11 April 2012

Dear 16 year old me

Hi, 16 year old me. It's you, well me, at the lovely age of 23. Don't believe me?

I know that secret that you have, the one about what happened between fifth and seventh grade. I know about how you're dealing with it, and guess what? You're right. It will destroy your family when your parents find out.

You're doing your best to hold it all together and your falling apart at the seams, but no one would guess. You've made yourself numb, and that's the only thing keeping you going.

You're terrified about the pain in your chest that started in your 9th grade English class--you remember the first time you felt that pain, the feeling of someone taking a butcher knife and stabbing your heart. But you refuse to tell anyone about that pain.

You're one of those people with birthdays early in the school year, so you get to be 16 for most of your sophomore year. You're driving to school, all the way in a different town, because let's face it, that other high school would have made you even more miserable.

I'm sorry to inform you that life will indeed get worse before it gets better, and it does get better. You will be betrayed, you will be abused, and you will wonder if it is all worth it in the end.

There are good times, though. You will get to go to Japan, you will have a puppy who will love you no matter what, and she is a sock thief. Your younger brother will adore you no matter what as well.

As much as you hate yourself and do incredibly stupid things (like doing a max bolus without eating and then taking NyQuil in the hopes that you won't wake up. Spoiler: you always do), you will go to college, but not where you think you will. That will all work itself out. That boy that you think you love in high school isn't for you. Listen to what he wants for you, and know that you could never live an entirely submissive life where you could not be intelligent. He doesn't want you to go to college, to learn, to explore, to have a life. He will cheat on you and break your heart.

But you will find your best friends, your people. All this time you have felt like an alien, like nothing about you is right. You're an introvert, an engineer. These people in high school are not meant for you. They are not worth torturing yourself. They are not worth contorting yourself into things you are not.

I can't say that everything is perfect for you seven years later. You'll still be battling depression. You'll have gone through diabetes burn out. You'll finally have a diagnosis for that stabbing heart pain. You'll have a kitten who likes to knead and lick your jugular. Is she trying to kill you? I have no idea, but she's adorable. You'll be married to your best friend.

You will start to feel better, but it's a long road.

But I know you can make it through it all.

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