A Letter to My Teenage Self (Part 2)

I know it’s tough. But sometimes you must first live with what you hate before you can move on to what you love. You must weather the storm before you can see sunlight. Understand that only when we’ve been through hell, do we appreciate heaven so much more.

Although your mind tells you that there’s something wrong with you- that it’s your fault- that you must be doing something to rub these people the wrong way, your heart tells you differently.

Your heart tells you that you did nothing wrong, that these classmates don’t like themselves and that they’re putting all that negative energy off on you. But this war between your mind and your heart leaves you exhausted.

No matter how bad things get, I see that small glimmer of hope in your eyes. Don’t lose it.

Although you carry an enormous amount of pain, you’re still holding on, taking it one day at a time. Keep it up.

Please love yourself and continue to forge your own path despite how others may treat you.

And please don’t hate your classmates, feel sorry for them- take pity on them. Because their lives aren’t as perfect as they let on. Believe it or not, your classmates are hurting too.

They have mental problems of their own that they never confessed, addressed, nor got help for. Only they’ll never in this lifetime tell you about it.

Understand that they’re only keeping up appearances, which is such hard work. And they’re angry at you because you don’t have to work as hard as they do.

Realize that many of them are abused at home, have parents who are into prostitution or drugs and alcohol, and who fight. Many of them are also dirt poor, surviving on welfare and ashamed of it. Many of your classmates have home lives you couldn’t imagine! And school is their happy place.

Open your eyes and see that your home life is better than a lot of kids your age. Be thankful for it. Your home is a sanctuary compared to most.

And they’re also scared- scared of becoming just like you- a target! Therefore, they feel compelled to join in the bullying in order to make their bones with the in-clique.

But understand that all this makes them cowards and again, they’re to be pitied, not hated.

You don’t yet realize how strong, brave, and resilient you are. But you are- just for the fact that you haven’t dropped out of school like so many of your classmates. You haven’t quit the race! You haven’t given up on life!

Even though you know all too well that you will be bombarded with a barrage of taunts and insults, or worse, physically attacked once you pass through the school entrance, you manage to find the courage to get up every morning and go to school and- you do it scared!

So, who are the weak ones now?

They may have favor with most of the teachers, even the ones who have little hope for you. However, most of them will never leave this town. This is a small town- only a dot on the map. In a small town, it doesn’t take much effort nor very long to maximize one’s potential.

Even though you feel so small and insignificant, understand that each of your classmates feels the same way you do. And the only way they can feel big and powerful is to make you feel bad. And one day, you’re going to see just how they end up.

Only a few will make it. The rest will be living in loveless and abusive marriages. Many will be poor and wondering how they’ll pay the rent. Some will join gangs or begin slinging dope.

Several will immerse themselves in drugs and alcohol to cope with their failures in life. A good portion of them will end up behind bars. And many will have kids who disrespect and hurt them.

Love yourself

Most of your classmates will be on a desperate and never-ending search for love, going through numerous divorces and broken relationships. They’ll never learn to fall in love with themselves and with life first.

They’ll be on an endless quest for happiness and never realize that happiness comes from within themselves.

I know you want so badly to fix it, but don’t know what’s broken.

You’ll laugh at me when I tell you what I’m about to tell you. You’ll probably tell me I’m crazy and that I don’t know what I’m talking about. But I’m going to tell you anyway.

There’s nothing wrong with you. Your classmates are the ones with the issues! They are the ones who are “crazy” and to keep everyone from figuring it out, they put it all off on you.

I want you to know that you’re a major threat to them. That’s right. You are a threat to your classmates. Do you know why?

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It’s because you’re smart- smart enough to see right through them and they know it. They also hate it!

You’re also talented. You can sing, for crying out loud! Your classmates know you can sing and they’re jealous of your beautiful voice. They’re afraid that you’ll expose the bullying and let all their skeletons out of the closet.

Why do you think they shout you down and tell you to “shut up” every time you start to open your mouth? Why do you think they scream at you and tell you to sit down every time you get up to sharpen a pencil or turn in homework- or speak up to answer a teacher’s question in class?

But they’re very much afraid that you’ll humiliate them, so they keep you afraid to open your mouth.

They hate it when you write. But understand that they’re afraid you might be writing about them and their cruelty. Isn’t that why they had your journal taken?

But know this. You have so much potential. You just don’t know it yet, because you’ve been programmed to think that you’re no good and will never amount to anything.

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I know that sometimes you want to die. But if you keep living, I promise that things will get better- much better! Because you’re going to accomplish things you never thought you would. You will end up surprising yourself!

Although you think this is a load of feel-good garbage now, the truth is that your classmates bully you to keep you down because they fear that if you ever rise, you’ll cause them to fade into the background.

I also know that your home life isn’t so hot either. Your father doesn’t believe in you and treats you more like a stepchild than a child. He acts like you’re not one of his. But understand that he’s battling demons of his own.

And I know that you’re anxious for your mother to remarry so you’ll have a replacement dad. I know you dream of having a stepdad who’ll legally adopt you as his own. But honey, no one else will ever replace your daddy and someday, you’re going to realize it.

I know it seems that you and Mom don’t see eye to eye and the easiest way to avoid any fallouts is to stay in your room, write, and get lost in the music you blare so loudly.

I know you feel like she’s ashamed of you and wishes she had a different child. She isn’t and she doesn’t. She loves you very much and the bullying you suffer hurts her too. Know that she’s on your side.

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And you’re going to find out later that if you open your heart to her and talk, even cry to her, she’ll listen while she holds you, and you’ll grow closer than ever before.

Also, realize that every kid goes through times when they’re at odds with parents. And I’ll go back to a point I made earlier- your home life is a lot better than most.

I know you’re withdrawn- closed off- scared to talk to people because you’re afraid they’ll make fun of anything you have to say. But take the risk anyway. Open your heart to people. Laugh and have fun with them. I promise you that they just might see your golden heart and love you for it.

School is worse than anything. I know that inside, you want to laugh, want to sing, want to dance, but you’re afraid. Know that one day, you’ll have the courage to let yourself do and be.

Know that what you’re going through now is only temporary.

(Continued in Part 3…)

9 thoughts on “A Letter to My Teenage Self (Part 2)

  1. It is true that a lot of bullies are simply projecting their hurt and trauma on others to make them feel better about themselves. I wish this is something we were taught when we were kids and thought we were the problem. Glad we know better now. This is a beautiful letter ❤️

  2. Bullying is something a lot of people face as teenagers. I found this letter very enlightening. I really wish someone told me or taught me how to make excuses for others or try to understand them. Now I know, I’ll be able to advice young people around me better. Nice post 👏🏽. Weldone 🤗

  3. Reading this made remember a scene in the beautiful true to life movie, Moondance Alexander.
    There’s one line in that movie that caught my heart. “”Don let them get to you. You know why they’re putting you down, don’t you? It’s because they are not sure of themselves.”

    -Dante in “Moondance Alexander”

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