A letter to the friend I’ve hated for most of my life

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To my oldest and most constant friend,

I have been a terrible friend to you over the years, and the time has come for me to say sorry.

I’m sorry for the times when we were growing up that I let the other kids criticise you and make fun of you. I’m sorry that instead of defending you, I blamed you and cried myself to sleep wishing that I didn’t have to be associated with you.

I’m sorry for all the times I was embarrassed to be seen with you in public. I’m sorry for the times I hated you so fiercely, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at you.

I’m sorry for getting angry when you wobbled at the pool, and being embarrassed when you glared at people in the sun.

I’m sorry for the times I took my anger and frustration out on you. You’ve never let me down in any major way, and I should never have deliberately hurt or damaged you.

I’m sorry for caving into peer pressure and doing things to you that I should never have done, desperately trying to make you more acceptable to people who should never have mattered.

I’m sorry for constantly comparing you to everyone else and always focusing on the ways you didn’t seem to measure up. I’m sorry for ignoring all your good attributes and all the things you did to make my life what it has been so far.

Thank you for everything you’ve done for me despite how much time and energy I’ve spent hating you. Thank you for giving me a voice in this world where it can be so hard to be heard. Thank you for letting me spend time with my family, and thank you for helping me make friendships. Thank you for helping me see the world, and for growing with me as I grow.

I wrote this letter in my head while I was in the pool last night, thinking about how much you’ve changed after all the things we’ve been through. It suddenly struck me how different you are now, as I looked down at your new shape under the water. And that brings me to my last and most important thank you: thank you for doing such an amazing job at growing and carrying my baby. I don’t understand most of the things that you’re doing to make it happen, but I am constantly blown away by how amazing you are at what you do.

I think our relationship is currently at the best point it’s ever been, and I’m so glad I’m finally able to say that we’re truly good friends. I know I still fuck up sometimes. Sometimes I still criticise you in public. Sometimes I still look enviously at other people’s bodies and fleetingly wish that you were a little bit more like them in some way. But despite those moments of weakness, I can honestly say that after everything we’ve been through I wouldn’t trade you in for any other body; not even one with a trimmer pair of thighs or skin that tans.

I promise to be a much better friend to you in future.

Much love,

Caitlin

PS. I was initially a little unsure about the new hip stripes, but they’ve grown on me (literally and metaphorically) and upon reflection, I think that metallic purple was an excellent choice of colour. Keep up the great decorative work.