In therapy I learned to write letters to those who hurt me. Recently I took a one-day writing conference and the workshop teacher discussed using the letter writing for characters. She told us to think of our character in a story we are writing or have written about then have the character write a letter to the person in the story who has or is hurting them. Since I write memoir the character is a much younger me. This sparked an idea. What would younger Aimee write to her biggest bully in my book Escape to the Garage: Family Love Overcomes Bullying.
If you haven’t read my book the biggest bully is a girl named Donna. She pretended to be my friend while treating me like I was helpless and worthless. Donna is not her real name. I changed her name to protect her privacy. Below is my note.
I thought you were my friend. You seem like you liked me when I met you in my second year of first grade, but yet you put me down. You treated me like I was dumb from the start. It took me a while to realize you were never my friend. You tear me apart every chance you get. You fool the teachers into thinking you are helping me when in reality you are holding me down.
You never show kindness in the words you say to me or the way you treat me. You rip me apart every chance you get. Does it make you feel good to cut me down like trash? Your words hurt. They rip apart my self-esteem, my strength, and my self-worth apart. I stopped trying to succeed because I believe you and the teachers are right, I am stupid. But are you right? My mom says I’m smart. Wouldn’t it be funny if some day I prove you wrong?
I feel sadness every day. I have nightmares at night, and I fear to go to school every morning. It’s because of you and your friends. You all torment me each day and it’s not fair. I’ve never did anything to deserve it. I hate you for how you make me feel. I hate that I go home each day crying because of the names you call me. I feel so sad and hopeless and it’s all because of you. Are you proud of yourself for being so mean?
Bullying me doesn’t make you a better person. Giving me answers on tests doesn’t make you a good person. What you are doing to me should never be done to anyone. I am a person who just has a learning disability. I have feelings, I cry just like everyone else, I want to be accepted just like everyone else, and I bleed just like everyone else. The only thing different about me is I learn differently.
I’m much better than you are because I know how to treat people with kindness. To bad you never took the time to get to know me, because if you had you would find that I’m a good person, I’m fun to be around and I’m loyal to those I care about. Too bad you are too rotten to ever get to know the real me.
I feel sorry for you. You’ll never have real friends. You don’t know how to be a good friend. I hate you and will not let you ruin me. Some day I will rise above you and show you I can be more than on welfare. You’ll see I will succeed, and you will just be a lonely miserable person.
How dare you put me down? You have no right. You don’t deserve to have a happy life. I wish you sadness and misery. I wish the same torture you have put on me.
Has someone hurt you badly when you were younger? If the younger you wrote that person a letter, what would it say? Take a step backwards, be that younger person and write that letter. Don’t send the letter. Instead take it to a safe place and burn the letter. Free the pain that child or teenage in you has been harboring. This method is very healing. Just writing this letter was helpful for me.
Writing my memoir and this note to my biggest bully has healed my childhood wounds. Because of writing these I stand in the light even stronger.