In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.















Thursday, November 19, 2009

A letter to my 13 year old self…

I was going to take part in a writing assignment that Mama Kat at Mama’s Losin it gives each week. One of the assignment choices was “Share a diary entry from when you were 13.”I thought about what was written in my diary when I was 13. It made me sad for the girl I was back then. And then I remembered I had seen this writing assignment somewhere(cannot remember)a year ago and thought I would give it a try instead. It was, write a letter to your 13 year old self.

Here it goes.

Dear 13 year old self,

You need to stop what you are doing right now, and listen. You think you know the truth but you don’t. You have it all wrong. Take that tough smart ass look off your face and put out that cigarette. It’s all just a front to make people think that you don’t care. You put on this facade of toughness yet underneath the facade is a hurting child.

You think you are invisible…that no one can see. You are not. Don’t you see all the good people that could help you, if you just let them? Open your eye’s. Stop pushing the good people away…they are your salvation and you don’t even know it.  

Just because your dad calls you a mistake doesn’t mean you are. Just because he calls you a slut and a whore doesn’t make you one. When he say’s he wishes you were never born, that you won’t amount to anything, and that you’re retarded like your brother, don’t listen to him. He doesn’t know what he’s saying. He doesn’t know that all you want is for him to love you…to want you. He doesn’t know how to love you. He’s taking his pain and anger out on you.

You have to stop believing all these lies. Believing these things, like they are the truth, will cause you to live a tormented life.You think, that somehow he knows something that no one else knows…that your truly bad. You will constantly seek to prove he was right about you.

But, your not bad. Stop believing that.

As long as you believe that you alone are not worthy, you will seek out love and acceptance from men, like it is food for your hungry soul. You will convince yourself that sex means love. It’s a lie. It will never be enough to fill up your soul. Deep down you will know that.

Just because you know and love the persons hurting you, doesn’t make it okay. Knowing them doesn’t give them permission to violate you.

You will not be free, until you stop believing the lies.

If you keep believing lies you will make choices to allow others to abuse you. You are not a punching bag for men to take their anger out on, verbally or physically. You will learn to love people that abuse you. It will be a sickness that takes years for you to stop doing.

Believing lies is your survival. Yet it’s the very thing that will destroy you and keep you stuck in the mud.

Cutting up your arms and legs will not be the answer. The release you feel as the razor cuts your skin and as you watch the blood flow, is temporary. Yes, feeling the physical pain, in some sick way, releases the pain from within. No matter how much you cut, the power of the secrets will remain. Etching out “death” on your arm will not bring it any sooner. Covering up and hiding the scars doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Starving yourself is not the answer either. No matter how much you don’t eat. No matter how much you make yourself vomit will not empty you of the ugliness within. No matter how much you punish yourself with hour upon hour of exercise, none of this will release you from the power of the secrets.

Look in the mirror. Take the blindfold off your eyes and you will see all that you are.

You laugh and act as if this is nothing. You laugh in the face of all that should be sad. You laugh, when you should be crying.

You are just a child. You might be making adult decisions, but this doesn’t make you an adult. You think you’re having fun getting drunk and high. You think these things are just fun and a way to silence the voices in your head. You are headed down a road of self destruction that you are going to regret one day. Some day you will actually have children. Some day you will actually wish you had tried in school and gotten an education. Some day you’re going to wish that you hadn’t taken this road.

You need to break the silence and stop keeping secrets from those that could help you. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat these words to yourself. “It wasn’t my fault.” Repeat this until you believe it. If you don’t, you will continue down this road of destruction, until you have more big fat ugly secrets to keep…. that leave your soul black and blue. You have to speak up until someone listens.

Do you hear me? It’s not your fault.

If you keep silent, you will keep dying inside. You will suffer in a prison of your own making. No amount of drugs, alcohol or sex will unlock the doors. The very thing that could set you free, you fight. Stop fighting. You hold the key. Hand the key to someone that can actually unlock the door and set you free.

The person that you will eventually hand the key to, is someone that you despise now, but will later be your best friend. He will help you release the madness inside but only when you finally break the silence of the big fat ugly secrets. He will embrace you and teach you to love yourself. Finally. But, that will be many, many years from now.

Instead you will choose to live a life of lies…a life of survival.

Lies to cover up all the things you’ll have to do just to survive. Being high all the time will feel good. You will even think drugs are your salvation. It will give you the facade that all is well within and that nothing else matters then being high. In your search for a bigger and better high, you will almost lose your life. When you cry out for help to someone that you expect to be there, just remember, she doesn’t know how to help you. This is too big, even for her.

Living your life like it’s Russian roulette…like it doesn’t matter whether you live or die is not fair to those around you. Worse yet, it’s not fair to you. Stop treating your life like it doesn’t matter. Some day it will matter. Stop trying to die. There is no answer in dying. Hang on. A better day is coming.

You feel ugly, like you’re a bad person, retarded, stupid, not good enough, like you will never measure up, like you are a mistake and like you are unlovable. You  are NOT any of these things.

Some day you will not feel like this. Once the silence is broken, you will live a life that you’ve always dreamed about. Someday you will be free. The hurt you now know will no longer be yours. Someday the power of the secrets will no longer run your life. Someday you will know the truth. Some day you will be free of these things you use now to silence them. Someday you will know true salvation. Someday you will know love. Someday you will look back on this life you once lived and be amazed that you are still here. Hang on, a better day is coming.

From, your 47 year old self.

 

This has been more therapeutic then I imagined. It’s helped me to say some things to myself that I’ve needed to say. It’s humbling, sharing these things with you, even though many of you already know I have a “past”. Even though I know you could judge me, I can’t let that stop me from taking this step to click “publish”.

If you could talk to your 13 year old self, what would you say? Do you want to play along? Write your 13 year old self a letter and share it with me. I would love to hear the voice of your 13 year old self.

30 comments:

Brittany said...

Ohh mom, this was an incredibly strong post. I know what it took for you to push the publish button, but I promise you it was for good reason. Your words are soaked with wisdom. I want you to write a book. A been there-done that book. It would be incredible.

I hope you know now, as your 47 year old self that you are beautiful. Everything about you is beautiful. I could not ask for a beter, strong, more amazing mother and friend!

You rock mom, and this post was incredible. Thanks for shareing this with me and everyone else. Your wisdom is amazing! :)

LPC said...

How you got to where you are and who you are today I do not know. Congratulations. And your daughter is commenting. Wow.

Kit Kat said...

Thank you Lori, for being the strong woman that you are. You truly are amazing, and I know that just sharing your story is helpful to others. Your strength is contagious! So is your love. Thank you!

Lisa E said...

I read through your post and felt the pain. Such an age where you believe the garbage you are fed. Brittany, your Mother is lovely. And Lori, you've come a long way baby.
Joy to you,

Lisa E.

Susan said...

WOW! I'm speechless. Sitting here with tears running down my face.
You're amazing! I'd love to say more, but I just don't have the words.
And now I'm considering whether I have the guts to write a letter like this to my 13 year old self...

Brittany said...

http://brittanyjohnson87.blogspot.com/2009/11/if-i-could-write-letter-to-me.html

I took the challange! It was amazing! Thanks again for the post mom, what a great experience!

Natalie said...

I love you Lori, For EVERYTHING that you are. It is only those that have felt the pain, who can be the shining lights for others.
Plus, I want to say to Brittany - thank you darling for loving your MOM......she SO deserves it.xx♥

Buckeroomama said...

You are an awesome person and all the more incredible in my eyes because of what you wrote. That took some serious courage to publish. Thank you for sharing.

...and how deservedly blessed you are with such love and support from your daughter here.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my gosh Lori! Wow. Wowza. Wow. That is just so sad. I wish more than anything that no child had to grow up hearing those things from adults. That is truly heartbreaking!

Busy Bee Suz said...

WOW. I can see how this would be very therapeutic for you. It makes me so sad to see what you had to deal with, but also I can see what a strong woman you are today and you have overcome so much.
I would tell myself to not listen to the negative people in my life, don't allow others to judge me and for heavens sake, tell your math teacher that you don't get any of it and you never will!!!

Jan said...

((((Lori))))

You know, I've met a great many people I admire since I've started to blog, and I think you head the list. Yes, I know you have a "past" and I know that in a lot of ways it paralleled mine. You have an undaunted courage that I can't match, though - I don't think I could have hit the "publish" button.

I am proud to know you, Lori, and I admire you more than you will ever know.

Jeannie said...

I think I'd just let my 13 year old self read the letter you just wrote - certainly many of the details do not apply but the feelings of worthlessness were just the same.

Somehow, I think you have come much further than I have in being healed even though you perhaps had a harder road to travel. I sometimes still struggle with feeling worthless. I know in my head I'm not but in my heart, I still suspect it.

So many parents make the mistake of not making their love for their children obvious. They do not praise or admire their children. They will not admit to mistakes or say I'm sorry. It's so sad.

Bogey said...

Lori you have become a very strong woman in so many ways. Not just because you took the time to write this letter to your 13 year old self but to make the recognition of what was behind all of the pain and hurt and misery. By the age of 13, you had probably already deserted your inner child, or visa versa, and the Lori that was functioning in the real world was just a pod. Inside the pod was an emptiness that nothing could penetrate allowing yourself to not feel the damage that you were inflicting upon yourself. You covered your identity in a parade of masks. I believe the beginning happened when you recognized your self worth and cast aside the empty pod reconnecting to your inner child. Which explains the unconditional love you have for all of the little one's around you. The acknowledgement from your daughter Brittany, is a testament to and a validation of the life that you once lived and the one in which you now find yourself so much a part of. Courageous my dear, dear friend. Love and hugs!

Tricia said...

Lori, I wish someone has written a letter to me like this when I was 13, or at least had said these words to me. We have much in common my friend and 13 was a turning point in my life...a turning point for the worst where I began to develop a "past" and wore that angry face and developed unhealthy habits. Thank you for having the courage to write this, to share this and to be so real in a world where so many people hide instead and pretend. Can you imagine what a different world we'd have if we could honestly share experiences and lessons without all the fear of repercussion and judgment. Thank you a zillion times for being that kind of person!!

SciFi Dad said...

Great letter.

I barely remember myself at 13, so I don't know what I'd say.

Brian Miller said...

i think that is a letter many of us could write to our 13 year old selves...easy to get lost at that age.

the comment from your daughter made me smile as well. pay attention to her note to you...

smiles.

Midnitefyrfly said...

I'm here via Susan at Weaving a Life. I have spent the better part of an hour weaving through parts of your blog getting to know you. I look forward to reading each and every bit of it.

This letter was amazing and powerful. It means so much to see such a beautiful accomplished mother, grandmother, mother partII AND WOMAN, share in all that is real and give perspective... ups and downs, joys and sorrows, defeat and accomplishment...

I don't have a mother to get that from and it is wonderful to come across women that are willing to reach out and touch my life as a mother with their words. Thank You

Roxy said...

Wow! What an inspirational letter depicting courage and determination. You have created an awesome blog, a beautiful treasure to share with your readers. I will be dropping in to share in your cup of thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a powerful post! I read it twice then started to comment and saw your daughter's post so I went and read hers too and, and, and.... Phew! I am blown away at your strength and love and honesty.

Thank you for sharing what was obviously a heart-felt story. I take my hat off to you.

ox

Riahli said...

I don't believe I am yet brave (or wise) enough to write myself such a letter, but your letter was like a letter to my own 13 year old self...so much of this I knew to well. Very touching and beautifully written painful stuff. I strive to be so strong, most days I make it...many I fall short.

Lori ann said...

Lori, I was holding back tears the entire time. Then I read your beautiful daughters words and it couldn't be helped anymore.

You are so brave for writing this, and so sweet and loving. I can't imagine a life like that, but I am so so so glad you tell yourself the truth now, you are beautiful and wonderful and a gift from God.

hugs and love to you,
lori

Tom Q said...

wow, the goodness within came out. No one really knows why, the help you refused, and the help you finally got, what is the difference between you and others that fail, perhaps die, or perhaps go on with a ruined life passing it on to others like your father. (Hope that he eventually managed to see truth)
But the Joy that is there is not only that you survived, but that you managed to leave a legacy that you should be proud of. I saw the pictures of your children, the legacy that will exist after you and I have left this earth. In the end it is the most important thing. To leave behind the goodness that like you can also expand and be a help to this earth.
Hugs and God bless

Madison said...

Awesome post. This should be passed out to students in middle schools.

LPC said...

Good idea Madison.

Lisa E said...

You are Beautiful, and strong. I recently wrote to m 40 year self. I thought I'd share it with you. It is cleansing to do this, although it does stir emotion.
http://snogirllygoeskeyboardhappy.blogspot.com/2009/10/letter-to-my-40-year-old-self.html

The Incredible Woody said...

Your words spoke volumes to my 13yo self too...

mommytoalot said...

Wow, what a very powerful emotional post. That must have been a very hard letter to write. You are truly amazing
xo

Kathryn Magendie said...

why do fathers say these things to their daughters? don't they know what it does to her? it broke/breaks my heart.

I saw a movie once where the adult woman was able to hug her child self - it was such a poignant scene....if only, yes? but, we can talk to that young "self" can't we?

Hug...

Hilary said...

What a fine, moving and powerful post. Every 13 year old should receive such wisdom from their older self. And we should all be so lucky as to have a child who has such love and respect for us as yours clearly does for you. Nicely done.

Eternally Distracted said...

Everybody else's comments echo all that I want to say. Amazing. Truly amazing. Thank you.