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