Rachel sent me her story below with the title “Thank You”. A few months ago, I shared my writing called “I’m Sorry”. Thank you seems so much more powerful than even saying I’m sorry. Rachel finds a way to thank her bullies to help her conquer other things about herself. What a confident and positive way to handle that. I think saying thank you and finding a way to win against bullies is a very positive way to think and Rachel helps us learn this lesson through her words below. ~Alan Eisenberg
From grades kindergarten to my sophomore year of high school I was categorized by some of my classmates, and a few of my teachers, as being the class target-the one others taunted on a daily basis. If someone had told me at that time that I would be writing a thank you letter to these same people, twenty years later, I would not have believed them.
However, as I sit here reminiscing about that difficult time in my life, I have begun to see how God had used this situation to begin molding me into the person he needed me to be.
Below is how God used the same attributes my classmates used to taunt me with to help me become the self-assured positive person that I am today.
Shyness- My shyness was so severe, and had made me such an introvert, that when ever I tried to speak up for myself, during a confrontation or speaking with someone one on one, the only words that would come out would do so in the form of stutter.
To my classmates; Thank you for using my shyness as a way to put a bull’s eye on my head. Because, unknowingly, you helped me to take the time to think about what I was about to say before I said it.
Clothes; I have always enjoyed dressing in retro clothes more than purchasing things off the rack so that I would fit in. Even today I shop at second-hand stores more than I do Department Stores.
To my classmates; Thank you for bringing attention to my style of dressing. Although you meant to use it as a way of embarrassing me, God help me to use it as a way of being myself.
Hair; I always have enjoyed wearing my hair naturally even when some took it to me that I was unkempt or non hygienic. I simply did not want to keep putting harmful chemicals in my hair over and over again.
To the class; Thank you for noticing my choice of hair styles. Although you seen it as one more thing to pick at me about, I could see how my choice to be an individual helped others to do the same.
Intelligence; Whenever I would answer a question correctly, I would hear “Teacher’s Pet!” “Teacher’s Pet!” To some this may not feel like a bad named to be called. However, when you hear it over and over again on a daily basis it can be seen as a negative word.
To my classmates: Thank you for constantly calling me teacher’s pet because of this I learned to ignore the name that I am being called and instead focus on who I know I am.
I did not write this letter for anyone else except myself. No copies were sent off by snail mail, email, text, or any other form of communication. Writing this letter helped me to finally discover that who I am is fine and the only person that I can be is me.