There is a technique that people used in the past during wars to extract information from their prisoners. The kidnappers would torture the person without showing their faces. Then, those very same people would save the prisoner making the prisoner feel thankful to those people. Then once again the people would kidnap the person making him or her their prisoner once again. The whole process would repeat to the point where the prisoner would feel so indebted to them for saving him so many times. Then, the kidnappers would easily get the information from him, fooling the prisoner to trust them till he realizes they were anything but friends of his. Trust left him entirely naked and vulnerable. This very situation is shown in an episode of Game of Thrones if clarification is needed.
Well, I went through something similar where I was the prisoner and my small elementary school, six blocks from my house, was my prison for seven years. I had a best friend when I was three or four where we did everything together. We would go to either one of our houses everyday after school and play for countless of hours. We celebrated all of our birthdays together as well. Eventually as we got older we drifted apart, where she befriended my bullies and became another member of my quite large group of tormentors. I haven’t had a best friend since but that was only the first step.
I’ve lost count of how many times I was fooled where these people would befriend me and the naive, trustful girl I was would tell them things about myself that they would use against me. The endless cycle of them befriending me, bullying me, and then befriending me again made me lose my trust completely. I didn’t know the difference between a real friend and a fake one. The only ones I experienced in my childhood, ever since I could remember, would insult me in my face and I would let them.
Till this day I haven’t opened up to anyone, not easily calling anyone a friend. Even though I later become popular in high school, I built walls around myself only letting them come as close as any regular acquaintance. Even I questioned myself why I still let myself be influenced by my past. Then, I brought forth an unpleasant memory where I was hurt beyond words and my justification, that it didn’t matter because the ones that hurt me were strangers, went out the window.
You must have heard this common saying that blood is thicker than water. When all my relationships were falling apart, I turned to my family believing that they would be by my side forever. I was wrong to believe that.
My family had several distant relatives in the city that were close to us as family. One of them was my same age where we grew up together and despite his immaturity, we were good friends. I thought that no matter what, he wouldn’t betray me.
He didn’t know that I had gone through bullying. When we ended up going to middle school together, it was the first time he was bullied. On the other hand, I had made many new friends that weren’t from my old school. His parents asked help from me and I felt thankful that he had someone when I didn’t and I knew it makes a huge difference. I helped by giving him advice and supporting him through that rough period by helping weeding out his unhealthy relationships but like any person who leap at the first sign of fitting in, he jumped without a second thought.
The girl that bullied me mainly and I was writing to in my “Because of you” letter, told him lies of how I had said horrendous things about him behind his back. Even though we both knew I wouldn’t do that, he took her side when she began yelling at me and saying things not worth repeating while using him as an excuse for the fight. I was hurt watching them both begin to tear me apart with words as a team.
Ever since I could remember, I had been silent to my bullies. I wanted to fight back but my parents said to just walk away because they weren’t even worth talking to. I had obediently listened throughout my childhood but that day I was so hurt, I began to defend myself. However, I hadn’t even said one line in response when she broke into tears. Everyone began yelling at me for being mean to her but I was silent…like always. It should have been me crying, I thought.
Even till this day, he, my own blood, proves that blood isn’t thicker than water by complimenting the very one that has hurt me beyond words, saying she’s better than me and just perfect. I want to forgive him knowing he only wants to fit in. However, when I think about me sitting in my therapists office, holed up in my room, not going to school anymore, and breaking apart few months ago, I realize that he had lost the right. Why? Because I know I didn’t deserve any of that. No one does.
This letter is to you, whose reading this. Don’t be a fool like me who gave trust easily, even to the captors whose identities I knew about. I let myself be vulnerable knowingly. However, don’t be like me now, how I don’t let anyone in because of my past. Trust is the foundation of all relationships and I was just unlucky in the fact that all my relationships were basically horrible. Instead be smart and be aware of the unhealthy relationships in your life and weed them out. Just know that you deserve to be happy, and you don’t need to deal with anyone that doesn’t make you happy.
At first I allowed myself to deal with him for the sake of family and because we were relatives but I refuse outright now whenever my mother asks me to come with her. Yes, we had many great memories and we should keep contact with our relatives, but I’ve realized that I don’t find it necessary for me to spend a second longer with someone who doesn’t appreciate me and I don’t entirely like. So, there I’m asserting myself in my own life and even though I’m confined in my room, I’ve never felt more in charge of my own life.