Arguing with Allen

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Each post will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the theme ‘Letters to my younger self’.


Dear 12-year-old me,

Sometime next week, Allen will be his obnoxious self and taunt you. Again. And this time, of all things, it’ll be about the fact that you’re neither Chinese nor Malay nor Indian but in fact, lain-lain (other). Being different means being a target. Previously, you managed to hold your tongue each time he cut you with his careless words. A miracle, considering that you have a short fuse.

Somehow, next week, your buttons will be pushed to the limit and while the entire class is lined up outside the classroom, getting ready to go in to start a new school day, his hurtful words will cause you to lunge at him and wrap both your small hands around his thin neck.

“Stop talking! Stop talking!” You’ll shriek as your hands tighten. You’ll be oblivious to your own actions, out of control. You’ll stop only when he starts gasping and his eyes start to water. When your classmates put their hands on you, you’ll start to come back to yourself and pull away. Immediately, regret will fill you. You didn’t mean to do that. You really didn’t. Only a bad person will want to hurt someone else and you know you’re not a bad person. You’re not.

You’ll watch as Allen rubs his neck and your hand print emerges. You’ll back away and wish you can take back your actions, to just ignore his taunts and to stay where you are. Your classmates will look at you with fear in their young eyes. You never realised before that you could be cruel. You will then.

So, my advise to you, my dear young, angry self, is to resist. Your anger equals Pompeii which means that you need to have a tighter hold on it. So please, when Allen calls you out next week because perhaps he’s bored or just stupid: resist.

Resist giving in to Allen, to your temper, to temptation.



44 thoughts on “Arguing with Allen

  1. Good A post. Kids can be so cruel to each other. I’d find it very hard to ignore someone who taunted me about my heritage. Good advice, just hard to accomplish. My husband has a mantra he’s teaching our grandchildren, “Just because you say it doesn’t make it true.”


    • Hi Sammy – Thanks for dropping by. Well, I eventually couldn’t ignore hence the almost-strangling situation 😦 And that’s good advice to your grandkids.


  2. Once is funny, twice is rude. I always take offense when people make fun of race. If I were 12, I would have reacted the same way too (yikes!).

    A great start to the A to Z Challenge 🙂


    • Hey Irene – I’ve got a feeling that perhaps Allen doesn’t remember the event. Well, he was just one of many I had to deal with unfortunately.


  3. Visiting from the A to Z sign-up page. Nice story. Although it was not my race that caused cruel verbal assaults, I have been targeted for other reasons, and understand the hurt and desire to lash out. Give yourself a break. You were only 12, and if you hadn’t acted out your anger, maybe it would have stayed inside, festering and harming you worse than the regret of having taken action.

    Best regards,


    • Hello E – True, keeping my anger in at that age would probably affect me more in the long run but I think it could’ve been managed in a non-violent way…hence my advice to my younger self. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂


    • Hello Laura – thanks for reading this little post of mine. I’m sure kids are more tolerant about diversity in this day and age. I hope…


    • Sania – it sounds probable? LOL I’m surprised no one has commented about the violence I demonstrated at that age…thank you for dropping by and reading this.


  4. I’m entranced by your choice of theme. I think all of us wish we could write letters to our younger selves, I know I would. But the thought arises, wouldn’t that change the lessons we learned the hard way? Hind sight is always 20/20…but if we changed the ways we reacted or interacted, wouldn’t that have a direct impact on who we are today? Lot of food for thought. Loved your post. Thanks for sharing.


    • Hello Jen – Thanks for dropping by and reading this post. I agree that some lessons do need to be learnt the hard way for them to really sink in. True, if I didn’t act the way that I did then, I would not be this person now. On the other hand, if I didn’t react that way, perhaps I’d be a better version of myself? I suppose this exercise of writing to my younger self is more for the me that I am now to observe past situations 🙂 But if somehow my 12 year old self did get a hold of this letter, no guarantee that she’ll act on it, she’s pretty stubborn LOL


    • Hello moondustwriter – I’m pretty sure I received sage advice at 12, I think I just didn’t listen which is just like 12-year old me ;P Thanks for dropping by and Happy A to Zing to you back!


  5. It’s not easy when your young and you don’t understand. Its interesting, I reacted to similar ‘race name-calling’ by withdrawing myself from others, yours was the opposite.

    If only we knew back then that it was them who had issues and not us. Unfortunately they spread their insecurities.


    • Hi Piarve – Sometimes I chose to withdraw too, it seemed easier. But I’ve got a mean temper and sometimes that temper colours my reaction hence the incident. Thanks for dropping by and reading this 🙂


      • Haha sometimes I wished I could be a little mean. Everyone is different. It was a good post that I would say took us all back to those playground moments. =)


    • Thank you for liking my theme! It took me a while to decide it. Yes, resisting, walking away is hard because it’s often equated with weakness. Not many realise that it takes more strength to do.


    • Hello Kim – Thanks for dropping by 🙂 writing letters to my younger self and doing it according to the alphabetical order is tougher than I thought! But the comments here have given me loads of encouragement. If you’re doing a to z then good luck to you!


    • Hello Julianne – Thank you for visiting! LOL I agree but then again if I really did know then, what I know now, I won’t be this me 🙂


    • Hello Christopher – Yes, my anger (when I was younger) was pretty explosive. I like to think I’ve got better control over it now *crosses fingers* Thank you for reading my post and I’ll be heading over to your blog soon to check it out! 🙂


    • Hello Nina – Thank you for checking out my blog and reading. If younger me could read this letter, I’m not sure she’ll believe me and resist. She’s pretty headstrong LOL Best of luck with AtoZ to you too! 🙂


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