To My Sixth Grade Bully

Subject: To My Sixth Grade Bully
From: The girl who cried in class
Date: 12 Feb 2018

I do not know if you remember me, we were in the same class in sixth grade. I don’t know why I am doing this, but I guess I just want you to know everything that you added to what I considered the worst year of my life. This isn’t to make you feel bad about what you did, but mostly so that I have peace of mind that I told you how you made me feel all does days we sat across each other in Mrs. C’s class. Middle school was a very hard time for me, and you made it even harder for me. I guess the best way to tell you about it is from the beginning.
When I started middle school I was in 5th grade. Some bullshit about not having enough space in the Elementary school for everyone. Anyway, apart from going to a new school, I was placed out of ESL (English as Second Language) classes for the first time. A lot happened that year, the most memorable was not having friends. You see, I didn’t know anyone in my new classes, and the friends I had had until that point stopped talking to me and also bullied me.
I entered sixth grade with the hope that everything would be different, I didn’t expect everything to be so much worst. You see, before you transferred to our school, I had been dealing with a problem with one of our teachers, Mrs. S. This is a bit complicated to explain. This teacher didn’t like me, and I know a lot of people say this when they have trouble with a class, but this particular teacher admitted to not liking me (and making my life hell on purpose) near the end of the school year in front of one of the vice principals and my mom.
Mrs. S made it seemed as if I was not ready to be out of ESL classes, she gave me a low reading level score at the beginning of the year, which should have placed me in another reading class. This plan failed because they retested me and found my reading level to be above grade level. That didn’t stop her from placing me at the lowest reading level table (meaning horrible books to read and a lot of extra work). She failed me throughout the whole year and made my grades semipublic for the rest of the class to know I was failing. My parents had to pay for outside tutoring, that the tutors didn’t really understand why I needed to be there and why I was still failing with the extra help.
Overall, my classes with Mrs. S were a dreaded nightmare. Luckily we had an A day-B day system. I remember that very well, I don’t know if you do. I do because it meant that every other day I got out of Mrs. S’s class and got to have class with Mrs. C.
Mrs. C was my savior that year, I could actually be myself without feeling stupid or dumb in that class. I put all my effort into every project and assignment for those classes. My favorite was when I got to research Mars for a presentation, I still daydream about seeing the pink Mars sky in person someday. I remember that presentation for many reasons, one of them being because that was the day you arrived at our school.
You had no one to work with, and because I was working on the presentation alone, and I was done, I offered you to join my presentation so that you could get a grade. Now thinking back, I offered you an easy A+ simply because I wanted to be nice. Being an outsider I knew how it felt to be alone, and I didn’t want you to have to do a whole project in one night.
I don’t know if that’s when you started disliking me, maybe it was later on? I don’t know. All I know is that soon after you started throwing spit-wats at me from across the table. You threw stuff at me, took away my stuff, and so many other things. It was all small annoying things, but what bothered me the most was that whenever I would ask you to stop you would ignore me and carry on. You didn’t know that that class was my safe haven at school, and slowly you were making me regret stepping into Mrs. C’s classroom like I did when stepping into Mrs. S’s classroom.
I bet it seemed small, the thing that finally broke me in-front of the whole class. We were placing our folders away for the day, and you kept getting mine and throwing it out of the basket. I asked you to stop, more than once, but like always, you didn’t listen to me. All the pressure of everything going on in my life became too much when my folder hit the ground once more. I remember yelling at you to just stop it, the tears already in my eyes. I started crying and was unable to stop. I don’t remember how I ended up in the hallway, and what words I used to explain to Mrs. C why I was crying. I just remember thinking how weak I must have seemed to everyone sitting in that class, but I couldn’t stand it anymore.
You got moved to another table that day, and I started avoiding you like the plague from that moment on. I remember someone telling me that you were doing all those things because you liked me. I remember thinking that they must be completely wrong, no one would be so mean to someone they cared about. I spend the rest of the year trying to focus on how to survive class with Mrs. S, how to avoid making eye contact with you, and how to just stay in one piece.
I almost didn’t graduate that year, but a confession from Mrs. S and my mother fighting the whole school for me I was able to get into 7th grade. I was able to make some friends at the end of 6th grade and everything slowly got better.
I remember that you tried to talk to me one day at school, I think it was around the end of 8th grade. I saw you heading my way, and opening your mouth, but before you could say a word I cut you off and told you to leave me alone. I didn’t want to hear anything from you, but I would be lying if I said I never wondered what you were going to say that day. A part of me thinks it could have been an apology, but I was not ready to hear it back then.
To be honest, I don’t know if I am ready to hear it even now. That year was a living hell in which I regretted having to go to school, and you were a part of that. I developed depression and anxiety that I still deal with to this day. I am a stronger person now, strong enough to admit that I thought more than once back then about suicide. I can’t believe that I was willing to give up on my life at 11.
Now, I’m 22 years old, I am trying to make my mark in the world. I have graduated from university, ironically, my degree is in Writing and English, the very subject Mrs. S made me hate that whole year. I have friends that I love and care for, and they love and care for me. I have so many plans for the future, and I am so much stronger than I was eleven years back.
I don’t know what you are up to, but I found out recently that we have mutual friends on Facebook. My first instinct was to tell them what you did to me, every mean thing you made me go through, and how broken I was thanks to you and everything that happened that year. I didn’t though. I didn’t because I hope you have matured from the boy who threw spit-wats at me and made me cry. I don’t wish you any harm, at least not like I used to. I used to hope that you would find someone that would treat you like you did me. That was petty, and I apologize for that, and I hope your life is going great and that you achieve everything you plan to.
I write this letter, because I forgive you, and also to explain how hard that whole year was for me. For a long time, I didn’t know who to blame. I blamed myself for the longest time, I thought I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough and a number of other things. I thought I deserved everything that happened to me that year. With time I started blaming other people, including you. Now I don’t blame anyone, I just hope that you are a better person now and that you treat others better. I also hope you are doing okay, I hope the way you acted towards me wasn’t because you were being bullied by someone else. I really do wish you the best, and even if I can’t bring myself to talk to you in person, just know that I forgive you.
You didn’t know what was going on in my life, and maybe if you had you would have acted differently. Maybe if I hadn’t been going through the stuff I had been dealing with your teasing and bullying wouldn’t have made me break so easily. I don’t even know if you remember me at all, maybe to you, I’m just the girl that cried because she couldn’t take a joke. However, you remember me, just know that you actually help me become stronger, even if I used to hate to admit it, I know that it’s true.
This is not me saying thank you for what you did because you have to admit, what you did was a crappy thing. I am just acknowledging that you had an impact in my life, and although it was negative, with time I have been able to turn it into a positive.