Young Writers Project: Letter to a Bully
Sabrina Dhaliwal wrote this piece during her sophomore year at Milton High School in the past school year. She was writing in response to a Young Writers Project prompt to write a letter to a bully. Sabrina says writing allows her to move beyond shyness to freely express her thoughts and opinions.
“I am shy and timid and relatively mute,” Sabrina says. “But that does not mean that I have nothing to say. When you are my age, spending seven hours a day, five days a week, observing peers, teachers, adults, kids; when you are my age and you have the access to technology and social media that allows you to learn about the problems, solutions and mysteries of the world, it is difficult not to have an opinion, it is difficult not to have something to say. Everyone wants to be heard. Even the silent. That is why I write.”
Letter to a Bully
By Sabrina Dhaliwal
Grade Ten, Milton High School
I have imagined this day for years. I have considered conversations and contemplated words. I have played arguments and pined for such an opportunity. An opportunity to tell you just how deplorable you are. An opportunity to give you grief for every last tear you have caused me to shed. An opportunity to make you guilty for each and every scar. I have always wanted that chance.
But I cannot take it. And I cannot tell you those things. I do not mean them. I know better. I know better than you. I know if I took my revenge now that it would make me no better than you. I know that if I brought the past back into the present like a dumpster-diver rescues dump-bound junk, though it would be as if you killed me twice, you may not even recall it. I just know.
But this is not about me, is it? I am not the only one. This is about everyone. This is not my chance to re-hash my life. This is not the time. This is not the place. This is not about me. This is about everyone. And this is not for you, is it? You are not the only one. This is for everyone. This is not my chance to attack you personally. This is not the time. This is not the place. This is not for you. This is for everyone.
In history class, we are learning about genocide. Did you know there is such a thing as the Pyramid of Hate? Do you know where it starts? Where it ends? Did you really hate me that much?
How do you forgive? I can analyze and factor. I can replay and recall. I can rewind the memories hidden in the recesses of my brain to try and understand. But I cannot. I cannot understand, and I cannot forgive. That is why these memories, my past, my present, my future, are all hidden in the dark. Like a child who believes what they cannot see does not exist, I have forced those images, those sound bites, those experiences, into a place I hope to never find. If I cannot forgive, I try to forget. Forgive or forget, forgive or forget, forgive or forget. It is impossible to do both.
It never stops.
The hate. It never stops. I have experienced violence, prejudice, sexual harassment, verbal abuse and discrimination. I DO experience. We DO experience. It never stops. Why? Is there that much hate poisoning the world? What should we be more concerned about: global warming or global self-destruction?
It has to stop.
The hate. The jealousy. The pain. It has to stop. You have to stop. I have to stop. They have to stop. We have to stop.
I am not calling you out. I am done trying. Do you know how many nights I have lain in bed yelling at you and blaming you in my head? I have already said my piece, whether you hear it or not. I have deposited my two cents a million times over to the bank in my mind.
I do not need to say it anymore. I do not wish for revenge. I do not wish you ill. I do not want an apology. Rather, I am asking you a favor.
You owe me this. For all the times you have made me wish I was dead, you owe me this. For all the times you have stolen my courage, you owe me this. For all the times you have decreased my existential value to nothing, you owe me this.
I am asking you for a favor. I am asking you to join me. Join me in the race against hate. Join me and thousands of others who are too terrified to stand up in a sitting protest against detest.
This is about everyone. Join me.
Consider it your apology.
This is for everyone.
Sometimes quitting leads to winning.
This is about everyone.
Go from bully to amity.
This is for everyone.
You owe me this.
This is not about me. This is not about you.