I had a dream that I was all the way back in grade school. I don't remember the details of the dream, but I do remember that I absolutely hated grade school. I woke up, and I thought back to when I was that age.
I would give almost anything to have a heart to heart discussion with myself as a kid. I know what I would say, because I know what I needed to hear, the truth.
"Look kid, thinks suck now and they are going to suck for a while. You're a kid, that's how life is. But I'll tell you something, you make it through this, you will become the person you have always wanted to be. You will become that cool guy with the girl and the friends and the job you like. Nobody will pick on you any more. The kids fuckin' with you now, they disappear! You never ever have to see them again for any reason once you're finished with school!"
Me as a kid though, would always have something to say like:
"That's in the future. I don't even know if I'm going to have one. What I know is I still have to get up tomorrow and I still have to go to some good for nothing place and deal with worthless people who do nothing but smash my head in with a bunch of bullshit insults, lies and other stuff that makes me more miserable than when I went in. It's so nice to see that I haven't ended up killing myself, but that only means I'm stupid enough to take this pain day after day after day. The future means nothing to me knowing I have to continue to suffer through this, my life."
I was a pretty sad kid, but I would just tell him this.
"Life isn't easy, especially yours. Everything you're going through now is laying the foundation of the man you are becoming. Making me into the man that I am. You're putting your time in now. All of this grief and aggravation is temporary. Tomorrow, next week, next school year.... It's temporary. The only thing you have to do, the ONLY thing you have to do, is survive and learn from it. This pain you're feeling now, you are learning how NOT to treat people. The anger you feel constantly, you feel it becoming a part of you. You use that anger by turning it into energy that drives determination. It is only after you are free of these people can you break away. You become free of them once you gain control over your own life. Just trust me, live. Make your own choices, but always live."
I wouldn't warn him about getting mixed up with drinking, drugs or running with the wrong crowd. That is a part of me and for better or worse, they were choices I made that helped to define who I am. My mom would always tell me as a kid that things would get better. I never saw it because I could never see past the next day. I guess I have developed a kind of vision that can only come with age, but I wish I could give that to myself as a kid. I know, most people my age feel the same way. I'm sure you all would have something that you would want to tell yourself as a kid. Something about your future without giving too much of it away.
For me, That kid is still kicking around in my head. Freed from memories that hurt him and treated him so badly. Now he is free to enjoy a world he couldn't possibly have thought was possible, but it doesn't make it any less real. He's grateful he doesn't have to be a child anymore, at least not a child trapped in shitty childhood.
Every so often, I'll buy a toy. I'll take it out of the package, and I'll let that kid play with it. He's a good kid and he deserves something. I made a promise to myself that if I could ever enjoy life, I would. I can, so I do. It's not always a sunny walk in the park, but it isn't the total shit storm struggle day to day and the torment of waiting for it to happen again the next day either. Each day is a new day with new possibilities. I don't wake up and my first thought is "How am I going to be fucked with at school again today?".
I know there are still unresolved issues I'll never get closure to. I'll never get an apology from the fuckers who made my life hell. I know I'm not even an after thought to them. I only exist to them as a hole in their memory. Something unpleasant that is better off forgotten. I've come to the conclusion that I don't care and that I shouldn't care. Even if they were to come up to me in the street today and tell me they were sorry for how they treated me. All I could say to them now would be:
"Look, I'm glad it bothered you to the point of feeling like you had to address the issue, but the fact is that my anger and hatred of you turned into something far more useful. I should thank you for that, but I ought to give you my therapist bill to pay instead. I'm not going to though. Over the years, your words, insults and general disdain towards me have come to mean less than nothing, along with you. I certainly don't blame you for all of the stupid decisions that I've made in my life. Those were my decisions to make and I made them of my own volition.
I do blame you for my warped and skewed sense of reality though. For the apathy I feel towards society in general, and the paranoia of people I don't know. It was my interactions with you that made me develop these senses. Had things been different and you had treated me nicely, perhaps I wouldn't have those feeling.... but then that means I could be a completely different person to which would most likely mean I wouldn't be who I am and I probably wouldn't be as happy as I am now.
Don't congratulate yourself for that though. Take no solace in the fact that I didn't shoot up my school or end up being a serial killer. You had nothing to do with the good things in my life. You could have, but you didn't. If you take anything away from this experience with me now, take away the knowledge that even decisions we made as children affect us deeply as adults. Nevertheless, they were choices we made, and the consequences can never change.
Don't feel like you're a good person for wanting to make amends and apologize. That doesn't make you a good person to me. You missed that chance long ago. I only forgive you because there are things I want to be free of. My freedom from you and your insipidness is more reward than I could have hoped for. I don't know what you thought your apology would free you from, what demon you're trying to exorcise. I know that you made the choice to be that person so long ago and that now you are different.
There are times my mind will experience that pain again, even for a brief moment. There are times it still hurts. Even now that I know you are sorry, there is that part of me that still feels your cruelty. It's a type of sadness that never really goes away. It's there, but I've muted it and I live my life. I forgive you for what you did, but it doesn't change what you did. Just as I know you are sorry, you are forgiven, but any lingering pain you still feel from being that kind of a person, is penance for being that person. I have to deal with who I was, you should too.
Have a nice day."
Wow. what a breakthrough.