bad, I still can’t gather the guts to speak it out. Shattered to an extent that after that day I would urinate in bed while sleeping, regularly! I feel no shame to say that, because the shame is on you, the blame is on you!
I remember the nights I would sleep crying while my mother thought I suffered from some mental illness. Back then I didn’t know how to communicate to her how was I feeling and she couldn’t understand how she could help. No matter how hard I tried to understand it all, it felt like the world was telling me that I didn’t belong, and I never would. I wondered, is not being able to adjust to your world such a great crime?
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But at the end of it all, dear Bullies, I want to thank you, as because of you now I better understand the unfair laws of life.
Thank you for making me realize at a very tender age, the bitter truth of life, that nobody is going to help you, it’s only us who have to fight for ourselves. Thank you for making me understand the fact that you won’t be respected and recognized if you stay weak and don’t stand against wrong. You made me compassionate towards others, for now, I can feel other’s pain, and I know what it’s like to suffer alone. I try to protect those kids like me who are being bullied by bullies like you; where every third child in India is getting bullied and every eighth child committing suicide. I try to be their savior because I have been a victim. I teach them not to be like me, I encourage them to speak up, to give them two punches if they give one. I want you to fight back. Because the life jacket won’t save you from drowning if you don’t know to swim.
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