Dear Child in the Corner,
I see you. I promise that I do. I see you watching all the others laugh and play. I see how your eyes dart to and fro, like a rabbit in the middle of an open field. I see all of your muscles tense when other children get close. I see your heart breaking. I see your mind turning, replaying everything you’ve ever said to them. I see the nerves. I see the longing. I see you trying to get the courage to go get in line for the tetherball. I see you trying to determine if anyone might let you join. I see you struggling to speak, not knowing what to say. I see you trying to figure out which parts of you need to be hidden. I see you.
I hear you. I promise that I do. I hear the confusion in your voice when the others start their chants. I hear the pain as you try to figure out why this is happening. I hear the tears you’re so desperately trying to hold inside. I hear the scared voice inside, wishing you could just melt away into the wall. I hear the nervous laughter of confusion, the laughter that sneaks out because for just one second you feel alright. I hear the meek tone as you raise your hand to answer questions, knowing you know the answer deep inside but being terrified to get it wrong. I hear the tears you cry. I hear the bruises on your soul, left by the boulders of insult hurled at you by them. I hear the echoes in your mind, in your soul, in your heart, the echoes of the words they’ve said. I hear you.
I know you. I promise that I do. I know the pain you carry deep within, a pain that will never fully go away. I know the gaping wounds left in your soul, from the words said by “friends.” I know the ever present desire to fit in, even if it’s only with one person. I know the terror of recess and group activities. I know how you’ll purposefully get people to laugh at you, because then at least you know why they’re doing it. I know the fear of speaking up, even when you know you are right. I know the ache, as another friend disappears into the crowd. I know the bewilderment, never understanding what is wrong with you. I know the anger at yourself for never being able to say or do the right things. I know the desperation as you try everything to get accepted, if only for a moment. I know the hope of finding a friend when a new kid joins the class. I know the soul crushing pain as the new kid joins them. I know the agony of wanting to live, but not wanting to live like this. I know the sorrow, the sorrow that goes all the way to your core, as you stand in the corner alone. I know the confusion, the complete and utter confusion, over why they all hate you so much. I know the love for the few people left in your life that want you around. I know the heartbreak as you tell those people not to hang out with you on campus so they won’t suffer like you do. I know the complete and utter hopelessness as you wander around the lawn alone. I know the nausea that sweeps over you like a wave anytime they say your name. I know the panic that comes with waking up and realizing it’s a school day. I know why you wish recess didn’t exist. I know you.
I know you, because I was you.
Hang in there. Please. Please hang in there.
I know how awful “it’ll get better” and “kids will be kids” and “it’s not that bad” sound. Sometimes, kids are the cruelest creatures on the planet. Sometimes, adults don’t know what they’re talking about. But I promise you, that things do get better. They may not improve completely, and your wounds will never fully heal, but eventually you’ll wake up and realize that it’s not as bad as it once was. Someday, you will find just one person that understands you. You will find one person that doesn’t reject you. You will find one person that will embrace you, all of you, and never want you to leave. You will find yourself suddenly more comfortable with aspects of who you are. Someday.
Someday it will be okay. It will never be perfect, because adults can be cruel too, but it will get a little better. Someday, you will wake up and not cry about being healthy and alive. Someday, you will catch yourself smiling. Someday, you will stop hating them. Someday, the wounds won’t hurt as much. Someday, you’ll catch yourself laughing. Someday, someone will hug you like you are the only person in the world they want to see. Someday, you will realize you’re happy, even if it’s just for a few seconds. Someday, it won’t hurt.
Eighth assignment for Blogging U Writing 101.