I have zero items from my childhood, because I had to pack only one suitcase when I was ten, for moving into the United States. And later, when I was on my own at age sixteen, my parents allowed me to take only a few items that I owned. It was again one suitcase.
Between all the moving and chaos of my life, I managed to keep one especially old item, a journal I wrote when I was sixteen. And just the other day when I was decluttering, I realized that I still had it! 🙂
I opened it and began reading it, this prized possession with so much sentimental value.
And it quickly went from ❤️ to 💔
It was just me asking / wondering why my friends treated me the way they did. Why did they make fun of me? Why did they say what they said? I even wrote on one page I thought they’re supposed to love me.
Looking at those pages, now with the eyes of someone nearing 40 years of age, it hit me like a ton of bricks– my “friends” were my bullies. They were people that acted just nice enough to keep me around, but who picked at my body, my opinions, and my likes all of the time, just for fun.
When I finally confided in another friend about this, they told me that as long as they didn’t hit me, they weren’t really harassing me. Nevermind that they tormented me constantly. I wrote about this in my journal, too, wondering if they were right, wondering if there was something wrong with me instead.
Why?? Why couldn’t I see that these people were vile??
Looking back, I can see that at age sixteen I was sheltered, inexperienced, and immature. My parents never cared much for me (hence, on my own at age sixteen!) so they were never on my side. And maybe I even learned from them that “love” can look a lot like abuse…
I didn’t have good examples of healthy friendships in my life.
So, there I was just the other day, reading this 21-year-old journal that said why do my friends treat me this way? It was so sad. When I should have been writing about the excitement of college, fun summers with real friends, and sixteen-year-old things, I was writing about working, paying bills, and “friends” bullying me. All the while, I thought they loved me.
Ah, young and naïve.
Even though I don’t have many items from my adolescence, I decided to destroy and throw away this journal. But it was a good reminder of how far God has brought me, and the new life that He has given me. It was also a good reminder that the hardships of the past are just that– in the past — and I can forgive and keep on going with my life ❤️
And yes, those people still try to contact me to this day.
And yes, I forgive them…
But noooo, they can stay away from me! 😆😅 Come on, now! I’m a Christian, not a doormat.
Thanks for reading this longer post 🙂 I just wanted to share something more personal today. And I’ll leave with one last thought:
Yes, it is possible to forgive — to wish people well, never seek revenge, and pray for them when they pop up randomly in your thoughts. But it is also possible to forgive and set up healthy boundaries — if they can’t respect you, they can keep their distance. That’s how life and friendships work!
Being a Christian and/or forgiving people doesn’t mean that you have to include people in your life who betray, lie, gossip, and ruin your other friendships. Here are some Bible verses to consider:
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
Proverbs 16:28 ESV
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Proverbs 22:24-25 ESV
I find that healthy boundaries are quite peaceful and good for everyone involved!
안녕! Bye! Ciao!