To whom it may concern:
You are still with me every day, even now.
To the boy who first kissed me – for the horrible way you treated me, how you asked me to be your girl and then lied about it and laughed behind my back with your girlfriend – even had your father tell me to leave you alone – you became not a happy first memory but a scar. You are still with me.
To the boys in high school who thought it would be funny to get drunk and ask me out so you could make fun of me because I wouldn’t put out – you are still with me.
To the girl who made fun of my homemade dresses because they matched yours, but weren’t from a fancy mall store – you are still with me.
To the softball player in high school who called me a slut to my face every day of senior year, based on what I assume was false information (I had only kissed a boy) – you are still with me.
To the teacher who pointed out that my clothes smelled like smoke because my parents did, you are still with me.
To the cancer that took my mother and tried to take my father, you are still with me.
To the co-worker who said my husband couldn’t possibly love someone like me and that I shouldn’t burden him with who I am – you are still with me.
To the parents who bullied me, talked about me in the parking lot and spread hate about me because I didn’t give your precious angel straight A’s merely because she was your child – you are still with me.
To the “friend” who drank the Kool-aid and joined their club just so you could fit in and keep your job – you are still with me.
To the principal who took parents from my class out to dinner to discuss me and gave me no chance whatsoever to defend myself – you are still with me.
To the part of my family that no longer speaks to me and refuses to recognize that I ever got married, because you didn’t approve of my decisions – you are still with me.
You are all still with me. You have affected my life every single day. You make me doubt my self-worth. You make me feel bad about who I am as a person. You have contributed to my fear. You have made me doubt relationships, new friends; my career.
It shouldn’t still hurt, but every unkind word, every lie, every barb, every slight; they all do. You invited me to your drama and gave me no choice but to attend. I’ve learned to push you all aside, but I still hurt.
Some of you I have seen since. I am ashamed to admit that I have found solace in the fact that some of you seem to have gotten what should have come to you. I have to ask forgiveness for that. Hating you won’t stop me from hating me. It only shifts the blame.
Slowly, I am learning to forgive you, but I will never forget you. I hope that you all teach your children to treat others better than you ever treated me – sadly, I know some of you won’t. Some of you will teach your children all of those bad habits and congratulate them when they look down on others. I’m sad for them.
I hope you’re happy.