A week before my 30th birthday I found the boy who bit me on Myspace (he was 18 at the time I wrote him). This is the letter.
I always think about the kids that I use to work with. I particularly think about you. Why do I think about you? For what I am about to write I hope you take it with a grain of salt. In a selfish way, me contacting you is for me. This message comes with no attached blame or ill feelings; this is my chance to close a chapter in my life that I have been dealing with for almost 8 years.
I was covering for a staff member on your unit one Wednesday almost 8 years ago. And you injured me. Injuries happened to staff, you were not the only kid that injured me. Unfortunately the injury that I got has dramatically changed my life. I have had 11 surgeries on my wrist because of this injury, and have not been able to work since that day.
Funny thing is I know what happened to me is NOT your fault. You were the product of an environment; I too would have probably acted the way you did if I was in your situation. I am writing you to let you know of the power you have, the power that we (as humans) forget that we have. The ability to affect someone’s life intentional and/or unintentional; at times we forget that there is always a reaction to an action. I would assume that your actions for that day were not to injure me in the severity that you did. But it happened; it was my job and always knew that something could have happened to me. I blame the center, for the conditions that you lived in and for the conditions the staff had to work in.
You were a great kid. You were part of the running group that I started, I told the music teacher that you were gong to be a football player one day because you were so quick and fast. As I said, I think of the kids I worked with in the past and hope that they have succeeded in life.
Once again, this letter was my selfish way for closure; take it for whatever it is worth. I am not asking for anything but for you to listen and remember the power that you have.
I wish you the best and hope for many good days to come.
I feel as humans, we do forget that for every action there is a reaction. Most of the time it is a reaction that might not have caused anything serious in ones life. But at times, an unintentional action sets forth a reaction that is life changing. We might not know of this impact, positive or negative, because we just go on with life. Would you want to know if you changed someone's life dramatically? Or is it best not knowing?