To my fifth-grade Language Arts Teacher,
I wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for everything you have given me!
Thank you for how you treated me!
Thank you, for when a child did not turn in their homework almost every day
Rather than trying to see if, the child has a problem
You assumed the child is the problem
Thank you, for when I forgot something,
You made the entire class chant about how I am lazy.
It was really the most helpful thing you could have done!
Thank you, for locking me in a closet until I called my mom
And told her that I am pathetic and lazy.
Then sit and cry on the floor until you opened the door.
Thank you, for giving me countless detentions,
And telling me it would go on my permanent record,
And no college would want a bad child like me.
Thank you, for saying, the few times I did manage to turn in work, it was because I forgot to be lazy.
Even though I had spent the afternoon biking up and down the neighborhood,
Looking for anyone in your class to help me.
Thank you, for designing a system
Where only tables where everyone did their work got candy
So all of my peers hating being near me.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,
For making me think my undiagnosed ADD was my fault.
So even now, at 17, I call myself dumb and lazy.
Thank you, for planting the seeds of depression,
For making me suicidal by the time I was 12,
For making me miss Easter dinner because I was in inpatient care.
Truly, sincerely, thank you.
Because now I have people I know will support me
Even when I am at my lowest.
Thank you, for giving me anxiety about my educators despising me
Because now I appreciate the ones that care.
That give me time to heal.
Thank you, for ruining my life.
Because now I can build it,
With walls that can block people exactly like you out.
A lazy, dumb, pathetic, waste of space,
That is going to college