To the person who tried to break me,

I sometimes wonder what I would say to you should ever our paths cross. I think of the little red box you placed me in - confining me, nail by nail, to no more than your account of who I was and who I could ever be. I think of the names you called me, the words you screamed at me, and how you made me feel like a stranger even in my own home. I think of everything you tried to take away from me, and how you bonded with others over your mutual dislike of me. I was labeled an anti-hero, and stripped away of my innocence.

Despite going over the different things I could say, my thoughts seem to always conclude in the same way. “I forgive you,” I gently say, as I look you in the eyes, then turn around and walk away. Because although it might feel more revengeful to meet you at that anger, or to dwell with you in that resentment, I have chosen to not return violence for violence. I, instead, build my boundaries and seek the supports that advocate for my physical and emotional safety and wellbeing - so very far away from you. I, instead, try to comprehend that maybe behind all that aggression, there is the sadness of someone who never quite knew what it meant to truly love and be loved.

I pray you find within you the courage to heal,

Isla (a convenient villain)

LIFELINE: 13 44 14

BEYOND BLUE: 1300 224 636

HEADSPACE: 1800 650 890

KIDS HELPLINE: 1800 55 1800