31 Letters in 31 Days: Letter 24 – Dear Bullies

Dear Bullies.

There were a lot of you over the years. But I’ve managed to squeeze a little space for you, in the corner of my heart for a few minutes. I can vaguely remember some of you at Big School in Thornaby, when I was six. I can remember you gathering around me in a circle and shouting stuff about the too big Naf Naf coat I was wearing, while all of you had Kappa and Adidas. I remember Mum taking us out of that school because of you.

For three of you, I know it was just our age. I mean, a fourteen year old girl in a class with three, fourteen year old boys, what the hell was I too expect? For you to bring me flowers and tell me how pretty my hair was? Not only was I the only girl in the class, but I was into Metal music and wore skater shoes and baggy jeans and Nirvana hoodies. I stuck pictures of Marilyn Manson, Anton Le Vay, Lars Ulrich and Kurt Cobain in my desk. I was also anorexic and depressed, which made me oh so much easier to wind up. I was the perfect target for your teenage taunting. The year passed with me crying nearly every day, and you guys grinding the teachers into dust, one after the other. They were so worn out with your persistent harassment they didn’t have time to stop and look at me, all bones and tears. One even crowded into your little gang, telling me ‘being underweight was better than being overweight’ and to ‘stop overreacting.’

Next up, you, the Margrove Park clan and your hideous parents, who chanted MARTIANS at me and my family because we went to a different school and wore different clothes and listened to different music. You would chase us with planks of wood, steal plants, apples, hanging baskets and fish from our garden, the one Dad lovingly tended and cared for, in his few spare hours. I remember once, when I’d lost a lot of hair during my anorexia years, one of your mother’s drove past me in her car as I was cycling and shouted ‘baldie.’ We were always outsiders in that small mining village, under the big woods.

Others have come after that, with the move to the town and bigger, better technology coming our way. I don’t know you bullies behind the PC screens, or why you put cruel, hurtful things on my U Tube videos, but whoever you are, I feel sorry for you. Me and my family, we’re the lucky ones.