It’s my 39th Birthday tomorrow! I spent today having fun making pancakes with all of our children and I started thinking about my early life and past birthdays. It prompted me to write this very therapeutic Letter to My Younger Self.
*TRIGGER WARNING* I touch on experiences from my childhood and youth including; CSA, homelessness, domestic abuse, psychological abuse, coercive control and overdose/suicide attempt. I have added recommended resources at the bottom of this letter for anyone needing help.
The image below is 15 year old me, at school, just a few weeks before I was thrown out of home with a few of my belongings in a bin bag. This child then sofa surfed, worked in a pub and went on to live alone in a single room in a B&B.
I’m sorry that I kept you hidden away for a very long time. I did it because I wanted to protect you. So much bad stuff happened that hurt you early on. I thought that keeping you away from the world was the only way to keep you safe. I didn’t want anyone else to hurt you, so I only allowed a few people meet you. I put up big walls.
Something has changed within me over the last year and I’ve started to introduce you to people again. They are getting to know the Bex who isn’t guarded and distrusting. The Bex who see’s the good in people and loves life. The Bex who smiles and laughs, isn’t afraid to let people see the real her and allows herself to be vulnerable.
I’ve learned that I should’ve let you keep on shining all along and heal from the hurt rather than hiding you away. I’m so sorry I did that to you. I wanted to write this letter to my younger self to apologise and advise you.
The important things I would tell you if I could talk to you now;
- It wasn’t your fault that man hurt you so many times.
- You aren’t useless, you are wonderful.
- You are perfect.
- You aren’t a problem child, you need saving.
- Tell your Dad what is happening to you right now.
- Don’t withdraw your statement from the police, they will believe you.
- Don’t take those pills, don’t drink that vodka.
- Don’t let them hide your overdose so no one at the hospital asks questions.
- Stand up for yourself and tell a teacher.
- Don’t act up at school because of what’s happening at home.
- Your life is worth living and things will get better.
- Don’t get involved with that man, he will not love you, he will control you.
- That man doesn’t care about you, he will break you.
- Being pushed down the stairs isn’t OK.
- Having things thrown at you is unacceptable.
- Don’t let that man terrify you and coerce you.
- Just because he isn’t hitting you doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse.
- You and your baby don’t need a man in your lives to be OK.
- He wont stop cheating if you have a boob job.
- Don’t get caught up in that vicious cycle of bad life choices.
- You can do it alone.
- You are strong.
- You are a great Mum.
- You are a good person.
- Find your inner strength and you will find happiness.
- You can overcome anything.
There will come a point in your life when you make a brave decision to walk away from the bad life choices that you made. Every poor or destructive choice you made in your teens and twenties sprung from what that adult did to you. You were repeatedly hurt and then thrown out on the street at 15 like unwanted property. You were a child. You weren’t to blame. You unravelled but you can stop unravelling. Please stop punishing yourself and allow yourself to be happy.
You won’t believe me now, but I swear to you that a man who you aren’t scared of and who doesn’t treat you badly will love you one day.
He will become your husband and he will treat you in a way that you aren’t used to being treated – with respect and kindness. You will feel safe, happy loved and secure. You wont want to run away from him, you’ll want to spend as much time with him as much as you can. You’ll become comfortable in your own skin and you can open up to him. He will be your anchor and calm you. You’ll have beautiful children together and I promise you Bex that you will live happily ever after.
PS: Visit the ice rink with Dad more often, as mad as it sounds, you might have to skate in front of Torvill & Dean one day!!
If you are struggling with any of the issues that I have mentioned in this letter here are some recommended resources;
Domestic Abuse Support During COVID
Coercive Control Article for youngsters from the BBC