Someone recently asked me “if you could send a letter to childhood you, what would you say?”
Here’s what I wrote:
I know you’re going to have a difficult time understanding some of this but I want you to try to remember all of it because, as time passes, you will understand!
First off, I want you to know that you’re an important person. You don’t need anyone’s permission to embrace that. You matter — even when nobody else appears to see it.
I know it hurts to be falsely accused. I know it sucks to be punished for things you haven’t done. Don’t ever let the accusations define you, or the punishments discourage you. The truth matters. Believe it always, and speak it whenever possible.
You have a voice. I know you aren’t old enough or big enough to use it as much as you’d like, but don’t ever forget that you have it. I know it hurts when what you have to say means nothing. Please trust me when I tell you that there will be times when what you have to say means everything!
Don’t get distracted by what others have. Appreciate what you have — even when it’s not quite enough. You’re learning how to get by with very little, while learning how important it is to go after more.
Mom and Dad really are doing their best. I know this one is going to be extremely difficult to digest. Both of them are products of their own traumas, and both are limited by what they know. They do love you, and one day they’ll figure out how to show you. For the next few years, you’re on a rough road. You’ll survive, though. I promise.
You’re not broken, flawed, or ugly. That little voice in your head that wishes they could see the real you, and whispers that they have you figured all wrong: listen to it! There are enough voices tearing you down… You don’t need to give them valuable head space.
Most of all, I want you to know that I love you. In time, you’ll learn to love you too.