An Open Letter To My Younger Self
Trigger Warning: Suicide and Self Harm
Dear Younger Self,
You will be on a journey of learning your whole life. Along the way, there will be tears, great friends, betrayal, suicidal thoughts, and support. You will go through a lot of hard times, but the good times will make the hard times worth it.
You will be an energetic, stubborn, bossy child with advanced social skills and an affinity for writing. For you writing is an extension of playing pretend. It is fun and exciting to create a world all your own. Music and the life you observe and the worlds you experience from reading will inspire you.
Your parents have their faults but have redeeming qualities, too. You will think they are perfect and will have a hard time coming to terms with the fact they will be toxic for you later in life. They will play favorites and treat your brother better with more support later in your life. You will be on medicine from a young age.
You will experience a psychiatric unit and suicidal thoughts induced by medicine when you are just ten years old. You will come out learning of things like cutting and burning. You will be exposed to a world you shouldn’t have at your age. The next year your aunt will die from suicide. This will be hard to see your family so broken about it. You will feel guilty because you don’t cry. You will grieve your way, and that is okay. This event will save your life many times later in your life when you continue to have suicidal thoughts for yourself.
These thoughts will stem from a scary mental illness called schizoaffective disorder where you will hear voices that no one else does. These voices will be mean to you. They will bully you all day about your deepest insecurities. But you will be a stronger, kinder, more compassionate person because you deal with them.
This mental illness will control you with fear and make you stop writing for a couple years. But you will get back on track. Writing is what you were meant to do, after all. You will join a couple of great online communities of writers. You will be published through one of them and will have your writing out there for everyone to see. It will be scary, but you will get an overwhelmingly positive response.
You will experience people who will betray you in middle school. You will go through a period where you are different when everyone else wants to fit in. It is okay to be yourself, but they will bully you for it.
At some point, you will experience so much public humiliation at the hands of your parents that you will find it hard to look people in the eyes. Not because of what their eyes will reveal but what yours will. It will be a habit that will influence you until today. You will work on it, but it will feel awkward to look people in the eyes.
You will learn so much about yourself on a personal journey to grow as a person and become the best person you can be. Your best friend will call you “the strongest and bravest person” she knows. You will have a lot of personal insight. Your grandmother will say you had about the amount she had when she was in her 40s and 50s.
You are a strong, brave, creative, courageous, intelligent, and kind human being who is working on following her dreams. You will go far, but you have a lot of life ahead of you. There will be ups and downs, bad and good experiences. But you will learn to enjoy the adventures of life. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy who you are. Don’t let what others think of you influence you as much. You will conquer all the naysayers, including your own mind. It will be a daily battle, but you will keep fighting no matter what. After all, success is the best revenge.