When we first met in the third grade, I had no idea how our meeting would impact the rest of my life. I’m not sure you did either.
There I was, in a small classroom with kids I had known since we were born. There I was, a small child, suffering through the evilness of sexual abuse during the weekends, only to come to school on Monday and be in the path of your verbal destruction. I wanted desperately to be accepted by you – to be accepted by someone, but it didn’t happen.
I remember the day you made me play “pig in the pot.”
All my classmates sat in a circle while you made me stand in the middle. They made oinking sounds at me while I stood there and took it. While you just smiled.
I remember the day you forced me to eat lunch in the principals office because I was “too fat” to eat with the other kids. No one questioned your authority, so there I sat, being punished for being me.
I remember the days you wouldn’t let me eat at all.
I remember the day it all came to an end. You forced me to run laps around the playground while you yelled hurtful words at me. I don’t know which hurt worse, the look of hate in your eyes each time you stared at me, or the words that spewed from your mouth.
I was an 8-year old little girl, desperate for someone to love me, to accept me, to understand me. As I ran another lap, something inside me died. My childhood was gone. My passion. My grace. My ability to trust. All gone.
You shook me. You yelled.
I stood my ground, looked at you, and said, “No more!” I called you names and refused to move. I was done. So were you. We walked back into the classroom that day and I don’t remember you speaking another word to me the rest of the year.
That was the day I started being in control. No one would hurt me again. I would hurt them. No authority would tell me what to do. No one would touch me where I wasn’t supposed to be touched. I would be in control.
You stole part of my childhood. I wonder if you realize that? I became an adult in many ways that day. I was no longer a little girl living. I was a girl simply trying to survive life the best way she knew how.
I remember the day I forgave you.
I realized though you weren’t in my life, you were still controlling it. I was allowing the bitterness and resentment to control my decisions and my emotions. I was allowing you to live rent free in my mind. I was allowing you to continue to hurt me and you didn’t even know it.
I remember the day I started praying for you. I don’t know why you did what you did, but I understand that hurting people hurt people. You were hurt. I hope you’re not anymore. I hope healing has unfolded in your life. It certainly has in mine.
You don’t live in my mind anymore. Though there are days the memories still hurt, they don’t control me. Your decisions then don’t determine who I am now. I am okay. I’m living now vs. simply surviving.
I AM FREE!
I want the same for you. I want freedom for you. I want blessings for you. I want you to see the love of Jesus Christ. I want Him to embrace you. I hope He is.
I don’t know if we’ll ever see each other again. I don’t know that I want to, and that’s okay too. But I do know that I’m not that same girl I was 21 years ago. And I hope that you aren’t either.
Your letter stirs up the rage within me. I do not get how others are so rude and callous, especially when it comes to children. May we all take note of the lessons here and look out for those who are being pushed around by bullies — even if they are teachers in authority. But girl — I’m so thankful for the day you stood up for yourself. And then to forgive the teacher — now that’s how incredible our God is!!! Amen.
Have you ever experienced something so insanely criminal? If you know of something happening now, please stand up and be a voice for those who feel like they have no voice.