Sometimes it can be difficult to let go of things and people who have hurt you in the past. Humans need closure and some sense of finality in order to move on - it sounds like such a cliche but it's true. We're sensitive, emotional creatures and we can't move on whilst we're hurting and at a loose end.
A good way of getting that closure and that finality can be writing letters to the people that have hurt you. It is a healthy way of getting your feelings out and blurting out what's going on in your head without the other person having to ever read it. After writing it down, it's out in the atmosphere and not holding you back anymore.
I decided to give this a go and I decided to share my letters to the past with you guys.
Dear my ex best friend:
I never realised it until now but we weren't good for each other. We were both going through a lot and working through our own issues and it wasn't the time for us. We needed to communicate more. You really hurt me when you broke off our friendship and I felt so guilty and like it was all my fault - but it wasn't and it wasn't fair of you to put it all on me and make out like you're perfect. Neither of us told the other how we were feeling and what was going on in our lives and what the other person could do to help. We both made mistakes and you need to acknowledge that. I still love you and I will always care about you but I understand that we can't be friends - or at least how we were. Maybe the time will be right for us in 5, 10 years and maybe it won't. But if we never speak to each other again, I want you to know that I forgive you and I also forgive myself. I want you to be happy, but I have to be happy too and for that to happen - I have to let go.
Dear my ex boyfriend:
I fell for you, hard and fast, and fell in love with you just as quickly and you were the worst mistake I ever made. You were manipulative, abusive, cruel and I didn't deserve any of what happened to me. You were toxic but despite what you did, I can't blame you for everything. We were both young and we were still only kids. We were 15, you know. I didn't know how to love myself and so I couldn't truly love you as much as I thought I did and you didn't know how to love me as much as you may have wanted to. We tried to force a relationship that wasn't supposed to be - and that's how we ended up breaking and hurting each other. However, what you did to me was your fault and your choice and not mine or anything I did. I haven't forgiven you yet, and it's going to take a long time but I'm trying. I can't let go of what happened and deny it as easily as you can, but it will happen one day.
Dear my primary school bully:
I'm not going to act like what you did wasn't hurtful because it was - but I understand why you did it. You were having issues in your own life and things were happening that you had no control over. You needed to make someone feel small in order to make yourself feel better and I just happened to be the target. That's no excuse though. The things you used to say to me had a real impact on me, even now. 9/10/11 years later, it's still affecting me and you probably didn't mean for that to happen but you did that. I know it wasn't my fault or anything that I did, it was all you and the choices you made. My self esteem is beat, my anxiety is sky high and I don't even really know who I am. It's not all down to you but some of it definitely is. But I need you to know that I forgive you. It's not been easy, but I do. After all, what goes around comes around and karma can be a bitch.
Dear my sixth form headteacher:
You told me in my last few weeks of sixth form that I would never succeed because I was lazy and didn't put enough hard work in. You told me I would never go to university because I didn't have the intelligence and the motivation. You were right in a way - I didn't go to university, but not because I couldn't, just because I didn't want to. Now, I'm doing so much better than you could have ever imagined. I have a job, I'm getting paid to do what I love, and I am one of the hardest working people in that entire company. I have people who are proud of me, proud of what I've achieved and proud of my work. I may have needed your approval back then, but I don't anymore. What you think doesn't matter to me. So congratulations, you were right that I wouldn't go to university and I'd never succeed, at least not in the way you defined as successful - but I am successful in a different way and I love it.
Dear my driving instructor:
You were wrong. That is all I have to say to you. You were wrong about me and that is your loss. You have no idea how many times I cried after our lessons. But you were wrong. I did pass and now I am a bloody good driver. Sure, it may have taken more time than you were willing to spend but I did it, and all without your help. Thanks to you, I had the pleasure to spend two and a half years with one of the kindest, most thoughtful, most patient men I have ever met. He was incredible as a driving instructor and did more for me and was kinder to me in those two and a half years than you ever were in those first five lessons. He was who helped me to pass, not you. You had and still have nothing to do with my success. So I suppose I owe you a thank you for forcing me to quit because without you, I never would have met him. I'm not angry anymore. I will warn everyone I know from choosing you as a driving instructor but I'm not angry - I proved you wrong and of that, I am damn proud.
So those are my five letters to people in my past. They weren't easy to write and I went through so many emotions in the meantime, but all I feel now is relief. All the anger I felt, all the sadness - it's gone.
If you could speak to someone who hurt you in your past, what would you say to them? Write it down and then let it go.
Believe me, it will help.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.