How to secretly tell someone thank you?


So four years ago I was in a very dark place (mentally) due to constant years of bullying. Back then I couldn’t see happiness in anything and had such a dismally low self-esteem that I was disgusted and angered by my own reflection. Of course back then I didn’t want to scare my family, so I simply put on a fake smile as I felt myself drawing closer and closer to a day in which I’d finally snap and end my life. However, in a class of mine the teacher made me swap seats with another in classmate and the person I ended up sitting next to changed my life. Unlike my other friends at the time, once I became friends with him, he actually stood up for me when others picked on me (my other friends just sat there and offered comfort after the bullying happened). He made me laugh, appreciate the small things in life, and most importantly he prevented me from going through with my thoughts of suicide.

Now if you couldn’t tell already, I was a VERY secretive person back then and never told him how he unknowingly saved my life. Not just that but we had a fall out a year latter due to a misunderstanding caused by someone who didn’t like me. Luckily the happiness he brought back into my life out weighed the sudden cold glares/painful stares I received from him after the misunderstanding (thus preventing me from reverting back to my depressed self). Of course I’ve tried to explain to him the misunderstanding (from my view), but he refused to believe me. Since then I’ve given up on ever being friends like we once were, well that’s what I try to tell myself. However, I know I can’t move on completely until I tell him in some way that I’m thankful for meeting him and telling him that he saved my life. BUT because of what happened when I tried to clear up the misunderstanding, I refuse to do it in person (or let him know of my identity when telling him). Is there any way I can just simply say “thank you for making me the person I am today, you saved my life” (or something like that) without having someway for him to trace the message back to me (because there’s no way someone wouldn’t try to find out who told them something like that)?

Tags: asked November 16, 2013

4 Answers

No secretive thanks is necessary. Just say thank you.
I think he'll probably be able to connect the dots even if you make it secretive anyway but if you want to be anonymous about it just type up a message, stick it in an envelope and leave it in his mail box or something. Sorry things ended badly. That's hard.
Wanting to thank him anonymously is a step shy from wanting to thank him in person. Who's to tell that if you do it anonymously that you won't wish you did otherwise? Maybe later you'd actually find yourself wondering what would have been his response from the thank you and what would or could've happened if only you did.. so then I'm not sure if that would surely help you move on. So yeah, plus one on not doing it anonymously. If you do decide to thank him in a letter, it would make you be more careful on how it's worded if it's signed with your name. On the other hand, an anonymous letter might spark interest in him and make him wonder who sent the note, and I think this isn't justifiable if you are writing the note to move on, because that would leave him hanging by himself.. which in that case might be better not to have said thanks anonymously.
I honestly think you shouldn't thank him anonymously. If he saved your life, he deserves to know it- and who knows? Maybe it'll be a step closer to remending your friendship. But ultimately it's your decision. You could write him a note and slip it in his locker or, as suggested above, mailbox, but he might recognize your handwriting or be able to trace it back to you. If you really are against him finding out, you could type it on a computer and then print it out. A lot of people would simply text it, but not only can a cell phone be EASILY traced, it's so impersonal. And this message is one of great importance. That's why I like notes. Your writing brings the words to life in whatever way you want them to :) If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to know how it all turns out whenever you decide to tell him!