We saw what happened to you. We only sat a few seats away. We didn’t do anything, because we didn’t know what to do. Your brother was slapping you around the head, punching you, stealing your oyster card and laughing at you. When we looked angrily at him he suggested that it was your fault that people were staring. I wish I had said something there and then. I wish I had followed you as you got up, swallowing your sobs, walking downstairs. I tried to catch your eye, but your head was bent down, your eyes on the floor.
I wanted to say that you’re a good person. That you don’t have to put up with any of this. What the other kid was doing (because he is only a child) to you is abusive and it’s wrong. It might have something to do with how he himself is being treated at home. His behaviour will not have anything to do with the kind of person you are and everything to do with who he is, his pain, his sorrow which he is acting out towards you.
If there is someone in your circle, an adult, that you can talk to I suggest you talk to them. I hope that you talk to them, because they might be able to help. Maybe they can help remove this person from your life, maybe they can help him with his problems. He is the troubled one you see. That might not be of much help now when you’re caught in his anger cycle, being forced to shoulder his pain. But you don’t have to do any of this. You’re your own person. If you look within yourself perhaps you can find the strength to keep the pain on the outside, to realise that it’s not your pain and it doesn’t have anything to do with you.
You’re a strong little guy. You must have learned how to be strong. Focus that energy on clearing your own path forward. You can be better than this person. You can make a good life for yourself. It might be hard, it might be easy, but only you can do it. There might be words of encouragement or words of scorn along the way. Listen to some of it, but listen mostly to yourself.
It’s not always going to be like this. Life will get better. The storm will pass. Focus on your future. Focus on the things that make you happy. Maybe that’s reading, football or computer games. Whatever it is focus on what makes you feel strong and confident. Somewhere in there you will find your path forward, out of all of this mess. You might look back on this in ten/twenty years time, still feeling the pain, but knowing that everything that’s happen to you has made you the person you are now. You survived, you’re strong, you didn’t give in, you looked adversity in the eye and said “no thank you”, I’m not going to let you break me, I’m going to go my own way.
This is what I hope for you. This is the wish I sent you when I was too shy and unsure of what to say. There are people out there rooting for you.