The Thankful Bullied

The title of this poem might seem insincere;
As it’s not something you normally hear.

To thank the ones that hurt you most;
Breaking your spirit and leaving a ghost.

This is my story I’d like you to know;
I once was a child with his fear on show.

Fear that people would only see;
The low self-esteem defining me.

At the time I thought that fate was unfair;
To be skinny and spotty and ginger of hair.

This made me a target for kids around;
And their comments became a painful sound.

Bullying for me became the norm;
And verbal abuse was its chosen form.

Picking on my flaws was incredibly easy;
And my fear of school soon made me queasy.

Now here is a truth that is stark and cruel;
Bullying isn’t something that stays in school.

It becomes a voice inside your head;
Keeping you up as you lay in bed.

“Maybe they’re right, and I am what they see;
Why would anyone be friends with me?”

Looking in the mirror and seeing the pain;
Hating the flaws and feeling the shame.

Becoming more introvert, my confidence dim;
My relationship with me was secretly grim.

So, why be thankful and let them win?;
To imagine them reading with a satisfied grin.

My experiences are a part of me,
I will not regret them and I will not flee.

Those experiences helped me learn a lot;
About myself and what I’ve got.

Without them I wouldn’t be the man;
The husband or the father that I am.

Please find enclosed my heartfelt thanks;
For the hurtful words and childish pranks.

Thank you for helping me put up a fight;
For who I am and what is right.

For giving me the confidence in what I say;
And that my opinions matter come what may.

A model’s appearance? Maybe not;
But I make the most of what I’ve got.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s good;
Bullying is something I’d end if I could.

Our youth is where we learn who we are;
And without it I wouldn’t have got this far.

Thank you to those who helped make me like this;
But our time together I will not miss.

I now stand proud and as tall as I can;
My name is Paul Webster and I am who I am.

By Paul Webster