I found out two days ago about an amazing project in the works to inspire, encourage, and share love with young girls. The project, called ‘In My Daughter’s Eyes’ is a collection of letters women are writing to their 12-year-old selves.
My younger years, as some of you know, were a time of great darkness for myself. On the outside I did a fairly decent job at convincing the world I was fine, albeit a little conceited and obnoxious.
In truth, it was all an act.
Inside I was a dark whirlwind of turmoil, pain, self-loathing, and worthlessness. There was rarely a day I didn’t fight with my parents. I was often the laughing-stock of most of my school-mates. When I wasn’t being bullied or publicly humiliated, I was ignored and left to feel like I was a cockroach they could never rid themselves of. I plotted my own death many different ways and often fantasized about being hit by a car, murdered, or dying in freak accidents.
At 12, I was highly unresponsive to most advice and believed hope was something reserved for everyone but myself. Perhaps some of these things could have made a difference.
Dear 12-year-old me;
Life has a funny way of teaching you lessons. If it were possible, I would transcend the boundaries of space and time to let you know these lessons now. This would save you from learning them the hard way.
Before I divulge into the advice I wish I had known ahead of time, let me say simply this: you are worth it. You are worthy of love and joy, happiness and success. And you are most definitely worthy of being believed in.
No matter what you think, your parents do not hate you or think you’re a disappointment.
Sometimes the things they do and say are because they feel it’s for the best. They want, as I do in this moment, to save you from the harsh consequences poor decisions in life can cause. Other times, it is simply that they don’t understand. Humans have never reacted kindly to different.
Often, the response to things we do not understand is to lash out at the source of it. One day, they will come to understand, and things will improve drastically.
Do not weigh your value on the input and opinions of others.
People are callous and often materialistic. You’re worth in life is not measured by how many friends you have or whether or not you’re in the popular crowd.
Trust me, when you get to that crowd, you’ll discover they are all just as insecure and scared as you.
Getting through the things you think you cannot handle will only make you stronger.
Things are going to suck majorly, and at times even feel like you’re at the bottom of everything(and at times, you will be at the bottom of that pit).
If nothing else, there is always just enough strength remaining to hang onto God. I promise you, He will see you through.
Boys are more trouble than they’re worth.
Sure the butterflies, kisses, and warm fuzzies are great. But when it ends, the devastation to follow and the depreciating sense of self-worth will haunt you for years to come. Despite what Teen Beat or Teen Cosmo might say, having a boyfriend will not make life more enjoyable.
You don’t need a man to be successful.
If I could take all the time I spent wasted with guys who really didn’t care, there’s a lot more I could have accomplished in life by now. There IS someone special out there for you, but he’s not going to be every cute guy who lends you a smile.
Despite how much you might hate yourself, fight the urge to self-harm.
Once you’ve done it, it becomes an addictive drug, threatening to take you over for the rest of your life. It’s not worth it.
While the temporary release might help numb things for a moment, the scars will leave behind years of regret and shame.
Beauty is something that develops on the inside and grows to encompass the outer-shell.
Learn to love how you look by looking into the mirror each day and seeing the beauty underneath. One day you will see the beauty on both the outside and the inside.
Make your parents understand you need to see a doctor.
While having to be medicated is still not my preference, it helps. I believe had we been aware of this years earlier, things would be different.
My relationship with my parents would be much better than it was. My BiPolar led me down a lot of difficult paths, and I often made bad choices. If we had known sooner, I would not have ended up making the same poor decisions in life.
Last but not least, trust your heart when it comes to your direction in life.
While the heart can be misleading when it comes down to emotional things (such as boys and love), God speaks to it often. If you listen, you’ll be able to hear his gentle and quiet nudges.
Love everyone you encounter, no matter how much misery they may cause you and the world. Laugh often, as laughter truly is the best medicine. Forgive always, even when the hurt threatens to take you over.
The key to making it through life with an indescribable joy transcending all things in your life is trusting in God. Just remember, joy is not the same as feeling happy. It’s okay to feel upset, angry or sad sometimes. Like everything, those feelings eventually pass.
You are loved and treasured precious one; be comforted that one day, you will do great things.