To The Girl I Bullied

I was shocked when you called me a bully. I had never thought of myself like that. I thought bullies were the ones that beat up little kids for kicks.

I’d never intended to hurt anyone. I called you fat when I was frustrated and I wanted my own way. Usually, you’d fight back or whine, but I knew I’d gone too far this time; your silence spoke much louder than any words ever could.

You weren’t fat, and when you told me that other people had said that to you, I felt guilty, knowing, even at the tender age of eight, that my careless name-calling had reinforced in you a distorted and unhelpful view of yourself, which, if you are reflective of the statistics, will stay with you for life.

I wonder where you are now. Do you have body image issues, like I do? Are you even still alive?  I guess, after years of therapy working through my own issues, I can see now that I was projecting onto you my own perceived lack of self worth. I hated you, because I hated me.

You know what’s the worst about all this? I don’t even remember your name. I can’t even pray for you properly, other than to plead God’s peace over “the girl I bullied”.

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