I wrote the below letter to my younger self as a follow-up to some of the inner child work that I started several weeks back.
Dear younger me,
You are so very precious. I know that it sometimes feels like you’re a mistake, since mommy keeps saying that she would have divorced daddy sooner, but she found out she was pregnant, and that she was on birth control and all that. I know it’s hard to have big feelings sometimes, and you have to do a lot for yourself. I know it’s hard, sometimes, because all your friends have parents who are married, and most of them have brothers or sisters. I know you want nothing more than to have a normal life, and that you don’t want to stand out or be too different from everyone else. I know life feels tough, and sometimes you want to give up, you want to hide from it all, to run away, or disappear. You wonder if it would be easier for everyone if you weren’t around anymore.
You are precious. You matter. You are exactly where you need to be. You may not feel strong enough, but I am. You may not feel good enough, but you are perfectly you. God knew what he was doing when he gave you the life you live. It’s hard, but you can lean on me. I’m strong enough.
I love you.
Your feelings are important, and it isn’t fair, all the things that are going on, all the stuff you don’t even understand, but can tell is just “not normal.” You shouldn’t have to deal with it. You shouldn’t have to find your own breakfast, and lunch, on weekends and in the summer when mommy is sleeping. You shouldn’t have to babysit someone else’s kid while pretty much all of the adults are hiding, sleeping and/or doing drugs. You shouldn’t have to live through a lot of the things you’re living through. It’s not fair, and you can be mad about it, and cry about it, and throw yourself on the floor to let all the big feelings out. I won’t tell you how to feel your feelings. I won’t mock your feelings. Your feelings are real and valid and yours. We can work through them together. I can help you through those big feelings, the ones that make your skin itchy and make your whole body feel tight and itchy and horrible, the ones that give you what mommy calls the water wiggles. Those feelings aren’t funny to me. I want to help you through them. You don’t have to fight your feelings, or hide them.
Feelings aren’t bad or dangerous. They just are. We don’t have to hide them anymore. You don’t have to be strong, or pretend you’re OK around me.
I love you.
You are enough.
You are safe.
Crying is OK. Being mad is OK.
We will get through this, and you will become a wonderful mother someday.
I love you.