I wrote a letter to my 13 year old self.
This isn’t a picture of me when I was 13, but it’s very cute….
I wish I could be there to tell you this in person, but that would just be too weird!
Sharon, you are now 13, the same age as my daughter Emily. In many ways you are so similar, but in as many ways you are utterly different.
I wish I could tell you that the next few years are going to be a breeze, but the sad truth is that they are not, far from it in fact. They are going to be scary, disappointing and incredibly dark and lonely.
I wish you could see yourself for the endless possibilities that you have within you. You are beautiful (although you won’t believe that for a very long time), intelligent, caring and funny. Your sense of humour will see you through your darkest days and you have the rare ability to be able to laugh at yourself – a true gift.
I want to let you know how very special you are, even when you don’t feel it, which I know is most of the time.
I want to tell you that your Mum and Dad love you and how they are and will continue to do the best they are able to in any given circumstance.
I want to tell you to love and respect yourself – your mind, your body and your spirit. I want to tell you that the love and attention you so desperately seek outside of yourself will never appear until you give it to yourself first.
I want to tell you that you are not to blame – not for the divorce, not for any challenges that you will face and certainly NOT ever for the turmoil you experienced. You are a child and deserve to be loved, supported, nurtured and protected. You have no control over the thoughts, the words, the feelings and the actions of others, although you will feel guilt, shame and responsibility for them for many years. It is also not your job to protect everyone else.
I want to encourage you to find someone to talk to – someone safe, someone trustworthy and someone caring. Find the person that you can unload your innermost thoughts and feelings to.
I want to tell you what a wonderful person you will become – compassionate, honest, trustworthy, loving, funny and someone who is always able to allow others to be themselves without judgement or condemnation.
I wish I could tell you that you will grow to be a confident, well balanced, easy going and emotionally & mentally healthy adult, but the reality is not so. Regardless of this, know to trust that voice deep within you for it will take you to the right places and the right people when the time is right.
I wish I could show you that buying “stuff” is not the way to fill the emotional void within your heart, but it’s a lesson I’m still struggling with all these years later.
I wish that in the darkest moments, when you feel most alone and afraid, when you feel that life may not be worth living and when you are so utterly desperate to feel safe, loved and accepted, I wish that I could take you in my arms and hold you tight withing my embrace.
With all my love