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Dec 2013
"You're crazy and no one likes you." I don't know how to respond. I am ten and have never heard such hurtful words before. She smirks as I walk away in tears, silent in my own disbelief. At dinner that night, my mother says she is jealous of me because I am such a smart, kind girl. Now I am confused. Am I an outcast that is hated by all, or the poster child for perfection?

She is insecure
Envy green with jealousy
But she still hurts me

"Wow. It's really sad that you have to tattle to the principal instead of handling things yourself." I don't know how to respond. I am fourteen and am now embarrassed for asking my mom to talk to the school, and to make sure I didn't share any classes with my bully. I delete the post from my Facebook wall and lock myself in my room. At dinner that night, my mother says I am mature for contacting the school rather than fighting with my attacker. But I am confused. How can I stand up for myself if other people are solving my problems for me?

I cannot escape
Her words make me feel alone
What did I do wrong?

"Guess who." I know exactly how to respond. I am seventeen and I have had enough. My bully moved away two years ago; I thought she had moved on. Apparently, distance is not a problem for her. One sentence is all she will get from me: "I feel bad for you." The phone company has her number minutes later and I am proud of myself. At dinner that night, I don't tell my mother anything, because there's nothing to tell. There is no more confusion; I know that she is not the only one of her kind, but I also know that I am strong enough to handle anyone whose insecurites knock them down a few levels in the realm of maturity. I only wish the clarity had come sooner.

To my old neighbor:
Thank you for tormenting me.
You have made me strong.
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